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The Rathskeller Suite at Hotel Commonwealth is chock full of memorabilia from the cellar of the grungy music club The Rat - minus the grunge
Hotel Commonwealth in Boston’s historic Back Bay may seem like just one of many luxury accommodations to choose from (and it is) but it does have a rather uncommon legacy. The hotel was once the site of a legendary nightclub that rocked Boston from the mid-1970s to late 1990s before it was demolished in 2000. This was The Rathskeller, aka The Rat, and what better way to commemorate this famous musical haunt than by dedicating a hotel suite in its honor?
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As Week 1 of HotelChatter Cocktail Week(s) wraps up, here's a run-down of some of the nifty things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know in the comments below!
There’s so Much More to Syrup Than Maple –
If you’re into cocktails there’s a pretty good chance you’ve made your own simple syrup but these hotels are going beyond the norm and creating some pretty exotic specialty syrups.
At Fifteen Beacon’s Mooo (a Preferred Hotel) they make all of their syrup’s in-house, but we particularly liked the sound of the House made Celery Lemongrass Syrup that they use in their Celery 75 cocktail, made with Berkshire Greylock gin, Prosecco, strawberry, and the syrup, of course.
Cost to imbibe: $14
Cost to stay at the hotel 'cause you've imbibed: Starts at $479
And here’s an exotic beauty from the W Bangkok: the Chor Muang cocktail. You have absolutely no hope of making this drink at home since it’s made with Butterfly Pea Flower House Made Syrup – a flower that has become so rare that it’s difficult to find it in Thai markets. This elusive ingredient, however, makes it popular with guests who want something authentically Thai, and with locals who want the same. Other ingredients in this cocktail include Butterfly Flower-infused raspberry vodka, lime juice, and it’s garnished with – here we go – a 24-carat gold dust-dipped Butterfly Flower.
Cost to imbibe: THB $275 ($9)
Cost to stay at the hotel 'cause you've imbibed: Starts at THB 4,788 ($150)
Growing herbs on a rooftop? Been there, done that. It was our first post-college apartment, man. It was pretty tight. But then we realized our Doritos budget was climbing higher than the cable bill, and our roommate started dating a cop, so…
Oh, never mind. Apparently the Copley Square Hotel is growing very different kinds of herb on a new rooftop garden that it rolled out this summer. Basil, thyme, tarragon, mint and rosemary are all sprouting up atop the Back Bay property, and they’re plucked fresh for starring roles in a new herb-focused cocktail menu at its restaurant, Xhale.
There, tarragon is combined with grapefruit for a summery take on a gin & tonic. Rooftop basil is muddled with blueberries in lemonade, and then spiked with rum for a refreshing “Crush.” And chef Alex Deamicis is using the garden’s thyme to create a simple syrup that is combined with honey and whiskey. All sound intoxicating.
“Ask Alfred.” What is it? It is an advice column penned by Batman’s butler? (“How do I get Catwoman’s litter stains out of my cape?”) Is it a post-Aughties revamp of a long-forgotten search engine mascot? (RIP.)
No (too bad!) and no (thank heavens). It’s a teddy bear.
Because tomorrow is Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day,, seriously, the Millennium Hotels and Resorts brand is seizing the moment to import its “Ask Alfred Children’s Concierge” to North American properties.
Watch your back, 90210.
According to a just-released report from CityLab, Boston zip code 02199 — which reflects the city’s tony Back Bay neighborhood — is among the 10 Most Expensive Zip Codes in America. With median home values of $3.3 million, the Back Bay is #5 — not far behind Lisa, Kyle, and Brandi’s champagne-soaked stomping grounds ($3.5 million). And if that surprises you, it’s only because wealthy Bostonians are perfectly content to bankroll hospitals and universities instead of launching flavored vodka lines or publicizing-slash-embarrassing themselves on TV. [Sips tea.]
Point is, perhaps it’s no surprise that a new Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts in the Back Bay will make Boston one of only a few international cities with multiple properties from the brand.
“Hey, let’s head down to that sexy Sheraton Boston Hotel for a luxurious massage and decadent dinner,” said Nobody Ever, Not Once.
With all due respect to the Back Bay property, it hasn’t generally boasted a lot of appeal outside the convention set. But today the Sheraton caps a multi-million dollar renovation by rolling out a brand spanking-new spa: Green Tangerine Spa & Salon, the only Sheraton outpost of the locally-based brand, which has just three other locations in Massachusetts and two in Connecticut. The 5,500-square foot facility offers haircuts, manicures, massages and skincare treatments at prices that are quite competitive when compared to the spas on nearby Newbury Street. So it may actually lure locals, besides the inevitable conventioneers getting their talons polished before marathon handshake sessions.
