It’s February, there’s snow on the ground (well, if you’re in Boston there is) and you probably don’t want to see another Christmas tree in this lifetime. Trust me, I get it and so I sincerely apologize for the festive nature of just about every single image I’m about to heap upon you. Thing is, the hubby and I treated ourselves to a staycation right before the holidays and I’m only getting around to sharing more about it now – personally, I’d like to blame it on the holiday craziness which is exactly why we needed the break in the first place but I’m guessing the cold I’m still trying my best to ignore (So. Much. Kleenex.) and one ever expanding laptop battery (amongst other issues – thanks Apple) had a little something to do with it.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram (this plus cheese = direct line to my heart) then you know we chose to stay at The Row – one of the newest hotels to open in the Boston area – but you probably don’t know much more than that. So, for those of you planning a trip to the city or simply craving a staycation to distract from the fact that it’s still not summer, I’d highly encourage reading on…
** The Vibe **
I don’t know about you but I’ve always been the type to gravitate toward boutique hotels. Not so long ago, I would have prioritized both the overall look and popularity of a property over just about everything else but wanting to 1. travel more and 2. experience more when I do travel, I find myself seeking out accommodation that strikes a healthy balance between the three C’s – character, convenience and cost. Staying at The Row, I genuinely felt like we were getting the best of both worlds.
The style obsessed side of me, for instance, fell in love with the hotel’s thoughtful design which not only pays tribute to Assembly Row’s industrial heritage but further emphasizes that boutique feel. At the same time, knowing that the hotel is actually a part of the Autograph Collection immediately let me know that I could rely on a certain level of quality and service – hello free, high-speed internet! Okay, I realize bragging about wifi might sound kind of crazy but you don’t take that stuff for granted when your job depends on it and you’ve just returned from another hotel stay that required $14 per 24 hours of temperamental connection. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the peace of mind I appreciate the most when staying with Marriot.
** The Food **
I don’t eat a lot of red meat for two reasons; 1. I don’t actually crave it all that often and 2. it’s one of few foods I’m extremely picky about – anything else I’ll likely wolf down for no other reason than “it was within reach.” Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know you can trust me when I tell you that the burger at The Row’s Reflections, is a must. Yes, the patty itself is incredible but the aged cheddar, spicy pickles and candied bacon that come with it? Well, those really make it sing! Funnily enough, it was Ted who actually ordered the burger in the first place but I ended up stealing it after he convinced me to “try a bite.” Honestly, this is why I don’t share food – um, anyone else flashing back to that “Joey doesn’t share food!” episode of Friends?
While we’re on the subject, set your alarm and get your tushy downstairs in time for breakfast in the morning. It actually doesn’t end all that early but I love a good lie-in and can only assume that sleeping past noon is something all thirty year olds do on the weekend. With the a la carte menu boasting so many of my usual go-tos (avocado toast and eggs benedict anyone?) I’d usually have gone that direction but I was completely spoiled for choice with everything the hotel’s elevated harvest breakfast table had to offer. My advice? Opt for the Chef’s Harvest Table at least once – you won’t regret it!
** The Area **
Since Ted and I actually lived in Somerville’s Assembly Row for two years you already know we’re huge fans of the area. One of the things I loved most about it then is probably the very thing I love most about it now; you never have to leave – ever! Coming from Ireland and now living in the ‘burbs, I’m generally used to trekking into the city for everything but here you’re surrounded by great shops (Ann Taylor Factory and J.Crew Factory are two of my faves) multiple date-worthy restaurants (if you’re looking to venture outside the hotel I’d recommend Fuji – try the salt and pepper shrimp – and Southern Kin) and one of my favorite movie-theaters (think reclining seats and cabernet) ever.
As much as there is to do during the winter, you’ll really love Assembly Row once the weather picks up. We used to love walking Maddie by the water and there’s no better place to sit outside and people watch than at River Bar which is also a great place to catch Pokemon – or so I’ve heard! For those of you with kids (the non furry kind, I mean) the area’s a total no-brainer thanks to 1. Legoland and 2. the playground.
At this point I should probably mention how easy it is to get into Boston from Somerville. Take an Uber from The Row and you’ll be there in 15 minutes. There’s also the T which may sound less than ideal given how much we locals give out about it but honestly that’s just what you do here in Boston – that plus ask yourself why you live here the minute it drops below 40. Even better yet, the station here is brand spankin’ new as well as teeny-tiny meaning taking the T is actually a pretty pleasant experience overall. Truly, this is why we chose to live in the Assembly Row area and why we’d 100% choose to stay at The Row again – you’re close enough to the city but just far enough from the busy, the cramped and let’s be honest, the overpriced!
** Pro Tip **
Keep an eye on the different packages being offered by The Row, particularly around holidays like Christmas and/or Valentine’s Day. As a relatively new hotel, I’ve generally found their offers are much more competitive and creative than others I’ve come across. It was actually the hotel’s holiday shopping special that Ted and I opted for back in December and we loved every minute of it – the welcome cocktails, the neighborhood discounts, the gorgeous gift wrapping (I wish I didnt but I absolutely loathe wrapping presents) and the fact that our Christmas treat benefitted the incredibly deserving, RESPOND.