Spring in Boston
Enjoying Urban Luxury at the Ames Hotel Boston
When the snow melts on Boston Common, the crocuses are joined by daffodils in vest-pocket gardens in front of the brownstones, and the whole city feels fresh and clean, it’s time to visit Boston. You might visit Boston on business, after all, there’s a lot of business going on in Boston. Or history – plenty of that too. Or dining, since Bostonians love fine dining, and there’s seemingly no end to Boston’s excellent restaurants.
With the coming of spring, we had the pleasure of being guests of the Ames Boston Hotel, right in the heart of Boston’s financial district, for a relaxing and refreshing weekend getaway. The Ames is a boutique hotel sporting a crisp contemporary urban décor and service befitting a three diamond luxury hotel, re-envisioned within the Boston’s first skyscraper dating from 1889.
Inside the massive sandstone, granite, and brick structure, the renovation was performed with the artistic eye and direction of the world-renowned David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group. Guests enter through the hotel’s vibrant orange double doors to find a lobby with a soaring dome ceiling featuring the building’s original nineteenth century tile mosaic. A contemporary silver kinetic sculpture with 20,000 small metallic discs, each hand placed, floats from the air, beautifully contrasting the mosaic and signaling this is a destination where timeless styles in all forms mingle.
Ames Boston offers 114 guest rooms in total, taking full artistic advantage of the angles and internal structures of what was once an office building, creating thirteen different room designs to choose from. There are corner kings, suites, lofts and an apartment – my wife and I had the pleasure of enjoying a suite looking down on the Old Statehouse and the bustling streets.
Inside was sleek and crisp with recessed lighting, polished light-hued wood floors, soaring windows behind 13-foot white drapes. The suite’s décor, with its glass and marble says “professional” “minimalist” and “urban”.
Our suite’s glass-walled shower was just a filmy curtain away from the bedroom. This “sexy shower”, more than large enough for two, made a luxurious room even more exciting.
We were treated to a continental breakfast, just as urban chic as the room, focusing on fruit, granola, yoghurt, and pastries, giving us a peek at the hotel restaurant. Of course there is no shortage of restaurants in the neighborhood, and seeking them out is an excellent excuse to explore the Financial District, but we were content in the morning simply to linger over breakfast near a fireplace and huge windows looking out at the city.
On the outside, the Ames’ thick masonry walls feature strong Richardsonian Romanesque lines and intricate Byzantine touches. From the inside, and looking out along Court and Washington streets provides an easy-chair tour of architecture, from modern mirrored glass bank buildings to the red brick and gold gilt of the Old Statehouse and the art deco of the McCormack Courthouse.
The Old Statehouse, right outside the Ames, is one of the key sites of the Freedom Trail. The red brick building overlooked the 1770 Boston Massacre, which helped galvanize the colonies’ demand for self-governance. Two weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, crowds gathered in the same square to listen and cheer to the reading of the document that declared that men’s rights come from their creator, not from the government.
Following the red-brick trail in one direction will took us past a series of historical sites, terminating in Boston Common. In the other direction, the trail lead even farther afield, taking us past the site of the Boston Tea Party, the Old North Church remembered for signaling Paul Revere’s midnight ride, and to the Bunker Hill Memorial, a 221-foot granite obelisk tower commemorating the battle where the colonial revolutionaries proved their mettle against trained British regulars.
Of course we could have gotten our exercise at the Ames’ second floor Fitness Center, with its state-of-the-art Matrix, Cybex and True elliptical machines and treadmills, each with their own television. There’s also a range of free weights, yoga mats, exercise balls, and a Bose sound system with an iPod dock to accompany our workouts.
The Ames’ Spring Wellness package, available until May 22, may make the idea of staying at the Ames even more tempting. In addition to the a corner or deluxe king room and 24/7 access to the fitness room, the Ames has arranged a full-throttle sweat session at Barry’s Bootcamp Boston, located seven blocks from the Ames, known for its bumping soundtrack, easy to handle equipment, night club lighting, and the city’s most qualified trainers. Upon returning, the staff will have stocked the minibar with fresh and cold pressed juice from nearby Cocobeet, Boston’s newest juice bar with a creative menu of organic, and locally sourced juices of the highest nutritional value.
We enjoyed our visit to Boston and our stay at the Ames. If you’d like to learn more and schedule your own visit, find them online at www.ameshotel.com or call them at 617.979.8100.