Boston Harbor Hotel

Challenge

The Boston Harbor Hotel is a landmark Boston hotel located at Rowes Wharf overlooking historic Boston Harbor. The luxury hotel offers business and leisure travelers, special event guests and fine food patrons an unforgettable experience with its historic architecture, impressive interior, and top client service, amenities, and cuisine. Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil Travel Guide) awarded a prestigious fifth star to the hotel in 2008.

Despite the Boston Harbor Hotel’s distinguished history as one of Boston’s top-tier hotels and its esteemed reputation among business leaders and social influencers, the hotel still sought a larger profile as competition in the market was escalating. The completion of Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway coupled with the hotel’s new five star rating provided the Boston Harbor Hotel a special opportunity: capitalize on a renewed interest and cultural orientation of the city toward the waterfront area.

The Boston Harbor Hotel decided to embark upon a strategic communications campaign aimed at capturing the top local demographic for power gatherings and fine dining, while also bringing in high profile national and international guests.

Solution

O’Neill and Associates developed and implemented a broad public relations campaign including media relations, promotions, and new media. Services included: 

  • Messaging workshops with property executives and senior staff to understand the Hotel’s desired markets, product offerings, its greatest strengths, and areas of possible improvement or immediate focus;
  • Development of new promotional initiatives designed to appeal directly to the hotel’s target markets including the introduction of a weekly wine tasting gathering;
  • Create  a topical breakfast series featuring leaders from the region’s core industries and leadership circles and building an outreach database of several hundred regular attendees;
  • Local and national media outreach to food and lifestyle publications including development and distribution of press kits and direct media relations to promote Boston Harbor Hotel, Chef Daniel Bruce and his signature restaurant, Meritage, as well as the hotel’s other restaurants and amenities;
  • Launching social media initiatives such as hotel and restaurant pages on Facebook and Twitter;
  • Outreach to online food and hospitality media outlets and bloggers; and
  • Strategic counsel and support on a “Five Star” communications plan.

Results

To date, the Boston Harbor Hotel has garnered increased awareness among its target audiences through cohesive and targeted messaging, proactive media relations and enhanced community involvement. The O’Neill and Associates campaign has renewed excitement for the Boston Harbor Hotel as an important fine dining and leisure venue for city residents and luxury travelers alike. The efforts have also created a positive influx of new patrons of the hotel’s restaurants with an emphasis on Chef Daniel Bruce as one of the nation’s top wine and food pairing experts. The Boston Harbor Hotel has received such awards as US News & World Report’s Top Boston Hotel (2011), Banker and Tradesmen’s Gold award for Events and Best Hotel (2011), Conde Nast Johansens’ Award for Excellence (2011), Forbes Travel Guide’s Best Turndown Service (2011), Boston’s Best Hotel Restaurant (2010), Boston Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants (2009), Wine Spectator’s Sword of Excellence (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), and Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best Business Hotel (2010).

O’Neill and Associates has provided a strong foundation from which Boston Harbor Hotel may continue to expand and enhance its image and reputation.  Favorable media coverage of the Hotel, the restaurant, amenities, and continued brand and product evolution were central to the successful implementation of the public relations strategy. Media coverage includes Travel and Leisure, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Boston Business Journal, Boston Common, Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, WHERE, Sante, Zagat, Stuff magazine, and Yankee magazine, as well as broadcast segments on NECN, WCVB, and WFXT. O’Neill and Associates continues to provide Boston Harbor Hotel with new customer outreach strategies as well as communications services to support the property.

In addition, O’Neill and Associates provides communications and media services for the Boston Wine Festival at the Boston Harbor Hotel, now in its 23rd year. Media coverage for the Wine Festival includes Boston Globe, Boston.com, Boston Herald, Zagat, Elite Traveler, US Airways Magazine, Spirit Magazine, WHERE, Boston Business Journal, Improper Bostonian, Stuff Boston, Boston Common magazine, BizBash Boston, and Hotel Junkie, among others.

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