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Srdan Dokovic
Newport, Rhode Island

Long Bar and Terrace at Raffles Boston

Review of Raffles Boston
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed May 8, 2024via mobile
I would like to give a big shout out to the team at Raffles Boston! What an amazing place! As someone who works in the hospitality industry and enjoys traveling and trying fine dining restaurants, including Michelin Star restaurants, I must say that my experience at Raffles Boston was exceptional from start to finish.
The valet guys in front of the building were very welcoming, helpful, and kind. When we walked inside and took the elevator to the 17th floor, where two restaurants are located - the Long Bar and Terrace with a gorgeous view, and the Amar, a nice and lovely fine dining restaurant - we were impressed. While taking some photos, we walked to the host stand, and a gorgeous lady, Seda (I hope I spelled it correctly), helped us and walked us to our table. She was pleasant, kind, friendly, and super professional. We talked about her country since she’s from Turkmenistan. Great start to our experience at Raffles!
When we sat down, we were greeted by our server, Jason, a nice guy who was professional throughout our dining experience. We decided to start with champagne to set the mood on a beautiful and sunny day. While enjoying our drinks, we looked at the menu and decided to have potato croquettes and a charcuterie board. The cheeses were served with homemade jam, spicy pickled vegetables, and homemade sourdough bread. We got another round of drinks and clearly enjoyed our time.
After the great snack, we decided to have dessert. The apple tart with a mousse on top was amazing! Fresh, light, creamy, with a great tartlet, it was just divine. For a drink, we decided to have an espresso martini with Baileys, and it was perfect. It gave us the energy we needed before we went to change and headed to our dinner reservation.
The place is gorgeous, very well-maintained, and every single corner has a great story. The colors are beautiful, and Raffles is something that Boston just needed. We loved everything, and we said that we were going to be back to dine at the fine dining restaurant pretty soon!
Thank you!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Srdan Dokovic
Date of stay: May 2024
Trip type: Travelled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aileen Hoang, Owner at Raffles Boston, responded to this review
Responded 5 weeks ago
Dear Srdan,

Thank you for the wonderful comments from your recent visit to Long Bar & Terrace.

We are thrilled to learn that you enjoyed a pleasant dining experience. I will be sure to share your praise across our team, especially with Sita and Jason. Your comments act as encouragement for us to continue going above and beyond.

We look forward to your return in creating even more memorable experiences.

Best regards,

Aileen Hoang
Director of Quality
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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6 - 11 of 48 reviews
Reviewed May 6, 2024

I booked a last-minute stay for me and my husband for our anniversary. Immediately upon booking I emailed for assistance with Long Bar reservations for the evening of our stay and breakfast the next day. I disclosed in that email the occasion that we were celebrating. 

This is far from our first stay in luxury hotels, even ones that include butler service. We are aware of the level of service that accompanies this type of hotel. And I want to be clear: this is a review of a $1300/night hotel and so there are very different expectations. Most of the below wouldn't phase me at a Hilton, but this is Raffles. 

Our check-in process was smooth and our butler, Michael, was very friendly and helpful. The property is beautifully designed and our room was comfotable and well-appointed. Everything we'd expect in a luxury hotel. From the accommodation perspective, everything was completely lovely. 

We did, however, notice a sharp drop in terms of dining. We ventured to the Blind Duck bar right when it opened at 5pm. We walked into the first bar area and the bartender asked us to wait for the hostess, which we had no problem doing as she was seating another guest. There were four other guests in there at the time. When she came up she was visibly and tonably annoyed and spoke to us as if we were inconveniencing her. We told her we wanted a drink and maybe a small snack (their menu only had about five such "bites"). "Um, ok, follow me," was her response. As we walked to the table she told us she could seat us but we had to promise to be out by 8 pm. First, that's unnecessarily inhospitable given we had already shared that we only wanted a drink each and maybe a bite. Second, we are paying guests of the hotel whose concierge encouraged us to experience the Blind Duck and explained it was open very late. We were given no reason (such as a private event) as to why we needed to be out by 8 pm. Looking at reviews it seems as if this has been an issue for a while and it doesn't seem to have been addressed. This is the main reason I've decided to leave a public review rather than emailing privately. 

