BACKSTORY: The first hotel to occupy this space, the Ritz-Carlton, was founded in 1927. Over the next 80 years, it became a fixture of Boston’s Back Bay. The building underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2002 and five years later became part of the Taj Group, which, by and large, retained the property’s gilt-and-wood fixtures and fittings.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: The Taj Boston’s location means you can close your eyes, head in any direction and bump into a tourist attraction—Newbury Street, the Public Garden, Copley Square, Beacon Hill, the Esplanade. OK, OK, the “Cheers” bar is nearby too.
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: The hotel bar—The Bar—has hosted countless old-money tipples over the years and, with its wood paneling, stuffed chairs and
oil paintings, it looks the part. The picture windows provide views of the adjacent Garden, for those who like to watch the squirrels while doing their power brokering.
HOT DISH: At The Café, executive chef Daniel Dumont fuses regional sensibilities with Indian standards to create dishes like Kottayam Crab Curry, in which local seafood swims in a rich tamarind and coconut milk sauce. For less adventurous diners, there’s a Lobster Cobb Salad and, for breakfast, Crab Cake Benedict.
AMAZING AMENITIES: Climb out of your complimentary, chauffeur-driven Jaguar and swish past the smiling doorman and up to your Luxury Park View suite, where a butler will draw you a bath, throw in a few rose petals and arrange for a bottle of champagne, creating the brief but utterly convincing illusion that you occupy an upper rung of Boston Brahmin society.