Site Visit: Hotel Commonwealth

Foodies have long loved Boston’s Hotel Commonwealth. The trendy, urban property is home to three of the city’s best-loved kitchens, after all (Island Creek Oyster Bar, Eastern Standard and The Hawthorne). But despite the mouthwatering offerings, the hotel lacked in functional meeting space… until now. In December 2015, the hotel increased its meeting capacity with the addition of 11,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 6,000-sq.-ft. reception area with sweeping two-story, floor-to-ceiling windows; a 2,000-sq.-ft. outdoor terrace overlooking Fenway Park; and an intimate 1,000-sq.-ft. boardroom. The $50 million makeover also added 96 new guest rooms—including two suites with walkout balconies and a Fenway Park Suite overlooking the Green Monster—with vibes reminiscent of a friend’s hip apartment. “Attendees feel as though they can reach out and touch a piece of America’s favorite pastime,” says Susan Cotton, director of sales and marketing, who recommends hosting meetings in July and August when local universities are out of session and the Red Sox are in season. The award-winning on-site restaurants handle F&B for meetings: Think fried oyster sliders, tuna tartare, lobster tacos, house-made sausage, pan-seared scallops and chocolate ganache tarts. As the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox, Hotel Commonwealth can arrange private tours of Fenway—and even viewings of the World Series trophy. But besides baseball outings, group activities at the hotel are aplenty. “We can coordinate teambuilding activities including virtual batting, Kenmore Square scavenger hunts, wine tastings and mixology classes,” says Cotton.

Insider Tip Cotton recommends the seafood raw bar with local oysters, crab claws, jumbo prawns and ceviche—plus personal oyster shuckers for each guest—for an opening-night reception with local flavor.