Short stays in Boston

We often visit Boston, sometimes just for the day or evening, and sometimes we treat ourselves and spend a night or two. It's a nice small city that's easy to get around either by metro (MTA), cabs, or even walking.

Millennium Bostonian Hotel

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cantin2 on March 7, 2004

This seven-story upscale hotel is in a convenient area for tourists and business travellers alike. Check-in is done sitting at a concierge desk that offers fruit in the morning and fresh-baked cookies later on in the day.

Rooms are not spacious but are well appointed. Sofas are placed kitty-corner, which makes the room visually appealing. All units have floor-to-ceiling windows and a few have French doors that open to a Romeo and Juliet balcony. Your choice of newspaper is delivered each morning, and the concierge has a leather-bound book of many of the restaurant menus. Although it does not have a pool and gym, the concierge will gladly give you a pass to nearby facilities. If you happen to be here on a Saturday, the outdoor market is set up just outside the doors.

The Seaport and Fanueil Hall are just across the street with all their shops and dining venues. A street-level cocktail lounge is perfect for people-watching, and a piano player entertains in the evening. The award-winning restaurant is one story above and overlooks Fanueil Hall.

There is a small rooftop patio that is undiscovered, great to have morning coffee and read the paper. A 2-block walk takes you to IMAX, the Aquarium, and Boston Harbor, with its ferries and boat tours. The MBTA (subway) is close by for easy access to all of Boston's fun and historic attractions.

This is the perfect hotel: a quiet oasis in the midst of all the action.

Millennium Bostonian Hotel Boston
Faneuil Hall Marketplace 26 North Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02109
(617) 523-3600

Marriott Custom House

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cantin2 on September 2, 2003

Marriott Custom House is a beautiful 26-story building with a clock tower bordering the financial district and is within steps of the Seaport and Fanueil Hall. It couldn't be in a more perfect location for both visitors and business travelers. All rooms are one-bedroom suites with a living room/dining room area and a kitchenette. This is part of Marriott's Vacation Club.

Elegant furnishings are mostly in shades of blue and gold and all suites have 12 to15 feet ceilings with at least four very long windows, two TVs, and plenty of storage space. The main lobby is small and quiet with a concierge desk. Continental Breakfast (for a fee) is served in the lounge/club room on the second floor and cocktails are available from 5pm, sometimes with quiet music.

The top floor has a game room and play area for children and laundry facilities for those on extended stays. The views from these rooms are beautiful - no other buildings are close by to obstruct, as with many other hotels in big cities.

The Seaport is filled with interesting shops, vendors, entertainers, and restaurants. Boston's beautiful Aquarium and IMAX are only two blocks away. Harbor Cruises and ferries depart regularly from the nearby docks. This hotel is perfect for families and extended stays since they are so spacious and well-located. The MTA (subway) is one block away, making access to Boston's other attractions so convenient. Access to Marriott Long Wharf's pool is available to guests. If you prefer a full service hotel rather than a quiet suite hotel, the Marriott Long Wharf, only two blocks away, would be a better choice.

Marriott's Custom House
3 McKinley Square
Boston, 02109
(617) 310-6300

Marriott Residence Inn

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Cantin2 on October 13, 2005

Wanting to spend the evening in Boston with friends but unwilling to spend a fortune for a hotel room, we made reservations at Marriott Residence Inn in Tewksbury, about 40 minutes away. It suited our needs perfectly.

A small circular drive beautifully landscaped in fall colors sets the tone for this "home away from home," as Marriott likes to promote their Residence Inns. The nine buildings resemble a lovely apartment complex in the woods rather than a motel just off the highway.

The small lobby is decorated with live plants, fall foliage, and pumpkins. The lounge area - a living room/dining area combination just off the lobby - is a comfortable alternative to your suite for watching TV or accessing free Internet. An adjacent room has a few workout machines, and a small "market" behind the front desk has snacks, drinks, and microwaveable meals for sale.

The one-bedroom suites are not large but well designed. A few have fireplaces and all have a small deck off the bedroom. The open design of the living room/kitchen makes the room feel more spacious. The pullout sofa is comfortable to sit on, lighting is good, and the desk is equipped with a high-speed data port and cable for free Internet access.

The kitchen with a full-size refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, two-burner stove, microwave and small dishwasher, and two stools at a counter is perfect for two. A welcome basket is filled with coffee and popcorn.

