The Liberty Hotel just installed a curling rink, and you can play for free
You can soon throw stones at Beacon Hill’s Liberty Hotel. Curling stones, that is.
The hotel installed a 40-by-8 foot synthetic curling rink in its courtyard this week and will offer the sport to the public beginning Monday.
Glenn Sampert, general manager of the hotel, said he wanted to make good use of his property’s outdoor courtyard during the winter months.
“We’ve got such great outdoor space at the Liberty in our courtyard,” Sampert said. “Having outdoor space in the middle of Boston is a great asset.”
Sampert figured the popular sport, which received a lot of buzz during the Olympics earlier this year when the U.S. won the historic gold medal in men’s curling, would be a great fit.
He’s also no stranger to the game.
“I’m originally from Canada, so I’ve known about and loved curling for a long time,” he said.
The rink will be open to hotel guests and the community on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. through February. There is no cost to play and you can make reservations to do so, though walk-ins are welcome. Up to four players can play on a team, and rounds usually last about 30 minutes.
If you’re not familiar with the sport, Sampert said the hotel will provide a “curling concierge” to teach guests the game and help move the games along. The concierge and other staff members will be trained by the North End Curling Club.
Rather than granite stones, guests will throw synthetic stones, which are smaller and lighter. The synthetic stones are more appropriate on a synthetic rink, Sampert said, and also “a little bit easier for people not familiar with the sport to be able to manage.”
The hotel’s restaurant, Clink, has created an “après-curling” menu of appetizers and drinks, which players and spectators can take in rinkside.
“If you’re going to be at The Liberty, of course there has to be a beverage involved,” Sampert said. “Our team had a lot of fun creating these.”
Curling-themed beverages will include “The Bonspiel,” comprised of New England hot mulled cider and baking spices; and “The Stone’s Throw,” made of bourbon, Amantillado sherry, Carpano Antico Formula vermouth, black walnut syrup, and Angostura bitters. The menu will include shishito pepper tempura with spicy Kewpie mayo, as well as a heritage pork meatball with roasted tomato sugo, polenta, and Grana Podano cheese.
Sampert said the food and drink menu seemed appropriate, given how social the game is.
“There’s definitely a skill involved to do it well,” Sampert said. “But the thing that’s fun about it is, anybody can play. It is really social. You can have a bunch of people out there playing and having some food and cocktails while you do it. It just makes it a fun time.”