Mandarin Oriental, Boston Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Large and luxurious standard rooms
  • Phenomenal service includes touches like a welcome beverage and free local car service in a Mercedes.
  • Near Copley Square and attached to the Prudential Center mall
  • Excellent on-site dining options
  • Playstation 3, video-game and DVD library
  • Massive, award-winning Spa by Mandarin
  • No charge for pets
  • 24-hour rooms service

Cons

  • Expensive spa treatments
  • No pool
  • Wi-fi is not free
  • Pricey valet parking

Bottom Line

The 148-room Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay offers some of Boston's most luxurious standard rooms, plus a 16,000-square-foot spa and extraordinary service. It has no pool; and the views aren't as grand as those at the high-end properties on Copley Square. But it's as special as any hotel in Boston -- and a clear winner if you prefer contemporary to traditional decor and ambience.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

The 148-room Back Bay hotel offers supremely comfortable and luxurious rooms, a gorgeous 16,000-square-foot spa, and pull-out-all-the-stops service.

The Spa
The Spa

An impressive new contender among Boston's old-guard luxury hotels, the 148-room Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay tries to doing everything bigger and better. Few expenses were spared in constructing the $300 million, limestone-and-marble-façade building, which opened in October 2008. The sleek entryway gives way to a dark and cozy living-room-style lobby. The standard rooms, some of the largest and most luxurious in Boston, are equipped with sink-into beds with Frette sheets and Ploh pillows, separate deep tubs and rainfall showers, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs with some 20 free movie channels. The city's most spectacular spa, a 16,000-square-foot extravaganza, tops it all off.

In Boston, only the Four Seasons can compete with the level of service delivered here. The all-out attack includes nightly turndown, complimentary shoeshines and newspapers, a welcome tea delivered up to the room right after check-in, and a Mercedes that shuttles guests anywhere within a two-mile radius of the hotel.

If one has to nitpick, the views overlooking restaurant-lined Boylston Street, though charming, don't quite match those you get at the Fairmont, the Four Seasons, or the Taj, where many rooms face Copley Square or the Public Garden. The Mandarin also lacks a pool, which is a feature you get at the Four Seasons.

That said, the sleek, contemporary design of its ultra-luxurious rooms gives the Mandarin a unique profile among the finest hotels in Boston.

 Service

Superb luxury service

A welcome beverage deilvered to your room
A welcome beverage deilvered to your room

In Boston, only the Four Seasons can compete with this extraordinary level of service; free shoeshines and newspapers, free car service, and a welcome beverage upon check-in are just a few of the special attentions guests receive. Twice-daily housekeeping includes evening turndown service, when the staff leaves bottled water, a card with the next day's weather forecast, and slippers to greet you when you return to your room. You'll never touch your bags from the time the porter opens your cab door to when he puts you into another cab to the leave.

  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour concierge
  • Free overnight shoeshine
  • Choice of newspaper delivered to the room the next day (asked for what you prefer upon check-in)
  • The house car, a Mercedes S-Class, will drive guests anywhere within a two-mile radius of the hotel during certain hours.
  • Pricey valet parking

 Location

In Boston's upscale Back Bay neighborhood, connected to a mall and convention center

Located on restaurant-lined Boylston Street in Back Bay, two short blocks from Newbury Street and a five-minute walk to picturesque Copley Square. The Mandarin Oriental is connected to the Prudential Center mall and the Hynes Convention Center.

An upscale commercial and residential area in the center of the city, Back Bay offers a little bit of everything, from luxury shopping to fine arts. Even Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, is walkable from here. Office workers toil away in the area's high rise buildings, while business travelers convene for conferences at the Hynes Convention Center. It also boasts some of the city's best shopping and notable cultural attractions: the upscale chain stores, cafes, and boutiques of Newbury Street; and the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

  • Nearest stop on the T, Boston's subway system, is two blocks away at Copley Square.
  • A 20-minute drive to Logan Airport
  • A 15-minute drive to historic Faneuil Hall
  • A five-minute drive or a 15-minute walk to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox
  • A 15-minute walk to the Boston Commons, where the Freedom Trail starts

 Rooms

Brand new and ultracomfortable

Rooms feature Playstation 3
Rooms feature Playstation 3

The Mandarin's standard rooms are a study in understated luxury. Earth-tone fabrics and blond wood floors characterize the decor. Frette sheets top the wonderfully comfortable bed. The bathrooms, arguably the best hotel bathrooms in the the city, feature deep tubs and marble showers. The high-grade electronics include a 42-inch flat-screen TV with some 20 premium movie channels.

