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Looking For That Right Hotel

Southern California
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Looking For That Right Hotel

Hi:

We are coming to Boston in August to get our daughter settled into Harbor Point at UMass Boston for the 2006 school year. We will be relying on public transportation and will have to do lots of shopping for apt. goodies so we won't be paying shipping from the west coast. Where would be a great, convenient, and close to the T hotel? I know that UMass has its own T stop, but we are going to have lots of purchased goods to haul around. Maybe a taxi would be better??? The hotel needs to be near shopping, UMass etc. or any other great ideas??? Thanks for the advice. Clueless in California.

Boston...
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1. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

UMass does have its own "T" stop, but even from there, you really need to connect to a bus... Harbor Point and the campus aren't right at the stop. For making shopping trips, a cab or even a short-term car rental would probably be better than the "T" when lugging around shopping bags.

As far as hotels, there are too many to list that are close to subway connections and shopping, so in the interest of narrowing the list down, here are a few that might be of interest for various reasons...

The Westin, Marriot Copley, Sheraton and Back Bay Hilton are all convenient to the shopping in the Back Bay... namely things like Crate and Barrel and the stores in the Copley Place and Prudential Malls. The first 3 are accessible to these malls by covered pedestrian walkways. Not too far away is the Landmark Center (near fenway Park) that offers shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond (domestics and home stuff), as well as Best Buy (electronics, computers, etc.). These hotels are also close to the Orange and Green line stations. JFK/UMass is on the Red Line, but connecting is easy in the subway system for those times when you're not laden down with goodies. The area is packed with lots of dining and entertainment as well.

There is a website at www.travelzoo.com that very often has great deals on hotels. Bear in mind that August is a busy tourist month here, as well as many families doing exactly what you're planning, and hotel room "deals" may be difficult to find.

You could also consider hotels in Quincy or Braintree as good options for proximity to UMass, but you'd probably want to opt for a rental car in those cases, or be sure that the hotel has courtesy shuttle service to the "T" stops, at least. Another reason to consider a rental car is that some of the best "bargain" shopping locations aren't in the city center... depending on what you're intending to buy. The outlets in Wrentham are very popular for all sorts of stuff, from home goods to clothing.

Boston
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2. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

Good morning Taxiplease,

You might want to think about where you want to shop when you're planning this. If you want to shop right in Boston you could actually stay at any of the hotels in downtown Boston and get to UMASS's Harbor Point very easy. When I lived near Harbor Point we'd shop at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree which is one of the Simon Malls that has all the stores you can think of contained right under thir building. You could rent a car and get there and back in no time as it's only located at the intersection of Rte 3 & I-93 a few towns down from Dorchester.

www.simon.com/mall/directory

If you were in Boston you could very easily head over to the Cambridgeside Galleria and hop either on the mbta "T" or a taxi to get in to Boston further for more shopping at Boylston St. and Downtown Crossing, we've done that before, it's very close!

www.cambridgesidegalleria.com

You have the Outlets too that you could check out, great sales going on all the time at the two that are near Boston.

One of them is located south of Boston in Wrentham, MA which you can view for the directions and see the stores they have:

www.premiumoutlets.com

You can take off and just about a little over an hour and may be 20-25 minutes away is Kittery, Maine just to the north of Boston with the following site that you can check out to see the stores and directions:

A lot of shopping being done at all these Malls and Outlets for going back to school!

www.thekitteryoutlets.com

A 2 hour drive to the west of Boston in the Berkshires are the Prime Outlets that are all over the country, you can check them out at:

www.primeoutlets.com

So again, think about the Malls and Outlets too, there's a lot of sales and a larger selection sometimes than just staying right in town Boston. It's up to you, but this is what a lot of us do around New England. We can all find these Malls and Outlets blindfolded, trust me!

If you stay in Boston during the warmer months check out the Boston Yacht Haven located right at 87 Commercial Wharf not too far from the North End for dinner! You just have to walk across the street at night. It's in a good location to walk to the "T" if you stay right in Boston to shop. You could always rent a car for a day to get to any of these Malls or Outlets I mentioned. Parking is terrible in downtown Boston though, so may be if you just rent it for a day and bring it back that night or something you won't get hit with the huge parking fees. It's all up to you!

SO glad to hear your daughter will be going to UMASS in Boston, that's wonderful. So far one of my nieces is going to UNH and it'll be the same thing this summer, shopping and settling in.

Good luck!

Boston
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3. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

Hi Taxiplease,

I forgot about this Mall, it's important too where it's so close to the school complex! It's got a very good Super Stop & Shop and a good size Home Depot in it and it's located not even 2 minutes from the Harbor Point complex at UMASS. You can see it from the Southeast Expressway as a matter of fact when you get off at the JFK exit you pass it, it's a little tricky to get there from the Expressway, it's actually easier to get there right where the JFK "T" stop is located near the Boston Globe! So look for it. It's called the "South Bay Center" at I-93 & Southampton St.-Massachusetts Ave. in Dorchester, MA. There's an OfficeMax there too for supplies!

