MA Travel Guide

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3 Boston Hotels We’re Watching for 2015

April 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM | by | Comments (2)

It takes a long time for a hotel project to go from idea to groundbreaking, from construction to first check-in. So even as we luxuriate (hopefully) in new openings and exciting upgrades, we’re already looking into our crystal ball (AKA the Internet) for buzz on what’s coming down the pipeline. Herewith, we present the three Boston hotel openings in 2015 that have us most excited right now — and why.

1. Envoy Hotel

Why we’re excited: Because a hot neighborhood needs a hot hotel. Nothing makes something sound less hip than using the word “hip.” But if you’ll allow us to don our verbal Mom Jeans for a moment — Boston’s Fort Point is hip. It’s hot. It’s very “now,” a little sliver of a neighborhood bordering the Seaport that happens to be filled with some of the most buzz-worthy restaurants in recent years: from legendary chef Barbara Lynch’s fine dining flagship, Menton, to the self-professed “working man’s oyster bar” (if you’re a “working man” in finance, maybe) that is Row 34.

Now the transformation from industrial area to hot hospitality ‘hood is nearly complete, with word that the $70 million Envoy Hotel (a rendering shown here) will open in 2015 on Sleeper Street near the Barking Crab restaurant. The six-story property is an entry in Marriott’s luxury Autograph Collection which also includes Maine's upcoming Press Hotel. Expect 136 rooms, plans for a pedestrian plaza that will link to the Boston HarborWalk, a rooftop terrace with skyline and harbor views, and 4,000 square feet of space on the ground level for – what else? – restaurants. Hip.

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Bonjour! Mirbeau Inn & Spa to Open in Plymouth This June

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 35 Landmark Drive [map], Plymouth, MA, United States, 02360
March 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

The second location of the upscale brand makes a pilgrimage to Plymouth.

There’s more than an ocean between Plymouth and Paris. Yes, the Massachusetts city holds a pretty important place in history. (Which, if you passed seventh grade, you hopefully recall involves a very important boat crash-landing on a very famous rock.)

But with all due respect to the Pilgrims’ first stomping grounds, most people would probably choose a vacation sipping wine by the river Seine than pounding beers in a South Shoh-wuh bah.

But when it opens in June, The Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills (a rendering seen here) may offer the area’s best approximation to a French getaway.

Like its sister property in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, the Plymouth Mirbeau is modeled in the style of a romantic country manor house and inspired by the Impressionist art of Claude Monet: think picturesque grounds with covered wooden bridges, waterfalls, lush gardens, placid ponds, and grounds filled with beret-wearing French hens strutting with cigarettes in their beaks and baguettes tucked under their wings. (Okay, everything but the last, obviously. Birds are notoriously anti-smoking.)

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First Look at The Verb Hotel, Opening at Fenway Park This Summer

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1271 Boylston St. [map], Boston , MA, United States, 02215
March 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

The historic Fenway Motor Hotel, a Howard Johnson property, closed late last year to make way for a new hotel development. Now in the quickest hotel conversion turnaround we've seen yet, the Verb Hotel has been born. It will open this summer, with reservations being taken on April 1.

Surprisingly, the 94-room hotel will not be all about baseball but rather rock n' roll. The hotel is set to feature rare music and pop-culture memorabilia about Boston such as "historic Boston Phoenix covers and photographs of musicians who performed locally or appeared on WFNX, Boston’s famed classic rock station." The music theme even extends to the Verb logo, which is a guitar pick.

But this makes sense as the original owner, Bob Sage, told the Boston Globe last year that his hotel used to take in a lot of performers. “I got a lot of people in here from Columbia Records. They were trying to promote their records," he told the paper. And of course, Fenway Park doesn't just host baseball games but concerts as well.

While we can see what the exterior and layout of the hotel will be like from this rendering, we don't quite know what's happening in the guest rooms. But the hotel's website is promising a "mid-century classic, lovingly restored with TLC." We'll check back in with them on April 1.

HOLD UP: We do have renderings of the guest rooms! Peep some pics below!

