MA Travel Guide
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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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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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.
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!
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]
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.
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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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 firstname.lastname@example.org and receive a complimentary in-room movie.
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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.
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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.