Just ten miles north of downtown Boston, accessible by commuter rail, the Hilton Boston Woburn overlooks marshland in a rather unassuming part of town just off exit 36 on I-95, surrounded by industrial/commercial space and apartment buildings. But the hotel's recent, $16 million renovation elevated what was once a hum drum business class hotel into an entirely new realm featuring historic connections to the surrounding community accompanied by onsite restaurant and local favorite Matadora.


Woburn Massachusett’s legacy of foot wear craftsmanship dates back to the 17th century, when production was so prevalent that the town partially paid taxes in shoes during King Philip's War. Cobblers and other artisans dominated the city’s economy through the mid-1800s and then shifted to leather quickly elevating Woburn to New England’s leading leather producer in 1885.


Much of Hilton Boston-Woburn's design and decor incorporates both actual artifacts and memorabilia reproductions highlighting this industrial heritage. A glass-ceiling, six-story open atrium floods the lobby with natural light and retail-inspired check-in desks with built-in display cases showcase vintage shoe stretchers backed by wall murals depicting the classic Brannock measuring devices still found in stores today.


With room key in hand, you'll pass the Rivet Room, a newly created gathering spot overlooking the hotel's indoor swimming pool featuring a full cocktail bar outfitted with oversize leather armchairs, billiard table, and a giant reproduction of a shoe making factory ledger mounted above the bar.


A glass enclosed elevator overlooking the lobby leads to 344 newly renovated guest rooms with decorative flares like finely forged metals, lacquered hard goods, embossed leather bed headboards, and 3D wire art enhanced by modern comforts like Serta beds, rain head showers, and designer toiletries. Some rooms include balconies overlooking the enclosed yet airy open-atrium exuding summertime vibes all year long.


The extra sunlight also makes a big impact on Matadora restaurant (below), making you feel like you're seated on a terraza in Barcelona rather than a Hilton outside Boston. The other transportive effect is Chef de Cuisine William Jimenez and his team deftly crafting tailored tapas and prime meat cuts like rare yellowfin tuna and long-bone pork chops from the open kitchen’s centerpiece wood-fired grill.


Small plates include a curated selection of Spanish meats, cheeses and olives, shrimp toast, charred Galician octopus, wood grilled broccoli and Basque street corn. Hot churros and Cantabrian ricotta cake are dessert favorites while an array of sangria, cava, sherry, and signature cocktails round out the beverage offerings.


Reclaimed wood, distressed leather, and colorful murals punctuate the dining area along with a life-size bull sculpture handcrafted in Thailand from scrap metal. An outdoor patio with fire pits and lounge sofas flows seamlessly inside to the central bar and a variety of seating options ranging from high-top leather banquettes to a large rolling communal table and stools at the Chef’s Counter.

Photos: Hilton Boston-Woburn & Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored tasting.
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