MA Travel Guide
When it comes to rock 'n roll hotels, The Verb Hotel is "not the same old song and dance" as evidenced by this vintage pre-Elvis tour bus complete with bar, kitchen, sleeping area and bathroom. Groupies not included.
Rock ‘n roll nostalgia in hotels is nothing new. Even if you weren’t around for the original experience--or if you were and you don’t remember--rock lives on in memorabilia throughout many hotels. Anyone heard of Hard Rock Hotels?
But hanging up a pair of pants a rocker wore for five minutes of a tour 40 years ago doesn’t cut it in this highly competitive world of hotel design. Here’s a rock hotel that we think hits it out of the ballpark--The Verb Hotel, about a home run (or foul ball's distance) from Boston's Fenway Park.
Here's a niche offer: If you’re from Nantucket, and are staying home over the holidays, the island’s newest hotel – The Nantucket Hotel & Resort – has a rather nice Christmas present for you. They’re offering fellow Nantuckians a complimentary one-night stay on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
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Trees, gingerbread houses, insane glass bottle installations – Christmas hotel decor is all well and good, but sometimes you want to bring a taste of it home.
With eight dining establishments already in New York City alone, including the two-Michelin starred DANIEL, this is great news for Bostonians, visitors, and all self-proclaimed foodies. This also marks the third Bar Boulud after New York and London and the second partnership for Boulud with Mandarin Oriental Hotels (there is also a Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.)
The design of the new Bar Boulud was handled by Adam D. Tihany of Tihany Design. From the looks of the restaurant now that it’s completed, we think it’s quite simply, spectacular.
The Rathskeller Suite at Hotel Commonwealth is chock full of memorabilia from the cellar of the grungy music club The Rat - minus the grunge
Hotel Commonwealth in Boston’s historic Back Bay may seem like just one of many luxury accommodations to choose from (and it is) but it does have a rather uncommon legacy. The hotel was once the site of a legendary nightclub that rocked Boston from the mid-1970s to late 1990s before it was demolished in 2000. This was The Rathskeller, aka The Rat, and what better way to commemorate this famous musical haunt than by dedicating a hotel suite in its honor?
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How do you like to reach your hotel? By car? Public transport? Chartered helicopter? Or by chariot?
Yup, when we stayed at the Cape Colony Inn in Provincetown MA, we found chariots mentioned in their detailed transportation guide.
Of course, they’re not real chariots – they’re pedicabs. But any hotel with a sense of humor is a hotel for us.
In fact, although the Cape Colony Inn is more of a motel than a posh hotel, we couldn’t fault it. Large, spotless rooms, tasteful – nay, even boutiquey – decor, Keurig coffee machines, and comfortable Simmons beds. They have a pool… and shuffleboard... and, more importantly, great customer service (they actually upgraded us to a two-bedroom suite because we had a terrible cold and feared passing it on to our travel companion).
Growing herbs on a rooftop? Been there, done that. It was our first post-college apartment, man. It was pretty tight. But then we realized our Doritos budget was climbing higher than the cable bill, and our roommate started dating a cop, so…
Oh, never mind. Apparently the Copley Square Hotel is growing very different kinds of herb on a new rooftop garden that it rolled out this summer. Basil, thyme, tarragon, mint and rosemary are all sprouting up atop the Back Bay property, and they’re plucked fresh for starring roles in a new herb-focused cocktail menu at its restaurant, Xhale.
There, tarragon is combined with grapefruit for a summery take on a gin & tonic. Rooftop basil is muddled with blueberries in lemonade, and then spiked with rum for a refreshing “Crush.” And chef Alex Deamicis is using the garden’s thyme to create a simple syrup that is combined with honey and whiskey. All sound intoxicating.
Other hotels call themselves pet-friendly or talk about VIPooches. On Nantucket, it seems, they speak a little more baldly. Enter the Woof Cottages at The Cottages and Lofts at the Boat Basin: 12 dog (and cat)-friendly cottages on the waterfront, presided over by two resident innkeepers: Killington and Ellie.
Killington, pictured above, loves leaping on a golf cart to greet guests even more than he loves napping. Ellie (the Westie here), meanwhile, concerns herself with the doggie welcome amenities: tennis balls, raw hide bones and on-the-go water bottles being her top picks.
“Hey, let’s head down to that sexy Sheraton Boston Hotel for a luxurious massage and decadent dinner,” said Nobody Ever, Not Once.
With all due respect to the Back Bay property, it hasn’t generally boasted a lot of appeal outside the convention set. But today the Sheraton caps a multi-million dollar renovation by rolling out a brand spanking-new spa: Green Tangerine Spa & Salon, the only Sheraton outpost of the locally-based brand, which has just three other locations in Massachusetts and two in Connecticut. The 5,500-square foot facility offers haircuts, manicures, massages and skincare treatments at prices that are quite competitive when compared to the spas on nearby Newbury Street. So it may actually lure locals, besides the inevitable conventioneers getting their talons polished before marathon handshake sessions.
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Last week it was announced that Boston is on the short list of American cities being considered for the US bid to host the 2024 Olympics. The news has some people pumped, a lot of other people preemptively horrified at the prospect.
But here’s an Olympics-related invitation we can all agree on: “Row Like a Pro” at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. Fitness-related hotel packages are very on-trend lately; check out this recently announced Running Camp in Jackson Hole. And as befitting a storied, tony brand, the Four Seasons is pulling in the crème de la crème of athletes for this one.
Available only on September 7, 13, 21 and 28, 2014, the “Row” package lets guests take a private two-hour row with one of several Olympic champs, including 2012 gold medalist Esther Lofgren. You’ll hit the Charles River, passing picturesque Boston landmarks before ending at the finish line of Head of the Charles, America’s largest regatta, held every October.
It’s a tale as old as time: You get a pool. Your neighbor gets a pool. You add a hot tub. Your neighbor adds a bigger hot tub and builds a deck. You build a bigger deck, add a grill the size of a Buick, and throw a massive summer block party that becomes the talk of the neighborhood for generations hence. Your children’s children will tell tales of these kebabs.
Pool Wars: Suburbia Edition.
City hotels aren’t immune from wanting to keep up with the Joneses. So we can't help but wonder if last summer’s rollout of Rooftop @ Revere, the Revere Hotel Boston Common’s swanky seventh-floor hangout for sipping, sunning and swimming, was a contributing factor to the Colonnade Boston Hotel's splashy redo of its rooftop pool.
This summer’s heightened Colonnade experience still boasts the city’s only outdoor roof top pool. (The Revere’s pool is in a glass-enclosed annex to the terrace.) But added to the scene are billowing white cabanas available for private rental, a 12-seat full service bar, and plenty of chic new lounging areas set upon oh-so-tropical bamboo flooring.
You’ll be able to tipple pitcher cocktails with your fellow sun worshippers, and nibble on a new rooftop food menu that includes spicy rubbed swordfish tacos and Regina Pizzeria pies. (At this point, presumably, you’re already bathing suit-ready.)
[Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Commonwealth]
Where do the Red Sox players hit the hay after a big game? Well, most likely, on beds made of money inside acre-size master suites at their multimillion-dollar mansions that seem straight out of MTV’s “Cribs.” (Cue: Mid-Aughties rap music, probably 50 Cent.)
The rest of us, meanwhile, may want to consider Hotel Commonwealth in Boston’s Kenmore Square. It was recently named the Official Hotel of the Boston Red Sox, and the property will be able to leverage this four-year partnership toward special guest packages. Those already announced start at $399/night, but you might need an MLB-sized paycheck to take advantage of the “Ultimate Bucket List Baseball Package.”