Boston Travel Guide
Well, looky here! A new boutique hotel has opened on the sly in Boston.
The Chandler Studios, a block away from its sister hotel, The Chandler Inn Hotel in the South End neighborhood, is comprised of just 11 studios and a one-bedroom suite, all decorated in a mod fashion (white beds, red accent furniture) with a industrial undertones (the hotel is located in a 100-year-old brownstone.)
But what the hotel lacks in size, it makes up for with some serious technology and necessary amenities like a virtual check-in via keyless entry system, complimentary wired and wireless internet, flat-screen TVs, complimentary phone calls within the U.S., fully-equipped kitchenettes, coffee-maker, walk-in shower and a hair dryer.
Check in for the Chandler Studios actually happens at the Chandler Inn Hotel where guests are given entry codes to the Chandler Studios building and their guest room. There are no staffers on-site but the Chandler Inn Hotel staffers are available 24 hours a day. Also, the rooms include daily maid service. Essentially, it's like staying in an apartment building but it's operated by a hotel nearby.
Best of all, this ultra private stay won't cost you more. We found a studio room with a queen bed for just $259 a night. Want a king bed? The rate bumps up to $319.
[Photo: Chandler Studios]
The hotels located on or near Boylston Street are still trying to get their feet back under them after the tragedy in Boston, reeling from the lack of business associated with the incident's aftermath. Hotels are looking to their insurance companies to cover their losses, but, interestingly enough, the payout depends upon whether or not the government officially declares the marathon bombings an "act of terror."
Quick background: After September 11th kicked them in the face, insurance companies decided to exclude "acts of terror" from inclusion in policies. They made it an optional add-on that businesses had to purchase separately to have damage covered that resulted from officially declared acts of terrorism, meaning the government's categorization of the incident will determine who pays for what. According to ABC News, President Obama called the bombings an "act of terror," but the treasury secretary, attorney general, and secretary of state have yet to speak on the designation, and have set no time frame in which to do so.
"If there is no terror finding, damages would be covered in general under regular property-and-casualty policies," Robert Hartwig, president of the trade group Insurance Information Institute, told ABC News. If it's declared an "act of terror," however, only those who purchased the additional terrorism clause would have their losses covered by insurance.
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The investigation continues into Monday's horrific explosions at the Boston Marathon with no clear answer as to who did this and why. Yet the "how" has been uncovered as Boston authorities say two pressure cookers were placed in backpacks along Boylston Street and loaded with nails, ball bearings and black powder and triggered by egg-timers.
Hundreds of victims are recovering in area hospitals while the mourning process has begun for the friends and families of the three killed by the blasts, including 8-year-old Martin Richard.
As for the hotels near the blasts, since the FBI investigation is still ongoing, they aren't allowed to resume operating until that's complete. Right now, The Lenox is still closed through tomorrow. The Mandarin Oriental has reopened but with limited services.
We've also learned that The Charlesmark Hotel has been shuttered as well with the Boston Globe reporting that its lobby is "splattered with blood." The hotel was hosting a Marathon viewing party when the blasts occurred. From The Globe:
Mark Hagopian, Charlesmark’s operating partner, said he was on the hotel’s patio when the first explosion occurred about 35 feet away. “It was like a cannon,” he said. “We knew something was wrong."
A report in the Daily Mail also showed that a piece of one of the pressure cookers was found on the roof of the Charlesmark.
Over at The Taj, a guard was spotted holding a submachine gun in an example of extremely beefed up security at hotels and other public places. A Twitterer posted this photo from another Boston hotel:
Sadly, this is probably going to be the "norm" in Boston over the next few weeks.
If you were in Boston and staying at a hotel on Monday, send us your story. (Anonymity assured if you'd like.) Similarly, if you work at a hotel in Boston and want to share how your property handled the crisis and the chaos, please let us know!
[Photo: Dan Suslavich/Facebook]
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UPDATE 3:18pm The Lenox Hotel has sent HotelChatter a statement about yesterday's events and their current operating status. For now, they are no longer taking any new reservations. We've posted their statement at the bottom of this story.
UPDATE: 12:50pm ET: The Mandarin Oriental has reopened so guests can retrieve their belongings. We've posted their update at the bottom of this story.
The morning after the senseless bombings that rocked Boston Marathon yesterday has yielded no answers as to who did this or why. What we do know so far is that two bombs exploded near the finsh line, killing three people including an 8-year-old boy and injuring many, many, more. The area around the "crime scene" has been cordoned off and the streets are nearly empty.
As far as Boston hotels, The Lenox Hotel on Exeter and Boylston, right where the explosions happened, tweeted around 7am that they were finally able to let their guests back into the hotel after having been evacuated shortly after the blasts. The Mandarin Oriental, just a block away from the Lenox on Boylston, still was not open to guests. The Fairmont Copley, while on lockdown for most of yesterday, did not get evacuated. They've been tweeting several times today letting everyone know their staff and guests are all accounted for.