[Rendering: The Verb Hotel]

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Precinct Kitchen + Bar, Opening Soon at The Loews Boston Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 350 Stuart Street [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02116
March 18, 2014 at 5:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Seafood, fire pits and prison puns (we hope!) will manifest at this new destination restaurant.

Last month we arrested your attention with “before and after” shots of the renovated guest rooms at the Loews Boston Hotel, which wraps up its $10 million facelift by the end of March. (Head here if you need a refresher.)

Now we find out that the building, which once upon a time served as Boston Police Headquarters, will have an on-site restaurant where travelers and locals alike will want to serve a sentence – and the menu goes well beyond bread and water. (Sorry, these prison references just write themselves.)

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Boston Marriott Burlington Gets Some New 'Chopps'

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1 Burlington Mall Rd [map], Burlington, MA, United States
March 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM | by | Comments (0)

There’s a new kid (sort of) on the chopping block. Recent renovations at the Boston Marriott Burlington in North Boston have introduced an upscale steakhouse conceptualized by an esteemed local chef.

Chopps American Bar and Grill has replaced Summer Winter, a farm-to-table spot that from the Top Chef Masters duo of Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier. (They now have the just-opened M.C. Spiedo, which is focused on historic Italian cuisine, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.) Chopps has its own distinct pedigree courtesy of consulting chef Daniel Bruce, the man behind Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Bruce worked with Chopps chefs David Verdo and John Costello to conceptualize the 245-seat modern steakhouse, where floor to ceiling windows and masculine woods and leathers provide th environs for a menu of Atlantic fish (like grilled Maine salmon with kale), creative apps (like a peekytoe crab cocktail with 1000 Island dressing) and – well, steak. There’s even a 32-ounce porterhouse designed to share. Not that you’ll want to.

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The Godfrey to Open a Second Hotel in Boston

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 59 Temple Place [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02111
March 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Godfrey, slated for late 2014, will be Boston's next grand opening

There’s a spate of hotel developments afoot in the Hub. But according to a recent report released by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the next hotel opening to hit the city will be The Godfrey in late 2014.

The property comes from the same team behind the just-opened Godfrey in Chicago, a Cubist-influenced building that, to those of us without art history degrees, could also be described as “Jenga chic.”

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Speed Up Now To Get Your Boston Marathon Hotel Room

February 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Believe it or not, hotels around Boston are already selling out fast for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21 as well as for the preceding weekend. (And if you’ve ever visited for the annual event – well, you probably believe it.) If you’re planning to run – or just cheer on the athletes – book now or forever hold your peace. Here are four packages worth a speedy glance:

For the Wino — The Boxer:
The Boxer (pictured), a West End spot that replaced the former Bulfinch Hotel last year after extensive renovations, is offering a special package for runners who need a place to rest their sore legs. (Or any spectators who want to prolong their Boston visit.) The “Marathon Monday Wine Down” includes an overnight stay, celebratory dinner for two with bottle of wine (get it?) in the property’s Mad Men-evoking restaurant Finch, and breakfast for two before you hit the road in the morning. The package price: $509. Having a place to crash on Marathon Monday and avoid the mad rush of traffic out of the city: Priceless.

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Mandarin Oriental Boston Will Welcome Bar Boulud Next Year

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 776 Boylston Street [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02199
February 5, 2014 at 2:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Asana at the Mandarin Oriental Boston is about to assume its final resting position. (That’s a yoga joke, guys.) The New American restaurant will soon be replaced by the third location of Bar Boulud, renowned French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s casual bistro and wine bar. Renovations to its ground floor space in the 14-story hotel will begin in June, and the new eatery is expected to open in Fall 2014.

His partnership with the five-diamond Mandarin marks Boulud’s first venture into Boston. Time will tell what culinary surprises are in store for the spot, though an announcement promises the type of French bistro fare and seasonal charcuterie similar you’d find at Bar Boulud’s existing locations in New York City and London.

It "will be filled with energy, a great range of wine selections and soulful bistro cooking to create a vibrant eating and drinking destination,” states Boulud. The Boston restaurant will be overseen by Aaron Chambers, most recently chef de cuisine at the Mediterranean-focused Boulud Sud.

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Before and After: A Sneak Peek at The Loews Boston's Renovations

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 350 Stuart Street [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02116
February 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.

