Luxury Boston Hotel Delights the Senses
I was deciding where to stay in Boston for a conference when I became utterly enchanted by Mandarin Oriental Boston. My senses were uplifted by an intoxicating fragrance the moment I stepped through the door at 776 Boylston Street. The scent placed somewhere between freshly baked cookies and the luscious center of a fragrant rose. It begged me to stay.
Mandarin Oriental Boston is a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond rated luxury hotel in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. It’s one of the best places to stay in Boston, and I couldn’t resist indulging in their hospitality—if only for one night.
A Welcome Respite at Mandarin Oriental Boston
Mandarin Oriental Boston is one of several distinctive hotels in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. You can find these select luxury hotels, resorts, and residences around the world from Asia and Europe to the Americas.
Each property is known to offer legendary personalized service and world-class accommodations, spas, and dining experiences.
My stay at Mandarin Oriental Boston was a welcome respite from a busy lifestyle as a “solopreneur” and single mom. Although I’m surrounded by many caring people, it’s not often someone looks after my every whim.
This overnight getaway surpassed my expectations from the moment I stepped through the brass-trimmed turnstile right through to my hesitant departure. The hotel offers a unique blend of classic New England elegance and refined Oriental touches that left a lasting impression.
Parking & Luggage Valet
Even before my check-in, I felt 100% supported by the hospitality team at the Mandarin Oriental Boston. Each staff member I met was warm, welcoming, and helpful.
I arrived before 8 AM to attend a nearby writers’ conference, entrusting my car keys to the valet parking attendant. My car is a stick shift but the capable attendant drove it with care and confidence to safe-keeping.
Next, I relinquished my luggage to Jackie in reception. She promised to keep my bags safe until check-in time and offered to find out about an early check-in after lunch. (She called my cell to let me know my room was ready well before the regular 3 PM check-in time)
These may seem like small details, but knowing they were taken care of before my conference allowed me to start my day strong. As author Kurt Vonneget, Jr. said, “it’s the little things that were the big things.”
I went off to the conference, all the while looking forward to retiring in luxury and comfort at Mandarin Oriental Boston.
Tea & Comfort at Check-In
When I returned, Jackie checked me in at reception. She offered me the most delicious Asian tea served from a glass teapot warmed to just the right temperature by a flickering candle beneath.
Check-in took just a minute or two, but the tea was a small gesture of comfort and hospitality while I waited and admired the tasteful lobby decor.
I learned that the beautiful fragrance that welcomed me is the hotel’s signature sent that changes seasonally. It’s just one of the subtle but comforting sensory experiences guests love at Mandarin Oriental Boston.
Around me, gorgeous orchids and exotic cut flowers filled the lobby, themselves lightly fragrant. Soft music created a peaceful vibe.
These “Moments of Delight” tickled my five senses. At every opportunity, they soothed my racing thoughts, brought me into the present moment, and made me mindfulful of my surroundings.
As someone who is always on the go, I could feel my pulse slowing within this peaceful environment.
Beautiful Lobby with Security
The lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Boston presents a gracious gathering space for hotel guests. It’s spacious and comfortable. The decor is clean and colorful with a few tasteful nautical accents.
To one side of Reception is a seating area with couches, tables and chairs filled with natural light. A gas fireplace flickers along the wall, together with gentle task lighting, creating a soothing ambiance.
To the other side of Reception, two couches form a more intimate conversation area, flanked by beautiful museum-quality art. A desk and printer share the space for business convenience.
Ahead and beside the reception desk, an elegant glass and limestone staircase rises to the second floor. It shows guests to elegant function and meeting space, including a 4,200 square-foot Oriental Ballroom.
Each day, you can enjoy fresh coffee, juices, and muffins in the lobby. Afternoons bring delicious fresh-baked cookies, coffee, and other snacks.
You may also consider dining in Mandarin Oriental Boston’s award-winning bistro and wine bar, Bar Boulud. It’s just steps from the lobby and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It may be one of Boston’s best dining venues, in my opinion.
Added Security as a Solo Traveler
Jackie gave me my room key and showed me to the elevator, offering a tour of my room. I gladly accepted and recommend this for anyone staying at Mandarin Oriental Boston.
