MA Travel Guide
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.
Photo Gallery / Martha's Vineyard Hotels / Massachusetts Hotels / Island Hotels / Hotel Reviews / Hotels with Fireplaces / → All Tags
There's a new show on TV. It's called The Vineyard, on ABC Family, and it's a bit like if The Hills moved to an island off the east coast; to Martha's Vineyard, to be exact. Don't watch the show unless you enjoy following the drama of Blake Lively lookalikes with junior high problems, but the show is at least good for its scenery. The camera seems especially infatuated with the Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse and the sprawling Cape Cod cottage behind. That, dear readers, is no cottage but the largest hotel on Martha's Vineyard, the Harbor View Hotel which boasts its own collection of cottages and one of the only large, heated outdoor swimming pools on the island.
Originally opened in 1891, the Harbor View and its famous expansive front porch has had plenty of time to become a summer tradition for families. Of course if you're not the Obamas, the Clintons or one of the many millionaire or billionaire estate owners on Martha's Vineyard, the Harbor View is the affordable way to enjoy a large property complete with a daily list of activities and amenities (s'mores! veranda yoga! harbor cruises!).
UPDATE: We've just got word that THE WIFI IS NOW FREE! Glorious!
Back in early June, we learned that the Mondrian Soho was in danger of losing its Mondrian name, thanks to the behind the scenes drama going on with parent company, Morgans Hotel Group. We also reported then that the Ames Hotel in Boston was in peril of losing its management contract with Morgans Hotel Group. And just like that, POOF, it's gone.
We received a press release today announcing that StepStone Hospitality, a Rhode Island-based hospitality management firm, has taken over The Ames Hotel.
“This unique property contrasts modern style with historic sophistication to provide a unique guest experience,” added Blair Wills, StepStone Hospitality president and chief operating officer. “We’re committed to assuring that the level of service matches the quality of the surroundings.”
StepStone currently manages a Hampton Inn and a Springhill Suites in Massachusetts so having the Ames in their portfolio is certainly a stepping stone to greater things.
So far, we don't anticipate many, if any, changes to happen at The Ames. However, it would be excellent if the Ames decided to offer free WiFi under their new management. Currently, the hotel charges $15 for 24 hours.
Ooh, what’s that sound? Is it your screams because today is the start of National Ice Cream Month? Oh, not to be confused with National Ice Cream Day, btw. Or are you just ready for the long holiday weekend? We bet it’s the former—and we’ll give you something else to holler about, too!
The Four Seasons Boston has built a pop-up ice cream shop in their lobby, called Four Seasons Scoops. It opened today and will serve locally loved Gifford’s Ice Cream of Maine until September 8th.
Open every Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm-4pm, the showcase will have yummy flavors like Campfire S’mores, Maine Wild Blueberry, and Muddy, along with special homemade creations by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef Tim Fonseca.
Special guest "celebrity scoopers" will dish out the treats to Boston’s hot tempered citizens during upcoming baseball season (we kid, we kid!).
They’ll give away free scoops every Friday to lucky followers of @FSBoston on Twitter, and while you're on the site, book a room by emailing email@example.com and receive a complimentary in-room movie.
Photo Gallery / Martha's Vineyard Hotels / Massachusetts Hotels / Island Hotels / Hotel Reviews / Hotels with Fireplaces / → All Tags
The island of Martha's Vineyard certainly has a reputation. One, it's known as a playground of the rich and preppy. Two, MV is a favorite vacation destination for presidents, specifically Clinton and Obama (and, in the past, the Kennedys). Because of this reputation combined with the history of the island, it's believed that the island doesn't offer much in the way of affordably luxurious, amenity-rich accommodations. Not true! The Mansion House is proof that the island has more than tiny B&Bs with giant price tags.
Mansion House is at the center of the town of Vineyard Haven, which boasts most of the year-round population on the island. This means there's plenty shopping, dining and sights within easy walking and biking distance. We recommend a stroll down to nosh on lobster rolls and clams at The Net Result, and a visit to Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, where President Obama shops with Sasha and Malia.
Since the Mansion House offers year-round accommodation in 48 rooms, rates vary greatly, usually from $99 to $309 as a start.
Boston Hotels / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Pools / Hotel Bars / Hotel Uniforms / Hotel News / → All Tags
If you have difficulty trying to get work done on hotel rooftops, then we have two pieces of advice for you: one, stop trying to get work done on hotel rooftops, and two, definitely don't visit the new rooftop pool at the Revere Hotel, where attractive female employees will be prancing around all summer long in matching swimwear outfits designed by Pret-a-Surf.
The checkered hot pants, striped bikini tops, and nautical-themed jerseys that you see above are the new staff uniforms up at Rooftop @ Revere, which debuted last week.
As hotel uniforms go, we like the breezy, New England look—certainly racier indeed than the silk embroidered robes we saw in Bangkok, yet tamer than the W New York Downtown's double-breasted tuxedo shorts.
And if you fancy yourself (or your loved one) dressed up like one of the Revere cocktail servers, then all you have to do is head down to the lobby retail shop, and pick out some matching Pret-a-Surf attire of your very own.
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]
Boston Hotels / Boston Bombings / Hotel Emergencies / Hotel Tragedies / Boston Marathon Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
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]
Hotel Emergencies / Boston Bombings / Hotel News / Boston Hotels / Boston Marathon Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel News / Boston Bombings / Hotel Emergencies / Boston Hotels / Hotel Tragedies / Fairmont Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Screening Rooms / Hotel Movies / Boston Hotels / Hotel Events / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
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!
Hotel News / Boston Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Element Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Convention Hotels / → All Tags
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.