Boston is about to be the center of the hospitality industry, thanks to an onset of hotels opening in the Hub this year. There are nearly two dozen new hotel projects planned in greater Boston, some recently opened, some soon to break ground, others still in the planning stages, with a potential for a maximum of 3,000 new hotel rooms in the next 2-3 years.
According to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, more than half the rooms are planned for the South Boston Waterfront near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center; the area south of North Station, TD Garden, and west of the North End will be the next neighborhood to be entirely transformed following Boston’s Big Dig and the completion of the Rose Kennedy Greenway parks. East Boston, Cambridge, MA and Chelsea, MA are also key areas of new hotel development.
Here's a look at a few of the new Boston hotels you can expect to see this year:
The Godfrey Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel with 243 rooms, a full service restaurant, retail space, a coffee shop and a 1,500 square-foot spa center, will be the next hotel to open in downtown Boston. The hotel is projected to open in late-2014 in as part of the “59 Temple Place” development downtown and will occupy the upper floors of the historic Blake Building at the intersection of Temple and Washington streets.
50-room Mirbeau Inn & Spa will open in Spring 2014 at the Pinehills Village Green in Plymouth, MA (about 8 miles from Cape Cod). The Inn will combine a luxury retreat with one of New England's premier golf experiences.
A 330-room Aloft hotel & a 180-room Element hotel will open on a 5.6-acre parcel on D Street opposite the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). The $137.8 million project broke ground in December 2013 and will bring 510 new hotel rooms in close proximity to the BCEC, with the hotels set to open in 2015.FULL ENTRY
Rumors spread like soft butter on crusty bread last week about Chef Daniel Boulud's potential entry into Boston. Finally, it was confirmed, and foodies around the Hub salivated at the news: Bar Boulud will open at the Mandarin Oriental, Boston this fall.
But what does this announcement mean to the culinary landscape of Boston? With a new celebrity chef in town, will that mean more tourism to the city, or more wait times at restaurants?
For a story in Forbes Travel Guide, I spoke with the Mandarin Oriental, Boston, about this news and got to the bottom of the rumor mill:
More hotels just joined the tally of participating hotels for Hotel Week Boston. Check out the official Hotel Week Boston website for the latest deals.
The first ever Hotel Week Boston kicks off Feb. 16 – 23, 2014 with specially-crafted Boston hotel packages. Conveniently organized during February School Vacation, Hotel Week Boston is a great option for those who want a staycation in the city, or just know of some friends and family who want to come for a visit.
Participating hotels and their offers include:FULL ENTRY
The best thing about a new year is the new opportunity it presents. For the hospitality industry, this means new openings and renovations that appeal to new and returning guests.
Boston has a lot to look forward to in 2014. Already making an impact on the economy are new restaurants and a few hotel renovations happening around the city. If you're visiting Boston this year, or you're just looking for something new to explore in the city, Forbes Travel Guide has the details what's new in 2014.
A few notables include renovations at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, which include upgrades to the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel lobby, two restaurants — Aura and Tamo — and guest rooms. In Back Bay, the Loews Boston Hotel is preparing to unveil their new guest rooms, lobby and restaurant.
Columbus Hospitality Group (the parent company of Mistral, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Mooo and Four-Star XV Beacon) recently opened Ostra, a contemporary Mediterranean restaurant located in the Theater District. The restaurant occupies the former Avila space of on the corner of Charles and Stuart Streets.
Check out the other Forbes-rated properties in Boston.
The holidays are stressful. Office parties, unlimited calorie consumption and of course, the dreaded conversations around the dinner table with your family.
This time of year is when most of us – happy as we may be – start to panic over pumpkin pies and without warning, consume more eggnog than we had originally planned.
Here's the thing: it happens to everyone.
Here's what to do: treat yourself to a little serenity at the spa.
