Boston Hotels near Park Plaza and Boston's South End?
Park Plaza lobby with Christmas Decorations
I am attending a conference in Boston and am looking for alternatives to the listed hotel - the Boston Park Plaza. How far (by foot) is the South End? What other neighbourhoods could I be looking at? I need somewhere near the Boston Park Plaza and in a safe neighbourhood. Thanks.
Susan's reply The South End is one of Boston's largest neighborhoods, and depending on where you're going, it may be about a 10-15 minute walk from the Park Plaza Hotel - not a big deal when the weather is good or if you only need to go back and forth once a day, but if your conference takes place in a month such as January when weather can be tricky (that is to say, icy sleet, 2 feet of snow, a bitter wind) or if you have time between conference sessions and want to pop back to your hotel room, the distance may start to seem inconvenient. Plus, accommodations in the South End are fairly limited, aside from a couple of small, older hotels and some high-end (but popular and sometimes hard to get reservations) beds and breakfasts.
Fortunately, there are a LOT of other hotel choices very close to the Park Plaza that may offer you more convenience.
The Park Plaza is located in a tiny section of the city called Park Square, surrounded by the Public Garden (gorgeous Victorian-era park), the Back Bay neighborhood, the Theatre District/Chinatown (part of downtown Boston), and on the side opposite to the Public Garden, the Bay Village neighborhood, a small enclave with beautiful Federal era (early 19th century) and Art Deco buildings.
The closest hotel to the Park Plaza is the Radisson Boston at the edge of Bay Village - maybe a 3-4 minute walk, or even less if the traffic lights cooperate. Rooms here are a bit larger than normal for Boston and it has the luxury of an indoor pool as well as an on-site theater. Rates vary - sometimes very good, and sometimes higher, depending on what's going on.
About a block and a half farther away (so maybe a 4-5 minute walk from the Park Plaza) in the Theatre District is the gleaming, sleek W Hotel Boston. Roughly a block from the W is the Courtyard Marriott Tremont Hotel. I attended a conference there recently and was struck by how nice the facilities and the staff are. Rates at the Courtyard Tremont are usually quite a bit lower than at the W, because the W is new and glamorous. It's about a 6 minute walk from the Park Plaza. Both the W and the Courtyard Tremont are near a number of Boston's most popular dance clubs.
On the other side of the Park Plaza Hotel, in the Back Bay neighborhood, are 2 more nearby hotels that you might want to consider: the Back Bay Hotel, part of the Irish Doyle's luxury hotel group (you'll find lots of luxury touches such as Frette linens on the beds) housed in a historic building, and the similarly luxurious Taj Boston, situated directly across from the Public Garden. They're both about a 5 minute walk from the Park Plaza.
All of these hotels are close to subway (we call it the "T") stops, which is useful if you want to see other areas of Boston, although their central location means you can also walk to most places.
Keep in mind that if you have time for sightseeing and want to go places like the skywalk observatory, go on a tour or Boston Harbor cruise, or visit some of Boston's museums, you can almost always save quite a bit of money if you have a Boston discount card, especially if you don't have a lot of time and don't want to pay full admission prices if you can only stay a short time.
You'll also find lots of restaurants near all of these hotels. Even though there are plenty of restaurants in the Park Square area, they tend to be a little on the pricey side. You'll find a lot more choices in Back Bay and the Theatre District/Chinatown.
The areas surrounding all of these hotels are reasonably safe (with the usual caveat that of course you should exercise normal precautions - don't walk around flaunting expensive jewelry, wave your wallet in the air as you walk down the street, or walk out in front of speeding cars) - I feel perfectly comfortable walking around in all of these areas, day and night. There are typically lots of other people around; perhaps less so in the South End because it's more residential and some of the side streets are really quiet.
Hope this helps, and have a wonderful time in Boston!