In its past life, the Loews Boston Hotel was the Boston Police Department Headquarters. Today, it’s guilty on one count: possession of uninspired guestrooms. (Don't worry, it’s only a misdemeanor.)

But freedom for travelers is up ahead, now that the hotel is jump-starting a $10 million renovation. Slated to wrap up by the end of March, the makeover will unveil 225 redone guestrooms that are “inspired by a fine-tailored” suit, according to a statement: think grey flannel, hounds tooth, and herringbone fabrics in a sleek design with free Wi-Fi and other amenities of the “latest technology.” Behold: this before and after of the old and upcoming looks.

Keep reading to see the AFTER pic!

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Hotel Week to Hit Boston on February 16th

January 15, 2014 at 11:27 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sad that New York Hotel Week is over? Don't be too sad! Hotel Week Boston is coming up!

From February 16 - 23, several Boston hotels are offering major discounts on their rooms, averaging about 25-30 percent off, making it a good deal for those willing to brave the cold in Beantown or for Bostonians who want to escape their own digs. Conveniently, the hotel week happens the same time as the school vacation week.

A list of the participating hotels can be found on Facebook including several of the city's top luxury hotels like the Ritz-Carlton (25 percent off bed and breakfast page for a deluxe suite); The Four Seasons (25 percent off their best available rate); The Liberty Hotel (30 percent off of the best available rate and overnight valet parking) and the W Boston (30 percent discount off of the best available rate and in-room wifi.) Another deal we like is at The Charles Hotel where rooms cost $199 a night and include ice skating passes at the hotel's rink, free parking and daily breakfast.

During hotel week, guests can also get in on some other deals around Boston, including a two-for-one offer from the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston and the Franklin Park Zoo, and 20% off tickets to Jose Mateo Ballet Company’s winter show, "Unbridled." Now, how do you like them apples?

[Photo: Liberty Hotel Boston]

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A Macaron Nutcracker Now Stands Guard at The Ritz-Carlton Boston

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 10 Avery Street [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02111
December 19, 2013 at 8:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

Earlier this week, we were stunned by the Laduree Macaron Christmas Tree at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. Today, there's another macaron creation to drool over, The Nutcracker at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common which stands 14-feet tall and consists entirely of gingerbread macarons. Below are some fun facts from Chef Andrew Yeo about the structure, which apparently needs daily touch-ups because hungry guests keep filching macarons from it!

· The Nutcracker is made out of 20 pounds of almond flour, 100 pounds of granulated sugar, five pounds of water and 4,106 egg whites.
· In total, that's more than 3,000 macarons, flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, clove and almond.
· Using the hotel's entire pastry team, it took about a week to build from start to finish.
· Yeo was inspired by a gift he received earlier in the year from Laduree Paris and that set his mind on doing something for the holidays with macarons.
· Last year, the hotel built a life-sized gingerbread house that housed a gift shop for the Boston Ballet. This year, they wanted to go bigger yet still incorporate the ballet. Thus The Nutcracker, which comes to life next door at the Opera House.
· Lastly, the figure is 14-feet-tall to celebrate 2014. Clever!

The hotel still has rooms open for Christmas starting at $395 a night. The hotel also has a Nutcracker Suite package available that includes a stay in a luxury suite with holiday trimmings and elements inspired by Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, a Teddy Bear tuck-in service, a saint pointe shoe autographed by a Boston Ballet company dancer, a CD recording of The Nutcracker and a Sugar Plum inspired bubble bath drawn by butler. Fancy! But it costs $995 a night.

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Get Checked-In By The Green Monster (and Other Red Sox Hotel Tributes)

October 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last night, the Boston Red Sox took the lead in this year's World Series with a whopping 8-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. We're not Sox fans here but it's a good thing they won, otherwise all the hotels rooting on the team with special baseball displays, suites and packages would have looked pretty sheepish this morning.

The Hotel Commonwealth, located next to Fenway Park, unveiled a lobby tribute to the Red Sox which features a hand-painted front desk “Green Monster,” vintage Fenway Park stadium seats, baseballs, banners, pennants and more. No surprise here, but the hotel is sold-out for Game 2 tonight.

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