North Shore...
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4. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

For purposes of purchasing clothing and bath accessories and many other things:

Stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston (downtown)

One Avenue de Lafayette (formerly Swissotel) Boston, MA 02111 or the Omni Parker House on School St. (downtown) by either booking direct through their Website or via www.betterbidding.con and THEN priceline.com, and WALK to the shopping at Macys Department Store, Filene's Basement discount department store, DSW women's shoe store and TJMAX discount stores all on Washington Street downtwon all of which have rasonable prices and weekly sales.

Also, from these hotels you can walk to Downtown Crossing subway "T" stop or to Park Street station and use the various subway lines to travel to and from any and all other Boston destinations. When your shopping is done, you can use a taxi from the hotel to travel to the UMASS Harbor Point to uhload at the dorm.

Quincy...
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5. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

The South Bay Center does have a Target and a Marshalls and a Home Depot, which should get you everything you'd need for your daughter between the three of them.

However, I'd still suggest renting a car if you are going to be doing a lot of shopping. The Red Line JFK stop is not all that close to UMASS, and there is a shuttle bus that goes to the campus. Without a car, you'd have to rely on a T bus to take you to South Bay, and then the UMASS shuttle bus to take you from the red line to the school. Taking public transit is doable, but it will take you twice as long to do anything, and you will be doing a lot of "shlepping".

There's a Doubletree Club hotel near the UMASS campus, which would be very convenient:

…boston.com/hotels-view-354809-doubletree_cl…

It's close to South Bay, and also South Shore Plaza, in Braintree. SSP is a HUGE mall with Sears, Macy's, Crate and Barrel, etc., etc.

North Shore...
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6. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

In my opinion, it is a waste of time, effort, and funds to rent a car in Boston for almost any reason. The cost of the daily rental plus the daily parking rates are exorbitant. There are an extensive amount of taxes on a car rental almost too numerous to mention in addition to time wasted to pick up and drop off the vehicle. You will also have to consider daily liability and collision damage rental fees which you should take in Boston. As you make each stop in the city, you will have to pay exorbitant parking charges and waste more time. You will never find a metered parking space. In addition, you will have to locate gasoline stations and pay exorbitant rates for fuel. Furthermore, you will also have difficulty finding your routes and I assure you that it will not be easy for you if you have never been in Boston previously with the Big Dig, the one way streets and the non-grid layout of the city. Walking or traveling on the "T" to shop downtown is inexpensive and efficient especially if your hotel is nearby. Use the "T" and then take a taxi to UMASS to unload. In addition to the downtown stores, there are several malls in Boston within easy distance by the "T". Directions can be obtained from their Websites or better still from your hotel concierge supplemented by the "T's" Website, www.mbta.com. If you travel outside of the city to the malls, then yes, you can park at the malls for free. If for some reason you do decide to rent a car to travel to the malls outside of the city, then by all means do NOT reserve your hotel room in the city.

7. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

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Southern California
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8. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

Bless all of you for your responses!!! I can't print this up fast enough to keep for August. We also found out that we can order from Bed, Bath, & Beyond here in Upland, CA and PICK IT UP at the BB&B in Boston. What would I do without Trip Advisor??

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

Another suggestion to lighten the load... overstock.com has wonderful deals on all kinds of thing -- inclluding a "memory foam" topper for extra-long twin beds (which seems to be the usual size for dorm beds) that my son says has remarkably improved the comfort of his college bed. Overstock's shippping costs are amazingly reasonable, and their delivery of in-stock items is FAST, at least here on the East Coast.

So for those items which your daugther can live without for her first days on campus, consider on-line ordering from overstock -- and/or Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc.

Good luck :-)

Boston
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10. Re: Looking For That Right Hotel

YES shop online, that's right too, my sister's doing that with my nieces!

Cool, you won't have to worry about transportation for shopping in town or out of town that way.

You could still rent a car and park it right at UMASS for only $6.00 a day there I see. That's a GREAT price. The Harbor Point complex is right there and once you see the connection and their short cut that every one uses, it'll be a breeze.

One thing you could look for that the students all end up needing in their dorms and you can look for it right on the Bed Bath N Beyond site under "bedding gadgets" they're called "bed lifts" and they have them in black, brown or white for like $10 or so. Remember to get them! They're able to store SO much more under their beds that way. You'll see what I mean when you find them online.

You'll be getting your list from the school of ideas and suggestions I bet, if you don't have it already, then you will be getting it during the summer most likely.

Good luck!