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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Boston is “America’s Walking City.” Its compact size and sights that are easily connected by a reliable public transportation system (the T) make it a fantastic destination for families. The city is steeped in history with attractions, like the Paul Revere House on Boston’s popular Freedom Trail, drawing families who like to mix fun with hands-on learning. Beantown is also a thriving tech hub and emerging ‘geeks’ can get their hands dirty at many interactive museums, including the popular Museum of Science, the Children’s Museum and the MIT Museum across the river in Cambridge.
Boston also boasts many family-friendly hotels, include several where you can use rewards points to get make your visit extra sweet. Here are a few of our favorites:
Loyalty program: Marriott Rewards
This family-friendly Category 6 Westin features free welcome treats for kids and spacious rooms with round-the-clock room service. The Copley Place Hotel is located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, which has a host of lively attractions nearby, including the Boston Common, the start of the Freedom Trail and public garden. The city’s popular “duck boat” tours depart from Prudential Center, which is located around the corner. A heated pool is another welcome attraction for families as are onsite laundry, baby-sitting services and its pet-friendly policy.
If you’re paying cash instead of points, ask for the Westin family package that offers 50% off your second room with connecting rooms based on availability.
Using Marriott Rewards, you’ll spend 50,000 points per night, or you could use a Marriott 50k annual award available with the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card. If you’re looking to work a Cash + Points combo, a room will cost $190 plus 25,000 points per night. And, of course, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott Rewards. Families will love that standard room options include those with two queen beds.
Loyalty program: Wyndham Rewards
The old Beacon Hill neighborhood, most closely tied with the culture of the Boston Brahmin, is in the heart of town and boasts gas-lit street lamps. Boston Common and the public garden, with its popular and iconic Swan Boats and Make Way for Ducklings statues, are located nearby. In the winter, families can choose to skate at Frog Pond.
Family-friendly features include a seasonal outdoor pool, complimentary cribs, rollaway beds ($20 a night) and large rooms. Under Wyndham’s go free℠ award, families can redeem 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points for one standard bedroom per night, subject to availability. There are blackout dates for such a booking, so check first. You can also participate in the go fast℠ award, which allows families to redeem 3,000 bonus points per bedroom per night to get discounted room rates. The caveat here is that bookings must be made directly through Wyndham. You can also use the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card to earn points.
Loyalty program: World of Hyatt
Families that are bringing pets along on vacation might want to consider this hotel, which has won acclaim from Pets Can Stay as one of the city’s best to accommodate furry friends. Family-friendly options include baby-sitting and a large 52-foot on-site heated indoor pool, which uses saline instead of chlorine to deliver a gentler experience. You can request connecting rooms if available. Room service and on-site restaurants mean not having to venture into the city again after a long day exploring when little legs just can’t walk any more.
And, you will have a lot to explore given that the hotel is close to the theater district (musical, anyone?) and many other of the city’s historical attractions.
The Hyatt Regency Boston is a Category 4 under the World of Hyatt Rewards program, which means you’ll need 15,000 points for a standard room or you can use a Category 1 – 4 award available with The World of Hyatt Credit Card (hotel increasing to a Category 5 in March 2019). Families who need some extra space may also want to give the new Premium Suite Awards a look.
World of Hyatt is also a Chase Ultimate Rewards partner so you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your World of Hyatt account.
Loyalty program: Marriott Rewards
Looking to splash around in the city’s waterfront? Then this family-friendly hotel is just your ticket. Located on the harbor, you’re close to the famous New England Aquarium and the city’s historic North End, the predominantly Italian neighborhood where you can tuck into delicious pastas and pick up a box or two of cannoli from Mike’s Pastry. The Freedom Trail and Faneuil Hall Marketplace are also close by, accessible on the other side of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Boston Harbor Islands are a perfect day trip for families and, if you are visiting during the right season, you can take in some whale-watching. You are also close to the city’s famous Legal Seafood restaurant.
The hotel houses an indoor pool and offers pull-out beds and complimentary cribs/playpens. On-site laundry service helps families who are on longer stays.
The Boston Marriott Long Wharf is a Category 6 hotel with Marriott Rewards, which means it will cost 50,000 points per night. This means that the annual award from the SPG Luxury Card is an option to lock in this room. Alternatively, you could pick up the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express for a bonus of 75,000 points after putting $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months.
Loyalty program: IHG Rewards Club
Cambridge, the tech mecca that houses MIT and Harvard, is across the river from Boston and is a fun place for families to visit. Harvard’s art museum and street shows in the square are always an enticement, as are all the delicious dining options from the high-end such as Catalyst in Kendall Square to family-friendly Bertucci’s in Harvard Square. Bonus: Boston’s Museum of Science is just a seven-minute walk.
The Kimpton Marlowe is one of the most family-friendly in the area (which is no surprise since Kimpton is one of the most family-friendly hotel chains around). Kids get the star treatment here from welcome treats, a lending library of books they can pick up and even child-size bathrobes, in addition to other goodies. During spring and summer, families can rent kayaks for free for use on the Charles River and also borrow bikes on a complimentary basis. The hotel is also pet-friendly so furry guests are right at home.
Kimpton Marlowe is part of the IHG Rewards Club program. You will need 55,000 IHG reward points per night to redeem for a standard room with one king bed or two double beds at Kimpton Marlowe. You can earn points with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card which even gives you the fourth award night free in case you are booking a longer stay.
If your family wants to sleep in “jail”, check out the Liberty Hotel that is actually the transformed Charles Street Jail, built in 1851 and now a national historic landmark. For 60,000 Marriott Rewards points per night, your family can book a room with one king or two queen beds in this Luxury Collection Hotel located at the foot of Beacon Hill. If your stay is during the holidays, you can even enjoy the quirky upside-down trees!
No matter what age your kids are, you’ll find the right mix of activities to keep them happy in Boston. Have you stayed in the city on points recently? What’s your favorite family-friendly hotel in Beantown?
Featured image by Pixabay
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