Real Estate


How does a Mobil Five-Star inspector spend a day? Here’s an inside peek at the wining, dining and hard work that goes into inspecting a luxury hotel and resort.
How does a Mobil Five-Star inspector spend a day? Here’s an inside peek at the wining, dining and hard work that goes into inspecting a luxury hotel and resort.

As an inspector for Mobil Travel Guide, the creator of the country’s oldest and most respected star rating system, I travel to many unique and fascinating destinations around the United States and Canada. During my travels, I am frequently asked about a perfect destination that is steeped in history. Immediately, I think of the American Revolution, the Boston tea party, Paul Revere and the signing of the constitution. As one of America’s oldest cities, Boston, Massachusetts is the perfect destination for a five-star getaway as it is rich in history and culture.

Boston is home to two Mobil Five-Star hotels, both of which are nestled in historic neighborhoods right in the pulse of the city. Boston Harbor Hotel, a historic landmark, is located on the waterfront at Rowes Wharf overlooking the harbor. The Four Seasons Hotel Boston overlooks the Public Garden and Beacon Hill. Both have colonial charm and offer the ultimate five-star experience, including luxurious accommodations and amenities and personalized service from professional staff. Whichever hotel you choose, you’re sure to be pampered.

With its historic location, the Boston Harbor Hotel offers 230 newly renovated European- styled guest rooms, with 22 one-bedroom suites, each of which overlooks either the city’s skyline or views of the harbor. Located directly across from the Financial District, blocks away from Faneuil Hall’s shopping, the Freedom trail, Quincy Market and Boston’s Italian-populated North End neighborhood, Boston Harbor Hotel offers more of a resort-like getaway. Some of their luxurious amenities include in-room baby-sitting, dog walking and grooming, and for those guests arriving by sea, the hotel offers docking privileges at Rowes Wharf Marina and a water taxi service. During your stay, enjoy a day at the spa or just pop in for a treatment or two at the Rowes Wharf Spa and make use of their fitness center complete with a 60-foot lap pool located in the hotel.

While you are staying at the Boston Harbor Hotel, be sure to dine at Meritage, a Mobil Four-Star restaurant which serves sophisticated American cuisine from internationally renowned Chef Daniel Bruce, in a romantic setting which overlooks the waterfront. But, if it’s a quick bite to eat that you’re looking for, perhaps before a day of site-seeing, stop by Intrigue Café for relaxed yet elegant all-day dining. Ask to be seated at one of the outside tables located along the waterfront which are covered with umbrellas; you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a European bistro. After a full day of exploring Boston’s culture and history, stop in at the Rowes Wharf Bar, located on the first floor of the hotel, to taste one of the forty scotches on their menu.

The other Mobil Five-Star hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Boston, located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, has a more contemporary design in its public spaces while its 273 guest rooms, including 76 suites, have a more traditional feel, with views of the Boston Public Garden, Boston Common or the city skyline among others. The Four Seasons Hotel Boston offers a fully equipped fitness facility, with a 44-foot indoor heated pool and whirlpool which overlook the Boston Public Garden, Beacon Hill and the State House and is within walking distance to Boston’s premier shopping area, Newbury Street. If you’re interested in getting a spa treatment, you don’t even have to leave your room as in-room massages are available upon request. If you are bringing children, be sure to note that when making a reservation so your child receives such amenities as a child-size bathrobe, complimentary toiletries, a welcome amenity and bedtime milk and cookies.

While at Four Seasons Hotel Boston, enjoy the Mobil Four-Star restaurant, Aujourd’hui, with floor-to-ceiling windows which overlook Boston’s Public Garden. Tables are decorated with antique plates and fresh flowers giving it a French influence to match the French fare. The tasting menus change daily offering quite a treat for a more adventurous eater, but for the more traditional diner, order from the a la carte menu. For some of the best of New England’s seafood or an elegant take on American comfort food, head to The Bristol, otherwise known as “Boston’s living room,” with a more comfortable and relaxed setting. This might be a better spot to bring the kids as well, as they feature a “Kids at Four Seasons” menu with safe favorites. For those with a sweet tooth, every Friday and Saturday night, you can enjoy a Viennese dessert buffet which features over 30 different types of cakes, cookies, crepes and other sweet treats.

With around twenty different neighborhoods to explore, there is culture and history dispersed throughout the city, along with plenty of fun things to do. There’s the South End, one of Boston’s most popular neighborhoods as it is filled with new and hip restaurants, upscale boutiques, and beautiful Victorian brownstones and populated by a diverse mix of people including families, young professionals and a large gay and lesbian community. Head to the North End, home to Paul Revere and many Italian immigrants to sample Boston’s best in Italian cuisine and take a stroll through Christopher Columbus Park to get some of the best views of Boston Harbor.

For plenty to do, head to the Downtown Crossing, in the middle of the financial district, to find shopping, ice-skating, dining, nightlife and historical landmarks, including the Old State House, the Old South Meeting House and the Boston National Historic Park. Check out museums there including Paul Revere’s House, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others.

You can’t miss Boston Common, one of the oldest public parks in the country embedded with history from the revolutionary war when British troops camped out there and public hangings took place. This is the starting point of the Freedom Trail, which will take you to sixteen historical sites covering Colonial Revolutionary Boston and will take you about two to three hours or longer depending on how long you study the sites.

If you’re interested in shopping, you can find many great shops in different neighborhoods. There’s Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace with over 100 shops and carts and the location of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston among other things. Or head to the Back Bay neighborhood, to Newbury Street to find the best of the best in designers from Marc Jacobs to Chanel to DKNY and other upscale boutiques and department stores. In Back Bay, you’ll also find cobblestone streets and beautiful brownstone homes along with Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library.

Near Back Bay, is Beacon Hill, one of Boston’s oldest communities which reflects colonial Boston in its architectural details. The streets are lined with brick row houses, brick sidewalks, gas lamps and decorative doors. Charles Street, which runs through the neighborhood, is filled with antique shops, quaint cafes and restaurants.

If you’re a sports fanatic, head to Fenway Park, home of the 2004 world champion Boston Red Sox for a good old American baseball game. Then, there’s the New England Patriots, Boston’s three time Champion football stars or catch some basketball with another pride of Boston, the Celtics. Boston’s sports teams thrive on their spirited fans and you’re sure to catch the buzz if you take part. Don’t forget that every year, one of the most celebrated events takes place in April – the Boston Marathon.

For the scholarly type, cross over the Charles River into the city of Cambridge, and visit Harvard University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) campus, two of the country’s most prestigious Ivy League schools. Here, you can wander through Harvard Square, home to many fine restaurants, unique shopping, and specialty shops.

After taking in all that Boston has to offer, including its amazing history and culture, say goodbye to Boston’s charming Mobil-Five Star hotels. To read more inspector reviews or to help plan your own getaway to Boston, visit for more information.

Thinking about that perfect destination that for a summer adventure? Think fresh clean air, think golf and hiking, think Colorado Springs. Look for next month’s Mobil Five-Star inspector’s insider’s guide to Rocky Mountain luxury!

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