Look inside the new Canopy by Hilton opening next month in Boston
The hotel's designers drew from Boston's rich history.
A new boutique hotel opening in the city will offer a contemporary getaway rooted in Boston’s rich history.
Canopy by Hilton Boston Downtown will open mid-March at 99 Blackstone St. near the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It is the first Canopy by Hilton in Massachusetts.
Canopy by Hilton, Hilton’s first lifestyle brand, is designed as “a natural extension of its neighborhood,” according to the company. The first Canopy by Hilton opened in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2016 and there are currently 32 Canopy properties open worldwide and 29 under development across 15 countries and territories.
The 212-room Boston hotel, developed by CV Properties, Harbinger Development, and Olshan Properties, will include two restaurants, more than 3,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and an on-site fitness center. Hilton did not provide the cost of the project.
“We’re going to differ from the corporate, full-service Hilton that you would find in Back Bay or the Financial District,” said Rob Rosenblatt, general manager of the hotel. “We’re going to have more elements of the local feel of our neighborhood, our community.”
Rosenblatt called the hotel’s neighborhood “the beating heart of Boston.”
“We’re in walkable proximity to a lot of historic sites such as Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, the Old State House,” he said. “The Freedom Trail runs right in front of the hotel on Hanover Street.”
The hotel’s exterior “ties in a lot of the architecture from the North End and some of the older buildings over by Union Oyster House,” said Brittany Grammer, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.
The hotel’s 212 rooms include four suites and five balcony rooms.
“All of our balcony rooms are on the top floor with incredible views,” Rosenblatt.
Guests can sip their morning coffee on wraparound balconies while enjoying views of the Greenway, North End, Zakim Bridge, TD Garden, and Bunker Hill Monument, Rosenblatt said.
Inside the hotel, designers sought modern ways to display Boston’s past.
Hotel artwork includes modern Revolutionary period images that are pixelated. The cast iron main staircase was inspired by the city’s ironwork, including its North End fire escapes, Grammer said.
Even the room numbers got the Boston treatment.
“The font of the room numbers outside of all the doors is an exact replica of the font inside the atrium in Quincy Market,” Grammer said.
The guest rooms feature king and queen sized beds with Serta mattresses and gel memory foam. The neutral-colored rooms are done in blue, gray, bronze, and wood. Other touches: Nespresso machines and a refrigerated drawer.
A custom Boston toile is featured throughout the hotel, from the corridors to the guest rooms, with scenes that blend historical figures with modern-day Boston life. The print is most obvious in the signature canopies above the guest room beds. The design is specific to the Boston location and is the first Canopy by Hilton with canvas canopies as a nod to canvas sails, Grammer said.
Upon closer inspection of the toile, Grammer said, guests will spy the following: “Ben Franklin is actually holding a cannoli — I like to say Mike’s, some people will say Modern — but he’s holding a cannoli in reference to the North End. There is George Washington running the Boston Marathon outside of our block, so he is running right past the Union Oyster House. Abigail Adams is sitting on a couch, watching the Patriots play football and watching them on a flat-screen TV. And then there is the Harvard rowing team that is rowing with the USS Constitution in the Boston Harbor. It’s all kind of old and new.”
The guest room bathrooms feature walk-in showers with classic white ceramic subway tile and sustainable Thankyou bath amenities. The bathroom floor tile is inspired by a New England-style quilt from a Norman Rockwell painting, Grammer said.
Hungry guests can dine at two restaurants: Rose Town Kitchen & Bar and a yet-to-be-named restaurant opening in the fall.
Rose Town Kitchen & Bar, a casual brasserie-style café, is located on the second floor of the hotel. It will serve New England classics for breakfast and dinner, and eventually lunch and brunch, Rosenblatt said.
Rosenblatt called the shareable plates “high-quality snacking” and said guests can choose from pizzas (called pies), as well as seafood, beef, chicken, and vegetarian options. The bar will serve classic cocktails with local craft beers on draft and international wines.
“It has a horseshoe-shaped bar, which is another nod to the neighborhood — to the original Union Oyster House first-floor bar that has so much history,” Rosenblatt said.
When the restaurant’s windows slide open during warm-weather months, guests will enjoy an open-air experience over the Greenway, Rosenblatt said. He predicted the bar stools along the window wall will be “highly coveted.”
“This is going to be a unique and vibrant restaurant that’s going to be exciting for people to come explore,” he said.
A second restaurant with a rooftop terrace will open in the fall, Rosenblatt said.
The hotel will feature over 3,000 square feet of meeting and event spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of natural light, Grammer said.
“We’re utilizing both traditional meeting rooms, in the sense, as well as more communal space but elevating it to a reception-style venue,” Grammer said.
Guests seeking exercise will find Precor exercise equipment and Peloton bikes inside the 1,400 square-foot fitness center with 9-foot ceilings.
For help planning city adventures, there’s a 24-hour concierge service and Canopy bicycles for exploring.
Guests arriving early or departing late can take advantage of the hotel’s Transfer Lounge, Rosenblatt said. This is an area where guests can store their bags in a private locker. They can use the restroom and shower facilities and enjoy access to the hotel’s fitness room and other amenities, he said.
Travelers with dogs can participate in the hotel’s “Paws in the Neighborhood” program, which includes special treats for four-legged visitors as well as dog-centric programs.
Rosenblatt said Canopy by Hilton Boston Downtown provides an uplifting story after the hardship his industry has faced over the past two years during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Here we are coming out of COVID and everything that has been going on in our industry with layoffs and furloughs and closures and to be able to say, ‘Here we are with a positive energy, a new energy, and bringing a brand new hotel product with an exciting brand to one of Boston’s most unique and historic neighborhoods,'” he said.
Boston’s hotel industry is slowly recovering, Rosenblatt said.
“We’re absolutely elated because, while we’re not back to where we were prior to the pandemic, every month we move a little bit forward in the right direction,” Rosenblatt said.
Visitors are traveling into the city on weekends, he said, but the industry awaits the reopening of offices and return of corporations, which will bring more mid-week business.
“We’re really excited about what we have to look forward to this summer because we feel like as we enter the other side of this whole pandemic that, on top of all the tourism and pent-up demand, people are still going to come out in record numbers this summer,” Rosenblatt said. “And that will only improve as more things open up and the restrictions begin to be revoked.”
Rates start at $259.
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