Posts Tagged With: Boston MA

Hotel Review: Aloft Boston Seaport, 20 – 21 February 2016

Aloft Boston Seaport The Aloft Boston Seaport is a 4-star (really??) hotel located near the Boston Convention Center. It is a SPG Category-5 hotel, so a redemption would have cost 12000 Starpoints. They had an opening promotional rate for $90 (+ taxes), so I booked a paid rate, because it’s definitely not worth 12000 Starpoints. When I stayed there for one night, it had just newly-opened some two weeks ago. For a newly-opened hotel, it had some little kinks in the Starwood system, but aside from its (creepy) empty storefront, you wouldn’t know that it is a newly-opened hotel.

Location:

Well, unless you are attending a convention, there really isn’t much around here. It took about 30 mins for me to walk from South Station. You can walk to Silver Line Way station, but the public transportation options are quite limited. Unless you want to be held hostage by hotel catering options, there’s just Jimmy John’s and Dunkin Donuts within short walking distance. The area is just surrounded by residences, industries, and hotels.

Check In/Check Out:

Check in was quick, and I was offered the option of choosing my check-out time. I was very appreciative of being offered a late check out.

Check out was a bit slower. There was just one receptionist, and he was busy with people buying stuff from the self-serve bar. And for some reason or other, I was charged an extra 1 cent over my prepaid rate (yes, 1 cent), which added time to the check out process.

Aloft Boston Seaport

Room:

I booked into an Aloft King. I was given a 5th floor room without a view. It faced a ginormous parking lot, and if I peered hard enough, I could see the sea. You can try asking for a higher floor with a city view. You might be able to see something.

The room is pretty much a standard Aloft. The King bed is the focal point of the room, and it has a contemporary decor. The bench is somewhat awkwardly placed, as it is beneath the television. There are plenty of outlets by the bed, and at the table.

The bathroom is also a standard Aloft – vanity in the main room, with walk-in shower and toilet in a separate area. The walk-in shower is slightly brighter than the Aloft in New Orleans though. There is a Mr Coffee coffee maker, and a mini-fridge under the sink.

Aloft Boston Seaport

Wifi:

This was free because I booked through SPG. It was fast.

Overall:

For the rate I paid, I was ok with the stay. I think they did a pretty good job, because there were very few kinks for a newly-opened hotel (the main kink I experienced was – I had to do a manual claim for Starpoints for my stay). It is pretty much your standard Aloft hotel. But unless you were attending a convention, I wouldn’t recommend it, because there was nothing nearby, and it’s definitely not a good use for Starpoints redemption.

They do have an interesting elevator feature, where you key in the floor you are going before you enter, so the system optimizes elevator use. For all the other times in your life you have spent waiting for an elevator, this is probably the one hotel you wouldn’t have to.
Aloft Boston Seaport

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How Much do You Think is the Parking Ticket/Fine of this Lump of Unmelted Snow?

Found near the Boston Commons

How much do you think is the parking fine for this lump of unmelted snow?

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USA: Time to Jaywalk Boston like a Local, 20 February 2016

Boston Commons

0830 – It’s 5.30 in the West Coast … ZZZ *hits snooze button*

0930 – Argh! Must get out of bed for complimentary hotel breakfast! Maine lobster eggs benedict was just ok. Give me coffee!!!

Boston

1130 – It’s sunny! It’s sunny! I took a stroll through the Boston Commons, and walked towards Copley Square. It’s nice to walk out of the crazy streets of downtown, and walk a more grid-like plan. Beautiful architecture.

Boston

1300 – Time to work! Bates Hall in the Boston Public Library is gorgeous, and has decent wifi.

View of Work Today - Boston Public Library Bates Reading Room

1530 – It’s too nice out there. No gorgeous reading room in the world is nicer than a sunny day in winter! I walked through Chinatown. Looks larger than Seattle, and looks like interesting food options.

Chinatown

1600 – Settled in a Starbucks, and was hoping to sit until 1845 so I can check in for my flight back to Seattle, and re-pick my seat.

1730 – Starbucks staff announces closure at 1800. Plan shot. Time to walk to Boston Seaport to check-in at next hotel for reliable wifi.

South Boston

1820 – In room. Not much around there. Thank goodness for Jimmy John’s and Dunkin Donuts. Must eat Dunkin Donuts while in Boston! I actually got a Boston Kreme even though I actually dislike Boston Kreme. It tasted a lot better than I thought.

1845 – Scored a good seat on Alaska! 🙂

1900 – I’m too lazy to leave the hotel. ZZZ

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Boston, 19 Feb 2016

Hyatt Regency Boston

The Hyatt Regency Boston is a four-star hotel, that is centrally-located in the Theater District, and a short walk (~10 min) from South Station, so it’s a convenient hotel to get to from the airport.

They have updated the property in the last year or so, so their rooms have a modern décor, with some retro furniture.

