The 1927 neoclassically designed building, at perhaps the best address in Boston, has been revamped into a luxury hotel just across from the Public Garden. The first Ritz-Carlton in the United States, sited at the corner of Newbury and Arlington streets, has undergone a two-year revitalization. Reincarnated as the Newbury Boston, the hotel comes into the 21st century with luxurious updated interiors and the latest amenities—and has made the grade as a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World. Whether you are looking for a romantic staycation or the perfect lodgings while Christmas shopping in the city, the Newbury makes for a not-to-be-missed getaway.
Spearheading the renovation of the hotel’s guest rooms is globally celebrated interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud. No stranger to reviving heritage hotels, Champalimaud has refreshed New York’s Plaza and Carlyle and California’s Hotel Bel Air, to name a few. The Newbury’s 286 rooms and 90 suites have undergone a stylish refresh filled with the ultimate in comfort and style.
Each guest room offers a sophisticated feel with a soothing palette of grays, blues, and creams that reflects a refined Boston aesthetic. Texture and pattern are subtly woven throughout the design with handcrafted wood pieces, herringbone, marble, and limestone. Many rooms feature views of the Public Garden—window seats outfitted in rich blue-velvet cushions are ideal for cozying with your favorite book on a blustery winter day.
Each room has original artwork by illustrator Veronica Lawlor, alongside bespoke amenities including luxurious bath products made exclusively for the hotel, Frette robes and linens, and Nespresso machines for morning coffee. Bathrooms offer flawless modernity and pampering—complete with marble vanities, marble flooring, and walk-in showers with sunflower rainheads; many feature deep soaking tubs for unadulterated relaxation.
Turn up the romance and book one of the hotel’s 42 suites with wood-burning fireplaces, each serviced by one of the hotel’s fireplace butlers. Guests choose from a selection of four wood varietals – the long-burning coziness of oak, sweetly fragrant cherry – and can also order from a special menu of seasonal cocktails and sweet and savory bites. Every fireplace suite includes a plush king-size bed, separate living and sleeping areas, and a marble bathroom with a walk-in rainforest shower. These suites may provide the ultimate home away from home during the brisk holiday season.
The hotel’s posh public spaces do not disappoint. Designed by Jeffrey Beers, a guests-only book-filled lounge has volumes selected by the Boston Public Library and works of art curated by Mike Carroll and Lynne Kortenhaus of C + K Art Advisory. You’ll enjoy celebrated photographer Yousuf Karsh’s original portraits of historical creative figures such as Le Corbusier and Ernest Hemingway—the first time his works have been shown outside of a museum or private collection.
Contessa, a sibling to New York’s Carbone, is designed by Boston resident and interior designer Ken Fulk. The dining room, reminiscent of a conservatory, offers 360-degree views of Boston and gorgeously enlivened interiors. Rose-pink banquettes and blue upholstered chairs are set at bistro tables, while a jewel-toned mosaic floor and fringe chandeliers pay homage to Old World glamour, Italian-trattoria style. Even the wooden bar is inspired by vintage Italian-made Riva speedboats. When the weather is warm, multiple glass doors slide open for an indoor/outdoor dining experience.
To match the gorgeous interiors, Mario Carbone has outdone himself with the restaurant’s Northern Italian cuisine. Begin the evening with a tonnato crudo with artichoke hearts and anchovy or the veal meatballs in a whole-grain mustard sauce. A fan favorite, the squash carpaccio with pumpkin seeds is flavorful and perfect for the fall season.
Carbone also offers up tempting pastas and pizzas. Rigatoni Carbonara, Spicy Lobster Capellini, Fusilli Genovese, and Tortellini en Brodo are all house-made and exceptional. Margherita, Funghi (mushroom), Vongole (littleneck clams), or Focaccini (prosciutto and black truffle) pizzas are just the right size for sharing as a starter. The ingredients are as fresh and as local as the chef can find unless it is a specialty item for a specific dish.
For your main course, try a house specialty, the butter chicken Sostanza. Yes, leave your calorie counter at home: These chicken breasts are pan-fried in rich, creamy butter. Other Italian classics include Veal Milanese and Grilled Mediterranean Branzino.
A relaxing way to end the evening is heading to The Street Bar to have a nightcap. Seemingly unchanged since its Ritz days, this lounge’s interiors have dark-wood paneling, leather chairs, and a cozy fireplace. Grab a cognac, sit back, and enjoy the refined ambiance of this spot that’s popular with locals.
If you just want to stay in and relax, 24-hour room service is available. Also operated by Carbone’s Major Food Group, the room service menus are exceptional and make for a perfect private-dining experience.
If you decide to venture beyond the walls of this dreamy hotel, a world of holiday shopping awaits. Newbury Street gets decked out for the season early with Christmas lights and greenery. Tiffany and Zegna Boutique are in reach of the hotel lobby. Or stroll down Newbury and take in the haute couture shopping including Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Loro Piana, and Valentino. But my guess is you’ll be wanting to spend the weekend in the luxe accommodations of this reborn Boston institution.