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Written by Drever on 20 Nov, 2004
After an enjoyable day sightseeing, checking into a comfortable hotel adds the final touch. However, at first sight, the Chelmsford Hotel didn’t look that welcoming. It resembled a barracks, with it’s four floors stretched away into the distance. Bright lights and traffic noise surrounds it.…Read More
After an enjoyable day sightseeing, checking into a comfortable hotel adds the final touch. However, at first sight, the Chelmsford Hotel didn’t look that welcoming. It resembled a barracks, with it’s four floors stretched away into the distance. Bright lights and traffic noise surrounds it. It is advertised as being conveniently located near downtown Boston and Logan International Airport, but is about 30 minutes from Boston by road. Logan Airport is 35 miles away.
As usual our guide, John, collected our room keys and we headed for the lifts. The two lifts were inadequate to deal with a coach party in reasonable time, so we headed along a corridor to the stairs. Reaching our floor, we were puzzled. The room numbers suggested we were heading the wrong way. Eventually we worked it out. The room numbers first went down and then jumped up. It was as though the hotel consisted of two buildings that had been joined at the wrong place to have continuous numbers! Anyway, the building was in mint condition, which was what mattered.
I think there must be a standard New England hotel room that is delivered in a box and called "New England charm." This seemed to be it once again; however, this hotel also features a big pool, sauna, and fitness area.
After about 45 minutes, a ring at the door heralded the arrival of our cases. After unpacking, we headed for the Independence Grill. John had said that the steaks in this restaurant were especially good. The hotel brags, "If you're craving hearty steaks and seafood done New England-style, the Independence Grill is your solution." I took them at their word and ordered a hearty steak. Normally I ask for a steak to be medium done, which in the USA and Canada, seems to mean rare, for the blood is still usually oozing out. This time I went for medium to well-done, thinking I would get medium. I got a nice steak–overdone! Afterwards we had coffee in our room courtesy of the coffeemaker provided.
We had a comfortable night not disturbed unduly by traffic noise. A complimentary morning newspaper appeared at our door-a nice touch! After invigorating showers, we dressed and went down for breakfast. It was served in a buffet style and consisted of cereals, waffles, scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, fresh fruits, pastries, juices, and coffee or tea.
Having had good reports of the nearby Skips Restaurant at 116 Chelmsford Street, we headed there the next night. It was busy,but we got a table for two fairly quickly. Others of our coach party were already there. The general opinion was that the quality of food there was better and the prices lower than the Chelmsford Hotel. I would agree. Many also went there for their breakfast, as it allowed a menu choice.
Walking back, we came to an Internet café, which, for $2, allowed 20 minutes of access, which was more than enough for my purposes-I dislike TV Internet, like in the hotel!
The second night the fire alarm went off at 4am. Dutifully, we filed out into the car park. No hotel staff person appeared, so one of our own party started doing the role call. When he was midway through the list of names, a staff member appeared to allow us back in. Half frozen, we filed inside. I had a suspicion the alarm had something to do with a notable victory the Boston Red Sox had notched up over the New York Yankees; however, reading three reviews of this hotel on the Internet, I found another instance of the same thing happening–perhaps it’s routine? Anyway, the hotel staff were dancing and singing next morning in great glee at Red Sox defeating the old enemy!
On checkout, the trudge up to reception in this hotel was like trudging up to the departure gate at an airport–the corridor seemed endless. Perhaps it was to do with lack of sleep?