Boston hotels: Back bay or Downtown?

May 17th, 2004, 10:03 PM
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Boston hotels: Back bay or Downtown?

I will be visiting the City for four days in late August. What are the advantages to each one, and the disadvantages?

sppunk is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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We have opted for a Cambridge hotel for cheaper rooms but faced a long walk to the subway and longer taxi ride to the theater. Our room overlooked the Charles and in August, that would be very pretty. (I like watching the rowers in the morning.) I much prefer the Copley Square area for convenience, however. It's a short subway ride to Haymarket/Fanueil Hall area. On our next visit I would try Priceline. I think the Copley Square area puts you closer to the theater district. I think the location depends on what you want to visit.
dfrostnh is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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HI! I cannot compare the Back Bay to Downtown, but being from out of town I can tell you that the Back Bay (Copley Square area) is a great area. I stayed in the Westin hotel last July and loved it. The area is great, right off the highway, T stop and great shopping on Newbury Street. You can easily get to other areas of the city from there so you won't put yourself in a place where you would be missing something. Good Luck!
Dioguardie is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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I personally think that it doesn't matter that much, given how compact Boston is as a city. There is plenty to do in both areas, and the T gives you quick transportation to wherever you want to go. I'd stay wherever you get the best hotel at the best rate.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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Thank you all for the comments. I would like a nice view of the city, do the Back bay/Copley hotels offer that?
sppunk is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 09:02 AM
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I am just back from a stay in Boston at the Radisson in the theatre district. I had a great 24th floor view of the city from my private open air balcony.

The room averaged $130 (gotten on Orbitz) during my stay at a time when the rates on comparable non-"blind" sites (i.e., not Priceline or Hotwire) were more than twice that for the Copley Marriott and Westin.

The Back Bay Hilton in the Copley area is supposed to have many good view rooms at only a little more than the Radisson, but the advantage of the Radisson for the view-seeker (and that was a high priority for me) is that it starts above an eight-story high parking garage so no room is lower than 9th floor, and chances of being shut out of a view, when one is not guaranteed, is much less there than in a hotel in which the rooms start on a lower floor.

The immediate block or so around the Radisson lacks charm, and the hotel itself is modern and fully satisfactory but nothing special. But in addition to the outstanding view, I found its location very convenient--many, many restaurants within a block or two (from a fast food court to very high end and everything in between), most legitimate theatres very close by, the T and the Public Garden two blocks away, the start of the Newbury Street shopping area three blocks. I was able to return my Budget rental car, rented at the airport and taken on a visit to the suburbs before I settled atr the Radisson, to a location across the street from the hotel. The Old Town Trolley stopped across the street, and a $10 airport shuttle picked up at the hotel.
johncharles is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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sspunk the hotels in the financial district ('downtown') are not generally high rises like you'd find in Atlanta or Denver. Rather, they're 8 to 12 stories and are mostly set among taller office buildings. So, if it's a view of the city you want, go to Back Bay where there are several 30-40 story properties (the Westin Copley Place comes to mind).

Some financial district properties have great views of Boston Harbor - the Marriott Long Wharf and Rowes Wharf Hotels spring to mind. Some low-rise Back Bay properties have wonderful views of the Public Garden (Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons).

The nightlife is much better in Back Bay but, as rjw points out, its a compact city and no more than a 20 minute walk from one area to the other.

Neal_Sanders is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 10:46 AM
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Thank you, Neal and John. I appreciate your responses.

Is the Omni Parker House in a good location? I have read good things and the prices are moderate - around $190 a night. Any word on this hotel or region (approximate distance to T lines, attractions, etc.)?
sppunk is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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The Back Bay Hilton has city views, views of the Back Bay/Charles River as well as views of Mother Church of Christian Science and Mission Hill. By the way the best view of the city is from the Hyatt Harborside at Logan Airport but you don't want to stay there because of the location away from the city.
bennnie is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 11:01 AM
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The Omni Parker House is in a fabulous location, halfway between Boston Common and Faneuil Hall, a 5- minute walk from stops on the subway's Orange, Red, or Green lines.
Anonymous is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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I agree Omni is a great location. I have stayed at the Park Plaza and the Raddison (mentioned above). Both have great locations. Everything is so close by in Boston it really doesn't matter too much where you stay. Just make sure the hotel is near a T stop.
hyatt222 is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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Really - any of the hotels you mention are within a 10 minute walk of each other and/or most things you would be likely to want to see. Also, all are within a 5 minute walk of MBTA. Most "remote" of above mentioned hotels is perhaps Marriott Long Wharf - and even that is not really distant.

Cambridge, Allston, Brookline hotels which may be cheaper - not the same applies to them. Only reservation with Financial District hotels is that there is less open in immediate vicinity on weekends and after around 7 PM - but even with that, you are a short walk to much else.
gail is offline  
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