Boston's Most Luxurious Experiences

You don’t have to be Harvard-trained cardiologist to live large in Boston—although, having a padded wallet certainly lets you splurge carefree.

Boston offers a number of plushy things to do, despite its thrifty Puritan beginnings.

Likely, you’ll stroll through the Back Bay, one of the city’s well-heeled neighborhoods. It’s an extravagant paradise of designer stores spread across fabled Newbury Street and even glitzier Copley Place. Top national department stores including Saks, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York face off. Before indulging in a multicourse meal at deluxe dining spots (think: Bar Boulud, L’Espalier, Grill 23), take a catnap in your opulent hotel room and then grab a cocktail at the Bar at Taj.

If old money’s your game, Beacon Hill is your destination. Charles Street offers a host of antiques, leather goods, clothing, and niche specialty items (at, say, boutiques devoted to custom stationery or antique period hardware).

Self-made members of the 21st-century aristocracy tend to congregate in the South End, which is largely focused on art and design. On your way to Wink & Nod for a $100 drink, browse European modern home décor at Lekker, California casual enhancements at Hudson and schedule a whole-home makeover with one of many local designers.

Enjoy!

L'Espalier

Artisanal and seasonal describes James Beard Award-winning chef Frank McClelland’s haute French-New England fare served at one of the city’s most elegant eateries. It has been a AAA Five Diamond Award recipient for more than a decade. Prix-fixe and tasting menus available. L (M-F), D (daily), brunch (Sa-Su).

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

With 16,000 square feet of pampering pleasure, the Spa at Mandarin Oriental lives up to its five-star status, boasting tranquil lounges, crystal steam rooms, vitality pools, ice fountains and more.

Menton

Widely acclaimed for her first restaurant No. 9 Park, chef Barbara Lynch’s Menton has been named a Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux property. Diners only have two menu options: a four-course prix-fixe and a seven-course chef’s tasting menu.

O Ya

Located in a century-old fire station, Tim Cushman’s upscale O Ya is Boston’s coolest place for modern Japanese cuisine. The izakaya-style menu offers elegant dishes with interesting and innovative ingredient combinations and flavors; diners can also indulge in the omakase chef’s tasting menu.

Copley Place

The only retail space in Boston that can challenge the posh offerings at this luxury designer mall might be the first block of Newbury Street. Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York anchor Copley Place, supported by luxury brands including Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Dior, David Yurman,  Louis Vuitton, Stuart Weitzman and Tom Ford.

Odyssey Cruises

Jackets recommended at dinner, otherwise slacks and collared shirts required. The three-deck Odyssey luxury yacht features leisurely sails around Boston Harbor and chef-curated plated meals. After dinner, dance to music by live bands.

Galerie D'Orsay

Galerie d’Orsay represents the finest international art masters including Rembrandt, Pissarro, Matisse, Dali and Picasso, as well as highly recognized contemporary painters and sculptors, like Jian Wu and Richard Erdman. Open M-Sa 10 am-6 pm, Su noon-6 pm.

Neil Morris Fragrances

Oil 'mixologist' Neil Morris creates fragrances the old-fashioned way. Make an appointment to visit his studio for a session during which Morris custom creates a scent based on your preferences and specifications, selecting from a library of more than 700 different essential and perfume oils.

Alton Lane

Guys flock to this sophisticated retail man-cave because it takes all the hard work out of looking good.

Boston Athenaeum

This landmark is one of the city’s largest and oldest membership libraries and its first museum of fine arts. Its collections include the personal library of George Washington and art by John Singer Sargent. Public hours: Tu noon-8 pm, W-Sa 10 am-4 pm. Admission $2-10.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

The oldest and one of the largest genealogical societies in the U.S. has been dedicated to “collecting, preserving and interpreting” annals of family and local history and genealogical records since its founding in 1845.

Top of the Hub

Expect modern, eclectic takes on regional New England cuisine with a focus on seafood from Executive Chef Stefan Jarausch. Top of the Hub also stands 52 stories above the city, so diners get a stunning view. Two wine cellars are the winners of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. Dancing and live music in the lounge.

Skinner

This distinguished auctioneer specializes in over 20 collecting areas, including American and European paintings and prints, American furniture and decorative arts and fine jewelry. Boston auctions this month: European Furniture & Decorative Arts, Jan. 12 at 4 pm; Discovery Interiors, Jan.

Shreve, Crump Low

Since 1796. For 216 years, Shreve’s has been high society’s favorite stop for diamonds and other glittering essentials.