Check In/Check Out:

I was actually rather nervous about checking in, because I arrived at 6ish am. To my pleasant surprise, my room was ready for me.

I did a web check out. So I just clicked a button, and dropped my keys in the key box.

Hyatt Regency Boston Executive Suite

Room:

I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade, and was confirmed into an Executive Suite (530 sq ft). The suite is large, but slightly oddly shaped, because the hotel is slightly oddly shaped. The living area is rectangular, but the bedroom is triangular.

In terms of decoration, it’s an updated room, so think a semi-industrial design, i.e. grey couches, closet doors that look like a bomb shelter entrance, and floor lamps taller than most humans.

Hyatt Regency Boston

The living room just has a 3-person sectional facing a TV, with a coffee table, and a cabinet with the mini-fridge and the Keurig coffee machine. The King bed occupies the center of the bedroom, and there’s a small seating area with two armchairs by the little triangular nook, and a number of benches.

Hyatt Regency Boston Executive Suite

The bathroom is separated into vanity and toilet/shower stall, with the closet being located in the vanity. It’s a pretty good idea, because it means that someone can be showering in privacy, while the vanity is available. One of the more questionable choices is leaving the spare toilet roll by the vanity, instead of the separate toilet/shower area. It’d make for quite a situation if you ran out of toilet paper. With it being winter, the marble floors are also a tad cold, and I couldn’t find flip flops (and left my flip flops in Seattle).

Hyatt Regency Boston Executive Suite

Hyatt Regency Boston

The shower is low-flow, and they stock KenetMD products. No real comments. I thought the conditioner was a little bit weird, and a strange gluey-texture. The low-flow shower also reminded me of the low-flow shower Seinfeld episode.

Work:

As an updated room, there are power outlets aplenty. There are USB chargers, and power outlets on both sides of the bed, and power outlets by all the lamps. That was very helpful if you lug around a bunch of electronics like I do.

On the downside, there wasn’t really a work desk, so I sat on the couch and worked on the coffee table.

Wifi:

Although I was given premium wifi, it was actually pretty slow. I highly suspect it had something to do with the location of the room. The living room is closer to more central parts of the hotel, while the bedroom is further away, and the wifi speed slowed down, when I moved from the living room to the bedroom.

Breakfast:

An amazing perk of being a Hyatt Diamond is the breakfast benefit at full service Hyatt properties. If a property has no club lounge, you can get a full breakfast for up to four people on your reservation (if there’s a lounge, breakfast will be served there). Hyatt defines a full breakfast as either a buffet breakfast, or an entrée with juice and coffee.

After surveying the underwhelming-looking buffet breakfast (lots of carbs, bacon/sausage, and egg station), I ordered a Maine lobster egg benedict ($24), along with orange juice ($4) and coffee ($4). I thought it tasted ok. It was certainly filling, and of course, I can’t complain about getting a $40 (taxes and gratuities are waived as well) breakfast for free.

Lobster Eggs Benedict at Hyatt Regency Boston

Overall:

I loved the location, the updated room, and I had a good night’s sleep on the very comfortable bed. Considering that I actually just paid $120, this was incredible value.

This was my first suite upgrade at Hyatt. While the suite is nice, I might have actually preferred a standard room at a higher level.

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USA: Everybody Jaywalks in Boston MA! 19 Feb 2016

Boston Theater District 05 30 – God, I’m getting too old for redeyes!

05 40 – My butt is freezing over. Thankfully they do display what time the silver line bus comes so I can roll out just in time for it. Free bus ride to town from the airport!!! 😀 😀 😀

06 00 – Wow, nothing is open in Boston at this hour (a lot of Seattle cafes will be open by this hour). But yay! The hotel lets me check in at this super early hour.

13 00 – ZZZ. Guess I should get my butt out of bed, and go get some food. Free Chipotle (an oopsy from their E-Coli fiasco)!

Snow at Boston Waterfront

14 00 – Waterfront is pretty nice. How much will they pay me if I threw a case of tea out of the Museum of Boston Tea Party? 😀

Quincy Marketplace, Boston

15 00 – Quincy Market is pretty nice. I like food halls. Guess I’ll be eating dinner here. Shopping at Faneuil Hall, not so much.

15 30 – Work. Time passes faster when you are people-watching while grading papers on Nazi Germany.

Boston

18 00 – Hello lobster bisque bread bowl ($9). Good idea in theory, except I don’t like bread. How did I forget that I don’t like bread? Nice little stroll down the Theater District back to hotel.

Lobster Bisque Bread Bowl

21 00 – Cannot be lame and enjoy hotel suite/TV marathon. Went to Thinking Cup Coffee. No free wifi (their secured wifi is called “talktosomeone”), but it offers a great view of Boston Commons.

Thinking Cup at Boston Commons View of Work Today - Thinking Cup at Boston Commons

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