The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Boston, Massachusetts’ only Forbes Five-Star spa, is offering its holiday signature treatment, the Frankincense Massage Ritual, for the month of December.FULL ENTRY
The weather has started to turn, there's a chill is in the air, the city is starting to prep for winter. It's time to break out the shearling hats, wool mittens and down jackets, and start prepping our skins for the winter weather. To help ease the chill of winter, the Four Seasons Hotel Boston is launching their holiday pop-up this Friday, Nov. 15 – a gourmet hot cocoa shop from Cocoa on the Go, serving up steaming cups of everyone’s favorite chocolate drink.
Popping up every Tuesday through Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, Cocoa on the Go will feature house made hot chocolate – plus a special flavor of the day – paired with a variety of all-you-can-eat topping choices ranging from caramel, coconut and rich chocolate shavings to peppermint and whipped cream. Executive Pastry Chef Tim Fonseca promises it will be Boston's best hot chocolate.FULL ENTRY
The Westin Copley Place turns 30 this year and to celebrate a new decade in Back Bay, the hotel underwent a series of innovative upgrades to bring some new appeal to its digital digs. Dubbed “Westin 3.0”, these initiatives were designed with the busy travel in mind, who has a schedule to keep but appreciates a little downtime.
A few key elements you'll notice right away when walking into the new Westin space include:
- An “Interactive Wall” that gives guests a visual tour of Boston at the wave of a hand.
- A "Vertical Garden" in the check-in area that enhances air quality and brings a bit of nature indoors.
- The new dining concept, “Ingredients”, which is a Gourmet Grab and Go Café. The concept allows guests to create a healthy meal from made-to-order omelets and smoothies, custom salads, fresh sandwiches, and thin crust brick oven pizzas.
- “Tangent”, a new interactive workspace available to hotel guests and locals needing to hold business meetings with remote participants. Video conferencing, free high-speed wireless internet, floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, printers, and a full suite of office supplies are available.
Of course, a birthday isn't any fun without gifts, so the Westin Copley Place is offering a special anniversary package through the end of the year.FULL ENTRY
Dining out shouldn't be a complicated scenario. Make a reservation, walk-in, be seated, enjoy a meal. But oftentimes, we find ourselves longing for something a little more creative in the culinary space - and we're not just talking about the food.
There's a place and time when dining out should be an event, and when you need something special, the chef's at some of Boston's best restaurant have just the answer: their tables. Otherwise known as, the best seats in the house.
The chef's table is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at what's happening in the kitchen at your favorite restaurant. It's an inside look at food preparation, sous chef creativity, and insight into how a star-rated kitchen runs – often flawlessly – at the busiest times of the day.
Forbes Travel Guide rounded up a few of the best chef's tables in Boston, including the smallest chef’s table and a few that are sure to make you think you’ll qualify for culinary school:FULL ENTRY
The Five-Star luxury hotel on the Boston Common is prepping its lobby for summer crowds with a summer favorite: ice cream.
Starting July 3 and running through Sept. 8, the hotel will host an ice-cream pop-up shop featuring ice cream from Gifford's Local Ice Cream. You can grab your $6 scoop Wednesdays through Sundays from 1-4pm.
The pop-up will also offer various ice cream dishes, like the Romeo & Juliet (2 scoops of various flavors for $9), The Kitchen Sink (5 scoops of various flavors for $15) and extra scoops for $3. Each cone comes with a free topping.FULL ENTRY
Looking to save a little on summer travel? Maybe you have a few extra dollars you're willing to spend? TripAdvisor recently released the results of their annual study that analyzes the costs of a night out and overnight stay (a four-star hotel, cocktails, a two-course dinner paired with a bottle of wine, and round-trip taxi ride) in cities around the globe, giving travelers some insight into cost-effective travel.
Boston ranked third on the list, following Honolulu and New York City.
TripAdvisor looked at prices from June 1 through August 31, and showed the biggest increases happening in Orlando, Denver, Honolulu, L.A. and Seattle. Honolulu was the most expensive U.S. city ($504.94), while Oslo brought in the highest numbers internationally ($581.08). If you're looking for a budget trip, a night out in Vegas will cost you $272.94 and Sofia, Bulgaria, is a bargain at $158.42.FULL ENTRY