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The Godfrey, slated for late 2014, will be Boston's next grand opening
There’s a spate of hotel developments afoot in the Hub. But according to a recent report released by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the next hotel opening to hit the city will be The Godfrey in late 2014.
The property comes from the same team behind the just-opened Godfrey in Chicago, a Cubist-influenced building that, to those of us without art history degrees, could also be described as “Jenga chic.”
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Believe it or not, hotels around Boston are already selling out fast for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21 as well as for the preceding weekend. (And if you’ve ever visited for the annual event – well, you probably believe it.) If you’re planning to run – or just cheer on the athletes – book now or forever hold your peace. Here are four packages worth a speedy glance:
For the Wino — The Boxer:
The Boxer (pictured), a West End spot that replaced the former Bulfinch Hotel last year after extensive renovations, is offering a special package for runners who need a place to rest their sore legs. (Or any spectators who want to prolong their Boston visit.) The “Marathon Monday Wine Down” includes an overnight stay, celebratory dinner for two with bottle of wine (get it?) in the property’s Mad Men-evoking restaurant Finch, and breakfast for two before you hit the road in the morning. The package price: $509. Having a place to crash on Marathon Monday and avoid the mad rush of traffic out of the city: Priceless.
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Asana at the Mandarin Oriental Boston is about to assume its final resting position. (That’s a yoga joke, guys.) The New American restaurant will soon be replaced by the third location of Bar Boulud, renowned French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s casual bistro and wine bar. Renovations to its ground floor space in the 14-story hotel will begin in June, and the new eatery is expected to open in Fall 2014.
His partnership with the five-diamond Mandarin marks Boulud’s first venture into Boston. Time will tell what culinary surprises are in store for the spot, though an announcement promises the type of French bistro fare and seasonal charcuterie similar you’d find at Bar Boulud’s existing locations in New York City and London.
It "will be filled with energy, a great range of wine selections and soulful bistro cooking to create a vibrant eating and drinking destination,” states Boulud. The Boston restaurant will be overseen by Aaron Chambers, most recently chef de cuisine at the Mediterranean-focused Boulud Sud.
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
In its past life, the Loews Boston Hotel was the Boston Police Department Headquarters. Today, it’s guilty on one count: possession of uninspired guestrooms. (Don't worry, it’s only a misdemeanor.)
But freedom for travelers is up ahead, now that the hotel is jump-starting a $10 million renovation. Slated to wrap up by the end of March, the makeover will unveil 225 redone guestrooms that are “inspired by a fine-tailored” suit, according to a statement: think grey flannel, hounds tooth, and herringbone fabrics in a sleek design with free Wi-Fi and other amenities of the “latest technology.” Behold: this before and after of the old and upcoming looks.
Keep reading to see the AFTER pic!
From February 16 - 23, several Boston hotels are offering major discounts on their rooms, averaging about 25-30 percent off, making it a good deal for those willing to brave the cold in Beantown or for Bostonians who want to escape their own digs. Conveniently, the hotel week happens the same time as the school vacation week.
A list of the participating hotels can be found on Facebook including several of the city's top luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton (25 percent off bed and breakfast page for a deluxe suite); The Four Seasons (25 percent off their best available rate); The Liberty Hotel (30 percent off of the best available rate and overnight valet parking) and the W Boston (30 percent discount off of the best available rate and in-room wifi.) Another deal we like is at The Charles Hotel where rooms cost $199 a night and include ice skating passes at the hotel's rink, free parking and daily breakfast.
During hotel week, guests can also get in on some other deals around Boston, including a two-for-one offer from the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston and the Franklin Park Zoo, and 20% off tickets to Jose Mateo Ballet Company’s winter show, "Unbridled." Now, how do you like them apples?
[Photo: Liberty Hotel Boston]
The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!
Earlier this week, we were stunned by the Laduree Macaron Christmas Tree at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. Today, there's another macaron creation to drool over, The Nutcracker at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common which stands 14-feet tall and consists entirely of gingerbread macarons. Below are some fun facts from Chef Andrew Yeo about the structure, which apparently needs daily touch-ups because hungry guests keep filching macarons from it!
· The Nutcracker is made out of 20 pounds of almond flour, 100 pounds of granulated sugar, five pounds of water and 4,106 egg whites.
· In total, that's more than 3,000 macarons, flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, clove and almond.
· Using the hotel's entire pastry team, it took about a week to build from start to finish.
· Yeo was inspired by a gift he received earlier in the year from Laduree Paris and that set his mind on doing something for the holidays with macarons.
· Last year, the hotel built a life-sized gingerbread house that housed a gift shop for the Boston Ballet. This year, they wanted to go bigger yet still incorporate the ballet. Thus The Nutcracker, which comes to life next door at the Opera House.
· Lastly, the figure is 14-feet-tall to celebrate 2014. Clever!
The hotel still has rooms open for Christmas starting at $395 a night. The hotel also has a Nutcracker Suite package available that includes a stay in a luxury suite with holiday trimmings and elements inspired by Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, a Teddy Bear tuck-in service, a saint pointe shoe autographed by a Boston Ballet company dancer, a CD recording of The Nutcracker and a Sugar Plum inspired bubble bath drawn by butler. Fancy! But it costs $995 a night.
Last night, the Boston Red Sox took the lead in this year's World Series with a whopping 8-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. We're not Sox fans here but it's a good thing they won, otherwise all the hotels rooting on the team with special baseball displays, suites and packages would have looked pretty sheepish this morning.