Complimentary buffet breakfast is served for 3 hours each morning. The room is too small, as there are only 8 tables, so there is a wait. The food was good - not great - but there is something for everyone: oatmeal, cereal, fruit, juices, yogurt, donuts, bagels, toast, muffins, and make-your-own waffles. Each morning I had scrambled and hard-boiled eggs and a changing variety of ham, sausage, fried potatoes, biscuits, pancakes, and even tortillas with salsa and cheese. If you prefer to eat in your suite, plastic plates and utensils are provided for takeaway.

On weekday evenings there is a Social Hour from 5 to 7pm. No, there are no cocktails, as Residence Inn does not have a liquor license. We were there on a weekend, but a menu posted in our room showed a good variety of supper items that changed daily: franks with mac and cheese, fajitas, beef stew, meatloaf with mash, chicken tenders with fries, meatballs and spaghetti - a nice concept. The pool area, small but inviting (closed after Labor Day), has a gazebo with grills and tables. Also inviting were picnic tables in a wooded grove, even just for relaxing instead of picnicking.

Residence Inn is a good choice as a point to explore from while on a short vacation. You could easily call it "home" for a long weekend or a week - and it would be easy although a bit tight in space with kids.

Marriott Residence Inn Boston Tewksbury/Andover
1775 Andover Street
Tewksbury, Massachusetts, 01876
(978) 640-1003


Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cantin2 on September 3, 2003

The gold, blue and white nautical decor of this reataurant is quite appealing - especially since it overlooks the harbor. The large cocktail lounge has many windows, a large rectangular bar and many cocktail tables with upholstered chairs -- well spaced to allow some privacy and easy navigation throughout the room. Big white sails hang from the ceiling and racing flags line the walls. The small formal restaurant has a good view of the harbor. We didn't dine here but instead opted for lighter fare from the bar menu.

We were enticed by the outdoor terrace -- it is so inviting with wrought iron tables and market umbrellas. It was a hot late afternoon and we would have enjoyed a drink there, but the drawback . . . plastic cups, the throwaway kind, not even acrylic ones!!!! Not at all appealing for a chilled martini on a hot afternoon.

We instead decided to enjoy the best martini that "Beantown" has to offer in the air-conditioned lounge. They're seved in frozen glasses and a bargain at $8 each. Considering the area that the Oceania is in -- very touristy -- the food and drinks are very reasonable. Servers are very pleasant and the views incredible. Definitely a good spot to spend a few quiet moments.

Marriott Long Wharf Hotel
Boston, Massachusetts

Top of the Hub

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cantin2 on September 9, 2004

Touristy???? Of course it is - It's prime location at the top of the Prudential Center with it's panoramic views of Boston and beyond make it a real attraction.

We hadn't been there in a few years and I have to say the my mouth dropped - a smile spread - WOW - On a clear day with the sun sparkling on the water or with the moon reflecting in the John Hancock building at night - the view is incredible - Everyone should see it.

We stopped for cocktails just around sunset - the orientation of the cocktail lounge doesn't allow a real sunset view but the shadings in the sky and watching the city slowly light up with lights sparkling as it grows darker and darker is interesting. Even the plane traffic from Logan Airport is fascinating.

A long bar, a staging area, a small dance floor and tables along the windows occupy about half of the space on this 52nd floor. The hostess will promptly lead you to the bar or a table - look around as you first enter - some areas have cushioned chairs - other seats seemed stiff and all the way beyond the bar are a couple of sofas and low coffee tables near the Jazz group that plays nightly. If you can take your eyes away from the floor to ceiling windows, you'll notice sails, stretched across the ceiling - a nice light feeling with all the dark wood. A see-through divider separates the cocktail lounge from the white clothed dining area that is positioned to possibly get a better sunset view. Tables are spaced so that you have privacy.

The wait staff is young - many college students we were told - all very friendly, well-versed and very efficient. A new chef is gaining accolades with his exceptional menu of seasonal fare - rated 92 by The Phantom Gourmet. Fried calamari from the lounge menu was large enough to share with cocktails. Perfectly deep fried and beautifully presented on an oval platter with a tangy dipping sauce.

A Jazz trio plays nightly from about 8pm. The crowd is mixed - obviously many visitors - some laden with purchases from their shopping adventures, business men at the bar after work, foursomes out for the evening probably celebrating a happy occasion and the romantic couples enjoying the ambiance.

We'll return sooner than later. You'll be delighted with delicious specialties that change each month and the spectacular view makes the Top of the Hub a perfect spot.

Top of the Hub
Prudential Center
Boston, Massachusetts, 02199
(617) 536-1775

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