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aussie_10 Jan 4th, 2015 03:04 AM

Boston, where should we stay?
We will be visiting Boston (our first visit) in October. We will be driving down from Maine and will return our rental car in Boston. Our dates are probably 14-17 Oct. Looking at a calendar for that time of year it looks like 17-18 is a Regatta weekend. Is this a big event?

A preliminary look show hotel rates are quite expensive. I am not sure in which area to stay. Is $300- $350 p/n an average price. I would not like to pay too much more.
Any recommendations appreciated.

Ackislander Jan 4th, 2015 03:17 AM

Yes, it is I believe the largest rowing event in the world, larger than Henley, though I could be wrong about that.

Anyway, it is a terrible time to get a hotel room in the city, though not a bad time to be a tourist otherwise. If you like rowing, it is great fun.

I would book early at a place you can cancel. Many posters here have good recommendations for small hotels or guest houses, so I am sure you will hear from them. I have a pied á terre, so I haven't stayed in a hotel in a long time. Sorry.

The usual warning because it is a good one is never book a Boston hotel with a hyphenated location: Boston-Waltham, Boston-Braintree, Boston-Revere or the like. The second useful warning is to get rid of your car when you arrive. It will cost $40 or so a day to park, though cheaper rates, especially on weekends are possible. You don't really ever need a car to visit Boston and with road closures for the Head of the Charles, driving is likely to be even more fraught.

aussie_10 Jan 4th, 2015 03:27 AM

Thank you Ackislander for your information.

So if we were to stay the weekend for the Regatta, do you need tickets or can you just roll up on the foreshore to watch.

We will be turning in the care as soon as we arrive in Boston. After Boston we will be moving on to New York City.

I will avoid hyphenated names for hotel locations.

china_cat Jan 4th, 2015 04:53 AM

No tickets, just wander down to the Charles and watch. It will be pretty crowded, and dinner reservations will be a tough get, so make them early.

fun01960 Jan 4th, 2015 10:06 AM

October is a pricey time in Boston. The Regatta brings in lots of people and to add to the fun there is a plastic surgery convention from the 16th to 20th, that is expecting 6,000 attendees. Demand for hotel rooms will be high, which drives up prices.

Looking at, using your original dates, I see the hotel Marlowe in Cambridge for an avg nightly rate of $269. This hotel is within walking distance of a mall and several restaurants outside the mall and close to a subway stop and only a few stops to downtown Boston. This is a great price and cancellable without penalty up to a few days before. The only catch ... they charge your card upon booking and refund if you cancel. Nonetheless, it has a good reputation.

Other viable options on that site, all in Boston proper are Onyx for $293, Omni Parker House for $329, the Taj for $299.

When I change the departure date Oct 19th, so that you can see the Regatta, the average nightlybprice for 14th-19th goes up. Marlowe is $323, Onyx $350, Parker House $345, and miraculously, the Taj is still $299.

Unless you are a really big rowing fan I would stick with the original plan and head to NYC on the 17th.


aussie_10 Jan 4th, 2015 10:50 AM

Thank you for your replies.

No we are not big rowing fans, I just thought it might be fun to see, but not if it will cost us more.
I had read somewhere that Cambridge was a fair way out for accommodation. But not so?
I will look up your hotel recommendations thank you.

We mainly want to see the history sites of Boston, do the Freedom Trail etc.
We don't require a flash hotel just decent and good location for either walking or public transport.

fun01960 Jan 4th, 2015 11:47 AM

Some parts of Cambridge are pretty far out but the areas of Kendall Square, Harvard Square and around the Galleria Mall all have decent hotels ans are very close to the subway and a short trip to Boston.

If you can stay in Boston, then do it, but the areas of Cambridge I mention are very workable if you wan to stay there to save a bit of money.

For example, the Marlowe and Sonesta hotels are close to the Lechmere stop of the subway's green line. From there it Is 3 stops (maybe 6 minutes if that) to Haymarket which is very close to the famous North End (Italian n'hood) and stops on the freedom trail such as Fanieul Hall. If you Don't get off there, continue 2 more stops(really 1 since the gov't center stop is closed for renovations) to Park Street which is on Boston Common. Many consider the Common to be the start of the freedom trail.

The Parker House is ON the Freedom Trail. The Taj overlooks the very pretty Public Garden. The Onyx is in a lively area, but not the prettiest area, near North Station.

Harvard University and Mass Institute of Technology (MIT) are both in Cambridge and easily accessible by subway and often places Boston visitors want to see.

Hope this helps.