We had a reservation at 8 pm in the Long Bar. When we arrived we were told our table wasn't ready yet and to go and wait in the lobby. It was clear they would rather we not enter the restaurant, and they neither said we could wait at the bar nor did they walk us to the lobby (as would be expected of a hotel of this caliber). At 8:20 we were directed to our table: the worst table in the entire restaurant, right next to the bar and a large and rowdy group of Kentucky Derby-attired people. I told them this was our anniversary (which should've been noted in our record as soon as I had emailed it) and I'd rather not have visibly drunk people bumping into me as I ate. Our hostess said another table had their check if we wanted to wait. So back to the lobby we went. At this point, I did share my concerns with the concierge who listened very attentively and spoke with the restaurant. When the hostess came to get us, to her credit, she was apologetic and welcoming. The restaurant did comp our $25 oysters off our >$400 bill, which was an acknowledgment. In contrast, I once ordered a bottle of champagne to be ready in our room at check-in in the Four Seasons San Francisco. The bottle was delayed only about 30 mins, which we didn't care about, but they ended up comping the bottle. Bottom line: even basic restaurants know to hold a table that opens at 7:40 when there's an 8:00 reservation coming up. And, all the people at the bar? They eventually were seated at tables to eat. I don't know why they were allowed to wait at the bar when we were so quickly dismissed to the lobby. It gave a very strong message of being unwelcome. 

The next morning we went back to the Long Bar for a 10 am breakfast reservation. When we got to the host stand they seemed confused as they located our reservation. This makes me wonder if there are kinks in the systems. After some clarifying questions, we were welcomed to our table. My husband and I ordered egg-based meals with toast. It took longer to get eggs than it did steak the night before. I also noticed other tables waited a very long time for their meals. When our food came out our toast was barely warm and not buttered, though quickly the woman who brought our food said she'd be back with butter. We never saw her again. Several minutes later we managed to flag our server who then took several more minutes to bring a cold pat of butter for our now-cold toast. This is fine for a diner experience, but this is not what you expect at $1300/night. Further, the food was subpar. These are little things, sure, but luxury hotels and their restaurants should not drop the ball like this. In fact, the difference between $500 and above $1000 is the little things.

I decided to compare hotel stays in order to make sure I was evaluating with enough grace. I stayed at Hotel Fauchon in Paris shortly after its opening. It was a bold, stylish hotel. At no point did the French staff make me feel unwanted (and that's their reputation!). I very recently stayed at La Reserve Paris, another butlered hotel. All staff were so attentive that they anticipated every question or need. They even knew our names when we arrived independently (I still can't figure out how). When we met friends for drinks at the Ritz, the Ritz staff knew exactly who our friends were (they were hotel guests) and whisked us there promptly, and before I could put my purse on the floor they came out with a little table for it. At its price point, and boasting five stars and the Raffles name, Boston Raffles is not far behind these hotels. The reality shouldn't be either.

Overall, we enjoyed the hotel and room experience. But we're incredibly disappointed by the dining and staff attitude. I have of course seen Boston Raffles all over social media and when I looked around I saw a lot of influencer types present. I do wonder if our experience is down to pleasing obvious influencers over paying hotel guests. It's a marketing strategy, for sure, but I'm not sure it's a sustainable one. Eventually, the higher-paying hotel guests will eat and sleep at other fine hotels in Boston. If Raffles can't differentiate from the two Four Seasons here, then why stay at Raffles?

I don't know what the fix is, and maybe this is all just the kinks of a new place (though they've been open nine months). The bars and dining are open to external guests and they seem to be favored over hotel guests. There really should be a prioritization of hotel guests as there is at every other property of this caliber. Maybe Raffles management needs to send its staff to luxury hotels to understand the expectations.

Date of stay: May 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank 246mmk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aileen Hoang, Owner at Raffles Boston, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear 246kathrynn,

Thank you very much for your time in sharing the details from your recent visit to our hotel.

Your feedback is invaluable to us as we strive to perfect services, facilities, and food quality for all of our guests.

May I connect with you directly to learn further of your experience?

We wish for an opportunity to welcome you back to Raffles Boston for an improved stay.

