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Dramatic Designs: Fairmont Copley Plaza's $20 million renovation

Posted by Melanie Nayer  August 6, 2012 09:02 AM

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Oak Long Bar and Kitchen Rendering.jpgThe new OAK Long Bar + Kitchen at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.

Boston's grand dame didn't just get some new fixings, it got a full-on $20 million makeover. From the lobby to its guest rooms, The Fairmont Copley Plaza celebrated 100 years with a little nip, tuck and lot of tidying that included all of the hotel’s guestrooms and suites, the Fairmont Gold club lounge, the Lower Lobby meeting space and the addition of a new rooftop health club and Lobby Lounge.

All of the hotel's 383 guestrooms and suites, including the guest room floor hallways, were redesigned to include elegant plum and blue color schemes, which the hotel labels a "quiet sophistication". The Fairmont Gold Lounge (the hotel's loyalty club lounge), has been updated to give the feeling of a Back Bay mansion, instead of a traditional club floor, complete with gaming tables, sofas, a library and TV room. The new rooftop health club spans more than 3,000 square feet and includes TechnoGym equipment including cardio vascular machines with individual entertainment systems, weight machines, free weights and benches, and a separate stretching area and outside space, which can be used for private training or yoga classes (at the guest's request). The lobby underwent some extensive renovation, most notably the opening of its Lobby Lounge - an art-inspired space directly opposite the hotel's check-in area that includes signed lithographs by Matisse, Picasso and Chagall.

But what some might consider the most remarkable reinvention of this hotel is its restaurant and bar space.

The iconic Oak Room, known around town as one of the city's last-standing "old-fashioned martini bars" is no longer. There are no more dark cherry red leather chairs, no grand pianos or jazz trios, no dark lighting or martini carts. The Oak Room is now the OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, an open, more contemporary space that traded in its traditional raw bar and steam menu for a farm to table-inspired American menu. More tables surround the room and tufted leather bar stools sit up against an 83-foot copper-topped bar. Quite the drastic change from the original Oak Room, but it didn't seem to bother guests. When I popped in a few weeks ago on a Friday night the bar was packed with people, tables were occupied by everyone from families to the after-work crowd, and there wasn't one seat available at the copper bar.

Readers: Your thoughts?

Past Dramatic Designs:
B2Hotel's Lobby Lounge and Wine Bar
Gramercy Park Hotel's Drawing Room
Mandarin Oriental New York's elliptical lobby
Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg's 'floating' swimming pool
Ireland's Lismore Castle
Frescos at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Cave Bar at Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg
Bulgari Hotel London's glass mosaic pool
3D art at Four Seasons Baltimore
Viceroy Miami outdoor pool deck

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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