When the W Boston opened in 2009, its glass tower redefined the city’s Theater District. Now the hotel has finished redefining itself.
The first phase of the W Boston’s massive renovation, unveiled in 2016, saw much of the hotel — including the main entrance, fitness center, and suites — revamped over a five-month period. The just-completed $10 million second phase involved renovating all of the standard guest rooms over this past winter, and brought the makeover’s total cost to $14 million.
But it wasn’t as straightforward as the hotel first anticipated.
“This proved trickier than we imagined,” said W Boston’s general manager Gurkirat Singh. “The intention was to finish these [guest] rooms right after the suites in 2016, but we had to be mindful of location and history, and be modern at the same time. It took two years to put it all together.”
The hotel’s original tagline, “Uncommon on the Common,” morphed to “A brand new rebellion,” playing on the renovations and Boston’s original rebellion against the British crown in 1775.
“We are the rebel,” Singh said lightheartedly. “We looked at our design narrative, and we wanted to be cheekily tactful.”
The new rooms have deep gray and ivory walls with whimsical Gothic portraits: Boston-born horror author Edgar Allan Poe stares worryingly from the bathroom wall; a Colonial woman blows a big pink bubblegum bubble. The centerpiece is an inky-black, faux wood-paneled wall that serves as a bedhead.
“We took a Colonial influence,” Singh said. “We wanted architecture to playfully tell the story. The headboard is a twist on traditional molding, and the lights nod to Paul Revere’s lantern.”
When the hotel opened on Stuart Street in 2009, its shiny glass tower contrasted sharply with neighboring early 20th-century theaters like the Wang, the Shubert, and the Wilbur.
“Originally, the hotel was a bit more conservative as we tried to fit into Boston,” Singh said. “The hotel was not so cutting edge. We didn’t even have a DJ license back then.”
It certainly does now. Nightly, DJs spin in the W Lounge off the cavernous lobby, which is clad in raw-faced granite and shou sugi ban charred wood, which replaced the original traditional oak in the first round of renovations.
Opposite the W Lounge, on March 17, the casual-chic Gallery restaurant will launch its Sunday jazz brunch, featuring a mimosa and Bloody Mary bar and a menu ranging from breakfast tacos to fruity chia pudding, all to be enjoyed as a trio of masterful musicians perform.
“This neighborhood has changed since we opened,” Singh said. “We want to be good neighbors and invite everyone in for brunch.”
W Boston, 100 Stuart St., Boston; wboston.com