WHAT UP INTERNET?!
When deciding to travel to a Con (or really just an out-of-town event in general) my checklist inevitably follows some variation of the following:
- Secure entry to event (Badges, tickets, etc.)
- Lockdown transportation to event city (road trip, flights, etc.)
- Find lodging
- Determine transportation from event to lodging (Car rental? Trolleys? Whole lot of Uber?)
- Decide on places to eat both around lodging and event
As y’all are well-aware, this year your Bro was fortunate enough to hit up PAX East. Considering the crew and I decided to attend at the last possible minute, hotels were slim-pickings. Whenever possible we opt to stay within walking distance of whatever event we’re attending. This provides us with the flexibility of being able to huff it on foot whenever we so please to either line up for said event or merely grab a bite to eat. Due to our late-in-the-game decision making, this option was off the table.
Fortunately, a shuttle system was in place to provide transportation to the event for select area hotels. After doing a bit of cursory research (aka Googling) of the limited remaining hotel choices, the crew and I decided to stay at the Boston Park Plaza for a handful of reasons.
Much in the same vein of deciding to travel to a Con, your Bro also has a checklist for choosing which hotel gets my cold hard cash. Although my prep list does alter depending upon which Con I’m attending and which members of the crew I’m rolling with, more often than not it adheres to the following framework:
- Get as close to or secure easy transportation to event (walking distance? Shuttle?)
- Verify there are multiple food options either in the hotel or in close proximity to (preferably something for the A.M. and evening which aren’t crazy expensive)
- Scope photos of the room to ensure they don’t look like something from a horror movie
- See if there’s internet available (for some inexplicable reason, some hotels still charge for this)
- Check out the fitness room option (gotta get at least one workout in when traveling)
These priorities are typically in the above order, although depending upon the Con priorities may shift. For example-for SDCC proximity to the convention center is the only thing I take into account. For Disney, food isn’t something I really consider as I plan to do most of my eating in the parks. The above is comprised of the predilections during my ConLife travels, and given the limited room availability the Boston Park Plaza was our choice for our inaugural PAX East visit.
It didn’t occur to me while at the hotel that perhaps most Bros don’t dig into things as much when opting for a hotel-as frequenters of this blog know, this Bro is all about packing prep and lists. As a consequence, I only took photos of the room itself as I assumed most Bros would at the very least hit up their prospective hotel’s main website and social media accounts. You’ve my word, Bros-next time I book a hotel when attending a Con, I will take photos of more than just the room.
The hotel was decorated exceptionally well-modern fixtures with minimal décor. It felt like a hotel with old bones, but still maintained the sophisticated aesthetic. I’d link it to walking into an upscale, dated department store-it feels a little old, but you know it’s high class and you’re getting your money’s worth.
The following are photos of the room the crew and I stayed in as well as some general thoughts of the Boston Park Plaza overall. Without further ado, let’s take a gander at the room:
We did have a nice view from the room of some classic Boston architecture (Disclaimer: I have no experience in architecture and just thought the building across the way looked cool). The bed was comfortable, albeit a bit firm. The same cannot be said for the pillows-they were incredibly thin and were like sleeping on a small cloud. Bear in mind, clouds do not provide any type of support and you’d fall right through if you tried to sleep on one. Additionally, lighting in the room left a lot to be desired if you’re a fan of big and bright rooms after the sun goes down. Biggest buzzkill? Shower had no pressure. These are all minor quibbles, though.
Despite asking for two beds, we were given a room with a single king bed. Realizing this, the person assisting us with check-in was kind enough to offer a rollaway bed. After checking in we dropped our bags offer, headed to dinner and came back-the rollaway bed had been promptly dropped off. Additionally, when we asked the front desk for some additional coffee and towels while we were downstairs at one of the hotel restaurants, the requested items are dropped off before we returned to our room. Truth be told, apart from one subpar experience at the hotel’s lounge (and I notice when a member of the crew tweeted the Boston Park Plaza’s Twitter with compliments, they responded. But when pointing out a bad experience…crickets. Poor form, Boston Park Plaza Twitter account) the service at the hotel was on-point.
Hotel guests had access to a connected local gym (David Barton Gym) which was easily the best gym I’d ever set foot in. If you’re focused on making gains during your hotel stay, I’d be hard-pressed to suggest a gym better than the offerings of the Boston Park Plaza. Additionally, there was free Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby, which I used to hit y’all with updates. Internet was offered in the room at an additional surcharge which guests had the option to pay. Although I find internet not being included as a bit archaic (it’s 2016, Bro!) at least we didn’t have one of those horrendous “resort fees” tacked on.
There were numerous dining options both in and around the hotel. The in-house restaurants and lounges were a bit too rich for my blood (for example, $25 per person for the breakfast buffet) and after the poor dining experience at the lounge we opted to not dine in-house again. That being said, the drinks and appetizers we had were decent. Nothing exceptional, but you could certainly do a lot worse.
Numerous restaurants were also within walking distance, and each morning I made the one minute trek from the front door of the hotel to a nearby Au Bon Pain for coffee and eats. There were also numerous bars and chain restaurants within a 5-minute walk.
Overall, the Boston Park Plaza was a solid choice for our first PAX East trip. The gym was on point and numerous dining options were available at varying price levels. Although I personally prefer hotels within walking distance of our destination, you could do a whole lot worse than the Boston Park Plaza. Until next time, Bros!