I'm reluctant to share my experience, since I'm sure that doing so will let the "cat out of the bag" for next year's marathoners. This hotel is a hidden gem. For many Boston marathoners, they prefer to stay in downtown Boston, for the sake of convenience to the Runner's Expo, and the Shuttle pick-up at the Commons, to the race start in Hopkinton. I prefer staying a bit away from downtown, for the peace and quiet. I normally stay in Foxboro, but they have jacked up their prices this year.
So after a bit of homework, I found what looked too good to be true - a hotel between Boston and Hopkinton that not only had availability (I got a late jump on making a reservation), but offered a very reasonable rate. As you may know, if you want the "privilege" of staying in downtown Boston during the marathon, you ARE going to pay a premium ($300-$500 per night). After reading many of their reviews, I picked up the phone and called the front desk. I like dealing directly with the hotel, since the booking agencies have a plethora of contingencies that require reading ALL the fine print, lest you incur unexpected charges. When I called the hotel, I was greeted with a warm and friendly voice (writing this from the library, so I don't have the name of the desk clerk handy). I don't know about you, but I often make my decision as to whether or not I'm going to book a reservation, based on how that initial phone call goes. If they're pleasant, they're on the way to winning my business. If they seem too busy to help me, that's usually the end of my dealings with that hotel. They (he) proceeded to ask my travel dates, and double-checked availability. (I had already checked this online, to make sure they were not sold out.) Booking was simple and straightforward. I had a few special requests (extra pillows, quiet room), and he make the necessary notes in my reservation. He reviewed the cancellation policy, thanked me for my business, and we parted "company." Shortly thereafter, I received a confirmation email.
A few days before arriving, I received another email, offering a pre-welcome, and providing the details of my reservation. Nice touch. I had a late flight from California to Boston Logan, with a change of planes in Indianapolis. After securing my rental car, I arrived at the hotel around midnight. A very "smiley" clerk welcomed me. This is a 6-floor hotel, and I noticed that I had been assigned a 4th floor room. I told him that, when I made the reservation, I had asked for a top floor. He said that they were sold out for the night, (and probably because of my late check-in), no top floor rooms were available. I told him, as long as it's a quiet room... no worries. He also checked the following day's reservations, and found a top floor available, saying I could switch rooms in the morning, for the remainder of my stay. He added a note for the A.M> clerk, to assist in the change. Turns out - the room was so quiet, I had no need to switch, and cancelled the request the following morning.
Needless to say, upon my initial arrival, I was tired, AND hungry. I asked the night clerk if anything was still open at this hour. He said to go drop my bags in my room, and he would print out the names and locations of a few places that were still serving food. When I returned to the desk, he had researched several options for me. I chose a Chinese restaurant that was open till 2. Turns out (as he had said, though in my fatigue, I had missed his comment) they deliver to the hotel. No worries - it was close enough, that the short drive was of no consequence. After quite a tasty seafood lo mein dinner, I headed back to the hotel. I was asleep within 5 minutes.
The next sound I heard was someone checking out next door. It was around 11 a.m. A solid night's sleep! OK, long story short from here on out... I drove to the Runner's Expo in downtown Boston that day. In and out of the city nice and smoothly. Came back and relaxed in my room for a couple hours. Went downstairs to check with the desk for a good Italian restaurant nearby, to carboload for the marathon. The clerk suggested the in-house restaurant - The Copperhouse Tavern. OMG... the food is out of this world! A moderately priced menu, with a definite gourmet touch. My dad was an executive chef, so I know what I'm talking about. The staff was attentive and cordial. The food is simply not to be missed.
Last comment: As you might imagine, I was pretty exhausted after Monday's marathon. The weather was CRAZY... mid-40's, pounding rain, and winds ranging from 10-30 m.p.h. Once I got back to the hotel, and after a LONG, HOT shower, I headed down to the desk. You guessed it - I wanted to ask for a late checkout. Since I was actually requesting a "late, late" checkout, the clerk said she would have to speak with the hotel manager. From the back office, came the manager. She introduced herself - Margot Fenton. I explained my "situation," and the fact that I had a late flight out of Logan. Without further explanation on my part, and without hesitation on hers, she said, "Absolutely. I'm happy to help you." In a world where policy usually supersedes kindness, I am here to say that, in this case, the latter has prevailed. Margot, I am grateful for the goodness that you and your staff demonstrated to me. By the way, I gave a pair of my running shoes to one of your warm-hearted housekeeping crew members. It was the least I could do for a team that took care of my every need from start to finish. You have certainly earned my business when I next visit Boston... which at a minimum will be for the 2019 Marathon. I just hope I can book a room, before you sell out. Maybe I should make my reservation NOW! How far in advance do you book? less