So instead of a surge on weekends or holidays, it’s busy seven days a week and has doubled the revenue of its predecessor in less than a year, Tormey said.
A few blocks away, the Mandarin Oriental is trying its own brand of reinvention, one that involves events aimed, once again, at city dwellers. This month, the hotel launched a pho pop-up lunch in the lobby, and one evening invited a who’s who of business leaders to an exclusive art party.
“We want to introduce them to the space and integrate ourselves into the Boston community,” said Mandarin Oriental spokeswoman Molly Kinsella.
The evening included a tour of a luxurious Mandarin Oriental residence filled with original art.
Darnell Williams, president of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, was impressed. “There was another level of lifestyle we were introduced to tonight,” he said.
Although he knew the event was a deliberate move to connect with the business community and pave the way for functions at the hotel, he approved of the approach.
“You’ve got a lot of modern, new hotels in the city and more are coming. If they include you in their agenda, you are more likely to return,” said Williams.
These public displays of affection are expected to grow as hotels welcome tastemakers into the fold, marketers say.
Geri Denterlein, of Boston communications company Denterlein, thinks hotels that “engage the streetscape” and explore different ways to generate business will come out on top.
“Gen Xers and Yers are coming of age and hotels can’t just rely on the power breakfast to lure people in,” she said. “They have to bring people of a younger generation into hotels in different ways.”
The Langham hotel’s Bond Restaurant and Lounge is attempting to do that with DJs and fashion shows that draw a younger crowd.
On weekends, celebrity DJs like Clinton Sparks turn the schmoozy after-work bar into a veritable club. On April 3, members of the New England Revolution are scheduled to walk the red carpet in Ted Baker London’s spring collection.
“Today, the competition is so fierce, you have to make sure your product is as up to date as your newest competitor,” said Serge Denis, managing director for the hotel, located in Post Office Square. “If you don’t compete, you are left behind.”
Last year the hotel spent $6 million on lobby renovations to make sure they weren’t.
The result is the Reserve, a champagne bar that does traditional English tea in the afternoon. The hotel has tripled its lobby capacity and sent a message that all are welcome.
“When you spend $6 million, you have to make sure you have a return,” said Denis. “I feel very, very encouraged, based on the response.”
Kathleen Pierce can be reached at email@example.com.