Boston gives Manhattan chase when it comes to room rates, which is an unfortunate reality for families and other leisure travelers. Fortunately, prices are frequently lower on weekends when the business travel crowd ebbs. In addition to the rate quoted for your overnight stay, you may also be charged to park your vehicle, even if you are a guest parking in the hotel's garage. You may also be assessed a fee each time you move your car in or out of the garage throughout the duration of your stay.
Lodgings Near Logan
If you will be flying in and out of Logan, staying at a nearby hotel may be a smart choice. Logan is well connected to downtown Boston via public transportation. Rates at airport hotels tend to be a bit less expensive than at downtown lodging properties, so consider an airport hotel as your home base for exploring the city, even if you do not need convenient access to the airport.
The Hilton Boston Logan Airport (One Hotel Drive, Boston, 617-568-6700, www.hilton.com), which has a complimentary airport shuttle, as well as a skybridge that connects the hotel to the terminals, is your best bet if you have a late arrival or early departure. The hotel also offers a free shuttle to the subway and water taxis, a health club and spa with an indoor pool, a coffee bar, restaurant, pub, and twenty-four-hour room service.
Within about three miles of Boston's airport, you'll find a number of family-friendly hotels including the Comfort Inn & Suites Logan Airport (85 American Legion Highway, Revere, 781-485-3600 or 888-283-9300, www.comfortinnboston.com), which offers free parking, a free twenty-four-hour airport shuttle, an indoor pool, and complimentary deluxe continental breakfast; and the Holiday Inn Boston-Logan Airport(225 McClellan Highway, Boston, 617-569-5250 or 888-465-4329, www.holiday-inn.com/bos-loganapt), where kids eat free and the complimentary airport shuttle operates around the clock.
Although it is eight miles away from Logan, the Days Inn Saugus Logan Airport (999 Broadway, Saugus, 781-233-1800, www.daysinnsaugus.com) has a courtesy airport shuttle, free high-speed wireless Internet access, a complimentary deluxe breakfast, and room rates under $100 per night, which are not easy to find in the Boston area.
Family-Friendly Boston Hotels
While an entire chapter could be devoted to the horde of hotels and inns located in and around Boston and Cambridge, here's a selection of some of the most convenient and popular options for families.
Be sure to consider location, along with price and amenities, especially if you are intimidated by the prospect of using the subway system.
If you're looking for a hotel situated right on the Freedom Trail, consider the Omni Parker House (60 School Street, 617-227-8600 or 888-444-OMNI, www.omniparkerhouse.com), the oldest continuously operating luxury hotel in America, famous for inventing Parker House rolls and Boston cream pie. Ask about the Omni Kids Program and special sightseeing packages designed for families.
The Boston Marriott Long Wharf (296 State Street, 617-227-0800, www.marriott.com) also boasts a location near the New England Aquarium and a block from Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, it's one of the best choices for parents combining business with a family getaway.
The Sheraton Boston Hotel (39 Dalton Street, 617-236-2000, www.starwoodhotels.com) and the Colonnade (120 Huntington Avenue, 617-424-7000 or 800-962-3030, www.colonnadehotel.com) are both located near the Prudential Center and Copley Place in the Back Bay, and both have great swimming pools. The Sheraton's pool is one of the largest in New England, and its retractable roof allows year-round enjoyment. The Colonnade, a Back Bay landmark that has hosted three U.S. presidents, has a seasonal rooftop pool.
If you're looking for unique, moderately priced accommodations, Newbury Guest House (261 Newbury Street, 800-437-7668, www.newburyguesthouse.com) has a few rooms that can accommodate families. This thirty-two-room B&B on swanky Newbury Street was formerly three single-family Victorian residences.
In search of budget-priced lodging downtown, consider the Midtown Hotel (220 Huntington Avenue, 617-262-1000 or 800-343-1177, www.midtownhotel.com), where the rooms are basic but spacious, and the rates are considerably lower than elsewhere.
To pamper your brood, try the Four Seasons Boston (200 Boylston Street, 617-338-4400, www.fourseasons.com/boston), which overlooks the Public Garden, provides welcome goodies for kids, child-size bathrobes, toiletries for babies and children, and complimentary bedtime milk and cookies. The chic Langham Hotel Boston (250 Franklin Street, 617-451-1900, www.langhamhotels.com) has a V.I.B. Concierge to cater to your Very Important Baby and very important big brothers and sisters, too. Packages include everything from unlimited Huggies during your stay and use of a double stroller to pre-ordered food based on your little ones' preferences and a red velvet staircase that allows wee ones to check in at the front desk.
JUST FOR PARENTS
XV Beacon (15 Beacon Street, 617-670-1500 or 877-XVBEACON, www.xvbeacon.com) is one of the city's boldest and most romantic hideaways featuring individually styled, luxurious rooms and suites with unique features such as four-poster beds, heated towel racks, and fireplaces. Complimentary chauffeured Lexus sedan transportation to wherever you're going in Boston is provided.
Although its location across from Boston's World Trade Center is not quite as central, the pet-friendly Seaport Hotel (One Seaport Lane, 617-385-4000 or 877-SEAPORT, www.seaportboston.com) is located close to the Boston Children's Museum, and families will like its service-inclusive (no tipping) policy and its indoor pool with underwater music. The Seaport Hotel is also easily accessed from the Massachusetts Turnpike.
In Cambridge, hotels that will place you within walking distance of Harvard, shopping, and more include the Charles Hotel (1 Bennett Street, 617-864-1200, www.charleshotel.com), which blends charming décor with state-of-the-art amenities; and the Harvard Square Hotel(110 Mount Auburn Street, 617-864-5200, www.harvardsquarehotel.com), where all rooms have refrigerators and flat-panel TVs. The Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Cambridge (6 Cambridge Center, 617-349-0700, www.marriott.com) is a good choice for long-term stays in the Boston area.
Affordable Options on the Outskirts
Boston is a walking city, so there is a definite benefit to staying downtown. However, you will find some less-expensive accommodations options on the outskirts of the city. An outlying hotel that is close to public transportation may be one way to keep your Boston vacation affordable.
The Doubletree Guest Suites Boston (400 Soldiers Field Road, 617-783-0090, www.doubletree.com), located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike, is one of the city's better values when you consider that all rooms are spacious, two-room suites. The hotel has an indoor pool and a complimentary shuttle to downtown Boston; they'll even throw in a warm chocolate-chip cookie at check-in.
The no-frills Cambridge Gateway Inn (211 Concord Turnpike, 617-661-7800 or 866-427-6660, www.cambridgegatewayinn.com) will save you some money, and their free shuttle will take you to the Alewife T station.
In Brookline, the Courtyard by Marriott (40 Webster Street, 617-734-1393, www.brooklinecourtyard.com) is located just one block from the Coolidge Corner T station.
In Quincy, the Best Western Adams Inn (29 Hancock Street, 617-328-1500 or 800-368-4012, www.bwadamsinn.com) is an affordable choice, and it's just a quarter-mile from an MBTA station. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, free parking, and continental breakfast, plus a complimentary shuttle to Logan Airport and Boston's South Station.
In Braintree, the Holiday Inn Express Boston/Braintree (190 Wood Road, 781-848-1260, www.ichotelsgroup.com) offers free deluxe continental breakfast and complimentary shuttle transportation to the subway station.
West of Boston in Watertown and easily accessible from the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Super 8 (100 North Beacon Street, 617-926-2200 or 800-800-8000, www.super8.com) is adjacent to an MBTA station and offers free parking and continental breakfast.