At the risk of appearing shallow, there are places in this world that fill me with anticipation just because of their appearances. Not just world famous, iconic landmarks, but every day, normal places that could be hair salons, restaurants or hotels that just scream “this is going to be good” even before you venture inside. In the best of cases, the architecture and design you see on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on inside: attention to detail, a sense of style, and affinity for the arts. Or maybe it’s just that sense of cool that infects everything, inside and out.
Recently, I received an email featuring several hotels around the world; one of hundreds of such emails we get every week. As I scrolled through the listings, one hotel caught my eye: the Verb, in Boston. The first photo piqued my interest, appealing to my love for design and architecture. It looked like someone turned a Mondrian piece into an International-style building and put a hotel inside. Immediately, I wanted to see more, and felt that anticipation. This, I thought, is going to be good.
I first thought about the name: Verb. Odd choice, it seemed. Which verb: Come? Stay? Wait…maybe it’s a play on “reverb” – as in, reverbration. When something calls to you inexplicably, when it’s on the same wavelength as you, it reverberates with you. That seemed to make sense – and the appearance certainly reverberated with me.
Turns out, the hotel is on a similar wavelength. The Verb is in the Fenway district – the ballpark is just across the parking lot – an area known not just for baseball but also as the epicenter of Boston’s legendary Kenmore Square music scene. The owners chose Verb as a reference to the reverb effect that makes rock music what it is. No wonder the hotel was appealing to me: I love that old time rock and roll. (Thank you, Bob Seger.)
As great as the history is, the architecture and design share the stage to great effect. Starting life in 1959 as Boston’s “only in-town motor hotel,” the historic building retains its Mid Century Modern aesthetic. Updated interiors are distinctly modern while playfully paying homage to the area’s history and influence. Renovations have not just brought it back to life, they’ve enhanced the effect, creating an oasis of cool with artwork from the Boston Phoenix, the area’s iconic music and counter-culture weekly.
The Verb is solidly on our Travel To Do list, if for nothing more than a chance to luxuriate in that awesome Mondrian-esque pool court after an afternoon at Fenway, or an aggressive session at Lucky Strike. Now all we need is an excuse (slash opportunity) to get to Boston. See more of Verb in their photo gallery.
If you’ve stayed at the Verb, we’d love to hear about it! Or let us know about other places that have wowed you with design, architecture, coolness or other factors, even before you’ve been inside.