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A terrible scene unfolded at the Boston Marathon today after explosions were reported near the finish line, injuring multiple people. The news is ricocheting all over social media (as of 3:26pm) including FourSquare founder Dennis Crowley who is tweeting from mile 26 but there is not much to go on right now as to why this happened and exactly how many people were injured.
We did, however, see a tweet from @AmelieBenjamin a sports writer for the Boston Globe which said the media hotel is on lockdown. That would be the Fairmont Copley Plaza which is on St. James just a few blocks from the finish line and the explosions. Benjamin tweeted that no one is allowed to leave and reporters are stuck in a hotel ballroom watching news coverage of a scene that's unfolding a block away from them.
The Fairmont has also updated its Twitter feed with the following message: "Explosions reported on Boylston Street. Only hotel guests and colleagues allowed into the building at this time." We've also seen a tweet saying the Lenox Hotel was being evacuated as well.
We'll be updating this story as it unfolds but keep Boston in your thoughts today.
UPDATE 4:08PM: CNN tweeted that indeed the Lenox Hotel has been evacuated. We're trying to track down more info. Also, a HotelChatter contributor is currently at The Ames Hotel where they are checking everyone's room numbers before they can get into the hotel. He says sirens are still going off around the area.
4:31pm: Time reporter Andrew Katz tweeted that another "device" had been found in front of the Mandarin Oriental hotel (Below.) Lots of hotels are reported to be on lockdown.
Boston scanner: "EMS is reporting another device" in front of Mandarin Hotel— Andrew Katz (@katz) April 15, 2013
4:52pm: The Fairmont Copley has expanded their statement on Facebook:
An explosion was reported at the finish line of The Boston Marathon, two blocks away from the hotel. At this time, only guests and colleagues are being allowed into the hotel, and per the direction of the Boston Police those already in the building are encouraged to stay inside. The St. James Room has been set up for people to relax and get in touch with loved ones. All hotel colleagues are safe and our thoughts are with those affected by this tragic incident.
5:01pm: Conde Nast Traveler just ran this update with statements from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo about "stepping up security." CNT also reports that NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said security at hotels and other "prominent locations" was also being increased.
5:14pm: The Lenox Hotel have tweeted a statement. Does not give details about evacuation but they are doing ok.
Thank you for the outpouring support and well wishes. It is times like these that unite a community and bring us together.— The Lenox Hotel (@LenoxHotel) April 15, 2013
5:27pm: USA Today Hotel reporter Barb DeLollis tweeted that many Boston hotels are no longer taking reservations.
Some Boston hotels tell me they've stopped taking reservations.Stay tuned for my story later. Email me with tips: firstname.lastname@example.org— barbara delollis (@barbdelollis) April 15, 2013
The blasts killed two people and wounded more than two dozen, according to the NY Times.
6:35pm: The Mandarin Oriental has tweeted back at us saying everyone at their property is ok.
Meanwhile, President Obama addressed the nation saying, ""We still do not know who did this or why, but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this."
6:53pm: Guests are still unable to return to the Lenox Hotel which is across the street from where one of the devices exploded. Many of the guests are leaving questions about their rooms on the hotel's Facebook page but the hotel tweeted these statements this evening. It looks like their Twitter feed to go for more updated info.
We will be updating everyone every 2 hours and appreciate everyone's understanding and patience during this horrific time.— The Lenox Hotel (@LenoxHotel) April 15, 2013
To all of our guests asking about when they can return, luggage or future stays- We will let you know as soon as we know.— The Lenox Hotel (@LenoxHotel) April 15, 2013
7:14pm Just found this Twitpic from @LeahBoston who snapped it while at the Mandarin Oriental Boston a few hours before the explosions.
8:01pm: We've confirmed that the Mandarin Oriental was evacuated as a precaution. A third device had been found outside the hotel. We will update when we hear when guests can return to their rooms.
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Boston's newest hotel, The Revere, is enticing guests with a new "dinner and a movie" program called "Reel Chefs" in which award-winning local chefs pair their favorite movies with a multi-course themed menu to match the film. Count us in!
To kick it off, Jamie Bissonnette, the head chef and owner of two top Beantown eateries, Coppa and Toro (not to be confused with Richard Sandoval's successful Toro Toro brand), will be showing up on March 19 to whip up four dishes he's calling "Pinxtos of Power," "Truffle Shuffle," "Chester Copperpot Pie," and "Rocky Road." And in case you didn't already guess, Bissonnette's movie of choice will be 80s cult classic The Goonies.
