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Encore Boston Harbor: The City’s Newest Entertainment Oasis

By February 13, 2020 February 14th, 2020 No Comments

Boston was waiting for a high-end resort for a long time. Due to the old layout of a historic city and limited space, having a property that included a ton of amenities and finding options onsite seemed impossible. But now, people who live local and are in need of a staycation, or all the travelers hoping to discover a Boston oasis can reserve evenings at Encore.

carosuel from second floor at encore boston

Whether you plan to spend a week at Encore as your base while you explore the city or hope to escape for a weekend from your own cramped apartment, Encore has something for you to indulge and delight in, from dawn until dusk (and all night long!)

Here’s some great things to do in Boston curated by top travel bloggers!

Where is Encore in Boston?

Just outside Boston in the city of Everett, Encore has made getting to the property as easy as can be. There are bus shuttles from any major hubs throughout the Greater Boston area, including my hometown of Quincy and even Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. There’s even a boat that will bring passengers from various pickup spots along the harbor, and there’s a few spaces for short-term docking of your own private vessel too.

If you stay at the hotel, you receive complimentary onsite parking, making it simple to be there overnight. You can even take your bicycle along the scenic harbor and lock it up right near the entrance for an eco-friendly transport option.

Can you stay at Encore Boston?

I was thrilled to find out that Encore has some of the biggest and most contemporary hotel rooms in the Boston area. Our king-sized accommodations were draped in a classic neutral color palette that gave the space a light, airy feel. This paired with floor-to-ceiling windows and an in-room iPad gave us all the perks we could ever want at our fingertips.

Daytime view of hotel room Encore Boston

You can upgrade all the way up to a 3,350 square-foot suite with sweeping harbor views, dueling deep soaking tubs, walk-in closets and voice-activated amenity controls.

What are the Encore Boston Harbor dining options?

Twelve restaurants. Four bars and lounges. One nightclub. It’s all happening. While all eating options are upscale, they do run the gamut from five-star opulence and tablecloth service to more casual serve-yourself light bites and buffets.

The Waterfront Bar at Encore Boston Harbor

Encore has a great alternative foodie scene encompassed under one roof, offering the best dining options inspired by many famous Boston restaurants — often with the same chef! Snag an open barstool at the Oyster Bar, run by Jeff Ross — the executive chef of Neptune Oyster in the North End. You can skip the lines in Little Italy and enjoy the same amazing flavors of New England seafood. Other local delights can be found at the Waterfront, with dozens of local pints on tap and markers to let you know how close by the breweries are to Encore.

Mystique is the spot for Asian fusion, and Fratelli for Italian. While dinner is a showstopper, the Garden Cafe is a great choice in the late morning after a fun evening out for a hearty breakfast. We loved the view from the second floor overlooking the colorful carousel and people walking by all morning. Have classic eggs and bacon with fresh orange juice, or try the stack of Boston cream pancakes.

boston cream waffle at garden cafe in encore bostonWhich one is the best?

Encore in Boston is all about the splurge. The glittering indulgence of it all should definitely come to a glorious conclusion at the Rare Steakhouse. Rare is the premiere steakhouse on the property, championed by Executive Chef James Ash.

I rarely pamper my tastes with such an extravagant experience, but this place is perfect for those special moments to celebrate. The menu is kept simple, yet elevated, with an extensive selection of choice cut steaks from luxury local providers and global phenomenon. The domestic Waygu really turned heads and was one of the best I’ve ever had, hands down, worldwide.

white tables at rare steakhouse boston harbor

Our server was a real highlight, as was all the attentive and highly knowledgable service at Rare. Delectable cocktails and deep red wines perfectly paired with each fresh course, right to the conclusion of an all-chocolate cigar and tray at the end of the evening.

Unlike the usual less-than-stellar chicken dish for non-beef eaters, Rare offers plenty of other options to leave everyone spoilt for choice. Home seafood pies, truffle scallops and old-school clams casino are all delicious. Even the hearty cauliflower steak and vegan Swedish meatballs are worth a try too.

 

steak starter and steak fries are rare encore boston

Rare transported us to another time and place, which is exactly what I hoped for on a quick escape from Boston to another realm of style and taste.

So, how is the Buffet at Encore Boston Harbor?

While we had heard about the iconic casino floor, nightclub and bars onsite, the first rumor we heard was we had to try the buffet. Encore boasts a lavish Las Vegas-style, globally-inspired buffet featured flavors from all over. Have chefs prepare something customized, or dip into fresh pastas, the raw bar, Asian-inspired entrees and prime rib. I love sweets and The Buffet had an endless stream of premium ice cream and pastries to satisfy any sweet tooth. We didn’t wait very long in line to dine either, even on the weekend.

This is why you really came to Encore in Boston Harbor, right? Late night delights

Encore Boston has received a few special perks not found anywhere else in the area. They are allowed to have a casino floor, nightclub and lounges open until 4AM, when most bars in Boston close at 12:30AM. Parking is complimentary or at low cost just steps from the entrance. I mentioned some of the lounges, and the upscale nightclub Mémoire is open until 2AM and features huge DJ acts — including regular appearances from Shaquille O’Neal, who has a Wynn residency.

room view at encore bosotn with comic painting

Even better, you and your friends can reserve one of the great rooms to sleep in just steps from all the excitement and avoid Uber rides and drives home at the end of the night. This works perfectly for further fun at breakfast or the spa the next day.

Insider tips for visiting Encore Boston Harbor

  • Keep an eye out for their ongoing concert bookings, as big acts are playing often in the nightclub and ballroom spaces.

 

Ballroom hallway area at encore bosotn harbor

 

  • Weigh in your Uber and Lyft expenses with a night out at Encore. It might make more sense to reserve a hotel room for you and your friends overnight to have a cozy space only steps away from all the action!

 

  • Simply walk around the property to enjoy incredible masterpieces. The main adorned carousel in the hotel lobby has tens of thousands of flowers adorning its details, surrounded by real atrium-like installations of seasonal exotic plants and blooms. There’s also a 28-million-dollar statue of the iconic Popeye made by Jeff Koons in the corridor and countless Venetian-style, blood-red chandeliers designed by Robert Thomas.

 

popeye statue by koons in encore boston

  • Earn points towards meals, shopping, rooms and more with their Wynn rewards cares if you plan to hit the casino floor.

 

  • Well cocktails, beer, and wine are complimentary for casino players, unlike at other new England rival resorts. You can enjoy a beverage while playing at one of the 88 poker tables, or simply trying for your luck and the flashing penny slots. Don’t forget to tip your server!

 

bottle of prosecco at encore boston harbor

  • Encore often runs promotions, specials, and giveaways for the hotel and casino. Keep an eye out on their website and via social, especially if you can visit mid-week or in the winter months.

The $2.6 billion-dollar Encore project has changed the dynamic of superior Boston entertainment and accommodations for a long time. It’s always a great idea to indulge in fantasy and over-the-top allure sometimes. Encore Boston Harbor offers the opportunity wrapped up in red.

Other elegant New England staycation ideas:

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Twitter @Crooked_Flight

More posts by Eileen Cotter Wright

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