Iíve been welcomed at enough hotels by efficient but clearly bored and disinterested front desk staff to recognize one who loves her job. Stephanie, who greeted us as we entered the Boxer Boston, obviously does, and she made me feel immediately at home in downtown Bostonís newest hotel.
We were checked in within two minutes of alighting from our car, which had been whisked away by the valet. Before we headed to our room, Stephanie asked if we needed directions, restaurant suggestions or any information on Boston. We told her where our evening event was and she whipped out a map and pointed out the nearest T stations at either end of the trip. ďA cab would be a lot easier,Ē she suggested, ďespecially in this weather.Ē
The Boxer Boston, which opened late in 2013, occupies a classic flat-iron building dating to 1904, and as we stepped into room 910, at the rounded corner of the top floor, it seemed as though the entire Boston skyline was spread before us. Windows curved around the end of the room and along the entire wall that connected the sleeping and sitting areas.
The king-sized bed sat at an angle, almost surrounded by windows. These could be covered by either of two sets of blinds: one darkened the room, the other screened us from outside view but let in daylight and the view and the city lights that were just coming on below. It was not only one of the most architecturally interesting rooms we have stayed in, it was just plain cool.
High-count polished cotton sheets, a down comforter, a choice of pillows and a feather-soft plaid comforter dressed the bed. Slate gray walls balanced well with the abundant outside light in the daytime and gave the interior a restful coolness at night. In the closet were two soft robes, and iron and board and detachable hangers.
The desk, in the sitting area opposite the long sofa, had a lamp and outlets for chargers and laptops, which we used to access the free Wifi. Easily adjusted reading lights stood on each of the large bedside tables, and a long upholstered bench under the end windows was large enough for both pieces of luggage.
The bathroom had another picture window, a large glass-enclosed shower and plenty of surface on the marble vanity. Bath amenities were by Pharmacopeia, and towels were thick and soft.
The room offered a mini-bar, safe, coffee maker and a detailed brochure on Boston that emphasized the hotelís own neighborhood as well as Charles Street shops, cultural attractions, historic sites and restaurants, which were numbered on the accompanying map.
The hotelís location is right next to the Federal Building (convenient for anyone with appointments to renew passports, as we had the next morning) and handy to TD Gardens, Charles Street, Beacon Hill, the state offices, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Mass General Hospital.
The next morning as I sat up in bed, I could see the sun reflecting off the gold State House dome, which rises above a jumble of uneven rooftops and chimneys on Beacon Hill. The full view extended along the skyline from the Customs House tower near the waterfront to the Prudential Building in Back Bay. When I swiveled around to look out the windows behind me I could see the masts of Old Ironsides in Charlestown Harbor and the span of the Mystic River Bridge. We were missing less than 90 degrees of a full 360-degree panorama.
When we emerged from our room to head out for the day, we discovered that Stephanie was not the hotelís only gracious staff member. We were wished a smiling good morning by two women of the housekeeping staff as we walked to the elevator and again in the lobby, where the morning receptionist asked how we liked our room, and if she could provide directions or get us a taxi.
Finch restaurant, adjoining the lobby, serves burgers and light dishes highlighting local specialties, including classic New England chowder. It is open for breakfast and dinner.
The Boxer Boston is at 107 Merrimac Street, easy to reach by car from Storrow Drive; there is valet parking available.