Millennium Bostonian Hotel and Boston Itself Share a Special History
Published 14 September 2012
BOSTON – For a relatively young hotel offering decidedly 21st century standards of luxury accommodations, fine dining and outstanding service, the Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston is steeped in history. Boston too blends old and new, as a city that is as well known for its fascinating past as it is for its world-class colleges and universities, cutting edge technology companies, lively entertainment scene and rabid sports fans.
For starters the Millennium Bostonian is across the street is Faneuil Hall, built in 1724, and Quincy Market, built in 1825. Together, as one of the country’s finest examples of urban revitalization, they offer today’s visitors from around the world an extraordinary shopping, dining and entertaining experience. The hotel is also situated in the Blackstone Block, described by Fodor’s Travel Guides as Boston’s “family attic” where the city’s oldest buildings and twisting alleyways, some dating back 300 years, are still intact. Named for William Blackstone, or more accurately Blaxton, who is allegedly the Boston area’s first European immigrant, this is Boston’s historic Market District. Adjacent to the hotel is the Haymarket where pushcart vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables as they have for centuries.
It was in this setting that developer Arthur Winn, in the early 1980’s, decided to build what he described as a “European-style hostelry” that would lavish attention on guests, creating a luxurious residential ambiance. When it opened in September, 1982, architecture writer John Graham of the Boston Globe described the Bostonian as “the right building for a very special site…one of the most urbane works of architecture in Boston in years...it eases comfortably into a gap in the old block and does so without sacrificing its own individuality.”
But this was not accomplished without challenges and obstacles, the most daunting of which was how to construct a modern, 20th century structure amidst what Graham called “a little world by itself of tiny alleys – Salt Lane, March Lane, Creek Square – that wind among small brick buildings (including the famous Union Oyster House)…an almost medieval network of tight, twisting paths.” To his credit, Winn was not only sensitive to the importance of Boston’s history but supportive of its preservation. This explains the Bostonian’s ultimate meandering design, by Sy Mintz of Mintz Associates, as it adjusts to its historic surroundings. In fact, a portion of the building bridges the 17th century Scott’s Alley, a four-foot wide, winding passageway that was, in fact, the very first alleyway to be marked on a map. A further indication of the developer’s interest in historic preservation was his financial support for archaeological excavations in the hotel’s foundation, precipitated by the discovery, during construction, of numerous artifacts dating back to the 17th century which, according to a Boston Globe piece at the time, shed “new light on how early Bostonians live, what they made and sold, imported, wore, ate from and even tossed away.” Some of these treasures have been displayed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Designed to both celebrate its historic setting and be an oasis from its busy pace, the Bostonian opened with a quiet entrance courtyard and fountain, a subtle, almost hidden front desk, 155 rooms and a 160-seat “Seasons” restaurant on the roof that focused on regional and local products and dishes, including produce purchased from markets just outside the door. Positive public response was immediate and the Bostonian quickly became a centerpiece of business and social life in the heart of the city’s market district.
Fast forward to 2001 when Millennium Hotels & Resorts purchased 12 Regal hotels throughout the country, including what had become the Regal Bostonian. Availing themselves of the creativity and skill of noted interior designer Jinnie Kim, Millennium management immediately launched into a major improvement project at what was now the Millennium Bostonian as part of a company-wide $70 million renovation project. In Boston, customized renovations to guestrooms and public areas were designed to enhance and complement the Bostonian’s history, style and character.
Then, in 2006, the Millennium Bostonian called upon Kim once again and embarked on a $14 million transformation that included redesign of 201 guestrooms, many with their own working fireplaces, the creation of a new restaurant location and 3,000-square feet of new meeting space. Guestrooms received new bathrooms with tubs set against relief scenes of the city and separate shower stalls; the new rooms were enhanced with stone entryways and wood paneling. The renovated circular entrance and lobby area were highlighted by two fireplaces, one traditional and one gas; a new lounge and bar was created; and the Seasons Restaurant was moved to the ground floor for easier accessibility under the new name, North 26 Restaurant & Bar.
As the 21st century progresses, there is no doubt that the Millennium Bostonian Hotel will continue to evolve, offering its guests the very finest in comfort, service and innovation in keeping with current expectations. There is equally no doubt, however, that whatever changes occur, Boston’s incredible history, as reflected in the Blackstone Block, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Haymarket and the rest of the city’s oldest commercial neighborhood, will continue to play a major part in creating an incomparable hospitality experience for business and leisure travelers alike.
For additional information about the Millennium Bostonian Hotel, please visit http://www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumboston
About the Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston
Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston is a Four Diamond boutique hotel located across from Faneuil Hall Marketplace in the heart of the city’s historic downtown. Many of the 201 rooms feature working fireplaces and French doors opening onto quaint balconies as well as high-quality details such as pillow-top beds, crisp linens and 40-inch high-definition televisions. In addition, fine dining is offered at the North 26 Restaurant and Bar, which provides a wide range of contemporary New England cuisine and signature cocktails. Guests also welcome the pampering at the hotel’s nearby Aveda El Coco International Salon & Spa.
Explore over 125 shops and restaurants just outside the door of this Boston hotel. Minutes away, you’ll discover Boston Harbor, the New England Aquarium, North End restaurants and the Freedom Trail. Centrally located and less than three miles from Logan International Airport, Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston is the premier choice for seasoned travelers and sightseers alike. For more information see http://www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumboston/index.html or call (617) 523-3600.
About Millennium Hotels and Resorts
Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR), established in the United States in 2000, is the North American arm of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels plc (MLC). The MHR portfolio includes 14 hotels in the U.S. and over 100 hotels worldwide including United Kingdom, Singapore, Qatar, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, UAE, Thailand, China, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait. U.S. hotels include: Millennium Broadway Hotel New York, The Premier Hotel at the Millennium Broadway; ONE UN New York; Millennium Hotel Buffalo; Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles; Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago; Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston; Millennium Hotel Minneapolis; Millennium Hotel St. Louis; Millennium Hotel Cincinnati; Millennium Harvest House Boulder; Millennium Hotel Durham; Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage; Millennium Resort and Villas Scottsdale; and the Millennium Maxwell House Nashville. For further information on Millennium Hotels and Resorts, call 866-866-8086 or visit www.millenniumhotels.com.