Cheap but safe in or near Boston

Old Jul 12th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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Cheap but safe in or near Boston

Hi. My son will be auditioning for a music college in Boston this fall and we'd like to find a cheap (very cheap) but safe place to stay, probably for one or two nights during the week. I've heard that Waltham or Lowell might be cheaper than actually in Boston and I've done a little checking, but would value any advice you can give. We don't have to stay in the city - in fact staying out and taking a subway would be great so we don't have to navigate parking. He will have a guitar with him, but I think we could manage. Or do cabs go out of the city??? I could perhaps spring cab fare (maybe?) if we could save some money on the hotel. Either way, can anyone steer me to a decent cheap hotel. Amenities are not important. Just a phone, a shower, and a bed!
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 09:41 AM
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Waltham is a long train ride from Boston as is Lowell. If you have more time than money I guess they would be options but Waltham especially is a small town. And cabs would eat up ANY savings.

And how cheap is cheap?
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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For solo travel I prefer HI Hostels. Never stayed in this one but I like the one in Chicago. http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels...-060151.en.htm

How is he getting to Boston? Amtrak would eliminate the problem of trying to find and pay for parking.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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Agree - we need to now

1) how cheap
2) when you will be there - if it's when colleges are opening all hotels will be super busy
3) where the audition will take place (may make certain areas more conveninet)
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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There is a Holiday Inn in Brookline, which is a nice place to stay with easy access to the T and lots of cafes and shops. Rate for two double beds is about $163.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Waltham is a city, not a small town (though it is surrounded by them). It's also got a fun college vibe along Moody Street, with restaurants and such catering to the students from Brandeis and Bentley. However, I think all the big hotels are farther out on Winter Street. If you can get a hotel room within walking distance of the commuter rail ("purple" lines), it's less than 1/2 hour into Boston, where you'd switch to the T subway to get where you need to go. (Note that, being a city and a commuter hub into Boston, there may not be great parking options near the Waltham station...)

You might also look at hotels in Arlington, in proximity to the end of the Green Line T at Riverside. South of Boston, look for hotels near the end of the Red Line in Quincy or Braintree, or near the Route-128 rail station (both Amtrak, which you don't need, and another line of the commuter rail stop there). All of these have ample, reasonably priced paid-parking areas.

Lowell is an even larger city, and much farther out from Boston.

Is your son auditioning at Berklee? Good luck to him wherever it is - that's so exciting!!
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Sorry, but I must correct PP saying that Waltham being a small town AND a long train ride. The commuter rail takes 20 minutes from Waltham to North Station, MUCH faster than most subway rides!

Having said that, ggreen is correct that all the hotels/motels IN Waltham are located along Rt 128 corridor, FAR from the commuter rail station. I think some or most hotels do offer a courtesy shuttle to the commuter rail station, but you need to double check. Also, the commuter rail from Waltham only runs once an hour at most. OTOH, from the same commuter rail station, one can take an Express Bus which goes into the city (Financial District). The Express Bus runs at least 2x/hr or more often. But the express buses stop running at 7pm.

Not sure how "cheap" it is, but you can check the Crowne Plaza hotel at Newton Corner. If it's affordable, it's a great option as there are A TON of express buses leaving from Newton Corner into BOTH Copley Sq (convenient for Back Bay) and Financial District. The ride into town (without bumper-to-bumper traffic) takes 10-15 minutes.

Otherwise, check the Hotel Indigo in Newton. It's right next to the terminus of the D branch of Green Line (our subway). It'll take 30-45 mins to ride the D train into the city, but the good thing is the T runs every 5-10 mins throughout the day.

Finally, if your is not opposed to sharing, he can look into Hotelling International. Their location is great, right near Berklee college right in the city.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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Also look at the Hotel Indigo in Newton. It is within easy walking distance of the Green Line of the MBTA (our subway and mass transit system). I don't know if it meets your budget though. Cheap to me may not be cheap to you. You should give us a budget so we can better guide you.

