Best of the New

A slew of hotel openings and renovations adds five fresh options to Boston’s partyscape.

The Mandarin Oriental, Boston


(From left) The stairway leading up to the party; the brand-new hotel’s exterior. Photographs by Lisa Richov.

Thanks to all the breathless hype surrounding the construction of this Back Bay behemoth, the Mandarin Oriental delivers more than a little scene-y buzz. Just opened in October, the enormous hotel encompasses 148 plush guest rooms, a 380-person-capacity ballroom, and a 16,000-square-foot spa. The building also showcases three of the city’s most talked-about dining destinations: the relocated L’Espalier, the region’s third Sel de la Terre, and Asana, featuring Chef Nicolas Boutin’s American and Asian cuisine. (Boutin also oversees the catering menu for weddings.) Combined with the new minimalist-chic Mizu salon, located inside, practically all your prewedding needs (rehearsal dinner, pedicure, updo) can be met without setting foot off the property.


The Mandarin ballroom overlooks Boylston Street. Photograph by Lisa Richov.

Standout Features: The Mandarin’s design is as up-to-date as hotels get. The second-level ballroom, where weddings are held, has walls paneled with blond satinwood and inset with buttery silks; floor-to-ceiling windows let the daylight pour in. A high-tech audio system and customizable LED uplighting behind panels combine to create theatrical effects. Couples should be sure to stroll through the garden, which makes a superb backdrop for photographs, as well as the grand marble staircase. (Can’t you just picture your train trailing down the steps?) As an added bonus, a private suite just off the ballroom gives brides and grooms a place to escape. And in keeping with the Mandarin chain’s rep for over-the-top service, couples getting married here can expect a ton of little extras, like moist hand towels for guests after dinner and midnight morsels for postreception munching.

Capacity: 175 to 380 guests

Catering: Must be provided by the hotel, except for cakes from outside bakers (though the hotel’s pastry chef can also whip one up)

Food and Beverage Fee: Begins at $30,000

Find it: 800 Boylston St., 617-535-8888,