Luxury living at its best in this Carlton House home
Timely with the reopening of the Back Bay’s legendary Ritz-Carlton Hotel (later Taj Boston) as The Newbury Boston, The Carlton House next door at 2 Commonwealth Ave. offers a hotel-quality duplex with features few other Boston penthouses can boast.
For starters, the combined Unit PH2 & 16E boasts a full-level primary bedroom suite that feels like home, a private wraparound terrace that feels like France, views of the Charles River, Public Garden and Boston Common that feel like they’re your back yard, and services that make you feel special.
That special feeling begins as a valet parks your car in the in-house garage and you enter the lavish lobby, greet the 24-hour concierge and relax with a book in the library lounge before boarding the elevator to the 17th (top) floor, where a carpeted, paneled corridor escorts you hotel-style to your unit.
It cordially receives you with a roomy central foyer. A bay window streaming in northwestern sun and framing a tree-flanked classical balustrade and a river view from the terrace tempts you to live in the luxury of the light-filled living room (right) and dining room (left). Both boast skylit bay windows that open onto the French promenade-like terrace to let dinner or cocktail party guests enjoy its river, park and city-lights views amid balustrades, patios, limestone planters, flower gardens, shrubs and crabapple trees that blossom beautifully in early spring.
What’s more, the terrace views from the living and dining rooms create a trompe-l’oeil effect, concealing the Back Bay below so you appear to be right on the river, looking across it to Cambridge and MIT.
The living room’s end opens to a raised corner seating area where four trees, evergreen shrubbery and colorful flowers cozily frame a supreme view of the Public Garden and Boston Common. The vista extends to Beacon Hill, the State House golden dome, Downtown Crossing, the Blue Hills, and, of course, the Back Bay.
Another French touch is the living room’s Paris-imported white marble fireplace mantel, carved with Grecian urn and ribboned festoon reliefs and inlaid in reddish-brown aggregate marble.
The living room accesses a carpeted, maple-paneled study prepped for multiple uses. The built-in bookcase sets it up as a library. The entertainment center with its TV-screen niche, fabric-paneled speaker cabinets and electronics cabinetry can make it a media room, and it can play music through surround-sound speakers throughout this level. The bay window can illuminate a workstation and allow you a breather on the terrace.
The study accesses a guest suite, which could be an alternate primary bedroom suite for the aging-in-place or the one-level living lover.
The bedroom is a living center in itself, featuring a double-door closet, a cove-lit tray ceiling, a king-size bed/sofa alcove, a built-in bookcase, a built-in marble desk under a TV-screen cabinet and a skylit bay window opening to the end of the terrace.
The adjacent hall of closets has mirrored doors and a full laundry center with a sink and Electrolux stacked washer/dryer. This accesses the en suite bath, ready to sumptuously serve you with a scalloped sink and a tub/shower combo with a hinged glass partition and brass hand-held and fixed shower heads.
Also off the study is the kitchen, warmly finished with the contemporary aesthetic of wood-laminate and oak cabinetry, metal-framed frosted-glass China cupboards, aqua glass backsplashes and a herringbone oak floor. Arranged as a horizontal galley designating the cooktop and sink for the right-hand alcove and the refrigerator and ovens for the left side, this layout allows a central passage through the kitchen back toward the foyer.
A U-shaped white laminate counter encompasses the Diva five-burner induction-cooking cooktop, the China cupboards, the double sink with a disposal, pullout trash-bin and spice cabinets, mobile pullout shelves and a Miele dishwasher.
In the left-hand alcove, an oversized Sub-Zero refrigerator faces a Thermador double oven with a warming drawer, flanked by pullout dry-goods shelves. A counter anchors the center.
The square hallway linking the kitchen to the foyer contains a walk-in coat closet and a powder room with a backlit ribbed-glass sink vanity and scalloped mother-of-pearl wallcovering.
Across the foyer is an executive-style home office with a wall-length desk and paneled maple cabinetry.
Built-in illuminated glass cabinets for your finest objets-d’art flank the dining room’s doorway on the inside. Mirror panels on the cabinet doors seem to expand the space and light. The space angles leftward to introduce the brass-railed spiral stairway down to the primary bedroom suite level. A direct entrance from the common corridor is handy here, as is a walk-in coat/storage closet for guest entry at this end.
A curved, cove-lit ceiling and a concave wall elegantly embrace the stairway as it winds down to a carpeted hall of closets. A left-hand “hidden door” grants secret passage to this level from the common corridor via a walk-in utility closet. The hall of closets, some with shoe shelves or tie/belt hooks, connects on the right to a mirror-surrounded vanity boasting a gilded sink with a hand-painted flower-leaf motif and a brass faucet sculpted as a winged goose (a real “gooseneck” faucet) streaming water from its beak. This serves an extended dressing area of four walk-in closets with space galore and more for two growing wardrobes.
The hall of closets finally accesses the carpeted primary bedroom. The crown molding of classical triglyphs, the long vanity counter flanked by mirror-paneled linen cabinets, the window-wall view of the Charles River and the twin double-door shelf closets all frame it in classic comfort. The bath is a marble palace of facing vanities with gilded torus-molding images around the sinks, a cove-lit tray ceiling, a soaking tub, an oversized shower for two people and a triple-mirror bay accessing a water-closet with bidet.
Offered at $18 million, Unit PH2 & 16E at The Carlton House lets you put on the Ritz without ever having to check out.
To check out this charmer, contact Robert B. Kinlin of Robert Paul Properties at 508-648-2739 (cell), 508-420-1414 (office), or email@example.com.
Address: The Carlton House, Commonwealth Ave., Unit PH2 & 16E, Back Bay
BR/BA: Two bedrooms plus study, two full bathrooms, one half bath
Size: 3,595 square feet
Housing type: Penthouse condominium
Price: $18 million
Condo fee: $7,401/month (includes water, sewer, master insurance, security, elevator, exterior maintenance, road maintenance, snow removal, refuse removal, valet parking).
Taxes: $66,210 (Tax Year 2021)
Parking: Two deeded valet garage parking spaces
Total number of units: 53
Year built: 1981
Features: High ceilings, cove-lit tray ceilings, hardwood floors, carpeting, recessed lighting, heat-pump central heating, central air, fireplace, oversized windows, chef’s kitchen with stainless appliances and electric cooking, expansive walk-in closets, full-level primary bedroom suite with five-piece marble bath, 1,600-square-foot private terrace with multiple seating areas and mature tree/shrub/flower plantings, Charles River and Public Garden/Boston Common views, in-unit laundry, surround-sound stereo speakers throughout, cable hookups.
Building amenities: Elevators, 24-hour concierge, doorman, professional on-site management, snow and refuse removal
Close by: Houses of worship; schools and universities; shopping and dining; Public Garden, Boston Common, Copley Square and Esplanade parks; boating on the Charles River; Boston Public Library; medical facility; public transit on the Green and Orange subway lines, buses, commuter rail and Amtrak
Contact: Robert B. Kinlin of Robert Paul Properties
Phone: 508-648-2739 (cell), 508-420-1414 (office)