What do you do for the ultimate Red Sox fan in your family? Easy.
Plan a Boston vacation at the Official Boston Red Sox hotel, the Hotel Commonwealth.
Anyone who has been to a Red Sox game in Boston knows how the crowds from the games temporarily take hold of the city. The gridlock of cars around the Fenway area is what gave the term “Boston drivers” its start, I am sure.
There’s nothing more luxurious for families attending a Red Sox game than a quick walk to the stadium from their hotel. Hotel Commonwealth offers the closest location to Fenway on foot.
Many rooms face the cathedral of Boston, but even if your room doesn’t, you can get the same great view from the hotel’s event space.
The Fenway Suite
The Fenway Suite is the ultimate indulgence for the baseball loving family. Original Fenway Park chairs can be brought in for some family Instagramming, and at turndown service, a little bag of Fenway Park dirt will be put on your pillow. Adult fans will be very sentimental about this.
I’d, on the other hand, have to hide the sealed bag as fast as I do the chocolates left on our pillows when traveling with my kids. A four-year-old covered in dirt he thought was some kind of candy is how my night would end.
Bedtime Stories at the Hotel Commonwealth
So while my son is a tad young for Fenway Fever, he is the perfect age for Bedtime Stories, the annual winter event the Hotel Commonwealth offers for families. It is the best organized family slumber party in Boston during the February school break.
At check in children receive their Bedtime Stories backpacks to take to their rooms for the Saturday night. The thoughtful swag included a teddy bear wearing a Hotel Commonwealth hoodie, a blanket, and a story for bedtime.
The event takes over the hotel event space. Children arrived in pajamas and slippers to evergreen hits from Disney movies, and the hotel offered each child some teddy bucks that resembled Monopoly money adorned with the hotel’s mascot bear. The play money was to spend at the treat store set up for the event.
The hotel displayed a sweets extravaganza worthy of a spread in Martha Stewart Living: cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, candies, and more. Parents were treated to an equally impressive cheese spread and open bar.
The hotel ballroom was a vision of rainbows from footy pajama fabrics with children on their bellies and their chins propped into their palms. Kids flopped feet back and forth in the air while sipping hot chocolate and watching a magic show.
The newest walkers of the group toddled around the masses of little bodies as the cross-legged parents grabbed their plastic cups of red wine so they wouldn’t get knocked over. One toddler approached the magician in the middle of one of his tricks and slapped him hard, right in his groin as a way to say “Hello, nice to meet you. I am here.”
As any sleep-deprived parent in that ballroom would tell you on a February evening in Boston, it was a good as it gets for a family night out.
After many tricks that involved children in the audience to assist, a few storytellers shared classic tales. The closing act was a chance to meet and greet Terry the Bear, the hotel mascot, Santa Claus style.
This weekend concluded with a Sunday morning pancake making class and breakfast buffet. The same ballroom now had large stations set up to allow groups of children to join with members of the culinary team to measure dry ingredients, crack eggs, and whisk batter.
Fortunately, the kitchen already made pancakes that were part of a buffet filled with sweet toppings, candies, and whipped cream, and a traditional breakfast buffet was in another room.
It was an incredibly well executed family event from start to finish.
Family Comfort at the Hotel Commonwealth
The Hotel Commonwealth has a few other advantages that are worth noting. Many rooms work well for families. Our room had floor to ceiling houndstooth curtains that created two separate areas to sleep in, and the curtains to the outside windows were cleverly striped in baseball ticking. Most hotel information is loaded on the room’s iPad.
Dining at Hotel Commonwealth
The other key assets of staying at the Hotel Commonwealth are the three on site restaurants and bars that are part of Garrett Harker’s ever expanding empire: Eastern Standard, the Island Creek Oyster Company, and Hawthorne, a basement level craft cocktail lounge.
Eastern Standard was the Boston table when it opened in 2005, and the crowds keep coming back for its French bistro fare. I like to think of it as the Boston version of Balthazar, the SoHo French brasserie that evolved gracefully from white hot to evergreen classic. It would be one of the most sought after tables before or after a Red Sox game, so book accordingly.
Eastern Standard also provides the room service items for Hotel Commonwealth, so your late night Niçoise salad will impress, and the frites that come with your kids’ dinners should tempt you. Our dinners included an outstanding half roasted chicken with root vegetables and a well executed salmon. My children ordered the mac ‘n cheese, a pretty adult version served in cast iron plates from the oven.
The Boston T is in front the hotel and can transport you to Boston’s Museum of Science within minutes. The Boston Public Garden and the shops of Newbury Street are nearby on foot, too, as is Boston University.
While the comparable chain hotels nearby offer families their indoor pools, Hotel Commonwealth offers an authentically local Boston experience for families where kids and baseball lovers feel equally welcome.
Although we were guests of the Hotel Commonwealth, these opinions are entirely my own.