Congratulations to Mary Ellen Nichologianis, Forbes Travel Guide 2024 Associate of the Year

Published on March 4, 2024


Commitment, dedication, and a big heart - qualities that define the essence of hospitality. And these are embodied in Mary Ellen Nichologianis, an unsung hero of the Boston Harbor Hotel. While you may not have had the pleasure of meeting her yet, one trip to Rowes Wharf Bar, and Mary Ellen will make you feel at home. Beloved by the Boston Harbor Hotel team and a friend to many, we are thrilled to announce that Mary Ellen was honored with the prestigious 2024 Associate of the Year award by Forbes Travel Guide. Each year, Forbes audits over 2,000 hotels, restaurants, spas, and cruise ships from around the world to make their selection. This award is a true testament to Mary Ellen’s hard work and relentless focus on excellence in everything that she does.

For the past 18 years, Mary Ellen has been an integral part of the guest experience at Rowes Wharf Bar. Whether she’s delving into the remarkable collection of maps in the Magellan Gallery just outside the bar, unraveling the fascinating history behind the cocktails, or tracing the origins of cherished scotches, Mary Ellen never fails to surprise and delight with the wealth of knowledge she eagerly imparts.

Mary Ellen's commitment to delivering superior guest service is evident in her meticulous documentation of learnings in a trove of handwritten notebooks, dating back to before her tenure at the hotel and extending to the latest insights from Boston Harbor’s weekly spirit classes. Should she not find the answer within those pages, she turns to her library of beverage and Boston-themed books for reference. Her unwavering commitment to ensuring each guest's visit is extraordinary remains a constant presence.

A true ambassador for the city of Boston, Mary Ellen showcases the rich history of the region through carefully curated picture books and utilizes maps and images at Boston Harbor Hotel to illuminate the area's incredible past. She generously imparts insider knowledge about other notable food and beverage establishments and places of interest, enhancing guests' stays with unforgettable experiences.

Mary Ellen's passion for collecting antiques, particularly those related to food and drink, is evident in every corner of Rowes Wharf Bar. An exemplary highlight is the Chai Flip, a delightful beverage with historical roots. Mary Ellen proudly displays an original 1800 Flip Glass at the bar, a relic from the era when flips, originally concocted in 1695, featured beer, sugar, and rum. As she recounts the fascinating ritual involving a hot poker and the drink's name, guests are transported to an era when the city began.

With a flawless track record, often achieving 100% on Forbes Travel Guide inspections, Mary Ellen epitomizes excellence through her considerate and intuitive approach to guest service. Guests frequently marvel at Mary Ellen's storytelling, her infectious smile, and the genuine warmth she exudes. Yet, it is the intangible quality of how she makes them feel that resonates the most.

Mary Ellen is not only a champion of the hotel but also a dedicated member of the community. She promotes the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts by showcasing their history and sharing insights with guests about other local establishments and places of interest. Her impact extends beyond the confines of the hotel, enriching the experiences of visitors to the city.

Mary Ellen Nichologianis embodies the spirit of hospitality and the essence of Boston Harbor Hotel. Her passion, knowledge, and genuine care elevate every guest experience, leaving an unforgettable mark on all who have the pleasure of crossing paths with her. As we celebrate her well-deserved recognition as the 2024 Associate of the Year, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mary Ellen for her unwavering dedication and commitment to excellence.

Explore Forbes's feature honoring the winners of the 2024 Hospitality Star Awards below:

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