The best part of this new series? The venue. As we noted last year when the hotel was announced, The Revere is attached to Theatre 1, a state-of-the-art movie theater with ambient lighting, nifty projection and audio technology, and 225 super-comfy seats, each equipped with personal fold-out tray tables. Now, that's what we call dinner and a movie!
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A new $140 million development project in South Boston will feature a double whammy hotel, comprised of a 330-room Aloft and a 180-room Element. Designed specifically for visitors of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the new Aloft-Element duplex will be located on D Street, only half a mile away from the convention center.
But in addition to cheaper rates, we also know that Aloft and Element generally tend to have a cooler, more modern feel than Westin, and will be able to offer convention visitors a lively place to get an after-work drink (w xyz bar), as well as plenty of fitness-oriented amenities (free bike rentals, in-room gym equipment).
Though there is currently an Aloft Lexington and an Element Lexington, this will be the brands' debut in Beantown proper. Though, not that Boston hasn't seen its fair share of hotel action over the past year. With the recent opening of The Revere and the newly-renovated Langham Boston, travelers to the historic city ought to have plenty of tough decisions ahead when it comes to booking a room.
We love hotel that make children feel at home when they’re visiting. Many places exude a “don’t touch” aura-- a major turn-off for the toddler-toting set in what’s become an increasingly hostile travel environment for families.
Listen, we get not every hotel will be kid-friendly. We celebrate them, too. But when see that a place like the Four Seasons Boston has not one, but three special programs for little tykes, we can’t help but give them major props.
From in-room cupcakes, and free cookie-making classes, to “raid-the-fridge” days, who said luxury hotels were snooty and stuffy? We can’t, not with frosting gluing our lips together.
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The hotel, in the city's financial district, popped both a theoretical and literal first cork when it revealed its $6 million lobby renovation. Big deal, you say? That's what we thought, until we heard the lobby came with the new Reserve, a luxury European Champagne Lounge that will, for now, pair light cuisine with global selections of bubbly and wine.
For the first few weeks, it looks like it’s all mimosas and munchies: The Reserve will serve continental breakfast, lunch, and plenty of champers until it opens for dinner later this month (it will join BOND Restaurant and Café Fleuri as a third option for dinner within the walls of the hotel).
Now that the “50 Shades of Grey” movie is in the works and Universal has picked its screenwriter, we are resigning ourselves that these themed hotel packages are just getting started. Plus, given the fact that Andaz replaced the Bible with this novel, you know this is serious business that's not going away for a minute. Alright, if you can't beat 'em (ha!) join 'em.
So here’s another package for those enamored with Christian and his antics. Boston's Liberty Hotel has a “Fifty Shades of Sin” package designed for a most titillating night out. Our funny bone is just a bit tickled that a hotel with the word "liberty" in it, has a package centering around a book that's all about domination and sexual slavery, not freedom! But, we digress.
Here’s what you get for the $599 starting price tag (depending on the room you select):
*An intimacy kit
*Dinner for two at CLINK, the hotel’s restaurant modeled on old jail cells
*A pair of handcuffs
*A grey silk tie
*A "Solitary" Do Not Disturb Sign
*A bottle of champagne
*A copy of "50 Shades of Grey"
Given that the Liberty Boston was the city's former Charles Street Jail, we do think that this particular package is especially fitting.
And now the really important question--who will play Christian?!
[Photo: Liberty Hotel]
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Marriott must be feeling old. In an effort to reach those "younger travelers connected to their digital worlds," the hotel chain has launched a new partnership with Wired magazine.
As part of the initiative, the two brands will be curating various events at Marriott hotels around the country—titled the Wired + Marriott "Culturazzi" Series—including comedy nights, meet-ups, and other "provocative and stimulating" experiences basically designed to get people tweeting and Facebooking about Marriott.
The kick-off event, "Marriott Meetup: Five Startups To Watch," will take place in the lobby of the Boston Marriott Long Wharf tomorrow evening, allowing guests to drink wine, indulge in all the tech-speak they want, and simultaneously admire the results of the hotel's recent $30 million renovation, which it unveiled at the beginning of the year.
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On a recent visit to Boston, Taylor Swift was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Celebrities Who Have Been Ignominiously Kicked Out Of Hotels (CWHBIKOOH), though as far as we know she hasn't written a song about it yet. According to the Daily Mail, the singer's time at the Fairmont Copley Plaza was cut short when someone at the hotel asked her to leave.
Taylor and her boyfriend, Conor Kennedy, were attending Conor's cousin's wedding, but when they showed up, the bride's mother, Victoria Gifford Kennedy, said she didn't want Taylor hogging all the attention away from her daughter's big day. In fact, she had already told Taylor, via text, she wasn't welcome, but Taylor showed up anyway. Real classy.