Forget flavorless powdered mixes in packets and stale marshmallows — opt for delicious hot chocolate concoctions in Boston hotels this season. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hotel guest, holiday shopper or merely a person out enjoying the festive lights around town, everyone can appreciate taking a moment to indulge in a special cup of hot cocoa. These following five spots just happen to pour as much high-end refinement as they do decadent seasonal drinks.
This landmark property’s hot chocolate latte with toasted almonds was created by Kim Lambrechts, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s director of food and beverage. Each cup of the pure liquid indulgence, which is available throughout the property, has more than four ounces of Callebaut’s 70 percent Belgian dark chocolate, providing just the right amount of bitterness to complement the rich half-and-half and cocoa powder. The ingredients simmer and then get a half shot of espresso, foamed milk and a sprinkle of toasted almonds. Served on the side is candied orange zest, a tasty treat to finish with as you gaze out over the Public Garden.
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common
Every Saturday in December (1 to 4 p.m.) this luxurious Four-Star hotel sets up a hot cocoa bar in the Avery Bar. Customize your winter beverage with everything from the type of cocoa to the cream you put on top. There’s also a tempting selection of candies and cookies. It’s an ideal activity to pair with ice skating on the Boston Common Frog Pond. Thaw out afterward by the cozy fireplace as you sip your drink. Pastry chefs are on hand to help children decorate their own gingerbread men, too.
Revere Hotel Boston Common
Savor a chocolate treat and do good at the same time if you stop by the Revere Hotel’s gourmet lobby pop-up shop, Pop It Like It’s Hot, on Fridays (3 to 6 p.m.) through December 26. Sip on fun hot chocolate flavors such as salted caramel crunch, banana coconut with macadamia nut, cinnamon mocha peanut butter cup or s’mores, all while helping area nonprofits, including The Home for Little Wanderers and the Boston chapter of the Animal Rescue League, with a portion of the proceeds. The creative drinks, dreamed up by hotel chef Bader Ali, use ingredients from local artisanal manufacturer Taza Chocolate.
Four Seasons Hotel Boston
This Four Seasons outpost offers its annual Cocoa to Go pop-up shop in the lobby, perfect for stopping by after a stroll through the Public Garden, located just across the street. Like everything at this Five-Star hotel, these cups of hot chocolate are exquisite (there’s a special flavor of the day like peppermint) and they can be garnished with a variety of toppings that range from caramel, coconut and rich chocolate shavings to thick whipped cream. The treats are poured 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The Langham, Boston
Café Fleuri doesn’t wait until the holidays to express its love for chocolate. This Four-Star icon is a sweets lover’s favorite most times of the year because every Saturday from September to June it’s transformed into a dessert wonderland. Executive chef Mark Sapienza and executive pastry chef Ryan Pike whip up more than 100 chocolate dessert combinations — and that’s on top of a crepe station, chocolate fountains and make-your-own ice cream sundaes. And just in time for the chill between December and March, the hotel serves a dark Valrhona hot chocolate in all three of its dining outlets, Café Fleuri, The Reserve and Bond. It comes with housemade whipped cream, marshmallows, peppermint candy canes, a chocolate-dipped nut biscotti and a Valrhona dark-chocolate-dipped spoon for stirring.