One of Boston’s most exciting developments in decades, Raffles Boston, is set to open later this summer and announced June 1 that the hotel is available for booking for stays beginning Sept. 1. The property will mark the first mixed-use development in North America for the illustrious, world-renowned, 136-year-old Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand and writes a new story for Boston’s hospitality and real estate industries. The 35-story, $400 million+ LEED Gold building will be an urban oasis where global cultures and local influences converge. Offering an unprecedented hotel experience in the heart of the city’s Back Bay, Raffles Boston features 147 guestrooms and 16 distinct gathering spaces. From top to bottom, Raffles Boston will showcase and celebrate what makes the Raffles brand so special: a sense of adventure and style, gracious and intuitive hospitality, and thoughtful, locally inspired design, all while enhancing the cosmopolitan charm of the Back Bay.
The first Raffles property opened its doors in 1887 in Singapore, and for more than a century, it has been known and loved as one of the world’s most iconic hotels both for its luxurious design and its exceptional hospitality. At Raffles properties worldwide, visitors are said to “arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family.” As part of its storied history, Raffles is renowned for introducing private butlers, creating the Singapore Sling and serving as a haven for writers, artists, film stars and royalty, from Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling to Elizabeth Taylor and Queen Elizabeth II. Raffles currently offers a collection of 18 individually unique and timeless properties in fascinating cities and vibrant destinations around the world: Singapore; Paris; Bali, Indonesia; Warsaw, Poland; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and the Maldives, to name a few. Along with Raffles Boston, the brand has exciting upcoming openings in London and Macau this year with many more properties under development.
Raffles Boston offers 147 hotel guestrooms, including 21 signature suites, 8 premier suites and a spectacular presidential Raffles Suite. Guestrooms are found on the sixth through 14th floors.
Award-winning hospitality design firm Stonehill Taylor fashioned all hotel rooms and the majority of hotel amenity spaces, infusing its work with an elegant and comfortable residential atmosphere. Stonehill Taylor took inspiration from the city’s Emerald Necklace and Raffles Boston’s historic cultural surroundings, carrying botanical influences throughout the property, emphasizing art and sculptural design, and choosing materials and patterns that play off of Boston’s iconic history and architecture. Copper accents are prevalent throughout the property in a nod to Paul Revere’s copper plating company, historical illustrations adorn custom wall coverings, whimsical lighting is inspired by florals, and greenery references the window boxes found throughout the Back Bay.
In a first for the City of Boston, Raffles Boston features a sky lobby on the 17th, 18th and 19th floors. This three-story space is more than just a place to check-in for a hotel stay; it connects residents and guests with a diversity of amenity spaces. The three-story grand stair, one of Raffles Boston’s most memorable architectural features, spirals through the lobby’s atrium, making a dramatic impression with its curved oak stairs and copper balusters.
Throughout the sky lobby are four more distinct venues in which to find dining, cocktails and more. Acclaimed chef George Mendes will launch the hotel’s signature restaurant and oversee its food program. A first-generation American born to Portuguese immigrants, Mendes grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. After years of honing his talent in the kitchens of David Bouley and Alain Passard’s Arpege in Paris and Tocqueville, France, he went on to open Aldea to critical acclaim and a Michelin star, which he maintained for more than a decade.
Mendes will launch the hotel’s signature restaurant, Amar, located on the sky lobby level, an intimate space featuring moody, softly lit walls and dazzling metal finishes. Amar promises to become a new gathering spot for guests, residents and members of the local community. It will feature modern Portuguese cuisine with influences from Boston’s seafaring culture and history in a space overlooking the Back Bay, Charles River and Cambridge, allowing Mendes to return to his New England roots while honoring his heritage.
A dramatic long bar and terrace pairs cocktails with expansive views of the South End, while a soon-to-be-unveiled signature sky bar will provide a dramatic space for drinks and small bites. In a hidden corner, tucked away from the surrounding bustle within the sky lobby, a clandestine speakeasy seduces guests with a cocktail experience harkening back to an earlier era. On the 17th floor, guests and residents will also find a cozy enclave for relaxation in the writers’ lounge. This signature Raffles space, located within the flagship Raffles Singapore and a number of other Raffles hotels around the world, is named for the esteemed literati who have frequented and even composed works at Raffles worldwide, such as Ernest Hemingway, W. Somerset Maugham and Noël Coward.
Ascending the grand stair, Raffles Boston’s sky lobby offers two full floors of meeting and entertainment spaces. The hotel’s ballroom is unique among Boston hotel event spaces in that it sits on the building’s 19th floor with views spanning from the Financial District to Cambridge. Spacious pre-function space and a variety of beautifully designed meeting rooms, from a board room to smaller breakout rooms, offer residents and guests yet more in-house options for entertaining and business events.
Capping off this world-class array of amenities, guests and residents will also find a sanctuary on the fourth floor, which features an exclusive, state-of-the-art gym, Raffles Spa and 20-meter indoor pool with expansive city views.
As North America’s first Raffles hotel and residences, Raffles Boston will reinforce the Back Bay’s global reputation as a first-class international neighborhood. Situated next to The University Club and conveniently adjacent to Boston’s Back Bay train station, it is also within a block of Copley Square, Trinity Church and premiere upscale shopping at Copley Place. Other notable Boston attractions also within a short walking distance include the world-renowned shops and galleries of Newbury Street and the Prudential Center, Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, Symphony Hall, the Charles River Esplanade and dozens of restaurants, bars and cafes.
The project will provide over $22 million in public benefits in total, including street and public realm improvements, seven on-site affordable housing units and a contribution of over $13 million to the City of Boston’s affordable housing fund.
A predominantly local team, united by its members’ deep appreciation for Boston, leads the project. At the helm is Trinity Stuart Development LLC, which is a partnership between two Boston entities: developer Jordan Warshaw of The Noannet Group and hotelier Gary Saunders of Saunders Hotel Group, alongside their equity partner Cain International, the privately held investment firm led by CEO Jonathan Goldstein. Accor, a world leading hospitality group and the Paris-based parent of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, is the hotel management partner, and Madison Realty Capital provided construction financing.
For more information about Raffles Boston Hotel & Residences and to begin placing bookings for stays, visit www.raffles.com and follow @rafflesboston with the hashtag #rafflesboston.