The W:xyz bar at the Aloft Seaport.
By STACEY MARCUS
I am peering out the window of my room at Aloft Seaport in awe of the view of Boston that shimmers below. Unlike the Beantown of my youth, which I remember being dotted with historic buildings and tree-lined parks, this Boston appears futuristic and steely cool. The Seaport District is illuminated by cranes, neon lights and the infinite construction of a new landscape that sparkles in front of Boston’s signature skyline.
“Is this really Boston, Massachusetts?” I ponder as my daughter, Emily, gets acquainted with our voice-activated room. After she tells Siri to dim the lights and raise the temperature in our ultra-modern room, we go to the window and she points to Lawn on D where the large neon swings sway. She and her boyfriend spent warm summer nights playing outdoor board games and watching movies on the lawn, a creative outdoor space that is designed for both private events and public engagement.
We love the fun and funky vibe of the 330-room Aloft Seaport, which opened on D Street in February. Its modern industrial feel is fresh and creative. Whether you want to enjoy light bites at W:xyz bar or enjoy grab-and-go options at RE:FUEL, the hotel is ideal if you are visiting the Convention Center or want to enjoy activities and attractions in and around Boston. Every Thursday, the hotel bar spotlights up-and-coming, local talent with no-cover acoustic sets.
Emily and I head outside and I try out one of the swings. I marvel at how much this part of the South Boston waterfront has changed. My memories of the Seaport area include images of deserted parking lots and windswept walks on abandoned streets. While I sit in the swing, I message a friend who works in the area to ask her opinion of the transformation. “Over the past 10 years, since my office moved to the corner of Seaport Boulevard and Sleeper Street, I have had a front-row seat to watch how the area has evolved from an isolated and somewhat desolate outpost to a thriving, happening area brimming with places to eat, drink and hang out. The change has been remarkable but with progress and change comes some inconvenience. Overall, I think this explosive growth has been a wonderful thing,” notes Denise J. Karlin, attorney and Brookline resident.
The Seaport is brimming with myriad dining options. A popular spot is Committee, one of the city’s hottest Greek restaurants.
“We saw steakhouses, seafood restaurants and Mexican food pop up in the area and I knew Greek food would also be a hit in the Seaport. I wanted to bring a creative take on traditional Greek Cuisine and introduce an energetic cocktail program that would offer the neighborhood a lively bar scene. It was important for us to be a part of the Seaport in the early stages, as the neighborhood grew, so we could be part of the existing story as to why people moved to the Seaport,” says Demetri Tsolakis, managing partner at Committee, which is on Northern Avenue.
Celebrity chef and cookbook author Diane Kochilas is the consulting chef and has created an inviting menu that fuses local seasonal ingredients with the fresh flavors of Greece. Grab a seat at the bar and enjoy a glass of Mediterranean wine or hand-crafted cocktail; you are in for a treat.
Another great spot to eat is Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge, one of the first Boston-based restaurants to open in The Seaport in 2012. I am enamored with the alluring interior and robust menu. I fall madly in love with the sushi cupcake and Singapore Street Noodles.
In the summer, the world’s hottest musical talent plays the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion and the Seaport District is the central location for boat tours and harbor cruises.
Anna DeLeo, director of marketing and communications at Aloft Seaport, notes these are the top seven attractions within walking distance of the hotel:
- Lawn on D, 1-minute walk — The Lawn on D is Boston’s most innovative and dynamic outdoor event space in the heart of the Seaport District. The city’s first-of-its kind outdoor interactive space features seasonal live music, events, exhibits, food and beverage and community-driven programming.
- Laugh Boston, 5-minute walk — This improv and sketch comedy theater features stand-up comedy, including a weekly show called Boston Accents, a full bar and light snacks, with shows every Wednesday through Saturday night. It’s at 425 Summer St.
- Boston Fire Museum, 10-minute walk — The Boston Fire Museum has occupied the old firehouse at 344 Congress St. since 1983. It preserves and displays firefighting memorabilia from Greater Boston, educates the public and supports the fire service. The museum is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Institute of Contemporary Art, 10-minute walk — The ICA offers a variety of exhibits, music, dance, film, talks, tours, family activities and teen programming throughout the year.
- Harpoon Brewery, 15-minute walk — The Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall offers a full selection of Harpoon beers straight from the source, many not available in package stores. The Brewery Store offers a wide range of Harpoon apparel and merchandise, and visitors can cap off their trip by taking a guided tour of the brewery. Tours are $5 and include a beer tasting.
- Boston Children’s Museum, 17-minute walk — The Boston Children’s Museum is the second-oldest children’s museum in the world. For more than 100 years it has been engaging children in joyful discovery experiences. Designed for children and families, museum exhibits focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health and fitness, and the arts.
- Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, 20-minute walk — The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum transports guests back in time as they take part in the event that forever changed the course of American history.