A 94-year-old storied hotel building has a new name, look, and main entrance on Boston’s iconic Newbury Street.
Back Bay’s The Newbury Boston opened Tuesday at One Newbury Street after a two-year renovation. The hotel, managed by hospitality investment company Highgate, did not provide the cost of the renovation. The property first opened in 1927 as one of the first Ritz-Carlton hotels in the U.S. and was operating as Taj Boston when it closed in 2019.
The luxury hotel, recently named among the best new hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine, has 286 guest rooms, including 90 suites, some with wood-burning fireplaces and dramatic Back Bay views. The main entrance of the hotel has been moved from Arlington to Newbury Street.
“As the stewards of this extraordinary hotel, we are thrilled to introduce The Newbury to Boston,” Mahmood Khimji, managing principal and co-founder of Highgate, said in a statement. “We have been singularly focused on honoring the timeless and rich history of the property while incorporating new elements of modern luxury. Thoughtful guest touches complement gracious and luxurious service, which has been a hallmark of the property for nearly a century.”
Contessa, a dramatic 4,000-square-foot glass rooftop restaurant with a retractable roof on the 17th floor, offers sweeping, 360-degree views of Boston. The restaurant, operated by Major Food Group and designed by award-winning interior designer and long-time Boston resident Ken Fulk, “will conjure another era, when dinner and dancing, three-martini lunches, or high tea were the perfect excuse to dress up and enjoy the city,” according to the hotel. The restaurant features Italian cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Award-winning architect Jeffrey Beers of Jeffrey Beers International kept the building’s rich history in mind during the renovation process.
Guests are met with a rosewood check-in desk in the lobby and Nero Dorato marble floors beneath an elegant chandelier. The lobby is furnished with oversized lounge chairs and sofas in an assortment of jewel-toned leathers and velvets meant to encourage informal socializing. A grand staircase with a chrome chandelier leads to the hotel’s second-floor event spaces.
The rooms, designed by interior design firm Champalimaud Design, offer a “calming color palette of blues, greys, and creams,” as well as handcrafted wood, herringbone accents, and marble touches. They include original artwork by illustrator Veronica Lawlor, Byredo bath products, Frette robes and linens, and in-room Nespresso Vertuo espresso machines.
Guests who stay in one of the 42 suites with a wood-burning fireplace enjoy the services of the hotel’s fireplace butler and an extensive firewood menu.
The hotel calls its two presidential suites — The Corner House and The Mansion — “dramatic and extraordinary.” The 1,607-square-foot Corner House and the 1,925-square-foot Mansion include living rooms overlooking the Public Garden, dining rooms, king beds, desks, custom millwork, wet bars, a butler’s pantry for entertaining, and a bathroom with a soaking tub, powder room, and walk-in closet. Both can connect to a king guest room to create a two-bedroom suite.
The Street Bar is a returning watering hole with a new look. The 1920s-style space, located off the Arlington Street entrance and overlooking the Public Garden, offers classic cocktails and light bites, a fireplace rediscovered during the renovation, leather barstools, dark wood accents, and additional seating in the adjacent library lounge (which is exclusively for hotel guests).
The library features a vast selection of titles curated for the hotel by the Boston Public Library. The library is “a nod to the city’s intellectual achievement in science and the humanities,” according to the hotel.
Fitness-minded guests can take advantage of a state-of-the-art fitness center overlooking Commonwealth Avenue, outfitted with Peloton bikes, Life Fitness and Freemotion equipment, TRX suspension trainers, free weights, yoga mats, resistance bands, and more.
The hotel will host social events among its 16,000 square feet of event spaces, which include the 3,835-square-foot Assembly Room, complete with green curtains and ornate carpet inspired by the Public Garden and a silver leaf ceiling. It is the hotel’s largest event space and can accommodate 400 people.
Another ballroom, The Garden Room, is the building’s original 1927 main dining room featuring the cobalt blue chandeliers from its Ritz-Carlton days, restored gold leaf molding, and windows overlooking the Public Garden. Other event and meeting spaces include the Hunt’s Room, Ivy Room, and Newbury Salon, where afternoon tea will again be served on weekends.
“With a sophisticated perch overlooking Newbury Street, Afternoon Tea in The Newbury Salon will be reimagined with Major Food Group’s indelible mark,” according to a press release. “Tasty tea sandwiches and scones will be served on elegant Bernardaud service featuring playful images from the beloved Robert McCloskey classic, ‘Make Way for Ducklings.’”
The hotel is pet friendly, and the starting rate is $600.