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Boston’s Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street Signals a New Direction for the Brand

Four Seasons aims to appeal to a hipper clientele who usually gravitate to chic boutique properties

Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street / Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons

As far as upscale hotel brands go, Four Seasons is steadily familiar. After all, the company has been well established in the space for several decades. In the last ten years or so, however, competitors have popped up. I, for one, have favored staying at other, more seemingly appealing properties when traveling.

Most recently, Four Seasons is trying to reboot its DNA by debuting hotels that are more design-forward, hipper and attractive to travelers who usually gravitate to chic boutique properties. Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston, is a prime example. Opened just before the pandemic, it’s not a typical Four Seasons, but does it live up to its promise of being a cooler yet still high-end version 2.0? I checked in recently to find out.

Living room in the Presidential Suite / Photo: Courtesy of Christian Horan

Located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, the hotel is near many of the city’s attractions including Newbury Street, Copley Square and the Museum of Fine Arts. Popular restaurants are also within walking distance. The property is situated in a 724-foot skyscraper that is the third-tallest building in town. I was immediately drawn to the design: The lobby and public spaces have a decidedly glamorous and sleek style comprised of creamy tones, muted grays, pops of metallic, and eye-catching art.

The property’s striking collection is inspired by the city of Boston. An installation in the rotunda, created by London-born artist Yinka Shonibare, is titled Great American Library: Dancers, Musicians and Actors. His work is a nod to the arts district near the hotel and consists of three bookshelves lined with hardcover tomes that feature names of U.S. immigrants who have contributed to the arts.

On-site Zuma bar / Photo: Courtesy of Christian Horan

The hotel’s lobby lounge, Trifecta, was hopping during the day as well as through the evening. From casual conversations with fellow patrons, I learned that many were locals and that the venue is a favorite gathering spot for Bostonians.

Sashimi platter at Zuma / Photo: Courtesy of Christian Horan

The 215 rooms also feature a contemporary aesthetic, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city, bathrooms with marble vanities and oversized showers, long desks, and toiletries from luxury perfumer Frederic Malle. My Back Bay Corner Suite called for a longer visit than my fleeting single-night stay: Spanning approximately 900 square feet, it had a spacious living room, stunning views and a large bathroom with a freestanding oval white tub that overlooked the town.

Freestanding oval tub in the Presidential Suite / Photo: Courtesy of Christian Horan

Unlike many properties that favor high-tech features in guest rooms, the technology was intuitive and easy to navigate. Beds were supremely comfortable, and the robes were plush.

Lap pool at the spa / Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons

Fortunately, I managed to snag an appointment at the hotel’s highly in-demand spa during my brief stint. With only five treatment rooms, the beautiful space, decorated with Italian mosaic art installations, is always booked but never overrun. My deep-tissue massage was among the best I’ve ever experienced—in just 50 minutes, my therapist Tyler kneaded my hard, sore muscles into a pliable, stretchy state.

While the service was generally excellent as expected from a Four Seasons, I had one snag. My early-morning requested wake-up call never came, and when I called the front desk to inquire why, the employee who answered said that he had set my time for p.m. instead of a.m. Luckily, I had backup alarms set on my iPhone and still woke up, but it was a mistake that could have had consequences such as missing a flight or important meeting. Overall, though, One Dalton Street is a refreshing departure from the old Four Seasons and a property that any business traveler should seriously consider in Boston.