Global Traveler: Tell us about the plans for the Taj Boston.
David Gibbons: Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces unfurled its flag over this 1927 landmark building in January 2007 with renewed excitement in mind. The hotel has already been brought to a higher level of luxury. Lush and exotic flower arrangements add a new vibrancy; amenities have been upgraded to Molton Brown luxury bath toiletries; ultra-plush PLOH bathrobes and PLOH oversized bath sheets; luxury bedding, high threadcount linens; and upgraded turndown service. The Taj Boston Club Lounge has been enhanced to offer the ultimate levels of service and cuisine. linens; and upgraded turndown service. The Taj Boston Club Lounge has been enhanced to offer the ultimate levels of service and cuisine.
We have a three-year modernization plan. The design team and architects are in meetings to plan the preservation of this historic building while making it relevant for today and into the future. The presidential suite will undergo substantial updating. This elegant corner suite of rooms overlooking the picturesque Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall will be dazzling. The addition of a new Taj Boston Spa is being studied.
We are also analyzing how we can use landmark spaces — The Café, The Bar and The Lounge — to improve service to hotel guests and Boston residents. Taj Boston anchors fashionable Newbury Street and is directly across Arlington Street from the Public Garden, so we’re considering ways to maximize the prime location. Possibilities include expanding The Café to include sidewalk dining. We’re also discussing reopening The Dining Room, a legendary space that has been closed to the public since early 2005.
Other projects this year include upgrading the fitness center, redecorating the Grand Ballroom and installing flatscreen TVs in guestrooms. Plus, we’re refurbishing The Roof, an iconic setting overlooking the Public Garden and the Boston skyline that was at the height of its popularity during the Big Band Era.
GT: What sets Taj Boston apart from other luxury brands?
DG: Taj Boston is a luxury experience for today with a sense of history. This historic 80-year-old Boston landmark building is set in one of the city’s greatest locations anchoring the Public Garden to fashionable Newbury Street. Its unparalleled and experienced staff is the spirit of Taj Boston.
GT: Briefly describe your career in the hospitality industry.
DG: I have 25 years experience in international hospitality. Most recently, I was affiliated with Raffles Swissotel as general manager of The Drake Swissotel in New York City. I joined Swissotel in 1985 as director of food and beverage at The Drake. In 2003, I was named general manager of Swissotel Boston. Prior to joining Swissotel, I worked for the Canadian based Elephant and Castle Group of restaurants as assistant director of corporate operations and then as senior executive for U.S. Operations based in Houston. I am a past president of The Massachusetts Lodging Association in Boston. I served as vice chairman of the New York Chapter American Institute of Wine and Food and I am a charter member of the Wine Buyer’s Circle.
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