Opening in September 2023, Raffles Boston is about to make a state-side statement. Before then, though, we have managed to wedge our foot in the door for a sneak peek inside…
Has the arrival of Raffles Boston stolen London’s limelight? As we all know, 2023 was supposed to be the year where the industry turned its head to Britain’s capital for the opening of Raffles London. The long-awaited 120-key luxury hotel, which is poised to unveil its interiors inside London’s famous Old War Office, is having some delays, though, and its official opening date varies depending on who you speak to.
So, while London prepares to make its grand entrance (good things come to those who wait), we’ve noticed another Raffles property that is about to flex its muscles on the hotel scene, and it’s just as grand. Raffles Boston, opening later this summer, will mark the first mixed-use development in North America for the illustrious, world-renowned, 136-year old Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand. It also writes a new story for Boston’s hospitality and real estate industries alike.
The 35-story, $400 million+ LEED Gold building will be an urban oasis where global cultures and local influences converge. Offering an unprecedented hotel experience in the heart of the city’s Back Bay, Raffles Boston features 147 guestrooms and 16 distinct gathering spaces. From top to bottom, the hotel will showcase and celebrate what makes the Raffles brand so special: ‘a sense of adventure and style, gracious and intuitive hospitality and thoughtful, locally inspired design’, all while enhancing the cosmopolitan charm of the Back Bay.
Raffles Boston shelters 147 hotel guestrooms, including 21 Signature Suites, eight Premier Suites, and a spectacular presidential Raffles Suite.
Design firm Stonehill Taylor fashioned all rooms and the majority of hotel amenity spaces. The design studio is said to have taken cues from the city’s Emerald Necklace and Raffles Boston’s historic cultural surroundings, carrying botanical influences throughout the property, emphasising art and sculptural design and choosing materials and patterns that play off of Boston’s iconic history and architecture.
Copper accents, for example, are prevalent throughout the property in a nod to Paul Revere’s copper plating company. Historical illustrations adorn custom wallcoverings; whimsical lighting is inspired by florals and greenery references the window boxes found throughout the Back Bay.
In a first for the City of Boston, Raffles Boston features a Sky Lobby on the 17th, 18th and 19th floors. The three-storey space is more than just a place to check-in for a hotel stay; it connects residents and guests with a diversity of amenity spaces.
Acclaimed Chef George Mendes will launch the hotel’s signature restaurant and oversee its food program. A first-generation American born to Portuguese immigrants, Mendes grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. After years of honing his talent in the kitchens of David Bouley, Alain Passard’s Arpege in Paris and Tocqueville, he went on to open Aldea to critical acclaim and a Michelin star, which he maintained for more than a decade.
Chef Mendes will launch the hotel’s signature restaurant, Amar, located on the Sky Lobby level, an intimate space featuring moody, softly lit walls and dazzling metal finishes.
In a hidden corner, tucked away from the surrounding bustle within the Sky Lobby, a clandestine Speakeasy seduces guests with a cocktail experience harkening back to an earlier era. On the 17th floor, meanwhile, guests and residents will also find a cosy enclave for relaxation in the Raffles signature Writers’ Lounge.
Ascending the Grand Stair, Raffles Boston’s Sky Lobby offers two full floors of meeting and entertainment spaces. The hotel’s Ballroom is unique among Boston hotel event spaces in that it sits on the building’s 19th floor with views spanning from the Financial District to Cambridge.
Capping off the world-class array of amenities, guests and residents will also find a sanctuary on the 4th floor, which features an exclusive state-of-the-art gym, Raffles Spa and 20-metre indoor pool with expansive city views.
As North America’s first Raffles hotel and residences, Raffles Boston will reinforce the Back Bay’s global reputation as a first-class international neighbourhood.
What’s more, the project will provide more than $22 million in public benefits in total, including street and public realm improvements, seven on-site affordable housing units, and a contribution of over $13 million to the City of Boston’s affordable housing fund.
London, it’s your move…
> Since you’re here, why not read about another hotel that Stone Taylor sensitively brought to life in Aspen?
Main image credit: Joe Thomas