Best of the New

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

The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel


See worthy downtown Boston is a built-in backdrop.


“Seagulls” float in the hotel stairwell.

Love the water and want a modern hotel that won’t plunge your family into serious debt? Head for the freshly developed Fort Point and Seaport area. The Marriott-owned Renaissance hotel opened in February 2008 and offers Boston-level services at South Boston prices. Wandering through the spacious property, guests can gasp at views of Boston’s harbor and skyline. Foodies, meanwhile, will appreciate the first-class restaurant, 606 Congress, whose menu is a collaboration of celebrity chef Michael Schlow and executive chef Toby Hill. (Check out its private rooms for your rehearsal dinner.) For the main event, choose from two spaces, the Atlantic and the Pacific ballrooms, both located on the second floor. The property’s décor was designed to evoke the sea, with subtle wave, bubble, bird, and fish patterns woven into the carpeting and designed into the light fixtures. Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense: In a brand-new hotel, it’s a safe bet that a wedding will go swimmingly.


The hotel’s harbor vista.


An elegant setting for jazz and cocktails.

Standout Features: One advantage to being on this side of the channel is that the hotel has room to breathe and light to spare. Huge windows in the cocktail area frame the sunset, and four in the Atlantic ballroom give the space depth and big views. The Pacific ballroom boasts a removable wall near a freight elevator so you can drive the honeymoon getaway car right onto the dance floor (if that’s your thing). Bands and DJs will like the ballrooms’ high-tech sound and lighting systems. And the spiral staircase, with its etched glass detail, is great for pictures, as is Maritime Park across the street.

Capacity: Atlantic ballroom: 80 to 230 with dance floor; Pacific ballroom: up to 600 with dancing (couples can rent half or quarter of its full size)

Catering: Must be provided by the hotel, except for cakes from outside bakers. It will also work with a kosher or Indian caterer if necessary
Food and Beverage Fee: $5,000-$30,000

Find it: 606 Congress St., Boston, 617-342-5420,