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The Fairmont Copley Passes The Airfare Watchdog's Sniff Test

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  Site Where: 138 St. James Ave [map], Boston, MA, United States
February 27, 2008 at 4:47 PM | by | ()

We now present you with our VIP Hotel Reviewer Series in which we hand-pick experts in the travel and media worlds and beyond to tell us what are their favorite hotels and why. Once a week, we'll feature a hotel review from said VIPs about their favorite leisure or business hotels. Pay attention: These VIPs are experts at what they do and they don't mess around when it comes to their hotels.

The next VIP in the series is George Hobica, who created one of our favorite websites ever, Airfare Watchdog, which gives readers the lowdown on the cheapest airfares around the world. Enjoy.

[Photo: JulieMelton]

I've been pretty much all around the world and stayed in a lot of hotels, from the swank Cipriani in Venice to the idyllic Four Seasons in Bali. It's pretty depressing, at least to me, to end up in a dumpy hotel with polyester sheets and strange odors, and windows that won't open. So I like to spoil myself when I travel, or at least have the same level of comfort on the road as I do at home (we do have operable windows chez moi).

And I feel both spoiled and at home at Boston's Copley Plaza, now a part of the Fairmont group. Built the same year that the Titanic went down (1912), all of its 383-rooms have been newly renovated in a style befitting its vintage, without being too fussy or fusty.

Here's why I else like it: It's dog friendly, very friendly. As you'd expect from someone who owns a Web site called Airfarewatchdog.com, this is a must. They even have a "canine ambassador," a gorgeous black lab named Catie stationed in the lobby at the concierge desk. If I'm going out for the night, I leave my wheaten terrier with the concierge so she won't be lonely.

[Photo: CmikeD]

It’s just a few steps from the Amtrak station in historic Back Bay, right across from the Copley Mall, and overlooking Trinity Church. When I visit Boston I always take the train, so I can just walk to the hotel. And shopping on Newbury Street, or really anywhere, is a short stroll.

The staff is friendly and helpful, especially on the Fairmont Gold floor, where they serve breakfast each morning and snacks and drinks throughout the day.

This is a grand old hotel, with opulent public rooms. The Oak Room, the hotel’s main dining room, with its ornate oak paneling and high ceilings, must be one of the most beautiful spaces on the East Coast. The lobby is aglitter in gold leaf.

Although not cheap, room rates are not as lofty as they are at the nearby Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, and you can often get special deals. That said, beware that some of the lower priced rooms are small, and face an inner courtyard.

Weekends tend to see the lowest rates, so try to plan your visit for a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night if you’re on a budget.

Until April 15, they have an “Only One Way Winter” package starting at $209 per night that includes a $100 food and beverage credit if you pay with an American Express Card, which is a pretty incredible bargain for such a fine old gal.

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