Boston Harbor Hotel

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By Isabel Conway
A grey rain soaked October evening fails to dull the magic of watching Boston harbour from the tenth floor of my spacious nautical themed bedroom. Its floor to ceiling windows offer amazing views. One of only three 5 star properties in Boston, aptly named Boston Harbour Hotel happens to have the best location and is the only Forbes five- star waterfront property in the city.
Hailing a boat to get you out of town by air is not just a great novelty for visitors to Boston.  Often it’s the fastest option given the city’s infamous gridlock. Logan airport is a mere scenic 11 minutes away by water-taxi leaving from  the rear entrance of the gracious Boston Harbour Hotel. The airport runways are so close to the harbour that planes appear to take off and land in water.
Boston Harbour Hotel is strategically located on historic Rowes Wharf, close to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a tree lined open space reclamation project that stretches for miles. Nearby you can also pick up the two and a half mile  long Freedom trail walk, following a red brick continuous pavement marker passing through landmarks of Boston’s history.
Founded in 1630 by Puritans who envisioned their settlement as a fine example to the world, Boston was among America’s first major urban centres. Few cities in the US encapsulate so vividly the birth of a nation as it does.
Centuries on the city remains at the national forefront of politics, culture, science, the arts and entertainment.
Step inside the Boston Harbour Hotel and you are in for a treat, from the warmth of the welcome to the relaxing atmosphere. That is a draw for non-residents, attracted by the extensive outside terrace out back, the buzz of the marina, and the comings and goings of boats.
In summer free movie evenings and music make it one of the top locations for kicking back and enjoying the vibe.  The extensive buffet brunch at weekends is another enticement ($34 all you can eat) popular for local families and friends as well as visitors to Boston.
A nautical theme runs through the hotel’s plush public spaces where maps and yachting photographs are displayed against a backdrop of marine blues, greys and sea green, polished mahogany and brass.
Light filled lounges looking out on the harbour are in contrast to the shadowy rosy glow of Rowes Wharf bar, serving traditional and contemporary cocktails and bar bites created in “New England Style” by the hotel’s executive chef Daniel Bruce. A font of useful information on Boston with over 30 years of  experience as a top chef he is also the driving force behind the city’s annual wine festival, based in the hotel.
Meritage is the Boston Harbour Hotel’s award winning fine dining experience.  We opted for the more casual Sea Grille, trying shared plates, each one better than the last – prawns in a light beautifully seasoned batter, then seared scallops, followed by Tuna and Salmon Crudo with Seaweed Salad, sliced Avocado and Wasabi Aioli.
Afterwards we just about had room for the shared filet mignon. Most of Boston’s signature dishes, including clam chowder and lobster are a staple of most restaurant menus in one of America’s best food capitals. Prices at Sea Grille for sharing plates ranged from $14 to $22.  Deserts included a sensational Pumpkin ice cream and caramel confection.
Dublin born managing director and general manager of Boston Harbour Hotel, Stephen Johnston exudes Irish friendliness and charm. He says that their 5 star ranking and the string of awards they’ve won since opening in the late eighties is down to impeccable service and staff friendliness as well as the high end facilities.
The hotel’s 60 ft long swimming pool offers plenty of lap exercise in the health club and spa, burning up calories from the in-room ‘surprise’ snacks that arrive to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner.
The hotel’s 232 luxurious rooms and suites have either pristine harbour views or take in the city skyline.  Boston Harbour Hotel is close to North End (Little Italy) with its many great Italian eateries and patriot Paul Revere’s home which is Boston’s oldest original residence.
The New England Aquarium and the Boston Children’s museum as well as harbour cruises and trolley tour ticket booths and departure points are five minutes away from the entrance.
For further information on Boston Harbor Hotel go to www.bhh.com for lots of packages and special offers. Rooms (two sharing) start at £260 per night. For Boston see www.bostonusa.com  and New England www.discovernewengland.org

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