The Hotel Commonwealth, located next to Fenway Park, unveiled a lobby tribute to the Red Sox which features a hand-painted front desk “Green Monster,” vintage Fenway Park stadium seats, baseballs, banners, pennants and more. No surprise here, but the hotel is sold-out for Game 2 tonight.
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As the grand finale to cocktail week here's Part 2 of our round-up of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. Don't forget to let us know what’s going on in your section of the world!
Beer is the new wine: Before some of you get stressed out, we’re not saying that wine’s going away, but we have noticed that beer is getting more attention these days. Some hotel bars are making beer their “thing,” some are making their own and some are getting it made for them.
Most of us tend to only hang out at airport hotels when we’re going to and from a place, but the Four Points by Sheraton LAX has a 100-beer beererie called Brewster’s that includes an ever-changing tap list of craft and microbrews. They have an on-staff Director of Brewer Relations who ensures the beer list is fresh and filled with rare brews, monthly beer appreciation nights, beer pairings such as Smoked Stone Porter with smoked salmon, beer turndown service that includes a beer-stocked minibar, and a recently-launched Hoppily Ever After package that lets the happy couple-to-be create their very own custom, brewed-to-taste beer for their big day—isn’t that just so romantic?
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We're in summer's full throttle, and if you're in New York we let you know here where to find sanctuary in the sun.
But what about the rest of the world? You too need some shelter from the swelter, right? That's why we've come up with some rad Hotel Pools Worth The Plunge.
Some are available for guests only, others come with a fee, and still more offer free access--usually when there's a pool party going down.
So, don a retro high-waisted swimsuit (or not!) and take one of these refreshing dips and dives.
W Hollywood Hotel and Residences, LA
It goes without saying that LA is a pool-centric place. You'd be hard-pressed to find a hotel that didn't offer a decent spot for some aqua-fied R&R. However, if you want to make it a rhythm and relax affair, head to the top-floor Wet Deck during the week to camp out in a cabana or laze in a lounge chair. On the weekends, a DJ comes in to pump up the jam and the adults-only crowd.
The outdoor, elevated pool deck puts the A's best views of Skyline on display. Ogle them from the water, or book a private cabana. Don't want to share your view with others? Book one of the hotel's four Pool Suites which have private plunge pools on the room's terrace.
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What's the likelihood that you haven't heard the word "cronut" like every day it seems for the past two months? We have and finally had to figure out just what in fresh hell did it mean. Every reference seemed to accompany photos of people waiting in extraordinary lines forming at dawn (with some folks sleeping on the ground) waiting for…something. Well, that something is apparently the newest pastry sensation to hit this side of the Atlantic. The "cronut" is a cross between a donut and a croissant and was invented by New York pastry shop owner Dominique Ansel.
Sugar freaks went wild over the things and soon Ansel found himself with a cult following, so he quickly trademarked the name and began serving just 300 of the delicacies a day to the masses. Hence the crazy lines for a treat that changes flavor each month. Coming up in August? It's a toss up between coconut and passion fruit. Mr. Ansel hasn't made up his mind, yet.
Naturally copycats came out the woodwork, but found they couldn't exactly use the word "cronut". But that didn't stop them from capitalizing on the concept. Now there's "doughssants" at the West Town Bakery in Chicago's Acme Hotel. Chris Teixeira, owner of the bakery and former pastry chef de partie at Sixteen at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, began making his pastries just a few weeks ago with a few flavors, chocolate-raspberry, blueberry-lavender and coffee-cream cheese and he has plans to roll out more blends. They cost just $3.50 each, compared to the $5 New York cronut.
But like everything else, eventually a bit of a pastry war started, with other chefs challenging the cronut creator! So who's got the best baked good now?
UPDATE: We've just got word that THE WIFI IS NOW FREE! Glorious!
Back in early June, we learned that the Mondrian Soho was in danger of losing its Mondrian name, thanks to the behind the scenes drama going on with parent company, Morgans Hotel Group. We also reported then that the Ames Hotel in Boston was in peril of losing its management contract with Morgans Hotel Group. And just like that, POOF, it's gone.
We received a press release today announcing that StepStone Hospitality, a Rhode Island-based hospitality management firm, has taken over The Ames Hotel.
“This unique property contrasts modern style with historic sophistication to provide a unique guest experience,” added Blair Wills, StepStone Hospitality president and chief operating officer. “We’re committed to assuring that the level of service matches the quality of the surroundings.”
StepStone currently manages a Hampton Inn and a Springhill Suites in Massachusetts so having the Ames in their portfolio is certainly a stepping stone to greater things.
So far, we don't anticipate many, if any, changes to happen at The Ames. However, it would be excellent if the Ames decided to offer free WiFi under their new management. Currently, the hotel charges $15 for 24 hours.
Ooh, what’s that sound? Is it your screams because today is the start of National Ice Cream Month? Oh, not to be confused with National Ice Cream Day, btw. Or are you just ready for the long holiday weekend? We bet it’s the former—and we’ll give you something else to holler about, too!
The Four Seasons Boston has built a pop-up ice cream shop in their lobby, called Four Seasons Scoops. It opened today and will serve locally loved Gifford’s Ice Cream of Maine until September 8th.
Open every Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm-4pm, the showcase will have yummy flavors like Campfire S’mores, Maine Wild Blueberry, and Muddy, along with special homemade creations by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef Tim Fonseca.
Special guest "celebrity scoopers" will dish out the treats to Boston’s hot tempered citizens during upcoming baseball season (we kid, we kid!).
They’ll give away free scoops every Friday to lucky followers of @FSBoston on Twitter, and while you're on the site, book a room by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and receive a complimentary in-room movie.