Last updated September 15, 2022
As the creamy strawberry ice cream from a room service-delivered Back Bay Sundae melted in my mouth, I snuggled deeper into my cloud-like bed at the Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Boston. It was 8 p.m. on a Saturday—and I was in self-care heaven.
After undergoing a recent renovation, the property had been high on my to-visit list. So, as soon as travel restrictions in Boston relaxed, I jumped at the chance to book a weekend visit to this member of the Mandarin Oriental family.
Now, I’ll be candid. My approach to wellness embraces the healthy and the indulgent. So you’re just as likely to see me drinking green juice and going for a run while on vacation as you are to see me enjoying the sundae I just mentioned.
And the beauty of Mandarin Oriental, Boston is that it offers the best of both of these worlds.
Read on for five reasons why I think this property is the perfect place to nourish your mind, body and belly in a healthy and indulgent fashion.
A Room You Won’t Want to Leave
A stunning view of the city and a tub where I could enjoy a soak with a glass of bubbly and my book. Thanks to features like these, I had to remind myself to leave my room and explore Boston a bit.
The Mandarin Oriental, Boston, has done a stellar job of thinking of all the details you would need in a home away from home.
For example, the bed is heavenly (as I mentioned earlier), and rooms are outfitted with the latest technology, including a Bluetooth speaker and an AirPlay option on the flat-screen TV.
Windows actually open so that you can get a bit of fresh air. And the bathroom is outfitted in environmentally friendly full-size Diptyque products.
Although my minibar wasn’t stocked (due to COVID restrictions), I had the option to have it catered to upon my arrival.
And the tea drinker in me appreciated that all I had to do was call guest services, and an electric tea kettle and English breakfast tea were delivered to my room. (For the coffee drinkers, there is a Nespresso machine in the room.)
Treatments for the Mind and Body
I’ll never take a steam room and spa snacks for granted again! That’s what I found myself thinking during my visit to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston.
This was my first spa visit without a mask, and it made my heart happy to see blankets, snacks, and tea in the relaxation room.
I was also excited to see that the spa had reopened its crystal steam room (infused with eucalyptus essential oil), vitality pool, and experience shower, which is an invigorating shower that allows the guest to choose from four touch settings and incorporates light therapy.
But, what I really love about this spa is the innovative programming and treatments that are offered. For example, those looking for more of a wellness retreat experience can book a three or five-night Reset and Restore or Motivate and Activate retreat.
Of course, guests can indulge in more traditional massage treatments. This spa also offers options that address the mind as well as the body.
For example, during my visit, I experienced the Inner Strength Treatment, which involved a blend of healing and balancing aromatherapy oils. (The treatment uses massage to ease physical tension and emotional anxiety resulting from a traumatic experience or stressful time in one’s life.)
I left the treatment feeling relaxed and ready for my next experience: a Himalayan Sound Bathing experience.
When I booked my weekend at the property, I had no idea that it coincided with Global Wellness Day, which falls on June 12 each year.
Since the spa was celebrating the day, it offered a series of complimentary events, including an Instagram Live session on ergonomics and postural therapy and the sound bathing experience.
Conveniently, sound bathing was offered just after my Inner Strength Treatment. For about 30 minutes, Senior Massage Therapist Tony Reed led us on a guided meditation based on a walk through the forest.
Along the way, he used the singing bowls, which are meant to restore balance by advancing stagnant energy and reinstating your natural energy flow.
Sound like something you might like to try? The spa offers the treatment on a one-on-one basis, too.
Service that Goes Above and Beyond
I felt like family. Even before my arrival, Mandarin Oriental, Boston staff did a fabulous job of answering my questions and making my wishes come true.
For example, Brett arranged for the tea setup I mentioned earlier and suggested the two spots where I enjoyed two delightful seafood dinners (more on that in a moment).
Then, there was Michelle, who greeted me when I returned in the evening.
And Jason in the spa, who ensured that I got to enjoy the sound bathing experience in addition to the treatment I’d been booked for.
From these individuals to the staff who brought my room service breakfast in the morning or answered the phone when I had a question, the customer service was stellar and left me with a smile.
Your Workout Wish Is Their Command
Location is everything, and this property is fortunate to be located in a very walkable/runnable area. For example, one day, I enjoyed a run along the Charles River path, while the other I walked down to the Boston Public Garden.
If you’re looking for a guided run, the hotel offers a MOBoston Running Club that meets at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you’d rather stay indoors, you also have the option to book a private yoga or Pilates class.
Or, head to the fitness center where you’ll find Technogym equipment for running, weight-training and cardio workouts, as well as a personal Kinesis Wall and TRX Suspension Training equipment.
Tantalize Your Taste Buds
My mornings started with green juice, while the days ended with wine — and on that Saturday, a sundae.
Beautiful food and drink make me happy, so they’re a part of my wellness. And in this area, the Mandarin Oriental, Boston and its surrounding restaurants do not disappoint.
My room service breakfasts provided a perfect balance of healthy and indulgent: green juice and eggs and bacon or blueberry pancakes.
Dinner my first evening was spent at Atlantic Fish Company (just across the street from the hotel), where I sat on the patio and dined on lobster crab Louie, oysters, Atlantic cod, and New England clam chowder.
Then, my second evening was spent sitting at the bar at Select Oyster Bar (less than a five-minute walk), chatting with the bartenders while I enjoyed oysters (when in Rome, right?), a striped bass tartare, and clams with chorizo—truly a seafood smorgasbord.