Leisure Stays at the Aloft and Element Boston Seaport hotels
By Max Hartshorne
Boston, Massachusetts’ most up-and-coming neighborhood is the Waterfront District.
With the gigantic Seaport Convention Center and the water views, this section of South Boston has been adding new hotels to complement the robust convention business that’s putting the city on the map. There is also a stretch of green called The Lawn on D, a place for grown-up entertainment like nighttime concerts, beer gardens, and outdoor dining in the warmer months.
We enjoyed a weekend stay at the Element Boston Seaport hotel on a chilly February weekend, and everything went perfectly.
The modern suite, appointed with just the right touches, and the doors and all hardware felt upscale and solid. It matters.
The Element’s location meant an easy Uber ride to Faneuil Hall for shopping and the Boston Common for a movie.
A Home Base for Flight Attendants
Front desk Supervisor Alexandra Legere showed us around, the hotel is a home base for airline flight attendants from nearby Logan Airport, so they have some amenities not commonly found in a city hotel.
One is a full set of coin-op washers and dryers for guests to use and an airy and spacious lobby that serves as a breakfast area and a place that many guests enjoy working.
“This is one of the best parts of the hotel, ” Alex said. “Guests comment on how nice it is to just hang out in this lobby area, with its different seating and lounging areas. A lot of informal meetings take place here.”
The hotel also has a meeting room for conferences.
Popular Happy Hour
On weekdays, from 5:30 until 7 pm, a happy hour brings guests together to mingle, with free beer and wine and snacks.
While we didn’t get a chance to enjoy the happy hour, in its place each morning of our two-night stay was a full breakfast with no disgusting frozen waffles–instead, they offered cooked eggs, cereal, smoothies, fresh fruit, good coffee, sausages and good bread.
While the hotel was full up during our first night, a Saturday, the breakfast wasn’t crowded and crazy the way I’ve seen it at many a Best Western hotel.
Sister Property Across the Street
Alex told us that the Aloft hotel, right across Anchor Street, is geared more for the Millenial crowd.
There, a circular check-in counter is surrounded by abstract art and at night the lighting is low, that sort of thing that attracts the hip among us.
Both the Aloft and the Element are Starwood Properties, these hotels are often located near each other since they really do attract different types of guests. With the mellow mood music and soft lighting, it’s clear that Aloft shoots for a younger guest, while Element is best for families and business travelers.
Full Kitchens and Bikes
The Element Seaport Boston has 180 rooms, most with full kitchens or kitchenettes. We were happy to find a full-size kitchen in our one-bedroom suite, and like so many times in the past, I kept thinking that I could cook–If I wanted to.
There is also a courtyard behind the Element’s lobby with a gas grill and chairs for those guests who might be feeling ambitious like that. The hotel’s gym includes a saltwater pool and a good sized set of fitness equipment, not just mirrors and a few weights.
The hotel also has a few bikes that guests can borrow for free, including helmets and locks. A nice touch in this neighborhood that’s a not right in downtown Boston.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
We took a 16-minute Uber ride to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the city’s famous shopping and entertainment center, and enjoyed a stroll in the long Quincy Market food court that was packed with tourists during our weekend visit.
Faneuil Hall is the true heart of the city…it’s surrounded by street performers who entertain on the cobblestone streets that go back to the 1700s; the Hall was a gift to the city in 1742. The big market fell into disrepair in the 1960s and roared back to life in 1976, one of the country’s first and finest examples of urban renewal.
Today, shoppers can find 100 local shops, 12 full-service restaurants, and the Quincy Market Food Colonnade. From Boston clam chowder to all manner of Asian foods and ice cream, you’ll never leave Faneuil Hall hungry.
Boston is really on a roll in 2017….with the greatest football team in the world, a buoyed economy, and packed streets and hotels. It’s inspiring and these hotels are a great place to stay on your next visit to The Hub of the Universe.
Find out more about visiting Boston here.
Max Hartshorne has been the editor and publisher of GoNOMAD Travel in South Deerfield Mass since 2002. He worked for newspapers and other sales positions for 23 years until he finally got what he wanted, and became the editor at GoNOMAD. He travels regularly, enjoys publishing new writers, and watching his grandchildren grow up.