Boston | a fun city to visit

I recently spent two nights in Boston — at either end of a quick trip to Iceland — and had the chance to experience several of Boston's luxury hotels in the course of my visit.

Ritz Carlton Boston Commons. I spent a night at this beautiful property at the southeast corner of the Boston Commons. My room looked out over the commons with an incredible view of the autumn leaves ... and even a glimpse of the Massachusetts State House with the sun glistening on its golden dome. My deluxe room was large (425 sq. ft.), comfortable, and well equipped for the business traveler with a desk large enough for two users, two ethernet ports (not to mention wireless internet), a 42" flat screen television, and a large marble bathroom with separate stall shower and tub. The hotel has an immense Sports Club that occupies two entire floors; hotel guests can use it for $15 per day. For a most special treat, book a Luxury Park View Suite. This 1100 square foot residence — with a study, a living room (with pullout sofa bed), and Master Bedroom — features a dead-on view of the Boston Commons. Virtuoso amenities include an upgrade if available upon arrival, daily continental breakfast for two, and a complimentary lunch for two ... all at the Best Available Rate.

Mandarin Oriental Boston is a brand new hotel connected to the Prudential Center. This property is very convenient to high-end shopping opportunities on Boylston and Newbury Streets and is well located in the commercial center of Boston. We had dinner at Asana, the hotel's Asian-fusion restaurant that uses organic seasonal New England ingredients. In addition to featuring a "chef's table" at which guests can watch Chef Nicolas Boutin at work, the restaurant has a unique, glass-enclosed cheese room. The rooms at the Mandarin Oriental are large with a huge WOW factor, and the hotel's new spa is gorgeous. The Mandarin Oriental has applied for Virtuoso status, and it plans to offer Virtuoso amenities at the Best Available Rate; amenities are said to include a $100 spa credit per room in addition to an upgrade if available at time of check in and daily breakfast for two.

Boston Harbor Hotel is a landmark hotel on the waterfront overlooking historic Boston Harbor. Located just 10 minutes from Logan airport, this is a luxurious alternative to the in-terminal Hilton Hotel. I spent a night in a Deluxe Junior Suite (and easily made my 8 a.m. flight the next morning). The room featured elegant, traditional styling with rich drapery fabrics, silk wallpaper, and molded woodwork and crown mouldings. I especially liked the color scheme which was a tasteful blend of creme, green, gold, and red. The room features a marble bathroom and a very comfortable king bed with a soft pillow-top. Virtuoso guests receive a Full American Breakfast (through room service, if you wish) and a $50 hotel credit.

To take advantage of the complimentary Virtuoso amenities, just book through a Virtuoso travel consultant.

Boston's luxury hotels (search here on Google)

copyright (c) 2008 by David J. Ourisman. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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