Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Dec 17, 2008 03:37 PM

Hotel Lounge for Pre-Xmas Drinks and Apps

Hello all,

We have a tradition with our neighbors of going out the weekend before Xmas to celebrate the holidays. We have been to the Oak Bar at the Copley for several years. It fits the bill admirably - elegant, somewhat formal, decorated for the holidays, expensive drinks and food. This year, I want to try someplace different. Bristol Lounge is out. Any other suggestions, or should we stick with a winner?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Bar at the Langham is very elegant and in a historic building. 25ft ceilings, historic paintings etc. great spot

    1 Reply
    1. re: Winer

      Had a drink there during my work Xmas party last week. What an amazing bar space, bartender wasn't so exciting tho. I wonder what that restaurant Bond will be like.

    2. The Liberty Hotel, right by the Charles/MGH T stop, is one of the most beautiful interior spaces in Boston. It used to be a jail, and has been renovated into a swanky hotel. They have a beautiful lobby area (straight up the escalators when you come into the building) with an incredibly high ceiling. You can sit on comfy chairs there and the servers will bring you cocktails and apps. It is on the pricey side, unsurprisingly--a martini is about $11, and a plate of edamame is about $8. But it's a nice place for a treat, and certainly worth walking through at least once to check out the cool architecture.

      One side note--if you like champagne, they are one of the few places that will sell fancy champagne by the glass, rather than by the bottle. We're talking bottles that go for hundreds of dollars here--you can splurge on a glass for $30 rather than a bottle for $800. Of course the wisdom of this depends on how many people are in your party and how you feel about champagne!

      2 Replies
      1. re: AnyaEssen

        Would not recommend the Liberty. The second level bar is very open and feels like you are sitting in a hotel lobby rather than a more intimate or defined space. Scampo in the Liberty has great apps, but the seating is only at high tops (or at the bar) which is not always such a plus.

        1. re: stradacouple

          As it gets darker, the atmosphere in the Liberty lounge/lobby is quite nice and relaxing. The lighting is very soothing. I would highly recommend it as it is a place one does not find in many cities and the architecture is another treat to behold.

      2. What about the Beacon Hill Bistro and Hotel. Smaller, intimate, nice fireplace.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Wannabfoode

          I'm not crazy about the Liberty's cavenous space either, nor the service whe I was there.

          You can't beat the Taj bar (formerly the Ritz) if you can get seats by the window. For something a little different, how about Top of the Hub? If you go there maybe you could hit the Oak Bar, too for old times sake! Curious to know why the Bristol Lounge is out.

          1. re: pemma

            Agree the the Taj Bar is a great choice. Still feels like the old Ritz (and that is a very good thing). WTF51, it would be helpfull to know what area of the city you are staying in so as to best advice as to options. There are also some amazing restaurant bars that might work for you.

        2. Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I had to look up the Langham before realizing that it was the old Meridien. Shows you how often I get downtown now. I used to work at Milk Street!

          I agree with both comments about the Liberty - great, soaring space, but the bar feels like a lobby bar. Probably because that is what it is.

          Don't worry about the Bristol Lounge - it is out just because we are going there for New Years Eve.

          I will report on selection and experience. Happy Holidays.

          1. As suggested we went to the Julien Bar at the Langham for drinks and apps on Saturday, Dec 20. The room is beautiful, and the service was prompt and attentive. Which isn't surprising given that there were 4 other people in the lounge when we arrived. By the time we left, at 8:30, the place was hoppin' with at least 15 people. Despite lack of buzz, we had a good time. Apps were standard but good, and prices were reasonable for a hotel.

            We went to the Bristol Lounge for New Year's afternoon drinks and food. Everything was a notch above the Langham, including the prices.