Tag: Boston Hotels

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This Boston Hotel Proves That Good Service Does Not Depend on Tipping

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  Site Where: 1 Seaport Lane [map], Boston, Massachusetts , United States, 02210
April 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

When this writer checked into the 428-room Boston Seaport Hotel, one of the first things the clerk went out of her way to tell me was that there was no tipping at the hotel. I figured I'd heard her wrong, so I asked her to repeat it. She smiled. The craziest part is when she told me it's not a new thing - the hotel has had a no tipping policy since it opened in 1998.

Fifteen years ago, it put its then 260 employees through 35,000 hours of training on all aspects of guest service, from opening doors to room tidiness, and taught them to do it all without expecting a tip.

We've talked a lot about tipping on this site in the past, and there's always a debate about who should be tipped and for what. I found the no tipping policy at the Seaport to be extremely refreshing and impressive. Two reasons stand out in particular. 1) When receiving help from the staff, I didn't immediately feel like I owed them money and 2) I felt like the employees genuinely wanted to help me, and when it comes to the travel industry, that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle when money is involved.

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Hop Over to These New England Hotel Easter Egg Hunts

April 18, 2014 at 5:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Adults and kids will jump for joy at these festive New England outings. Unless you want angry neighbors rapping on your door all day, we don’t typically endorse indulging your kids in a sugar rush while staying at a hotel. But this weekend is Easter, after all - so if your little cottontails are going to get their paws on milk chocolate bunnies, they might as well do it somewhere nice. You know, somewhere with a spa. (That’s for you.)

To save you the trouble of hunting all over the Internet, here are a few New England properties that are hosting Easter egg hunts for kids and families. At the very least, they’ll get the children to play with something other than an iPad. The best-case scenario: Hopping all over the hotel puts them down for a nap, and that spa is all yours.

Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH The property is hosting not one, not two – but FIVE different Easter egg hunts that are open to various age groups (and guests and locals alike). Among them: the all-ages “Great Bretton Woods Hunt,” which will scatter eggs (including a prized “golden egg”) across 464 acres of New Hampshire’s largest ski area. (“Powdery treats” are promised as you search.) There’s the “Easter Egg Extravaganza Hunt,” that will hide 600 colored eggs around the hotel itself, and there’s the “Slopeside Pub Easter Egg Hunt,” an adults-only afternoon hunt in the property’s tavern. (Other weekend activities include a “Tortoise and Hare” themed ski and snowshoe race, and story time with the Easter Bunny.”)

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DoubleTree Hilton Boston Wraps Its $8.6 Million Facelift

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  Site Where: 821 Washington St. [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02111
April 16, 2014 at 10:38 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.

For a hotel located across the street from a hospital, you’d think that that the DoubleTree Hilton Boston would have had a facelift sooner. But this month the property announced the completion of an $8.6 million renovation that gave the 267 guest rooms a much needed new look. That's the "Before" picture above. Now brace yourself for the "After" shot below.

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Bite Into Gooey Goodness as These Hotels Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month

April 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen — April is National Grilled Cheese Month (who’s coming up with this stuff?).

Some hotels have embraced the concept as a means to reinvent this American classic, some even going so far as to create over-the-top versions of what’s, already, a delectable comfort food.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa, for instance, is celebrating the month by offering a new specialty grilled cheese available at the hotel’s Beach Club. Are you ready for it? The Lobster & Pork Belly Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich, created by Chef Chris Schaefer, features pickled green tomato on Texas toast.

Executive Chef Gabriel Ask of Parq Bar at Montage Beverly Hills serves up a more traditional Brioche and Aged English Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and kids staying at Gramercy Park Hotel can try their own version with brioche by having an American or Gruyere on Brioche Grilled Cheese Sandwich with French Fries from the Room Service menu.

And then there’s the Grilled Mac ‘n Cheese at Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa, created by Sous Chef Chris Salazar, which combines homemade mac ‘n cheese, ham, grilled balsamic tomato and guacamole on grilled sourdough bread.

See what Loews Hotels are doing for National Grilled Cheese Month after the break!

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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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8 of The Best Hotel Pillows in New England

March 28, 2014 at 12:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Not all pillows are created the same. Here are some of the comfiest sleep aids around.

How would you like your good night's sleep? With a side of spritzed fragrance? Extra plush panels? Headache-reducing magnets? Whatever you want, there's probably a pillow menu that has it. We found eight New England hotels with some of our favorite feather (and rubber, and foam…) filled treats.

1. Chebeague Island Inn. Relaxing: laying down your head on a peaceful island 10 miles off the coast of Portland, Maine. More relaxing: laying it on a pillow made by CuddleDown, a local company out of Freeport. Chebeague (pictured) outfits its accommodations with CuddleDown’s 800-Fill Power European White Goose Down Pillows. (That’s a mouthful.) Made with 450-thread count cotton and boasting high fill power, the pillows are spritzed with L’Occitane lavender pillow mist at turndown for an extra olfactory lullaby.
Rates start at $220 a night.

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

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  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

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  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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The Godfrey to Open a Second Hotel in Boston

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  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

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  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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