Tabernash2 Jan 4th, 2015 12:02 PM

We like the Park Plaza in Boston. It's a lovely historic building. Rooms can be small, so be sure to specify what you want.

We were there with family last May, and customer service was awesome. My SIL and her daughter had a standard double room, but the hotel let them upgrade to an amazingly large deluxe double room for about $10/day extra. It was on the concierge level, which gave them free breakfast and complimentary hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour. There is a very nice lounge on the concierge level, which they had access to 24/7.

We had two connecting rooms, with concierge level perks, too. So ask about that.

They are good about working with their guests, if you have any problems.

aussie_10 Jan 5th, 2015 12:04 PM

I have looked at all your recommendations, thank you.

Some unfortunately on our Oz sites are more expensive than the US counterparts, e.g. last minute.
I have also looked directly at the hotel sites.
Boston is very expensive.

I have also looked at some apartments in the North End.
What are your thoughts on B&Bs?

UTH_LTD Jan 5th, 2015 09:08 PM

You can stay in Holiday Inn Express Boston. This hotel is located in a great location.It's near to Downtown and a big Target Shopping Mall. There are so many restaurants like Olive garden and Applebee etc. hotel staffs are very helpful and great service also.

gail Jan 6th, 2015 01:12 AM

Book now. The rates I am seeing above surprise me - in that they are lower than I would have thought for Head of the Charles Regatta weekend. It is also probably Parents' Weekend at some college. Book now.

Boston is expensive - always listed in top 5 of most expensive US cities. Listen to Ackislander - if you find a hotel that is significantly less expensive than what is listed above, I guarantee there is something wrong with it in a major way - location most likely. Do not stay in Dorchester, at the airport or almost anyplace that calls itself "convenient to" rather than in center of Boston.

You do not have to like or even understand much about rowing to enjoy some of the Regatta. If you get nice fall weather, just the atmosphere is nice - foliage along the Charles River, people from all over the world, food and other vendors - one of those authentic colors/people/smells/sights things that adds to the character of a city.

aussie_10 Jan 6th, 2015 02:28 AM

I did have a look at the Holiday Inn Express, rates weren't too bad. But it does seem a long way out. Although it does not seem to bother reviewers.

I did some more research today and think I will take the advice and book something that can be cancelled if need be. Some of the hotels are already $1000 Aus a night. Not for me though, too many other things to spend my money on. Any further suggestions are most appreciated.

I am also tempted to stay the saturday night as well to experience the Regatta. We love local festivals.

Ackislander Jan 6th, 2015 02:48 AM

No one has rung in with some of the smaller hotels and guest houses. There is on near Quincy Market, the John Jeffries House, another across from the Pru, and several in Coolidge Corner. None of these is going to hold rowing crews or their entourages.

But I don't know them all by any means since I have a place to stay.

cw Jan 6th, 2015 09:52 AM

There are three Holiday Inn Express hotels in Boston. Which one were you looking at? I wouldn't recommend the one in Dorchester--too far out. There is one in Cambridge which is near the Lechmere stop on the Green Line. That would be more convenient.

In addition to the John Jeffries House, you can check the Newbury Guest House, and the Oasis B & B.

Also look at the Charlesmark, Harborside Inn, and the Verb (a newly renovated hotel near Fenway Park).

Tabernash2 Jan 6th, 2015 10:37 AM

Coolidge Corner is a cute area. We have stayed a few times at the Marriott Courtyard there. Great restaurants in walking distance.

We have walked by this place, and it looks nice:

wtm003 Jan 6th, 2015 10:42 AM

I was in Boston this past October for a college visit with my son and the room rates were much higher - $500 range. Fortunately, I was able to use points for a room. I agree with booking a room asap that you can cancel.

aussie_10 Jan 6th, 2015 01:56 PM

Wow thanks for the suggestions.
I will look them up now.

Not knowing Boston or surrounds at all I am relying on suggestions.
Lots of places say Boston but when you search them on a map I can see how far away they are.

rizzo0904 Jan 6th, 2015 02:23 PM

What about something like homewood suites on Mass Ave in Arlington? You can walk to the Alewife subway stop. Or something near Wellington?

rizzo0904 Jan 6th, 2015 02:28 PM

Or best western tria.... A ten minute walk from alewife.

aussie_10 Jan 6th, 2015 03:16 PM

Ok we have decided that we will include the saturday night of the Regatta. To experience the Regatta and atmosphere.

Homewood suites has some mixed reviews and similar prices to closer in town Us$370 p/n

The Beech tree Inn looks really nice and definitely a goer.
Still checking out more. Thank you for your suggestions

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