Situated in an early 20th-century Federal Reserve Bank building, the Langham Hotel Boston is among the city’s most beautiful luxury options. The exterior is an exercise classic Renaissance Revivalism, while interiors include 18th-century English decor and furnishings. The 318 rooms are elegant and have an antique look that won't please everyone, and all include modern amenities like free Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks or Bose sound systems. Noteworthy features include an indoor heated pool -- a rarity in downtown Boston -- plus swanky Bond restaurant and a modern, Chinese-inspired spa. The free local cab service is a unique service. Back Bay’s Lenox Hotel offers a similarly priced and appointed alternative that's within walking distance of amazing shopping, but it lacks a pool.
Historic luxury hotel in the heart of downtown Boston
As a designated National Architectural Landmark, Langham Hotel is one of the city’s most significant structures. The Renaissance Revival facade features a simple, symmetrical design with original cornices and red, half-dome awnings as the only notable ornamentation. Inside, hand-crafted cherry wood furniture, subtle gold accents, striped wallpaper, and simple patterns found in the rooms and common areas are all hallmarks of traditional, 18th-century English design.
The hotel’s large size includes plenty of social space. The expansive marble lobby houses The Reserve restaurant and Champagne lounge, while a second large room toward the back of the lobby offers additional relaxation space. Bond Restaurant & Lounge provides one of the city’s swankiest social settings inside the original Federal Reserve Bank building. The property is kid-friendly, however, the luxurious, elegant atmosphere appears geared more toward adults and couples than families.
Centrally located within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and the Boston waterfront
Situated in the heart of downtown Boston’s Financial District, the Langham Hotel is within walking distance of many of the city’s most popular attractions. Dozens of restaurants, bars, shops, and other services are within just a few blocks. Faneuil Hall, Rowes Wharf, the New England Aquarium, and the Boston Harbor waterfront are all less than a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The North End -- the city's quaint Italian neighborhood that's packed with excellent dining -- is also between 10 and 15 minutes away on foot depending on the destination.
Downtown parking is often frustrating and prohibitively expensive. However, the city’s T subway system is affordable and extensive, with the Downtown Crossing or State Street Orange Line stations, and the State Street Blue Line station, all only a five-minute walk away. South Station, on the Red Line (which links to Cambridge, Harvard, and M.I.T.), is also just five minutes away on foot. While the area around Faneuil Hall is quite charming, parts of the Downtown Crossing area can be a little scruffy and lack the charm of the Back Bay neighborhood, which is about 15 minutes away by T.
The most affordable means of transport to and from Logan International Airport is 25-minute ride on the Silver Line bus route, though the Blue Line also connects to the airport. Via taxi, the ride shortens to less than 15 minutes, though it’s also among the city’s most expensive transportation options. The hotel’s "pink taxi service" will transfer guests to any downtown destination within a two-mile radius via their exclusive pink, London-style cab.
Classic rooms feature marble bathrooms and large flat-screen TVs, but uncomfortable beds
Like the hotel’s common areas, rooms are meticulously decorated with traditional, 18th-century English style furnishings and accents. Striped wallpaper, muted tones, and tasteful gold accents all accent rooms filled with handcrafted cherry furniture and period seating. The overall feel is elegant, though the classic look won't be everyone's cup of tea and may strike some as dated. In fact, the combination of oak furniture, maroon bed runners, and taupe in the Classic King Room that we visited wasn't the most appealing, but everything is well kept and handsome.
Each of the nine room categories is similarly decorated, though the floor plans differ substantially. Entry-level Classic Rooms offer 270 square feet (25 square meters) with only a single Queen bed configuration available. Superior, Deluxe, and Executive Rooms provide between 300 and 400 square feet (28 and 37 square meters) with either a single- or double-bed configuration. Loft rooms offer 550 square feet (51 square meters) and a unique two-story layout with massive, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Boston’s Financial District. These are also the only rooms on property that provide a queen-size sleeper sofa. One-Bedroom and Two-Bedroom Suites offer between 800 and 1,200 square feet (74 and 111 square meters), and are situated on the hotel’s upper floors with even better downtown views. The flagship Langham Suite is the hotel’s largest, at 1,586 square feet (147 square meters), with a foyer, dining area with seating for 10 guests, and its own pantry.
While the decor is distinctly inspired by the 1800s, every room offers modern amenities. All rooms and suites feature a large, flat-screen TV, Keurig coffeemaker, and an iPod dock radio or Bose Wave Music System. Free, fast, and reliable Wi-Fi is also available in rooms. Surprisingly, the beds in all categories receive negative comments for their uncomfortable mattresses and diminutive size -- many are full- rather than queen-size mattresses.
Fit and finish in all bathrooms is impeccable. Luxurious materials -- including marble tile, granite countertops, chrome faucets and fixtures, and gold accents -- are standard throughout. Every bathroom comes with the hotel spa’s own Chuan luxury soaps and shower amenities.
A modern spa with a heated indoor pool plus free local taxi service
The Langham Hotel offers a long list of common amenities, and nearly all of them are noteworthy. A chic, Chinese-inspired spa with a heated pool and free local taxi service top the list.
The Chuan spa is a rich, warmly decorated space with a distinct brown and mustard yellow color scheme. Chinese-inspired art and accents adorn the walls, linens, and shelving. All treatment rooms feature premium wellness equipment and some offer private soaking tubs. While relatively small, the spa offers a full menu of treatments, including Swedish, deep tissue, and couples’ massage.
Adjacent to the spa, a tall, bright solarium houses the hotel’s heated indoor pool. Deep-cushioned teak lounge chairs line the meticulously clean, well-maintained deck. The hotel’s fitness center is situated a half-story above the pool overlooking the water through a large glass wall. The space is bright, clean, and upscale with hardwood laminate flooring and modern cardio- and strength-training equipment.
There are a number of event and meeting spaces that are available to rent, all with the hotel's same signature classic look -- there's also a proper (if compact) business center. The hotel offers valet parking for a pricey fee though the rate is typical of downtown Boston’s luxury hotels. For those without their own car, the hotel provides a pink taxi for free that will take guests to downtown locations within a two-mile radius. Wi-Fi is also free at the hotel.
One of Boston's best restaurants and a Champagne Lounge
Nowhere on the property highlights the building’s historic architecture better than its signature restaurant, Bond. Housed in the original Federal Reserve Bank, the large, open space rises more than two stories. Massive chandeliers, decorative paneling in the ceiling, and modern, oversized U.S. currency-inspired artwork adorns the lounge area. A dramatic, 25-foot-tall mirrored bar at the rear showcase the restaurant's finest liquors. In addition to serving as the hotel’s main cocktail bar, a dinner-only menu offers gourmet entrees of mostly steak and local seafood-centric dishes.
The Reserve restaurant and bar, located in the lobby, serves two functions. It’s primarily an all-day restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea service. However, it’s also the hotel’s dedicated Champagne lounge. The bright, bold design aesthetic includes a wide, mirrored bar, and beige and silver fabrics covering every square inch of space from the seating to the carpeting to the walls. Cafe Fleuri is the hotel’s most casual dining space, with a rotating menu and opening hours that depend on the time of year. However, it’s best known locally for its all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet. For a fixed fee, visitors to the weekly event can sample more than 100 types of gourmet chocolate desserts.
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