Heads up, bibliophiles: You won’t find Boston’s newest collection of antique books in a library. Instead, check it out at the Cambria Hotel Boston, which opened its doors Monday in South Boston.
Though construction began in October 2017 with a June 2019 opening date in mind, the National Grid lockout threw a wrench into the plans.
“All the explosions in [the Merrimack Valley] made the delay even worse,” Ryan Sillery, the principal and owner of City Point Capital — the real estate and development firm that developed and owns the hotel, along with the nearby 14 West condos — told Boston.com.
Officially dubbed the Cambria Hotel Boston, Downtown-South Boston, the 14-floor hotel designed by local RODE Architects sits at 6 West Broadway, across from the Broadway MBTA stop. Though Sillery describes the geometric exterior as slick and modern, the interior boasts a midcentury-modern-meets-luxe-library vibe. The lobby is a play of materials—walls of glass, white subway tile and gray fabric, with upholstered lounge seating and glints of gold. Dark concrete floors transition to wide oak planks on the way to the adjoining restaurant and bar, where you’ll find tomes tucked onto long shelves.
Six West is the name for all of the hotel’s dining options, including the ground-floor restaurant and patio, roof deck, room service, and event catering. The design team of restaurant group Boston Nightlife Ventures, which operates Six West, curated the books from greater Boston and New England shops. The books were printed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and either focus on the city’s history, or they were published by current or bygone local publishers. Historic volumes include a first American edition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1924 book “Memories & Adventures” published by Little, Brown & Company. Typewriters from throughout the 20th century also adorn shelves. The eatery features emerald-hued walls, marble-look countertops, and lighting that evokes library table lamps.
Dining for the public will roll out in two weeks, according to Brett Fodiman, who owns Boston Nightlife Ventures. Just as the decor leans into the location, so too does the food.
“We’re taking a lot of what we see from around the city and putting it into our scratch kitchen,” Fodiman told Boston.com.
Helmed by executive chef David Daniels, Six West will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an all-day menu of lighter fare that draws from flavors found in Chinatown, the North End, and elsewhere.
An elevator jaunt from the restaurant, literary references and concrete accent walls pervade the rest of the property. The 159 guest rooms include eight suites. The room design leans mid-century modern, with a palette of grays and whites and spa-like bathrooms. Minimal furnishings include walnut-finished platform beds, upholstered chairs and slender workspaces. Quotes from authors adorn the walls, and each room includes a touch of emerald decor. Along with tree branch wallpaper found elsewhere and a lobby tree light installation by London-based artist Simon Heijdens, the green is intended as a nod to nature.
Five junior suites feature a living room and a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed. The standard suites — named Alcott, Thoreau, and Emerson after the writers — combine meeting space and sleeping areas. The hotel’s second floor hosts a larger meeting and event space with an adjoining lounge that overlooks Broadway Bridge. Here you’ll also find the 2,400 square-foot fitness center with tall windows and Gronk Fitness equipment.
“Monday through Thursday, I’d say the major business will be corporate, and the weekends will be leisure business,” said general manager Bernardo Gubert, of the Danbury, Conn.-based hospitality group Meyer Jabara Hotels, which manages the hotel.
On the 14th floor, the 4,000 square-foot roof deck stuns with unobstructed views of the city. A dramatic angled wood roof juts out over the bar. Beyond the high-top tables to the lounge area with low seating and a fireplace, patrons can gaze at Boston Harbor. The roof deck will offer a tweaked menu when food and beverage service begins next year, though Fodiman said the hotel hopes to hold a few special events this winter. Potential events include hosting an ice-skating rink or greenhouses. Full service is slated to begin in March.
“Ideally, we’d like to have something going on for St. Patrick’s Day up there,” Fodiman said. “It’ll be a great view of the parade.”
Cambria Hotels is a franchise of the Choice Hotels brand, which operates over 40 hotels throughout the country. This is the first Cambria Hotel in Boston.