Good luck to your son!
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:16 AM
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I was composing my reply at the same time yk was posting re the Hotel Indigo.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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small town as in ....the transpo options are limited as noted above re scheduling etc; it will take up to an hour depending on schedules/time of day; once you get to North Station you still have to get where you're going which could be a T ride with switches, depending on what school; and it's not a city vibe like a city-city, it;s a college town.

all this is meant to say, OP sounds like she is traveling with her son and I wanted to explain that the $$ savings would be eaten up by time and possibly cab fares for either Lowell or Waltham.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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When? are you driving up from the south or down from the north, what time of day does he have to be at the college, and where approx is the audition?
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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If I were the OP I would priceline a room near where the school visit is.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Will you have a car? And what is your budget and when are you coming? If you're going to Berklee you might look at the Oasis Guest House which is very close by. Boston hotel prices vary greatly by season and by what events/conventions may be happening in town. September and October are two of the more expensive months.

Alternately you could look at lastminutetravel.com. They list hotels without names but they are fairly easy to identify by the photos. If you give your dates, I can help with that. They often have the Quincy Marriott, which, like the Hotel Indigo, is not far (about one mile) from a T stop. The hotel has a shuttle to the station.

The hostel is a great choice but it is no longer located on Hemenway St. near Berklee. It is on Stuart St., more near downtown and the theater district. It is new, bright, and modern.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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cw, I didn't relize Hostelling INternational has moved already! Haven't been to C-town for a few wks and last time I passed by, it was still under construction. Thanks for the update.

OP - since you mentioned music college, I just want to say that whether it's Berklee College OR New England Conservatory OR Boston Conservatory, they are all located in the same part of town within walking distance of one another.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Yes, Ggreen and yk et al, he is auditioning at Berklee. We will be driving up from southwest GA, so about 1250 miles. I am very flexible on schedule as far as taking time to get to the college, in other words it doesn't have to be overly convenient. And I almost would prefer to ride in. It will be 3 of us coming up so the hostel is probably out, which is a bummer. To answer the main questions:
1) how cheap --- I'm poor and from the south! I'd ideally like around 65 bucks, but I definitely don't want to go over 100.
2) We don't know when his audition will take place, but thinking somewhere around Oct - Dec. Nov seemed to be pricey for some reason when I checked trip advisor and someone mentioned something about it being Fenway park birthday??
3) where the audition will take place (may make certain areas more conveninet) The audition will be on the Berklee campus.
Thanks for the suggestions - I'm checking them all out now.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 02:45 PM
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cw -- thanks for the offer of help identifying the hotels. As soon as I get dates, I will probably take you up on that. I was planning on driving, (I used to fly all the time but I'm a scaredey-cat now!) but with a 2500 mile round trip we probably should check out flights. And trains. I like trains.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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$100/n will be impossible for a room IN Boston for Oct-Dec. I think you'd be better off staying outside of the city and just drive in on the day of the audition. Parking in town for a day costs about $30-40. You'll pay just as much if 3 of you take commuter rail r/t, and A WHOLE LOT more if you take a cab.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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If you are willing to use Priceline, you may get the Hilton in Dedham or the Sheraton in Braintree for less than $100. The Hilton is near a commuter rail station, and the Sheraton has a shuttle to the subway.

There is no safe place to stay within 50 miles of Boston with the possible exception of a Hostel for $65, and I am not paranoid about safety.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 05:34 PM
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She surely can't use priceline when she doesn't know the date. And, she could end up with a room that just has one bed. And, she could end up in a place with a $40 parking charge on top of the $85 room rate.

Lori please check back when you find out the date, otherwise it's kinda impossible to help. Different weeks will have different prices all around the area due to schools nearby having parents weekends, sporting events etc.

One things for sure, you'll probably have to double that $65 budget. Even if you find something in the $70 neighborhood, it'll require 3 round trip train tickets in from the Quincy area or wherever and you'll have to figure that into your budget. You also might want to consider flying up from Atlanta, probably cheaper in the long run than driving 2500 miles round trip at $3.50 per gallon and getting motels and meals up and back. In fact AAA says to figure that it costs you 55c a mile every time you drive your car based on fuel, oil, tire wear, life of the car, etc.
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Since there is 3 of them, Priceline is not a good option for them as there is a small (but possible) chance they're given a room with ONE double bed.
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