One of the newer and larger hotels in the old town is designed around culture, convenience and big events
WHERE IS IT? Just 15 minutes from the airport in what the city calls its Innovation District, this new hotel is close to great restaurants and not far from the financial district. The property is adjacent to the convention center, making it ideal for large groups and benefits from connected parking and a covered path on the T. Guests can walk two blocks to catch a water taxi to at the airport or take advantage of a new seaplane option that brings guests to the hotel directly from Manhattan.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? It’s the third largest hotel in town, but you’d never guess it from the boutique-style lobby. The entire hotel is designed with a performing arts theme subtly woven into the artwork and decor. Music, theater, science and history are remarkable around the hotel. Behind the reception is a digital artwork that constantly transforms its abstract colors into new designs. You will never see the same pattern twice. A platform in front of the reception offers conversation seating, but also serves as a performance stage for live music and other local artists. On the other side are shared work tables and a large bar that buzzes after the sun goes down. Behind, is an illuminated art exhibit of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in musical notes chosen by the decorators as it was the first piece performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Omni is evolving as a brand and has opened several design-oriented conference hotels around the country. They emphasize well-appointed rooms with ample meeting space and upscale dining, making them important cornerstones of the neighborhoods they are in. While it’s designed for large groups, individual business and leisure travelers won’t feel left out. There is never signage for groups in the lobby here, which can sometimes clutter public areas at other large convention hotels. The designers also thought about other details around the property. Visitors will notice purse hooks and power outlets at the bar, QR codes next to each public artwork for details, and motion detectors for the lights in the rooms. Other eco-friendly measures at the hotel include in-room recycling bins and a program where the hotel sends leftover food waste to a facility that reuses it for natural energy.
ROOM EQUIPMENT Bedrooms are bright and airy with floor-to-ceiling windows and large twin king or queen beds wrapped in thick white duvets. On either side of the bed are electrical and USB outlets. Spacious desks add even more power outlets while closets contain refrigerators and safes.
The hotel has two towers (Patron and Artist), and their accommodations are particularly different. The bosses’ rooms, which are larger, have a more traditional feel with soft carpeting and designer appointments. Rooms at the Artist Tower are smaller, but more contemporary and urban with exposed concrete ceilings, hardwood floors, and open-plan bathrooms. Bosses Rooms have Keurig coffeemakers, but Artist Rooms have specialty coffeemakers in the hallway. These are a particularly nice perk and an upgrade from traditional in-room coffeemakers. Both towers have filtered water dispensers in the hallway for guests to refill water bottles. Bathrooms have glass shower stalls with excellent water pressure, hairdryers, clothes steamers, and Nest toiletries dispensed from eco-friendly pump bottles. The suites add soaking tubs. Three specialty suites are huge with separate living areas, a second bathroom, small kitchens, and ample space for entertaining.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Omni has strived to improve the quality of catering in its hotels, often in partnership with local chefs. All-day meals at Kestra (short for orchestra) offer a tasty and creative menu starting with breakfast (the date smoothie with almond milk is a real winner). The glass-enclosed private dining rooms can be used for small meetings or special events.
The Sporting Club is an upscale sports bar offering everything from healthy salads to spicy chicken wings and an extensive list of craft beers, wines, and cocktails. A private room features a wall of eclectic trophies collected from across the country. Take note of the hardwood floor at the entrance, which is reused from the Celtics’ training ground. Coquette is the Basque-inspired restaurant run by the local dining group Coje. Its decor is breathtaking with shades of pink and gold, hand-painted walls, conversational artwork, and a popular menu that is all the rage with locals. A cafe-restaurant and bakery in the lobby are also run by the Coje Group and serve La Colombe coffee.
For those who prefer room service, the hotel offers something unique. Instead of a special room service menu (usually an abbreviated selection of dishes), guests can scan a QR code that allows them to order the full menu from any of the hotel’s restaurants and bars. Similar to Uber Eats, this larger menu of food and drink, dubbed Off the Script, can be delivered right to your room in minutes.
LEISURE FACILITIES An outdoor infinity pool is heated and available year-round with a hot tub and fire pits adding to the atmosphere. Guests can order drinks and food at the nearby restaurant, which also has garage door style windows that open for an instant patio feel. The fitness center is modern and well equipped with the latest equipment.
A lobby-level day spa attracts both guests and locals for its massages and beauty treatments. A salon offers everything from pedicures to hairdressing. In addition to eight treatment rooms, including one dedicated to couples, saunas are set up in the changing rooms.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless internet works well throughout the hotel. The meeting rooms here are expansive and with the convention center nearby, the hotel can host some of the city’s biggest events. Its ballroom is Boston’s largest (large enough to hold a Boeing 737), and flexible meeting space ranges from high-tech conference rooms to ballrooms that can be split into smaller spaces. More than half of the hotel’s meeting space has natural light, with some rooms even opening onto an open-air relaxation area.
VERDICT Omni hits another home run with this iconic Boston hotel offering upscale dining, creative interior design, and impressive meeting space for events of all sizes.
STRENGTHS OF THE PROPERTY Captivating art and design, year-round pool and the city’s largest ballroom
HOW MANY ROOMS? 1,054 rooms and suites
CONTACT Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, 450 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210, phone + 617-476-6664, omnihotels.com
Photo credit: Omni Boston Hotel at Seaport