It’s worth noting that you’ll wave your room key in front of the elevator’s security panel to begin the ascent. I liked the added measure of security, particularly because I was traveling alone. This includes the stairwells and other areas throughout the hotel restricted to registered hotel guests.
The Mandarin Oriental Boston has eight floors. Each of the 148 rooms ranging from Standard to Suite is esquisite. My Mandarin Back Bay Room was on the fourth floor.
Mandarin Back Bay Room Tour
I immediately recognized that this upscale room was a peaceful sanctuary. It is clean and airy with a modern decor and an Art Deco influence. To call this a classic luxury a “room” is an understatement.
It reads more like a swanky urban apartment, outfitted with a:
- Private entry hall
- Spacious living area with television
- Fully-stocked courtesy bar and kitchenette with cappuccino maker
- Well-supplied, comfortable working area
- Large marble-filled bathroom with both soaking tub and shower
- Sumptuous sleeping space with a walk-in closet and private safe
Of course, everything is immaculate. The carpeting underfoot is spotless, the bedding is crisp and pure white, and a terry cotton robe with slippers awaited me.
Extra amenities such as an umbrella in the closet demonstrated the lengths to which Mandarin Oriental Boston’s hospitality reached.
Natural light streams in through the large wall of windows overlooking Boylston Street. Situated in Boston’s Back Bay, this luxury hotel is also just a block from exclusive Newbury Street shopping, Prudential Center Shops, and Copley Square.
A Chic Living Space With Comforts of Home
It didn’t take me long to settle into this incredible room at the Mandarin Oriental as though it were home.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, a three-tiered tray of the most delectable chocolates arrived as a welcome gift and note from Sophie in Management. (Thank you!)
Relaxing on the comfortable, curved couch with ample task lighting, I enjoyed a handful of my gourmet chocolates and a fresh-made cappuccino.
Yes, I thought. I could definitely get used to living this way.
Technology & In-Room Entertainment
I explored the room a little more.
In the living area, a large flat-screen television set a large chest of drawers displays a personalized welcome slide show. The remote control is in its own leather box.
I found the room technology especially fascinating. With just the swipe of a finger, you can dim all the room lighting, or let the staff know you’d prefer privacy or room service.
I scrolled through the television listings and discovered that one channel conveniently shows arrivals and departures from Logan International Airport.
My favorite offering on the TV was a tranquil soundtrack that looped a Mandarin Oriental signature video, called “Moments of Delight.” It truly captures the essence of the Mandarin Oriental experience and left the ambient music play as I puttered around the room.
I was also pleased to browse the selection of magazines spread out for me, including the Boston Common, AFAR, and the Mandarin Oriental’s magazine, MO.
Everything You Could Ever Ask in an Office Space
Opposite the couch is a work area with a comfortable chair and desk. This is so convenient because as a travel blogger, I often mix business and pleasure. It makes it all the easier to set up my laptop and connect to free and secure in-room Wi-Fi in an ample space.
One small bonus that goes a long way here are the extra plugs, coaxial cables, and high-speed connections.
Another is the shelving unit alongside the desk stocked with office supplies. You’ll find paper clips, highlighters, pens, tape, and most anything else you might need to get your work done.
There’s even a lovely branded calendar on the desk.
I felt as at ease working in my room as I did in my own home office.
Well-Stocked Kitchenette/Counter Space
I treated myself to a cappuccino made from a selection of pods beside the in-room cappuccino machine. This kitchenette counter space also provides an ice bucket, and within the cabinet, wine glasses, silverware, dishes, and other barware. The drawers reveal a selection of snacks.
Here also a small refrigerator is fully stocked with beverages and alcohol, including champaign, wine, and what you might call the “good stuff.”
Expansive Marble Bathroom
The oversized bathroom in my room at the Mandarin Oriental Boston features gorgeous polished marble throughout. The toilet is situated out of sight for added privacy. Marble floors and tiles, an expansive marble-topped counter, the deep soaking tub and glass-wrapped walk-in shower with a rain head are all immaculate.
I especially loved that with a single swipe of my finger, I could dim the space using the signature lighting to create the perfect ambiance and enjoy a restorative bath.
