Our Favorite City - Boston

Having spent our college years here, we have many wonderful memories...that's why we return year after year.


Marriott's Custom House

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cantin2 on March 29, 2010

This is a return trip for us to the Marriott Custom House - a part of the Marriott Vacation Club - therefore all rooms are suites. The hotel itself is a historic building - a former "Custom House" with a Clock Tower, Rotunda and Counting Room - marble everywhere and a large winding stairway in the atrium. The 26th floor has an observation deck with great views. the game room and health club are not much to speak of, but a nice touch is the laundry room that is complimentary - even detergent is provided.

Our suite was a very spacious one bedroom with high molded ceilings and very long narrow draped windows overlooking Faneuil Hall Market Place and the Old North Church beyond. The living room/dining room combo has plenty of storage space in a large dark wood armoir that houses a TV/DVD player and cabinet with drawer space. The mini kitchen area is well stocked with dishes to serve four, a small refrigerator, coffee maker, micro and blender.

The Counting Room is set up for continental breakfast as a service to guests - on the honor system - you sign for what you eat and coffee is free. Pricing is very reasonable...fruit cup $1.50.....muffins $1.00....waffles $2.00. Starting at 5PM, a bar is open and there is some sort of entertainment a few nights per week - guitarist, jazz combo etc. Another perk is the use of the pool at the Long Wharf Marriott just across the street.

The location of the Custom House is perfect - across the street from the "Aquarium" stop on the subway (metro). One block to the Aquarium and Imax, a five minute walk to the North End (Italian Section) and around the corner from Quincy Market with all of it's shops and restaurants.

The staff is extremely pleasant - all employees greet you with a smile and each time that you enter or leave the hotel, you are asked how your day was or if then can help you with anything.

The food court at Quincy Market has such yummy things....Chinese, Pizza, Pastas, Chicken, Salads, Heros, Chowders, Lobster, Thai, Pastries, Gelato and superb Desserts. Can't find an empty table - no problem - take it back to your room where you have a dining table and refrigerator for left-overs.

Can;t beat this for a family - Marriott even offers a 2-night special for $299 which requires you to attend a very low key Vacation Club presentation. Remember - they are Marriott and don't want to take a chance of offending you with high pressure sales tactics. We'll certainly return on our next Boston excursion.
Marriott's Custom House
3 McKinley Square
Boston, 02109
(617) 310-6300

Marriott Long Wharf

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Cantin2 on September 17, 2006

What great location - on the waterfront adjacent to Faneuil Hall marketplace with all of its entertainment, restaurants, bars, and shops.

Check-in is fast and efficient - most rooms have water views. We had a room on the fourth floor that I particularly liked. Because of the hotel's architecture, you felt as though you had a large terrace - the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked a 20-foot area that was inaccessible but lovely, decorated with red brick buttresses and arches. If you look at the design of the hotel, you may better understand what I'm attempting to describe. It seemed to extend the size of the room. We overlooked the marina, public gardens, and the North End in the far distance. A beautiful view both day and night.

The bell staff is efficient with helping with luggage, hailing cabs, valet parking ($40/day), and giving directions. Noticing that we had wine with us, the bell boy immediately filled our ice bucket, got us a corkscrew and wine glasses (without our requesting it), and suggested that he bring up a small complimentary refrigerator that would keep items colder than the minibar.

The dark wood of the headboard, nightstands, desk, and armoire gave the room a warm feeling. All done in tones of green, beige, and white, it also was very relaxing. Five lamps allow you to adjust the lighting for many moods.

The closet is small, but many drawers in the armoire and nightstands keep the room clutter-free. The marble-and-granite bathroom has a great showerhead, tons of towels, aromatic green tea amenities, and a powerful hair dryer. All mirrors and artwork are framed in wood, finished in either gold or silver satin tones. A small alcove is set up with coffeemaker, small fridge(used to be a stocked minibar but has been discontinued), and a safe.

The BED!!! Oh my gosh!!! You look forward to bedtime here. It's so inviting and comfy - all white with a slight trim of beige - a feather mattress, down duvet, and an array of pillows ensure a great night's rest.

Being rated a five-star full-service Marriott, you have a pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center, business center, restaurants, bars, shops, and 24-hour room service. Wi-fi Internet access and free long-distance phone calls for $10 daily. The MTA is steps from the entrance making it convenient to get around, and the North end is a 5-minute walk away. Going to the airport?? You have a choice of only two stops away on the subway for $1.25, a water taxi for $10, or a $15 cab ride.

