I Am Downtown Boston: William Bunce, General Manager Of The Ritz-Carlton, Boston And The Ritz-Carlton Residences

Posted October 23, 2017 by Cheryl Fenton in I am Downtown Boston: Neighbor Profiles
William Bunce, Ritz Boston

With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, William Bunce’s portfolio is pretty suite. Pun intended. You could even say he has the touch that propels luxury hotels into superstar status. Especially when you’re talking about Starwood Hotels.

Bunce originally left New York for New England to open the Westin Providence, and then worked with Starwood Hotels and Resorts for 17 years in various operational roles (think GM and Six Sigma Black Belt). He was also the powerhouse who opened the W Boston, and for the last four years has been operating W New York Union Square and W New York.

Now he’s back in town, stepping in as Ritz-Carlton, Boston’s new General Manager. We met up with Bunce to find out why he had no reservations about returning to Boston.

TheVoiceofDowntownBostonWhat about Boston captured your heart?

William Bunce: I’m excited to return to and work in a city I have truly fallen in love with.  It’s been great to witness this major influx of residents who want to live in the city over the last few years, especially right here in our backyard.  When I opened the W Boston, the critics thought the developer was crazy to build high-end residences in that area but we always referenced the success of The Ritz-Carlton Residences. And look at that area now. Boston is also now recognized as a premier food city and a great place to do business especially with all of the innovation leaders and start-ups that have emerged here. And, the draw of suburban businesses to the city of Boston has been exciting to see as well. It’s this feeling of confidence and pride, that every major company wants to conduct business, and offer their employees an amazing location to work, whether in the seaport or downtown area as well.

VOD: How have you seen Downtown change?

WB: The development of so many residential buildings in the downtown area has brought a dynamic energy and atmosphere.  This really feels like the center of the city now, or I should say once again. I remember when I first came to Boston, this was the place to shop. I remember the energy back then, and I feel like it’s come back now. It’s incredible to see the international brands now calling downtown Boston home, along with some of the city’s top restaurants. This now feels like a place where you want to be 24/7 and a place where you can work, live, dine, entertain, relax, work out.  Everything you need to accomplish can be done right here.

VOD: What are your favorite elements of Downtown Boston – both personally and professionally?

WB: I love the neighborhood’s overall feel now. I think that all of the new residences and retail stores have a lot to do with that feeling. I also love the energy of the theater district. Being so close to the Opera House, we entertain our fair share of theater-goers, and they bring such an air of excitement to this neighborhood.

VOD: Tell me about The Ritz’s redesign, a $13 million transformation led by the renowned architecture firm Rockwell Group.

WB: We transformed all of our 193 guest rooms and suites, guest corridors, Ballroom and Studio, and our exclusive Club Lounge. The overall design concept takes inspiration from the soul of Boston and from literary greats Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Our goal was to create a contemporary, luxurious environment that also celebrates the many generations of guests and innovators who have enjoyed a lifetime of memorable experiences at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston.

VOD: What’s on the horizon for the Ritz under your watch?

WB: I want everyone to embrace the Ritz-Carlton brand as approachable and accessible. Look for some exciting things happening in our F&B spaces, Artisan Bistro and Avery Bar, along with events in 2018 that will welcome the downtown neighborhood with even more local flavor.

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston is located at 10 Avery Street in Boston.