Location, location, location. Every urban hotel knows just how important it is to have the best site in the city; which is why the Mandarin Oriental Boston opened its doors on Boylston Street right in the heart of Copley Square. The luxury Back Bay hotel has one of the best locations in the city, just steps from the tony shops of Newbury Street. Like any good five-star hotel, the spa services are also top of the line.
While we did not experience the spa during our stay, we did learn more about it and its amenities. It features everything from couples’ suites with twin massage beds, Quartz crystal steam rooms with vitality pools to experience showers, ice fountains, relaxation lounges and a hydrotherapy room featuring Vichy shower and color therapy experiences. The spa will be introducing a new treatment in the fall known as the Inner Strength treatment, personally created by Aromatherapy Associates’ Co-Founder and President Geraldine Howard during her own personal battle with cancer. The full body, hour and 20-minute long treatment incorporates massage techniques to ease physical tension and emotional anxiety through the application of a heated compress, essential oils and a foot massage.
“My mission is to get people to understand essential oils, how they work and what they do,” said Howard, whose Inner Strength oil and new Inner Strength Treatment will be introduced at the spa in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Through the end of this year, 10 percent of the cost of each Inner Strength treatment purchased will be donated to the Jimmy Fund to support cancer research. “Every product I’ve made is based on someone’s inner need.”
Howard faced her own personal challenges when she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor behind her right eye, which was surgically removed. Her positive attitude kept her going throughout her treatment. “If you can get your mind to be positive, the rest follows,” she said. “I created this oil at a time when I needed to find my own inner strength. I hope this will help others, too.”
Similar to the services and at the spa, the property itself was just as impressive. As we made our way over to the check-in desk where Guest Relations Manager Brett Collins came around the counter to personally hand us our room keys and greet our English bulldog (the property is not only pet friendly but they seem to roll out the red carpet for four-legged friends). The attention to detail and exemplary service there were already standouts and we hadn’t even made our way to our room yet.
Once we were settled in our spacious room, the bellman delivered our bags and asked if we would like a complimentary welcome tea. Just a few minutes later, a relaxing cup of hot chamomile was delivered to the room, another nice touch. Our room which overlooked bustling Boylston Street, had a king bed with Frette linens, high definition flat screen TV, sofa, desk and table. The enormous marble bathroom had a heavenly deep-soaking tub and separate walk-in rainfall shower with Red Flower bathroom amenities.
Be sure to take a walk around the hotel to check out the beautiful museum-quality art that lines the walls.
Before dinner at Asana, we headed down to the M Bar & Lounge for a quick drink. Executive Chef Rachel Klein heads up the kitchen at Asana where we sampled fresh sashimi of Rhode Island fluke with tempura sweet potato topped and with a complementary lemongrass vinaigrette. The large 24-ounce Tomahawk steak there should not be missed, a delicious juicy bone-in cut arrived swimming in a pool of its own juices and served with a side of creamy horseradish sauce. The black cod was one of the best we have had, served with shitake and bacon dash, and our favorite, sesame-chili kale crisps.
From the moment we stepped out of the car with the friendly valet greeting us to the exceptional dinner we experienced, we knew we had arrived. Mandarin Oriental Boston showcased New England charm while allowing us to enjoy five-star service and amenities.