Peering at the sailboats slicing through the harbor from the sixth-floor roof-deck bar of the new Envoy Hotel, it finally dawns on you that, yes, Boston really does rest on the shores of the Atlantic. For some silly reason, Boston has never taken proper advantage of its ocean setting. When the Institute of Contemporary Art opened in a gem of a building on the edge of the harbor in December 2006, publicists dubbed the evolving neighborhood the Seaport District. Yet five years after the ICA opening, not much changed. A sea of parking lots continued to surround the ICA, and wharves still lined the harbor of this industrial port.
Then, in 2013, Vertex Pharmaceuticals made the bold initiative to move the company’s global headquarters to twin 18-story buildings featuring 1.1 million square feet of research labs and office space. Other companies followed, including Manulife, Fidelity Investments and PricewaterhouseCoopers. At last, the late Mayor Menino’s dream of a burgeoning Seaport District has taken root. Everywhere you look along the waterfront today, new condominiums and office buildings are under construction.
The 136-room Envoy Hotel, a member of the Marriott Autograph Collection, opened its doors this past June and quickly became a hot spot for after-work drinks. You’ll find one of the finest views of the Boston skyline from its roof deck. If you book the corner room just below the bar, you have the same glorious vista all to yourself.
Directly across from The Envoy, a massive, block-long construction site marks the start of One Seaport Square. When finished in 2017, the $600 million project will create 832 apartments above 260,000 square feet of retail space. The complex will consist of two glass and metal towers rising to 20 and 22 stories between Seaport Boulevard and Northern Avenue and will feature an Equinox Fitness Club, Kings Bowling and a 10-screen cinema.
Not all the development of the Seaport District lies directly on the water. The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on Summer Street is planning a 1.3 million-square-foot expansion. The redesign is currently in the inchoate stages as the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority interviews architects and project managers.
A 330-room Aloft Hotel and 180-room Element Hotel just opened on a 5.6-acre parcel on D Street opposite the BCEC. Nearby lies The Lawn on D, an urban park that enters its third season this May. The park features food trucks, a rare patch of grass for picnicking, an artsy swing set and live performances from jazz and rock musicians.
Some of Boston’s best-known chefs, including Barbara Lynch (Menton, Sportello and Drink), were the first to brave the waters and move into relatively affordable warehouses that once housed art studios in this part of the city. They were soon joined by flashier developments along the water like Liberty Wharf, home to the three-story Legal Harborside, an offshoot of Legal Sea Foods. Last April, Mario Batali opened a Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca just off the Harborwalk, already receiving rave reviews for its affordable brick-oven pizza and pasta dishes. Ocean Prime just made its debut near the coveted former locale of Anthony’s Pier 4. It specializes in steaks and seafood, like a cut of ribeye or tender sea bass.
The Seaport District could still use a good grocery store, but as more and more residents call the neighborhood home, rest assured the Boston waterfront is finally becoming a thriving part of the city.
If Boston Harbor has you yearning for a beach, head north on Route 128 and within an hour arrive at Massachusetts’ lesser-known cape, the one locals don’t want you to know about, Cape Ann. Forty miles north of Boston, Cape Ann beckons sun worshippers with its long stretch of sand. In Manchester-by-the-Sea, couples stake their claim to exquisite Singing Beach, tucked away in a cove and backed by cliffs and precariously perched mansions. Wingaersheek Beach remains a favorite for Boston families who make the drive to the North Shore to swim in the shallow waters. At low tide, you can walk a mile to almost reach a gleaming white lighthouse jutting out from the tip of land at Annisquam. When you tire of the sun, head to the village of Rockport, known for its shops, galleries and restaurants. Or try the legendary lobster-in-the-rough joint, Woodman’s, in Essex; the seafood shack claims to have created the fried clam July 3, 1916.
Prefer not to drive but still want to take a daytrip? Less than 20 miles northeast of Boston and four years older lies the historic hamlet of Salem. Best known as the place where, in 1692, 20 innocent victims were hanged and stoned to death as witches, Salem flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries as its merchant vessels circled the globe. Salem is now home to one of the finest museums in New England, the Peabody Essex Museum. The art museum houses a vast assortment of wares from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Pacific Islands and Africa, not to mention immense holdings of Native American crafts, New England maritime art and 18th- and 19th-century dwellings from Salem’s historic streets. The best way to arrive in Salem is via the ferry from Long Wharf. Grab a seat, smell the salty air, see the seaside estates of Marblehead, and 45 minutes later you arrive in Salem, stress-free.
Leovard skincare, formulated by Dr. Sheg Aranmolate, MD, uses natural ingredients to nourish skin, calm irritation, decrease wrinkles, hydrate and soothe — all while sanitizing skin of bacteria. Leovard’s 06 sanitizer is among a line a like-minded products, designed to ease the stress of environmental damage on our skin while cleansing.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Three weeks after welcoming the first international flights since its borders closed, Saint Lucia’s government reinforced its mandatory travel protocol messaging. The island also launched an informative video with on-island footage of the actual travel experience.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with us.