Best of the New
The Colonnade Boston
This independent Back Bay hotel first made the scene in 1971 and has been undergoing a $21 million renovation slated to be completed in December 2008. Finishing touches include upgrades to the Huntington Ballroom on the first floor, a fully redone lobby, and a major gut of all 285 guest rooms. Overnight visitors can now enjoy perks like flat-screen televisions, pillowtop mattresses covered in fine linens, and windows that open to let in the breeze. There’s also a new 24-hour fitness center (ideal for sweating off prewedding jitters). Set across Huntington Avenue from the Prudential building, it’s well located for wedding guests seeking the full-on urban experience-Newbury Street’s spas, the Back Bay’s plentiful shopping, and Symphony Hall are just a few steps away.
Standout Features: The Colonnade has the only rooftop pool in the city, which can be reserved for a cocktail hour. (Staff will even float flowers and candles in the water, if you like.) The lobby just outside the ballroom is also a stunner, with its Italian harlequin marble tiles, coffered trompe l’oeil ceiling, and hand-loomed area rug from Ireland. New carpets, updated chairs, and table linens grace the renovated ballroom, and a sophisticated Bose sound system makes for pitch-perfect music and wedding-day speeches. Foodies who dread the typical wedding meal needn’t fret; chef Nicholas Calias is known for creative touches like a cocktail-hour "lobster bar," inspired entrées like truffled chicken with sweet corn flan, and his sinful dessert bar.
Capacity: 270 to 400, depending on dance floor and room setup
Catering: Must be provided by the hotel, except for cakes from outside bakers
Food and Beverage Fee: $20,000 minimum
Find it: 120 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-424-7000, colonnadehotel.com