  • 42-inch Philips LCD flat-screen with about 75 channels, including 19 premium movie channels (seven HBO, six Encore and six Starz), and 19 HD channels
  • Sony Blu-ray Playstation 3 is available on request, along with a list of the DVDs and video games available.
  • For the bed, a sink-into Simmons mattress topped with 400-thread-count Frette sheets, Ploh pillows and duvet
  • Great bathrooms with a deep tub, a separate shower (with the strongest rainfall showerhead I've ever experienced), a separate toilet stall, Red Flower toiletries, thick Frette towels and robes, and a scale.
  • All rooms come with king-size beds, except for the Mandarin and Mandarin Back Bay, some of which have two doubles. Lifestyle Rooms offer an additional twin-size day bed.
  • Suites start at 1,040 square feet. Premier and Premier Corner Suites offer additional living rooms and big bay windows. The Oriental and Dynasty Suites feature unique decor and extra features like mirrored walls with flat-screen TVs in them, powder rooms, and pantries.

 Features

An unparallelled spa, a relatively modest gym, and a 24-hour business center -- but no pool

The fitness center
The fitness center
  • The 16,000-square-foot Spa at Mandarin Oriental is the largest and most luxurious in Boston.
  • The spa offers four different heat/water experiences -- Vitality Bath, Crystal Steam Room, Experience Shower, and ice bath -- even before you get to the actual treatments, which come with hefty price tags.
  • Compared to the huge spa, the fitness center is modest but well equipped; it offers state-of-the-art Technogym fitness equipment, separate rooms for cardio, strength training, and yoga/stretching, and plenty of bottled water, fresh fruit, towels, and free earphones.
  • Free, 24-hour business center with two Macs and one Dell PC. Free copy/printer/scanner machine.
  • No pool, unlike at the Four Seasons

 Pet-Friendly

No charge for pets

Pets stay for free at the Mandarin Oriental, and some pet amenities (food bowls, beds, treats) are available upon request.

 Family

Huge rooms, children's menus, a kids' DVD library, and free cribs and strollers make it a solid option for well-to-do families.

  • Rollaways are charged per night.
  • Free cribs, strollers, and some baby/kid amenities (stuffed animals, bath toys, diapers, rattles)
  • Sony Blu-ray Playstation 3 and library of kids' DVDs and video games upon request
  • Child robes
  • Standard rooms start at 400 square feet, with plenty of room for a rollaway or crib. The 540-square-foot Mandarin Back Bay Room with two double beds.
  • Connecting rooms are also available.
  • 10-minute walk to the Swan Boats at the Public Garden

 Cleanliness

A clean, brand-new hotel

The hotel just opened in October 2008, and housekeeping cleans and straightens twice daily, so everything is spotless and in mint condition.

 Food

Numerous upscale dining options

The Mandarin is home to numerous upscale dining options, perhaps the most exciting (and anticipated) being renowned chef Daniel Boulud's Bar Boulud, opening in fall 2014. A lobby lounge serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as late-night cocktails, and the spa cafe offers a range of healthy bites. There is also 24-hour room service.

 Bottom Line

The 148-room Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay offers some of Boston's most luxurious standard rooms, plus a 16,000-square-foot spa and extraordinary service. It has no pool; and the views aren't as grand as those at the high-end properties on Copley Square. But it's as special as any hotel in Boston -- and a clear winner if you prefer contemporary to traditional decor and ambience.

Things You Should Know About Mandarin Oriental, Boston

Address

  • 776 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Mandarin Oriental Boston

Room Types

  • Corner Executive Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Dynasty Suite
  • Lifestyle Room
  • Mandarin Back Bay Room
  • Mandarin Corner Room
  • Mandarin Executive Room
  • Mandarin Premier Room
  • Mandarin Room
  • Oriental Suite
  • Premier Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 148
Pool: N/A
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
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Hotel Information

Location: Back Bay, Boston
Address: 776 Boylston Street, Boston, MA
(See Map)
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