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Four Seasons Boston

Boston Common & Public Garden's Neighbor

"Do you still serve Japanese breakfasts?," we asked when making our reservation at the Four Seasons Boston. It may seem like an odd reason for selecting a hotel, but the memory of that breakfast eaten five years ago still lingered. The breakfast is on the menu and you really don't have to order it in advance. The front desk had, however, told the kitchen what we wanted. In the morning when we went to the hotel's dining room, Aujourd'hui, our meal was ready. The Four Seasons has built a reputation for outstanding service and they seem to get everything, like our order, just right. The breakfast was reminiscent of the ones that are served in Japanese ryokans and was just as delicious. Exquisite little dishes of grilled salmon, boiled egg, shitake mushrooms in a rich sauce, rice, seaweed and miso soup with enoki mushrooms were served on a black lacquer tray.

The restaurant overlooks Boston's Public Garden, the prettiest site in the city. From our eighth floor suite we could see the Boston Common, another stretch of park with a frog pond, trees, flowers, bridges, swan boats, statuary and Beacon Hill beyond. For guests of the Four Seasons the Public Garden and the Common are like a front lawn. The park has a history dating back to 1824 when the mayor decreed that it be "kept open and free, without buildings, for the use of all citizens."

The hotel, which greeted its first guests less than a decade ago, feels as though, like the Public Garden and the Common, it, too, has been a part of Boston for a long time. "We tried to blend the history and spirit of this marvelous city with warmth and elegance," said Robin Brown, general manager.

Just about any service offered in a hotel is available at the Four Seasons–health club and pool, business center, complimentary limousine, children's programs and dog walking. The amenity that amused us most was the pet menu, which features "doggie delights" and "feline specials."

Four Seasons, 200 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 82116. Tel. 617-338-4400, 800-332-3442. Midweek rates are $270 for a regular double room, $385 for a deluxe garden room overlooking the Public Garden and Common and $450 for a suite with a garden view. Weekend specials are sometimes available and range from $195 to $330. www.fourseasons.com/boston

Winter 1994-95