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Raffles Boston Set to Make Summer Debut

A new wellness retreat comes to Boston’s Back Bay with Raffles Spa

Opening later this summer, Raffles Boston will mark the first mixed-use development in North America for the world-renowned 136-year old Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand. The 35-story, $400 million-plus LEED Gold building will offer an unprecedented hotel experience in the heart of the city’s Back Bay. Featuring 147 guestrooms and 16 distinct gathering spaces, Raffles Boston will celebrate what makes the Raffles brand so special: a sense of adventure and style, gracious and intuitive hospitality, and thoughtful, locally inspired design. Bookings are now available for stays beginning September 1, 2023.

Guests and residents of Raffles Boston will also find a wellness sanctuary on the 4th floor, which features an exclusive state-of-the-art gym, a Raffles Spa, and a 20-meter indoor pool with expansive city views.

Spa
Raffles Spa is a new urban oasis set to debut in Boston.

Among the 147 hotel guestrooms at Raffles Boston, there are 21 Signature Suites, eight Premier Suites, and a presidential Raffles Suite. Guestrooms are found on the 6th through 14th floors.

Award-winning hospitality design firm Stonehill Taylor created the hotel rooms and most of the hotel amenity spaces, infusing its work with an elegant and comfortable residential atmosphere. The firm took inspiration from the city’s Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways, 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 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 Back Bay.  

In a first for the city, Raffles Boston features a Sky Lobby on the 17th, 18th, and 19th floors. More than just a place to check in, this third-story space connects residents and guests with a diversity of amenity spaces. The three-story Grand Stair, one of the hotel’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 other memorable venues in which to find dining, cocktails, and more. Acclaimed Chef George Mendes will launch the hotel’s signature restaurant, Amar, 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, Alain Passard’s Arpege in Paris, and Tocqueville, he went on to open Aldea to critical acclaim and a Michelin star, which he maintained for more than a decade. Amar is an intimate space featuring moody, softly lit walls and dazzling metal finishes. 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 Chef Mendes to return to his New England roots while honoring his heritage.

A dramatic Long Bar & 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 several 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.

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 more than $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.

The first Raffles property debuted 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.” With timeless appeal and a 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. 

The brand currently offers a collection of 18 unique properties in fascinating cities and vibrant destinations around the world: Singapore, Paris, Bali, Warsaw, Phnom Penh, and the Maldives are just a few. Along with Raffles Boston, the brand has upcoming openings planned for London and Macau later this year with many more properties under development.

About The Author
Heather-Mikesell-author-1

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent, abcnews.com, jetsetter.com, outside.com, and wellandgood.com, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.