This sparkling tub is oversized and deep. I loaded it with shower gel and watched it fill, mesmerized by the waterfall. After a soothing soak, I slid into the white terrycloth robe and branded slippers.
Health and weight-conscious guests will be happy to know there’s even a scale in the bathroom.
I especially love the bath care products, which lather with the lightest of green tea scents. The towels are plentiful and fluffy. Extra toiletries, including a sewing kit, cotton swabs, and shower cap, and shoe mitt, are all packaged neatly in a leather box.
Relaxing Sleeping Space
I slept soundly through the night between soft sheets of the king-sized bed, insulated from the world.
Both the state-of-the-art fitness center and the holistic Five-Star awarded spa were on the same floor, but I never heard a sound.
Double doors open to a walk-in closet stocked with plenty of hangers, drawers, overhead space, and an iron/ironing board. You’ll find a full-size umbrella should you encounter a rainy day during your visit and a bag for laundry service. Here also is a combination security safe in the drawer. A built-in bench makes for easy dressing.
Turn Down Service
If you’ve never experienced a turndown service, it is the ultimate in luxury. On request, an attendant rearranges bed pillows, turns down the blankets, closes the shades, dims the lights, and puts on soothing music. She even puts slippers by my bed. I could easily get used to this level of service.
Lamps on the nightstands are tied into the master lighting system, also within easy reach. Plenty of outlets offer convenience for phone chargers and other equipment. Here is also an alarm clock.
Breakfast at Bar Boulud
In the morning, I enjoyed breakfast at the renown Bar Boulad, an upscale French bistro and wine bar from celebrity chef, Daniel Boulud. It’s just down the hall from Mandarin Oriental Boston’s lobby with an entrance on Boylston Street. I highly recommend visiting this landmark restaurant.
I sipped excellent coffee and read The Boston Globe, then selected offerings from the European-style buffet while my main course was made to order.
Ronny, my host, recommended the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with a side of sweet Brioche French toast. Both were expertly prepared and tasted incredible.
In fact, the food and table service at Bar Boulad were among the best I’ve ever had.
Check out at Mandarin Oriental Boston isn’t until 12 pm, which allows plenty of time for sleeping in and enjoying creature comforts–or for getting some work done before leaving for a lunch meeting.
After my delicious breakfast at Bar Boulud. I asked the front desk for a late checkout and they extended my stay a little longer. I wanted to savor this experience as long as possible!
Mandarin Oriental was happy to keep my suitcase and car for me after check-out while my conference wrapped up.
The 5-Star Service Difference
If you’ve never been to a 5-Star Rated Luxury Hotel, let me sum of what all the fuss about:
- Outstanding service: Besides the excellent quality throughout the hotel and attention to detail in every regard, five-star hotels must provide the highest level of service to each guest.
- Friendly interaction: Every person you meet goes “over and above” to anticipate your every need, sometimes before you even realize the need yourself.
- Generosity: By offering a complimentary umbrella in the rain and fresh slippers before bed. For instance, the Mandarin Oriental Boston offered a plush lobster toy to make sure even young guests enjoyed their stay.
Mandarin Oriental Boston was all this and more. The staff welcomed me as though into their own homes; it was that genuine.
Conclusion: A Fond Farewell
Such kindness extended to my departure. Jackie wheeled my suitcase to the door, and Foti, the Doorman held the door and offered bottled water while I waited the few minutes for my car to arrive.
And when the car arrived? You guessed it. It was already cool with the air-conditioning running.
In the end, it was as though I had become some very special and important person overnight. And it was true, I had. I’d become a guest of the Mandarin Oriental Boston. It gave me just the support and rejuvenation I was looking for.
How to Book Your Room
To experience this kind of 5-Star Luxury for yourself or with loved ones, book a night or more in Boston at Mandarin Oriental:
Mandarin Oriental Boston
776 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02199
United States of America
Reservations: +1 (617) 535 8888
Email: [email protected]
Be sure to inquire about seasonal Couple Specials, like “Two if by Land, Three if by Sea” featuring 2-nights at Mandarin Oriental Boston and 3-nights at Nantucket’s exclusive White Elephant hotel.
This article is part of a sponsored collaboration. Special thanks to Regan Communications and Mandarin Oriental Boston for their support on hosted stay. As always, all opinion expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
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