Why book? For truly opulent yet thoughtful digs in a just-renovated historic site that offers as much style as it does comfort; think local art in all 312 rooms, not-so-mini bars stocked with Massachusetts-sourced goodies, 17 suites with heated bathroom floors, and chic dining (and imbibing) options that have long attracted locals. Set the scene: In the heart of Boston’s Financial District, this Langham sees a well-heeled clientele that includes both suited businessmen off-the-street as well as established families, creatives, and couples just passing through town. The ground-floor whiskey bar and a cavernous Italian restaurant in the former bank’s grand hall, both located off picturesque Post Office Square, have had Bostonians eager to get back in the building for cocktails or a brunch reservation since the property closed in 2019 for a two-year facelift. The backstory: Originally built in 1922, the building was once Boston’s U.S. Federal Reserve Bank—a fact easily discernible from the landmark-designation plaque outside, and the many Fed crests adorning the property’s original entryways and floors. Langham took over the building in the 1980s after the Federal Reserve moved down the street to a skyscraper, although the bank left behind two towering early-20th-century N.C. Wyeth paintings (one of Abraham Lincoln with Solomon Chase, mirroring one of George Washington with Alexander Hamilton) apparently too big to fit in the new building. Known for its service-oriented hospitality, Langham welcomes visitors (guest or non-guest) to pay the gifted paintings a visit. Classic furniture and New England-chic decor throughout the property includes banquette seating, moody art and photography clustered on every wall, dollar-bill-inspired flooring, and banker’s-box drawers adorning the walls of the lobby. All of the art on-property (and in every room) was commissioned by the hotel via the Copley Society of Art, the oldest non-profit arts association in the U.S., a massive project that kept 350 local artists working throughout the pandemic. The rooms: The real treasures are in the rooms, where creature comforts like velvet-soft robes and a heavenly bed can make you forget the busy world outside. Book a suite for top-floor views and a massive white-marble bathroom complete with heated floors and a steam shower. And don’t mistake the massive minibar for an armoire; it’s stocked with local beers and craft ciders (plus the obligatory French wines) and the Langham’s own special-edition Bully Boy Gin—all available for surprisingly reasonable prices. For even more space, ask about the loft-style suites you can book on the second floor: Their original two-story bank windows make them duplexes complete with a seating area looking out onto the lush green and pergolas of Post Office Square. Food and drink: The Langham’s two on-site dining options have Bostonians buzzing. The Fed, a street-level bar that serves elevated pub fare, raw-bar seafood, and inventive cocktails draws those who work in the area for after-work drinks—and has maintained some regulars from it’s pre-renovation days. (For something special, ask for the Vault spirits list, offering shots ranging from a slight splurge to $800-dollar pours of limited edition whiskeys.) Try the 10-mile charcuterie board for a sampling of the greater Boston area’s smoked meats, cheeses, pickles, and breads; build your own seafood tower of all the crudos and local oysters your heart desires; and don’t miss the malted-whiskey frappe on the dessert menu, a perfect pairing with the grass-fed burger, if you dare. Grana (appropriately meaning ‘cash,’ in Italian slang) is housed in the building’s spectacular former bank hall, a grandiose atrium adorned with French chandeliers, original stone floors, and a three-dimensional Lady Liberty head watching over the dining room. The Italian restaurant is opening in September 2021 for brunch and lunch service—if you go, find the original Federal Reserve Bank of Boston seal, adorned with two mermaids and the Fed crest, at the center of the room. The spa: The property will open its wellness facility later this year to offer a heated indoor pool and fitness center. The neighborhood/area: Boston’s towering Financial District is walking distance to the city’s biggest attractions: Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, the North End, and Seaport are all a stone’s throw away. Plus, every T (subway) line intersects here for ultra-easy access to virtually every outer neighborhood. Bustling during the day, the area becomes relatively quiet at night, while still promising walkable access to all the city’s best bars and restaurants. The service: The property’s warm staff spares no time or effort in their assistance: Order in-room breakfast for speedy white-tablecloth service at your door in minutes. Langham is known for its top-tier yet unpretentious service: Fiji waters are doled out on-sight at check-in (on top of the free bottles stashed in your room). Don’t hesitate to ask the front desk for anything you may have forgotten to pack; it'll be hand-delivered in no time. For families: Families would have plenty of space in the property’s two-bedroom or loft-style suites, and the area lends to kids with a nearby Children’s Museum and field-trip-famous offerings like the historic Freedom Trail. Accessibility: ADA-compliant, with wheelchair-accessible rooms and elevators.
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