I’m happy with the addition of another impressive and accessible “Vegas-style” casino on the East Coast, so allow me to share my first impressions (teaser: totally blows any of the Atlantic City properties out of the water).
Those who know me know I love my casino fix, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to tour the brand new 27-story Encore Boston Harbor yesterday during a media preview while I was already visiting Boston for the weekend with my family.
The entirely smoke-free Encore Boston Harbor casino and resort boasts 671 rooms and opens its doors to the public at 10am, Sunday June 23. Though I did not stay overnight, I did partake in an extensive tour of the grounds and attended an on-property press conference (unfortunately personal photography/video was forbidden indoors during my visit).
I’m not local to Boston, but I can already tell that traffic is going to be an issue once Encore Boston Harbor opens and is operating at full-swing. A unique feature of the property is that it’s accessible by 35-passenger, custom-built luxury boat shuttles which run every 20-30 minutes from points within Boston (Seaport, World Trade Center, and Long Wharf) between 7am to 11:45pm daily.
The boat shuttles are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis at an introductory fare of $7. The trip is comfortable and about a 25-minute duration. You’ll arrive at the Harborwalk -the resort’s is a six-acre waterfront park with plenty of outdoor space and great lawns to enjoy. Additionally, the resort offers private boat docking if you’re feeling extra fancy.
I have to say, seeing the infrastructure and roads leading to the resort in place, the shuttle boat is absolutely the way to go – you’ll thank me later.
Flower Lobby & Popeye
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Wynn resort, you’re probably familiar with the signature floral carousel. Preston Bailey has collaborated with Wynn Resorts once again to create a new larger version of his signature floral carousel exclusively for Encore Boston Harbor, featuring a total of 10 horses, 83,000 flowers, and 11,000 jewels. It’s definitely a masterpiece to admire upon entering the lobby.
Another nod to high art that’s unique to Encore Boston Harbor is Jeff Koons’ Popeye, a rendition of a twentieth-century pop culture icon rendered in mirror-polished stainless-steel, standing 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing more than 2,000 pounds.
In total, there are 671 beautifully-appointed and large rooms (including 104 suites) that feature smart technology and bespoke bath amenities. To put things in perspective, the average standard room at Encore Boston Harbor is 650 square feet, which earns the title of the largest standard hotel room in New England. The beds also come with the highest thread count sheets in standard rooms of any resort in the North America. For those still curious about larger rooms, Signature Suites increase to 1,350 square feet, and there are a total of eighteen 3,350 square feet Two-Bedroom Residences.
For all the ultra high rollers out there, there are two massive 5,800-square-feet two-story villas (Presidential Villa and Chairman’s Villa) that feature a giant living room and dining space, 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, private massage room/fitness center, separate pool table room, and a personal butler at your service 24/7.
Let’s just say that if you find out that you’re upgraded to room 2601 at check in, it’s going to be a really good stay ;).
Restaurants & Dining
There are a total of 15 restaurants at the Encore Boston Harbor with tastes to suit everyone including The Oyster Bar, Cantonese noodle dishes and dim sum (Red 8) and seasonally-driven, modern American Eats (Garden Cafe). There are two fine-dining restaurants – Sinatra’s (Italian) and Rare Steakhouse which are open for dinner only and available to guests and families with children 5 and older.
Believe it or not, The Buffet is a dining experience to be excited about. Not only has Boston never had anything like this before, it’s not your typical casino buffet – things are made to order and fresh, and there are a lot of individual platings. You can expect to see an extensive raw bar (mmm unlimited Boston oysters), farm-to-table food, and even pizza made to order all for a reasonable all-you-can-eat price.
There’s also a 24-hour Dunkin’ Donuts on the casino floor to put your free T-Mobile Tuesdays lattes to work.
Believe it or not, Encore Boston Harbor’s two-level casino is larger than the casino floors of the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas combined, featuring 210,000 square feet of gaming space, more than 3,100 slot machines and 231 table games, and a center bar. Those loyal to the Encore brand will recognize the familiar touches such as the Signature Venetian Chandeliers that are found all throughout Encore Las Vegas.
There are also 6 private gaming rooms on the upper level of the casino featuring secluded terraces and butler service.
Red Card is Wynn Resorts’ loyalty rewards program, and I am not aware of any status match opportunities at the moment.
Nightlife & Entertainment
Memoire nightclub is on the second floor, overlooking the casino floor. Though my nightclub days are [mostly] a distant memory, I have to admit I’m a total fan girl of Kygo (who currently has DJ residency at Encore in Las Vegas), so I would be really excited to see if he is included in the lineup at Encore Boston Harbor this summer at all.
As far as other entertainment, Encore Boston Harbor does not have a concert venue, but the property does have a massive ballroom that is large enough and capable of hosting a variety of events, concerts, and performances.
Spa, Salon & Fitness Center
On the third floor, you’ll find a distinct spa, salon and fitness experiences. The spa features separate women’s and men’s areas with showers, steam room, dry heat sauna and hot and cold plunge pools, along with 6 individual treatment rooms and one couple’s suite for massage, body treatments, facials and hydrotherapy. Guests can also enjoy a massage in the comfort of their room or suite.
Encore Boston Harbor’s 3,648-square-foot Fitness Center offers equipment from Woodway, Cybex, Life Fitness and Peloton. Additionally, fitness classes, including spinning, yoga, Pilates, conditioning and meditation are offered daily.
There’s also a full-service salon that offers hair, nail, make-up, and barbershop services.
I’m super excited about the debut of Encore Boston Harbor and will be sure to return soon to play and treat myself to a proper overnight stay. From what I saw so far, the resort truly is spectacular and seems to live up to their motto, “play big and feel intimate”.
What are your thoughts about Encore Boston Harbor? Is it a property on your radar?
Yuck. The only good thing to say about this Encore Boston Harbor is that most people will lose money there. Good luck getting there – a 35-seat boat won’t help much with traffic. At least the visitors will be corralled in an area of Boston no sane person would visit.
I was sad to see Popeye leave the Wynn in Vegas, so hopefully it gets equal attention up in the northeast.
nice was just up there and did not see this