Step into just about any meeting room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza and it’s like stepping onto a gorgeous movie set from an earlier time. Take the Oval Room—ceiling painted with delicate clouds, lined with 12 floor-to-ceiling windows draped with lush fabric, crystal chandeliers, and dramatic lighting. Or the Venetian Room, with its mirrored walls (one of which hides a bar that dates back to Prohibition).
Set in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood amid other landmarks such as Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, the hotel opened in August 1912. General Manager Paul Tormey says planning is well under way for the property’s 100th anniversary next year. (It’s an anniversary, he adds, that the Fairmont Copley Plaza shares with Fenway Park, Oreo cookies, and, well, the sinking of the Titanic.) The 383-room property’s new owner, FelCor Lodging Trust, has committed to a significant renovation to be completed by the anniversary. A highlight of the redo will be a 2,400-square-foot health club, including a sun deck, on the hotel’s roof.
Most of the 23,000 square feet of meeting space is off the lobby. The stunning Grand Ballroom includes a usable balcony and accommodates 600 guests for a seated dinner. Meeting rooms are arranged in natural groupings, allowing more than one meeting to take place at the same time without attendees overlapping.
All will want to stop by the St. James entrance to say hello to a special permanent guest of the hotel: Catie Copley, a black Labrador retriever adopted by the hotel from a guide dog foundation. She’s the Fairmont Copley Plaza’s “canine ambassador” (complete with her own business card), available to join guests on walks around the neighborhood.
Modern-day meeting attendees will join an illustrious list of former occupants, including nearly every U.S. president since William Howard Taft, plus royalty from the Middle East, Europe—and, of course, Hollywood. And as they pass from elegant room to elegant room, and wrap up their business day in the vintage warmth of the Oak Bar, they may feel like royalty themselves.