Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Mandarin Oriental Boston

30 Jun 2009 by Sara Turner

WHAT’S IT LIKE? This 14-floor new-build property opened in October last year. Like all Mandarin Orientals it seeks to combine Asian touches with influences from the place in which it is situated – in this case juxtaposing an imposing stone façade and Boston-style blonde-wood panelling with rich fabrics and artwork inspired by the Orient. Enter through the revolving doors and you’ll find yourself in an elegant marble lobby with reception ahead, a cosy seating area to the left, and bold prints by David Hockney and Massachusetts artist Frank Stella adorning the walls.

WHERE IS IT? On Boylston Street, in the Back Bay. The road runs parallel to Newbury Street, Boston’s high-end shopping avenue, at the other end of which is Boston Common and, beyond that, the downtown business district. Logan International airport is 8km away, about 15 minutes’ drive.

ROOM FACILITIES There are 136 rooms and 12 suites located on floors four to eight – above that are private residences. I stayed in an eighth-floor Deluxe room, which looked on to Boylston Street and was a spacious 38 sqm – the rooms are among the largest in Boston, I was told. It was tastefully decorated in neutral colours, with blonde-wood furniture and good-quality upholstery. The comfortable king-size bed was dressed with a goose-down duvet and Frette linens, and there was also a curved sofa, a workdesk with two chairs, US-only plug sockets, a 42-inch flatscreen TV, and a walk-in closet. The marble bathroom was large and gleaming, with a deep bath, a walk-in rainshower, and toiletries by Aromatherapy Associates. Other features included wireless internet access (priced at US$15 per day), a laptop safe, an iron and ironing board, robes and slippers, turn-down service, a minibar, and free bottles of mineral water.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS On the ground floor is Asana, a fine-dining restaurant offering US and Asian cuisine – an à la carte breakfast is served here, along with lunch and dinner. It’s a stylish room with floor-to-ceiling windows, granite tabletops and bamboo flooring, and I had a delicious lobster salad (US$24). Open 6.30am-10.30pm. Attached to Asana is the M bar and lounge, a chic space with a varied cocktail list and a light-bite menu – if you’re a cheese fan, try the fondue (US$17). It was very lively on the Saturday night I visited. Open 11am-1am (1.30am Fri-Sat, 12am Sun).

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES These are on the arcade level, above the lobby, and consist of the Oriental ballroom, which divides in two and can accommodate up to 600 people for a reception, and three smaller rooms. There is a 24-hour business centre with three computers on the ground floor.

LEISURE FACILITIES The spa is on the fourth floor and has nine treatment rooms, crystal steam rooms, vitality pools, “experience” showers and ice fountains. Open 9am-9pm. Next to this is a 24-hour fitness centre, which has Technogym equipment, a yoga room and a weights area.

VERDICT A worthy addition to Boston’s hotel scene, which has relatively few top-end properties, this is an excellent property with great facilities in an ideal location.

Fact file

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The amount of space, the comfortable bed and the stylish bathroom.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in July started from US$500 for a Deluxe room.

CONTACT Mandarin Oriental, Boston; 776 Boylston Street; tel +1 617 535 8888;

Michelle Mannion

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