The foyer at Four Seasons Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Four Seasons Hotel Boston
Boston, Massachusetts, USA


The go-to brand for classic luxury takes a chance on a whimsical reimagining of a landmark building in Boston’s most established neighbourhood. And boy does it pay off. The Four Seasons Boston is now more sublime than it has ever been.

When you’re in the lobby of Four Seasons Boston, it’s not a massive surprise to learn that Harmonia Gardens Restaurant in the movie Hello Dolly is a key inspiration for Ken Fulk, the designer whose dramatic reimagining of the hotel’s interiors was unveiled in May 2023. Drawing inspiration from the grand Victorian brownstones that characterise its address in smart Back Bay, with more than a soupçon of Parisian fin-de-siècle chic and a sprinkling of Wes Anderson whimsy, the mutedly maximalist design makes of the wide, black-and-white tiled lobby a series of inviting intimate spaces framed by elegant arches, its forest-green woodwork, creamy stone-tiled walls and fluffy potted ferns setting off jewel-coloured velvet armchairs and sofas.

The muscular, red-brick 1980s building – once the city’s Playboy Club – sits across the street from the historic Boston Public Garden, and invites the park’s colours and light in as if the huge conservatory of a grand country house. Views of the park’s statuesque trees are also beamed through large windows into the garden-view rooms and suites, complemented by an engagingly eccentric mix of artworks (art curation throughout the building is fabulous) and a soothing, modern colour palette. But perhaps the best vantage point of all is through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the sleek, eighth-floor pool deck which, like the state-of-the-art fitness centre next door, is open all hours.

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While you’re Out There
Now you’ve sampled Ken Fulk’s elegantly playful aesthetic, go full-immersion at Contessa, the new-in-2022 top-floor restaurant at the nearby The Newbury Boston, another Back Bay grand dame hotel. Here, in a purpose-built new space with wraparound windows and huge skylights, Fulk really flexes his maximalist muscles, with custom floor tiles in a rainbow of marble styles, striped awnings, richly patterned wallpapers and potted cypress trees. Props to the chefs that neither this visual feast nor sweeping views of the city’s poshest postcode upstage the elevated trattoria cuisine, which crafts plated artworks from Italian comfort classics using impeccable local and imported ingredients, and draws a buzzing crowd of vibey, well-heeled diners. Buon appetito!

Richly decorated to evoke a French brasserie, the cosy lobby restaurant Coterie is a consummate spot to sample a menu rich in New England’s finest, freshest seafood, prepared in elevated bistro style. Wrapped in impeccable comfort and service throughout, the guest experience is also heightened by some cute, characterful touches such as ‘Vaults’ – complimentary 24-hour snack pantries on every guest-room floor – and a faux-British red phone booth on The Sanctuary roof terrace from whose old-school rotary phone guests can summon room service. Incorrigible caffeine addicts, we most of all loved Sottovento, a cute lobby cafe with a coffee concierge on hand to bring your morning brew to your room.

Photography courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

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