Why the first Raffles hotel and condo project in North America will open in Boston
Accor is also hyper-focused on getting into the right location, added co-developer Jordan Warshaw of the Noannet Group. Competition among major hotel companies to be the winning brand flag over the 33-floor hotel and condo project was fierce. The property sits in Boston’s highly affluent Back Bay neighborhood, which is also home to other five-star hotels like the Mandarin Oriental as well as two Four Seasons hotels.
An available property to develop into a hotel is a rarity in the neighborhood, and Accor wanted in.
The hotel development team isn’t naming names as to who else was in the running for the project, but they divulged the autonomy Accor afforded them in building out the hotel was a major draw. This will still be a five-star project, but it means the Raffles in Boston won’t be a cookie cutter image of the brand’s properties in other cities like Paris, Istanbul or the original in Singapore.
The more than $400 million project, slated to open in early 2023, will include 147 guestrooms, 146 condos and 16 distinct “gathering spaces.”
There will be a sky lobby on the 17th floor and a variety of restaurants and bars, from a speakeasy to a venue aiming to be a go-to neighborhood restaurant that doesn’t blow a giant hole in one’s wallet and — as one might expect in a five-star hotel — a smaller restaurant that probably will.
Specifics on the restaurants and bars are still limited, save for the obvious. You will be able to order a Singapore Sling, invented at the Raffles Singapore, at the bar.
But it appears the development team has taken notes of what does and doesn’t work in Boston — and how Boston hasn’t taken kindly to celebrity chefs from other cities.
Jean Georges-Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, and Mario Batali have all come and gone with restaurants in the city in recent years.
“It’s going to be operated by Raffles,” Warshaw said of the hotel’s planned high-end restaurant concept. “We’re not going to have some chef put his or her name on and show up once a year.”