After I registered for the Boston Marathon, I started looking for a hotel. The first thing I learned was that hotels in Boston are very expensive! Maybe it is just around the time of the marathon, or maybe it is all the time. I don’t know. But I am talking rooms going for $200-$400/night being some of the cheapest I found.
But I have friend who have run the race before, and had some great tips. One of my friends is a local and suggested the Doubletree in Waltham. He said it was just over $100 a night, and was only a few miles from the T. We could take the T into downtown Boston.
I got online, and looked and sure enough, I got a room for $107.10/night for three nights. With the $31 in taxes, it came to about $352 for the weekend. That is about what it was going to cost for one night at some of the other hotels I looked at.
We arrived Saturday afternoon, and check-in was smooth. We even got a voucher for a free cookie. We made our way to our room.
The room was large, with a bedroom and a sitting room. The sitting room had a sofa, coffee table, dining table, chairs, and a TV. The bedroom had a king size bed, a desk and a smaller TV. Everything was clean. Something I noticed quickly was that one of the bedside lamps was missing the little plastic knob to turn it on. The other beside lamp had a CFL bulb that seemed to be going bad as it was very dim. Something else we discovered was that only one of the two room key cards we recieved, worked. I took the cards back to the desk, and they reprogrammed them. I mentioned the problems with the bedside lamps, but these were not fixed during our stay.
I checked out the pool. The pool area was very nice and included a hot tub which I planned to use after the race. The only problem I saw was that the pool was filled with kids. But I figured I would come down later that night after all the kids had hopefully had gone to bed. When I did come down that night about 9:30pm, there were still a few kids. I got in the pool to start swimming some laps. I wasn’t in the pool more than a couple minutes before a bunch more kids showed up and took over the pool. I bonked one on the head while doing backstroke, and freestyled over another one. After about 25 minutes, I gave up and went back to my room. Interestingly, the pool seemed to be salt water, and not the chlorine I am used to.
I checked out the fitness room and they had some very nice Precor equipment in there. The treadmills looked nice, but I was going to be running a marathon in a couple days, and they were not in my plans.
We were underwhelmed by restaurant which we visited on the last night. The food was okay, but not great. And the service was lacking. I had to ask multiple times to get my diet coke refilled. It was mostly ice, and I emptied it quickly, and I had to ask again multiple times to get a refill.
The desk staff were great. They day before the marathon, we asked how much it would cost to take a cab downtown on race morning. We were told they had arranged for shuttles to take people to Hopkinton for $20 a person. This was fantastic and saved us much stress, and allowed us to get more sleep.
There is not a lot of stuff right around the hotel, but there are some restaurants not too far away.
If I qualify for next year’s Boston Marathon, I would plan on staying here again.
The Doubletree Guest Suites Boston/Waltham is located at 550 Winter Street, Waltham, MA. The phone number is (781) 890-6767.