There are some hotels you simply stay at. Spend the night then eat brunch or a continental breakfast in the morning. Perhaps the amenities are nice: a comfortable bed, a beautiful view or, a concierge with an endearing demeanor. The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common is not just one of those hotels. You do not simply spend the night at the Ritz. An evening at the Ritz is an experience. From the moment you enter the hotel, the greetings are imminent, friendly and genuine. The stiff formality of its former years across the parks in the grand old building, now run by the Taj, are part of its historic past in Boston. Today, the Ritz-Carlton in Boston is every bit as upscale, but with modern touches and a more comfortable, welcoming and genuinely amicable tone throughout the entire experience.
My first sign that this was so came as I entered for an overnight stay this past weekend. I was offered a hot cocoa as I was checking in at one of the registration desks. Of course, being offered a drink is not an unusual amenity at a hotel. But the kind manner in which it was offered from the silver urn behind the desk was and the hot coca itself was, quite honestly, the most delicious hot cocoa I have ever had the opportunity to drink in my life. Pure melted chocolate would not have been so richly, satisfyingly perfect.
My husband and I were spending the night as part of the Ritz-Carlton’s Give Back Getaways Program. For this particular program, guests are invited every Friday night throughout the year to spend the early part of their evening at the Arlington Street Church providing meal service for homeless and low income via the Friday Night Supper Program. Read all about this wonderful opportunity to give back here.
Upon our return to the hotel after serving meals, we freshened up in our stunning suite overlooking the Boston Common on one side and offering the most spectacular view of the State House perfectly framed by our window on the other side. Chocolate covered strawberries awaited us alongside a personal note welcoming us to the hotel. And while the room was beautifully well appointed, it was, again all the little touches that impressed us and made us feel most welcome: the bedside slippers and plush robes, the wine bar at the ready, the turndown service on the king size bed topped with a feather mattress and plush pillows, and the lights and music on as if the room itself had anticipated our return. The soaking tub in the expansive bathroom looked particularly welcoming and came complete with a bath menu offering everything from a Boston rubber duckie bath to a romantic tub of rose petals and champagne, all available at the touch of a button.
Being such a chilly night, we were very pleased that our evening dining did not have to take us outside, as we choose to eat in house at JER NE, located off the lobby at the Ritz. Our meal was an experience itself you can read about here.
After dinner, the Loews movie theater, located in the same building, was not offering the any movie that seemed to suit us both, so we retired to the splendor of our room for the evening.
In the morning, the Ritz-Carlton experience continued. Also located with the same building is, arguably, the most well equipped gym in the city: Sports Club/LA. And as hotel guests, we made sure to take advantage of their state of the art equipment to work off the fabulous cheesecake we had enjoyed the night before at JER NE. Time and hunger, however, prevented us from indulging in the other amenities offered at the club including hair care by Salon Marc Harris, treatments at The Spa, or time in the pool or sauna. We choose, instead, to have our breakfast at the hotels Club Lounge, a wonderful service available for an additional fee to hotel guests. With self-service food available from 7AM to 10PM daily, the comfortable and convenient atmosphere was felt immediately upon entering the lounge. Our breakfast spread included cured breakfast meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, fresh fruits, house made granola and a spectacular offering of teas and coffees. Staffed by knowledgeable concierges and stocked with current newspapers, magazines and wifi service, getting ready for a day was a delight in the plush comfort of the club room.
And as we checked out and waited for the valet to bring us our car, I was delighted to see many young girls coming dressed in their holiday dresses with their parents on their way to the Sugar Plum Tea being hosted at the hotel’s event space. Everyone looked excited for their fancy morning with the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, showing just around the corner at Boston’s Opera House.
With so many new hotels popping up across the city over the past five years from Back Bay to the Waterfront, it is easy to be lured away by places with freshly opened buzz. But it is wonderfully refreshing to know the grandeur and the glory of the Ritz-Carlton, a mainstay in Boston for well over 80 years lives on in a wholly appropriate and welcoming modern age. It still remains one of the top places to spend an evening and overnight stay in Boston and appears to be working to remain so into the foreseeable future.
Location: 10 Avery Street, Ladder District, Boston 617.912.3364 ritzcarlton.com