Marriott just keeps getting better with its signature bedding and upgraded rooms - to move up another notch, they need turn-down service and a magnifying make-up mirror in the bathroom. There are nice touches - two complimentary newspapers delivered daily and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies on check-in. Certainly a return-to hotel for us when visiting Boston again.

Marriott Boston Long Wharf
296 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02109
(617) 227-0800

Fairmont Copley Plaza

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Cantin2 on October 6, 2007

This Grand Old Dame sits majestically at Copley Square overlooking the park - all dressed up with traditional red awnings. You do feel special as you pull up - one or two uniformed bellmen help with your luggage and vehicle. The lobby is very formal with oriental rugs, mirrored doors, heavy drapes and lots of period chairs and rather stiff sofas.

Everyone you pass greets you. Check-In is orderly and efficient - no time wasted getting you settled - the bell hop gives you a brief history of the hotel, acquaints you with your room and surroundings and offers to fill your ice bucket. Since the Fairmont Copley Plaza was built in 1912, the rooms in the 6-story building are on the small side with very high ceilings and narrow windows, but they have managed to install a/c - in the closet - It did keep the room at a comfortable temperature. The closet is small, but there is sufficient storage space in the dark wood armoire, dresser and night stands.

The two chairs provided - a desk chair and an arm chair - are not comfortable and much too formal. The lighting is more for mood than work, but the bed is so, so comfortable - triple sheeted with fluffy down pillows and a moire quilted spread.

The marble bathroom with granite countertops has high end touches - citrus scented bath products, silver and glass tissue and soap holders, the face cloths are rolled and tied with a gold and black ribbon, but the magnifying make up mirror is set too high and the lighting is too poor, rendering it close to useless. What I did miss was the coffee maker that we've had in other Fairmonts.

A few hints -
1. Join the President's Club on line at www.Fairmont.com prior to your stay and take along your # for complimentary Internet access.
2. Ask for a room overlooking the street - the heavy room darkening drapes help minimize the outdoor noise at night. The courtyard rooms have no views at all and are also darker during the day.
3. Beware of the bottled water and the basket of tempting goodies in the armoire...a very dear price to pay for the enjoyment!
4. A car is not need in Boston and the parking is $39 per day.

This hotel is in a great spot - close to shops, restaurants, museums, and historic churches. The "T" is one block away - A 3-day pass for $9 or a 7 day pass for $15 are a great deal.
Fairmont Copley Plaza
138 ST JAMES AVE
Boston, Massachusetts, 02116
617 267 5300

Papparazzi

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Cantin2 on November 15, 2007

Once we settled into the Fairmont, we set out to explore Newbury Street - a block from the hotel we noticed Papparazzi - a quite nice looking restaurant on Dartmouth street. Four separate rooms a few steps down, but not the feeling of a basement - a large window overlooking the street and very neat black and white decor with pin lights shining on each table.

The menu - typical Boston style Italian - lots of pastas, veal and chicken prepared in a variety of styles and wood fired pizza. Prices ranged from $12 to $26.....sounded good to us.

Back at the hotel, we brought up the menu again on the internet only to find out that it was a "chain" restaurant...oh no!!!. Is this going to be mediocre fast food????? We still decided to give it a try. We were promptly seated tucked away in a quiet cornerin a room of tables for twos and fours - an adjacent room seems to be reserved for larger parties of 6-8, The rooms are divided by half walls, so they seem more spacious. We have a view of three or four cooks busily preparing meals and making pizzas in the wood fired oven. In another room is a long bar filled with lone diners - not seemingly so much for interaction but more for a feeling of comfort.

The restaurant appeals to a variety of diners - the solos at the bar - well dressed couples in another room and groups of friends or families that may have been sightseeing all day, quietly enjoying dinner. Now to the food...

What a pleasant surprise. Our knowledgeable waiter serves us warm focaccio bread and talks about the specials and also explains that we can mix and match sauces, pastas or vegetables at will. We each order a "flight" of red wines (three -2 ounce portions). These come in small glasses served on a paper runner with descriptions of each one.

Salads are crisp and cold with light tart dressing. The linguine with clam sauce is properly al-dente with extra sauce as ordered and decorated with a sprig of parsley and the teeniest, tasty mahogany clams....delish!! The one-half slow cooked chicken is juicy and falling off the bone. It has been crisped under the broiler and served with a tasty rich lemon and roasted garlic sauce - wish I could make is as good as this.

We totally enjoyed our meal, liked the price and certainly will return. Enter here to see a picture of the restaurant, a listing of the Back Bay Restaurant Group and to peek at the menu.
Papa Razzi
271 Dartmouth Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02116
(617) 536-9200

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