Checking in on the Mandarin
By Mark Shanahan & Paysha Rhone
A swanky crowd of high rollers gathered in the lobby of the new Mandarin Oriental, Boston yesterday to sip wine and watch Mayor Tom Menino and hotel developers Robin Brown and Stephen Weiner (along with their wives, Marcia and Roberta, respectively, and the hotel brass) cut the fancy red ribbon. The party also featured dancing men dressed as Chinese lions and a solemn feng shui blessing by Mandarin bigwig Terry Stinson. Taking in the scene were city councilor Michael Ross, construction magnate John Fish, Massport director Tom Kenton, powerbroker Kevin Phelan, the Rev. Ray Hammond, and Mizu salon owner Elan Sassoon and his wife, Adriana. Weiner gave a heartfelt speech, in which he detailed the 13-year project and thanked his late partner, Julian Cohen (Cohen’s wife, Carol, was in the crowd). Weiner added that his 11-year-old granddaughter Rachel is already working on him to hold her bat mitzvah at the Mandarin, because ” ‘It will be free!’ Free! What a great concept,” he joked.