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Last week it was announced that Boston is on the short list of American cities being considered for the US bid to host the 2024 Olympics. The news has some people pumped, a lot of other people preemptively horrified at the prospect.
But here’s an Olympics-related invitation we can all agree on: “Row Like a Pro” at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. Fitness-related hotel packages are very on-trend lately; check out this recently announced Running Camp in Jackson Hole. And as befitting a storied, tony brand, the Four Seasons is pulling in the crème de la crème of athletes for this one.
Available only on September 7, 13, 21 and 28, 2014, the “Row” package lets guests take a private two-hour row with one of several Olympic champs, including 2012 gold medalist Esther Lofgren. You’ll hit the Charles River, passing picturesque Boston landmarks before ending at the finish line of Head of the Charles, America’s largest regatta, held every October.
[Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Commonwealth]
Where do the Red Sox players hit the hay after a big game? Well, most likely, on beds made of money inside acre-size master suites at their multimillion-dollar mansions that seem straight out of MTV’s “Cribs.” (Cue: Mid-Aughties rap music, probably 50 Cent.)
The rest of us, meanwhile, may want to consider Hotel Commonwealth in Boston’s Kenmore Square. It was recently named the Official Hotel of the Boston Red Sox, and the property will be able to leverage this four-year partnership toward special guest packages. Those already announced start at $399/night, but you might need an MLB-sized paycheck to take advantage of the “Ultimate Bucket List Baseball Package.”
The nightclub-y gym is setting up shop in Boston.
No one would accuse the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers of being too hip. No tea, no shade — it’s just that the Park Plaza appeals to travelers who want a prime location with an “old school Boston” atmosphere. But clearly the property is looking to edge-up its image.
First came the announcement of a glitzy upcoming steakhouse with a racy name, Strip by Strega. (If you think the meat-sex innuendo isn’t intentional, check out its recent advertisements.)
Now: news that David Barton Gym will open its first Massachusetts location at the hotel. The fitness brand has leased a 19,000-square foot space at the property, though there’s still no firm timeline for the opening. The Boston location one of several upcoming outposts for the gym line.
From a spa day to a brunch date, here's where to take mom.
Newsflash: Sunday is Mother’s Day. Hopefully, you already knew that. Otherwise, prepare for an hour spent scouring the detritus of the greeting card aisle for the one card left that still has a matching envelope. (Solution: Make your own with construction paper and glitter, “because a mom’s love always makes you feel like a kid again!” Good, right?)
If you’re still on the hunt for hotel-related stays, events and suggestions, we’ve rounded up a trio of ideas in Boston that might help. (We will have some other ideas for moms not in Boston shortly.) Whether you’re splurging on an overnight or just brunch, here are a few ways to make mom feel like a million bucks. Plus tax. And bring some money for the maid.
Boston are you ready for this jelly?
Jell-O shots: they’re not just for parties in your parents’ basement anymore!
On Saturday, May 17, the swanky lounge Rooftop @ Revere will reopen for the season, inviting hotel guests and local glitterati (read: drunk girls in strappy heels) to sip, sun, and swim on a spacious and sunny terrace with skyline views on the seventh floor of the trendy Revere Hotel Boston Common.
If you've had a chance to draw yourself some tan lines during last year’s inaugural season, you know some of what to expect: shady white cabanas offering a hint of Miami gloss; oversized, fantastical statues that bring a hint of the local art scene; and cute staffers serving light bites and pouring drinks while outfitted in Pret-a-Surf, a fashion-forward surf and swimwear line co-designed by the entertainment editor of Vogue and famed photographer Annie Leibovitz’s studio manager. (In other words, they’re totally photo-ready for #selfies.)
A year-round food market and 180-room hotel should create a booming new market district.
Great news for Boston, hotel junkies, foodies, and Boston hotel junky foodies: Last week the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approved plans for a $14 million project that will put a year-round public market near the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
The 28,000-square foot Boston Public Market will host up to 45 vendors, giving locals year-round access to meat, fish, and veggies from local farms; Boston’s Haymarket area already bustles with pushcart vendors on (weather-appropriate) weekends, but this be a huge indoor option that ensures healthy eating and Instagram photos of homemade quinoa salad with favas all year round. (#Blessed)
Also inside the Boston Public Market: a bakery, raw bar, and demo kitchen for use by local chefs. The nonprofit managing the project, Boston Public Food Market, has already raised $9 million and plans to open up shop in summer 2015.
And what pairs best with food? Shelter. Duh.