Location In 21st century Boston, massive scale development in the city’s Seaport District has brought towering buildings to what is now known as the South Boston Waterfront. Slowly, instead of wide open views of the harbor, a new urban skyline has been created, and every square inch of what was once railway sidings, and then as rail declined, parking lots, has become offices, homes, and bars and restaurants. The Envoy Hotel is situated just off Seaport Boulevard, steps from the Financial District, which lies just over the Evelyn Moakley Bridge, traversing Fort Point Chanel. It is also right by the designated Harbor Walk, which leads to either South Boston or the North End, depending on whether you go left or right from the hotel. Since development picked up, the city dubbed the area the Innovation District and se about luring start-ups and tech companies, where once there had been artists and open space. Nearby, are the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Children’s Museum, and the Tea Party Museum, the latter honoring one of Colonial Boston’s most notorious acts: the dumping of tea into the harbor in protest against taxation and British rule.
The Hotel The Envoy is a small, boutique proper, and part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. No two Autograph Hotels are alike, and the Envoy’s design honors location and contemporary mores. Reclaimed wood and shots of yellow — the Envoy’s signature color — warm a mostly white color scheme. The lobby’s ornate chandelier is a sculpture of reclaimed materials, including sunny yellow phone cords, and like many of the art pieces and fixtures, represents ocean life. There is lots of comfy seating in the lobby, whose floor-to-ceiling windows add a TV eye on the passing world.The hotel has 136 guest rooms, including two suites and 19 rooms with double queen beds. WiFi is free throughout the property. There is a fitness center on the second floor. The hotel is pet-friendly and offers valet parking.
View of a Room 406: Just off the fourth floor elevators, this room overlooks Fort Point Channel and the old Northern Avenue Bridge, and also the Barking Crab and James Hook Lobster Company, two casual, venerable Boston seafood spots. The king size bed takes central place in the room, and a desk and chair, and a rendition of a sea chest flank the bed’s top and bottom. Handy electrical outlets with charging points are located in the bed head.
The ladder shelving holds locally made organic snacks and water, all for purchase. The TV stand is custom-made from an old bicycle frame. The bathroom is a glass walled cube, accented with marigold yellow. The glass wall and sliding door are etched with copies of old maps of the harbor and coastal area.
The room is minimally furnished, yet includes much that you need: robes, slippers, and a bathroom stocked with Fresh toiletries and such niceties as cotton pads, cotton buds, and even nail polish remover. It is well-designed and unfussy.
Restaurants and Bars The Envoy boasts The Lookout Bar on its rooftop, which looks out, ahem, to the Financial District and gives amazing views of the glittering city at night. On the ground floor, just off the lobby, the Outlook Kitchen and Bar is an open-plan restaurant focussed on dishes using locally produced ingredients. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.The glass walls gives views over the channel and in clement weather its patio on the barely-trafficked dead end street is a nice, quieter spot in an ever-busy area.
70 Sleeper Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210