Business trip: Boston
As one of the United States’ most historic cities, Boston is New England's crown jewel, and its constant growth in both business and international tourism proves its worth as a regal American icon.
In the past year, nearly 23 million visitors have packed the streets of Boston, resulting in an $8.6 billion economical impact on the city. According to the latest statistics from the Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, that visitor count is expected to grow an additional 4% for 2013. The sad events of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings have proven to be but a blip on the tourism radar, with the city rebounding quickly. Businesses downtown remained closed for just a day or two, and travellers quickly returned to fill hotel rooms in force. Many attribute such a rapid return to normalcy to be a hallmark of the signature Bostonian spirit.
In a coup for New England, officials at Boston’s Logan International Airport secured non-stop flights to Tokyo with Japan Airlines aboard the new Boeing Dreamliner. Before this 2012 development, Boston was the largest US market for traffic to Asia that lacked a nonstop flight.
Europe is a big player too, as Boston is the closest major international US airport to the continent. This summer, thrice-daily Icelandair flights join the schedule plus daily Swiss flights to Zurich and daily Lufthansa flights to Frankfurt and Munich.
In Boston's West End sits the recently renovated (and renamed) 80-room The Boxer hotel, with its eclectic yet conservative decor of Old World antiques and cleverly modern fixtures. The intimate lobby showcases shelves of books amid modern light fixtures and a flickering fireplace where guests can gather for impromptu meetings. Upstairs, the rooms are crisp with crystalline chandeliers, spacious work desks and adjustable chrome reading lamps. The American restaurant dishes up comfort food like mac and cheese and a classic New England clam chowder. The historic marketplaces of Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and Boston Common (America's oldest public park and the starting point of Boston's Freedom Trail) are all within walking distance. The Boston Harbor Hotel sits on its namesake locale and offers stunning views of the water from its 230 rooms and suites. Besides the luxurious guest rooms with their panoramic windows and mahogany wood desks, the property is home where you will find the creator of the Boston Wine Festival. Chef Daniel Bruce of the locally favoured Meritage the Restaurant created the event 25 years ago for Bostonians to savour some of the world's top labels. It has quickly evolved into a worldwide event for the fine vintages paired with delicious food. Bruce's latest restaurant menu of Kobe beef and Maine Pemaquid oysters is worth travelling to experience.
Along the South Boston waterfront, Marriott's Residence Inn Seaport is opening a 120-room, $40 million property in June 2013, comprising six storeys of spacious suites with separate living areas. The extra space is perfect for those staying in town for longer periods of time and will be the neighbourhood's first boutique hotel. Baseball fans will find the new 175-room Residence Inn Fenway to be a great home base for Red Sox fans. The all-suite hotel offers elegant, residential appointments and exceptional views of the ballpark from the highest of its eight floors.
Booking a room at the 400-room Royal Sonesta guarantees exceptional views of the Charles Bridge, which separates Boston from the city of Cambridge where notable universities like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are located. The hotel’s ArtBar has an outdoor patio that serves the delicious "Taste of Cambridge" cocktail (vodka, lemon bitters, strawberry and orange shrub and prosecco), and the antipasti plates at the hotel’s Dante restaurantare a great way to kick off the evening (order the fava bean dip with chips, crostini, potatoes, beetroot and celery root, and prepare to be tantalised).
In the heart of the theatre district and steps from Boston Common, the 356-room Revere Hotel straddles the line between business chic and new age style, attracting a smattering of local glitterati to its Emerald Lounge for evening cocktails. Guest rooms scream modern simplicity, from the high leather-padded headboards perfect for breakfast in bed to lengthy chaises lounges ideal for catching up on emails while ogling the exceptional views from the panoramic windows.