Your essential guides to Boston
By Jessica Bowne
September 22, 2022
Find your bearings
A stay at Mandarin Oriental, Boston is teeming with possibilities thanks to the hotel’s location in the heart of the city centre on Boylston Street. Guests will find themselves two blocks from the Boston Marathon finish line and Back Bay’s historic meeting place, Copley Square. Take a slow walk down the seven-block Marlborough Street to admire its elegant brownstones, many with original façades intact.
Feed your mind
Mandarin Oriental, Boston, is just a few blocks from the historic Boston Public Library, which underwent an $80m renovation in 2016. Home to first editions of Shakespeare and Dante, the library also offers more than books: come here to see the rare murals by John Singer Sargent and enjoy the Italianate courtyard. The hotel is also a mile from the world-class Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the newest wing of which is the work of ‘starchitect’ Renzo Piano.
Shop like a local
The city’s finest shopping lies within a few blocks of Mandarin Oriental, Boston: on Newbury Street, you’ll find outposts of luxury fashion and jewellery houses, including Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Burberry. It’s also gained attention in recent years for innovative, temporary pop-up stores, with everything from a Kanye West-orchestrated clothing store to an oyster bar. Take advantage of further shopping opportunities without leaving the hotel (almost), thanks to the connected entrance to thePrudential Center and Copley Place, where the stores include Dior, Jimmy Choo and Barneys New York. If you’re hunting for furniture to ship home, the nearby Beacon Hill and South End neighbourhoods offer some of the city’s finest antique and décor boutiques, including Ouimillie and Olives & Grace.
See some sights
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the USA, and the contemporary and historic often mingle here seamlessly. On Newbury Street, admire the architecture of the dazzling 40,000sq ft Restoration Hardware, a luxury homeware store housed in the former Museum of Natural History. Take a walk through the Public Garden, a lush escape in the city centre and the first botanical garden in the country. Continue through the garden and the adjacent Boston Common until you find yourself in front of the gold-domed Massachusetts State House, just as eye-catching as when it was built in 1798. Across the Charles River, Cambridge offers a wealth of architectural attractions, including Harvard’s original grass quad, ringed with brick buildings.
Toast your arrival
Start your evening at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, with a glass of Champagne and house-made pâtés at Uni. Brush shoulders with the in-crowd and sip on imaginative cocktails.
Make time to unwind
Dine in style
While Boston still has a reputation for lobster and clam chowder (and rightfully so), the city offers a spectrum of international fine dining options. At Ruka , a sleek restaurant filled with chic locals starting their evenings.
Atlantic Fish Company
Atlantic Fish, located in Boston’s Back Bay, has been serving New England’s freshest catch since 1978.
Abe & Louie’s
Abe & Louie’s, known for premium steaks, serves classic dishes, fresh seafood, shareable sides, and an award-winning wine list.
The seductively spacious feel of the streets of Boston’s Back Bay is part of what draws international visitors to this part of the city, where you’ll also find Mandarin Oriental, Boston. The distinctive layout is the result of restrictions in the historic building’s original deeds, which dictated how far they needed to be set back from the street.
And finally ...
Boston’s best shopping
Within the Prudential Center, Boston now has its own branch of the wildly popular Italian food and shopping emporium, Eataly. Don’t be shy about asking for samples.
Inside Quincy Market
Inside Quincy Market. Photo: dbimages, Alamy
Adidas x Concepts
On Newbury Street, the Adidas x Concepts store is a shopping collaboration from two major players in footwear and fashion.
Brattle Book Shop
Brattle Book Shop is a local institution, founded in 1825. Photo: Alamy
Olives & Grace
Olives & Grace sells goods from Boston's "best emerging food and gift makers"