If you live in the Boston area you may not spend a lot of time thinking about what our local hotels have to offer. Until you have friends coming to stay. Or until you’re trying to find some extra special activities over the holidays. Or until you decide to book a staycation with the kids.
After spending some time getting to know what’s available at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge I think you can count all your work done. I’ve included some pictures from our blogger holiday party and we were blown away by the quality.
FOR EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES
The Royal Sonesta has activities for kids from cooking classes to their Christmas-tree lighting ceremony. Right now for the holidays there’s a special Breakfast with Santa coming up THIS SATURDAY the 15th. This isn’t just a roundup at the mall with a long line and a snapshot to take home. This is a breakfast buffet. And a special gift for your child to take home. And face painting. And cookie decorating. It’s an event-with-a-capital-E. So much so that you need a reservation. So get on top of that. (617-806-4250 is their number.)
The folks at Royal Sonesta take their cookie decorating very seriously.
Graham would not leave this table. I don’t even want to know how many cookies he ate.
I don’t think he quite has the hang of the decorating part yet.
You can celebrate any holiday or any un-holiday at their restaurant, ArtBar. The food is pretty darn impressive, if I do say so myself. You can see all kinds of pictures of our spread over at The Frugalette. They also make your dining experience kid-friendly. I appreciate that so much these days. I am so incredibly thankful when we get better service because we have kids. In addition to their kid-centric menu, they also bring housemade play-dough to the table.
Graham being his weird self only ate the broccoli. Dipped in ketchup. I was more than happy to eat that little wonton… which was filled with mac & cheese.
As for the grown-ups, ArtBar has impressive bartenders and cocktails. I kept asking to get something special and fun whipped up and I was never disappointed. I especially loved their Pomegranate Lime Black Pepper Soda, such a great mixer.
Behold: the Tom & Jerry. I am not much of a hot drinks girl, but I was totally down with this. Egg whites, sugar, brandy, egg yolks, rum, and lots of work. (Eric asked if I could make this for him at home. I just laughed.) Oh, and those sprinkles on the top? Freshly grated nutmeg. As in I WATCHED her grate it.
They offer cocktail classes and I am giving some serious thought to attending the “Hot Drinks Beyond the Toddy” class later this month…
On top of all this, you can also go to Christmas Breakfast, Brunch or Dinner at ArtBar. For some fancy date-night outings, come by for the New Year’s Eve five-course Chef’s tasting menu.
If your group or company is looking for a family-friendly place to have a party, I heartily recommend them. We had a fantastic time. The kids had fun. The adults had fun. How often does that actually happen?
FOR VISITORS AND STAYCATIONS
Boston is such a great town to visit, it’s no wonder we have tourists all year round. But finding a hotel here can be a huge headache. Eric and I paid way more than we wanted to when we came here to look for apartments a few months before moving to the city. And when we have a visitor, we tend to have them crash in our teeny living room on an air mattress rather than sending them out to hunt for a hotel. Looking for a hotel when you’ve got kids with you? That’s tough no matter where you look but especially in Boston.
I’m really not kidding when I say that I will be sending everyone to check out the Royal Sonesta Hotel from now on. First, consider the view:
It’s also gorgeous covered in snow. I can tell you that first-hand.
Location: Great. They’re in Cambridge just across the river from downtown Boston. They’re a short walk from several T stations (including the Red, Orange and Green lines). They’re also just around the corner from the Museum of Science, a must-do for any family visiting Boston. They also have a daily shuttle service to Kendall Square in Cambridge, Faneuil Hall by the harbor and the Prudential Center/Copley Square shopping district. They’re also not too far from the airport, a cab will run you around $25.
Rooms: Rates start at $139 for a king. And you can save 15% by booking 30 days in advance. AND if you’re visiting family or friends for the holidays you can save with their Home for the Holidays rates using code HOH through the holiday season. In addition to your 1-bed and 2-bed options, they also have multi-room suites. You can specifically book a river-view room. (I’d recommend it.)
Pool: If you’re traveling with kids, the pool is a must. The Sonesta’s pool has been voted one of the best in Boston. Not only is it big, it’s also non-chlorinated.
Speaking of Kids: I was really tickled to find out that when kids come to the hotel they get to take part in a Hotel Scavenger Hunt. With clues that will send them to various parts of the hotel it’s a fun indoor activity they can work on throughout their stay to redeem for a prize when they’re finished. During the holidays they can get cookies and hot cider at check in.
And if you come during the summer, check out the SummerFest rates, which include free boat rides on the Charles, free bicycle use, family movies at the pool, free meals for kids at ArtBar. And for you fit folks there are guided 4-mile runs along the river.
Since we don’t get to travel much anymore, I am thinking a staycation may be in our future this summer. Whaddya think, Royal Sonesta? See you in June or so…
Disclosure: The Royal Sonesta graciously hosted a group of bloggers for a holiday party and gave us some goodies to take home. We were not obligated to blog about the event and I’m not being compensated for this post.