With the exception of 2020, Boston has been in desperate need of more hotel rooms for nearly a decade. When the Omni Hotel at the Seaport opens this summer, it will make a sizable dent in that demand to the tune of 1,054 rooms. It is the largest hotel to be built in Boston since 1984, and perhaps, most enticing of all, it will have a roof deck pool and adjacent bar with city views. There are hotels in the Seaport with rooftop bars, but the Omni will get to claim the title of the first outdoor hotel pool in the neighborhood.
Not to sound like a late-night infomercial, but that’s not all. There’s an elevated lobby lounge that will double as a performance venue, an all-day restaurant, a French brasserie, a spa, and the largest ballroom in Boston, along with an underground tunnel that allows direct access to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
According to Michael Jorgensen, managing director of the Seaport Omni, the hotel is not only competing against other hotels for convention business, it’s also looking to grab younger leisure travelers with an east wing that it calls the artist tower. It will go head-to-head against hip properties such as the Moxy in the Theater District and Citizen M at North Station.
“These rooms are unique,” Jorgensen said. “They have wood floors and stamped concrete ceilings. They’re about 250 square feet. But unlike our competitors, these are loft-style rooms in a full service hotel.”
To draw the convention crowd, the Omni has a west wing it calls the patron tower. That side of the hotel has more than 700 rooms and suites that average about 350 square feet each. Some rooms will have water and city views, particularly those located closer to the 22nd floor of the structure.
“I hate to admit it, but it’ll probably float everybody’s boat,” Jorgensen said. “Everybody’s going to want to be in this facility. There’s nothing like it in the city. Omni does these large convention hotels with the flavor of the market that we’re in. It’s really going to make it the center of the Seaport.”
Not everyone might agree with that assessment. The Omni isn’t so much in the center of the Seaport as it is on the edge, located on a 2-acre parcel at Summer and D streets. The $550 million hotel is situated on a corner that can be slightly precarious for pedestrians.
Still, the hotel is certainly tempting enough to draw Bostonians who aren’t staying there. The pool is for guests of the hotel only (sorry), but Jorgensen said that the boulangerie in the lobby will become a wine bar at night. There’s a large lobby bar called Crescendo, and anchoring the corner of Summer and D streets is a bar called the Sporting Club.
“It’s not a traditional sports bar as you might think,” he said. “You’re not going to see Tom Brady’s jersey hanging in there. But you might go there to watch the Grand Prix or the World Cup.”
The bar is roughly 7,000 square feet, and patrons enter through a gymnasium bar, then go through a tunnel, as if they’re going to Fenway Park. At the end of the tunnel they wind up in a circular bar with two private eating areas.
Jorgensen is hoping that the multiple attractions at the mammoth hotel will not only draw conventioneers, but families that are looking for a much-needed escape this summer.
“I think the first group of travelers we’re going to see are leisure travelers because there’s so much pent-up demand,” he said. “We know there’s a lot to do in the Seaport, but we’re hoping to add a few more attractions to entice more people to take a staycation this summer.”