Best regards,

Aileen Hoang
Director of Quality

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 4, 2024

The Raffels Boston is truly a treasure!
My husband and I were traveling on both business and pleasure.
We received a very sincere welcome.
The attention to detail and the level of sophistication and Comfort stood out.
The staff were truly happy and made us feel at home.
We took advantage of all that the hotel had to offer. Drinks at the bar dinner at the beautiful Amar restaurant. Room service for breakfast and a beautiful treatment at the Spa…
The relaxation space and the pool area are very well thought out, and everything was at the ready that you could wish for…
Exceptional stay with a sincere and happy team!

Room tip: The corner rooms are beautiful!
Date of stay: May 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Resort592586
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aileen Hoang, Owner at Raffles Boston, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2024

Dear Resort592586,

Thank you for the praising review from your recent stay at our hotel.

Here at Raffles Boston, we pride ourselves in providing the best of services, facilities, and food to all of our guests. I will be sure to share you encouraging and valuable comments with our team.

We look forward to welcoming you back to create even more wonderful experiences!

Best regards,

Aileen Hoang
Director of Quality

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 2, 2024

The pool is absolutely divine. Spa treatments are soothing with the steam and sauna and Guerlain products make your skin feel amazing. The butler service is wonderful, and just a text away from your requests being met. The burger and fries disappointing though. For Raffles Boston I was expecting a WOW burger and fries experience and it was just ok. The smoothie from Café Pastel was not filled to the top of the cup! The positive outweighs any of the negative by far. I will continue to spend my birthdays/ special events and holidays at Raffles Boston. Which by the way they gave me the cutest and most delicious Boston Cream birthday cake and delicious chocolates during my spa birthday experience! Thank you Raffles!!!

Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
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Thank Suntrack
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aileen Hoang, Owner at Raffles Boston, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2024

Dear Suntrack,

Thank you for your time in reviewing your recent stay at our hotel.

We are very glad to learn that you enjoyed a pleasant stay here at Raffles Boston overall. Your comments are valuable in acting as encouragement for us to strive for perfection in all areas of service, facilities, and food quality. I will be sure to share the information with our team for improvements.

We look forward to your return for many more celebrations and memorable experiences.

Best regards,

Aileen Hoang
Director of Quality

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 30, 2024

I booked Raffles to spend couple days with my wife and our suite was amazing, new furnitures, excellent shower etc. Concerning our dining experience, Raffles has a lot work to do, we had just a breakfast and the combination with super expensive meals and bad customer service made our experience terrible. Example, the hostess that day (Sunday, april 21st) was in her cel phone and eating behind her computer and after ate, cleaned her hands on her uniform giving us a terrible impression; second example, I saw a fork under one other table, waited for anyone pick it up but nobody did, I picked it up, gave to this lady and she put the fork over a table, not even in a sink or tray for dirty silverware etc. I was just wondering what happens behind the curtains, the proper cleaning standards are really followed? Thumbs up for John and other guys that work in the main entrance, great customer service, they are the best in every part of their business, calling a cab, handle our luggage etc.

Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Ademir G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aileen Hoang, Owner at Raffles Boston, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2024

Dear AdemirG_13,

Thank you for the the feedback from your visit to our hotel recently.

I am sorry to hear that we fell short to your expectations on this occasion and flawed your experience, particularly with your dining experience. Here at Raffles Boston, we aim to deliver the best services, facilities, and food to all of our guests. Your comments are invaluable to us, and rest assure, we are taking prompt actions for implementations.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at aileen.hoang@raffles.com should you wish to have further discussion.

We look forward to an opportunity of you and Mrs. to return for an enhanced stay.

Best regards,

Aileen Hoang
Director of Quality

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 24, 2024 via mobile

We came to Amar in the Raffles Hotel and the highlight of the night was our interaction with Zach and Claudio, the concierge/valet staff. It was our anniversary and from the second we pulled up, Zach made the night feel special. He was funny, kind and welcoming. We will definitely be back and hope to see both friendly faces.

Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank diamonddall
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aileen Hoang, Owner at Raffles Boston, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2024

Dear diamonddall,

Thank you for the wonderful comments from your recent celebration dinner at Amar.

Here at Raffles Boston, we pride ourselves in providing the best of services, facilities, and food to all of our guests. I will be sure to share you praise with our team, especially Zach and Claudio.

We look forward to welcoming you back sooner rather later!

Best regards,

Aileen Hoang
Director of Quality

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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