Category Archives: Marriott

By @ 12/26/19 in CheckOut, Ed Salvato, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Hotels, Marriott

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineA welcoming option located in a choice area of the city, the Moxy Boston Downtown offers terrific value and plenty of inviting spaces including their small but well-equipped rooms with staff that’s super friendly but also incredibly responsive and professional. 

Location

The location is truly central. You’re located smack dab in the middle of Boston’s small but well-regarded and popular theater district with live performances of all genres available all year long. You’re steps away from other key Boston treasures including the Boston Common and Public Garden; the financial district; Downtown Crossing (retail); the New England Medical Center; and a 10- to 15-minute walk to Boston’s South End, the historical LGBTQ+ neighborhood. There are Bluebike stations (shared bike system) nearby as well as several T (subway line) stations; and if you pack light, South Station Train Terminal (served by Amtrak; bus lines; Silver Line free transport from Logan International Airport); is a mere 10-minute walk. 

Room/Bathroom

Marriott’s millennial-focused brand Moxy is a vibrant, friendly hotel concept with a youthful and fresh atmosphereMoxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine and an emphasis on the experiential aspects of lodging rather than the room. While the accommodations are small they have a bed, outlets, a TV, a clean well-lit bathroom and bath amenities (though oddly lacking body lotion and shelves for bath products). Most of the rooms have 149 square feet of space (including the one we stayed in recently). The Wicked Awesome View corner rooms have 174. The all have nearly floor-to-ceiling windows with great views of the city which allow in lots of light making the room feel much bigger. Request a higher room if you like views. They are pretty much unobstructed the higher you go. And with four elevators in service you’re never waiting long even during peak periods.

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAmenities

 

The focus of the Moxy brand is on the shared spaces which are playful and inviting. At the Boston property, which opened in late 2019, the ground level includes a photo booth — with very flattering theatrical lighting — encouraging guests to share their pictures on their social media platforms. The second floor “Living Room” includes most of the width of the tall, slender modern tower and offers grab-and-go options, a snack-and-light-bites oriented restaurant (in partnership with a local restaurateur), a full bar and cafe. Upon check in you’ll receive a  voucher for a Moxy cocktail.  

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThere’s plenty of space in the Living Room to spread out and work. There’s also a foosball table and nostalgic board games available to patrons. This area is open to the public. The rooftop Mezz, which is only open to hotel guests, is an unfinished space with seating and an outdoor balcony with stunning views of the city. Grab a cocktail on the second floor and head up here to soak in the views.

The hotel also offers a small gym which has several cardio machines, a good selection of free weights and other machines, mats and medicine and Bosu balls. You can also fill your refillable water bottle at the fountain.

A note on service: The staff here is young but very professional and super friendly. If you wish to be addressed with your honorific, perhaps try the Ritz Carlton. If you want to engage in friendly banter with a truly hospitable staff, the Moxy is the better choice.

Gay Factor

The brand’s friendly, anything-goes vibe encourages self expression and uniqueness, both of which make LGBTQ guests Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinefeel comfortable and welcome. Showing up with your same-sex partner at check in for example doesn’t raise an eye. You’ll almost always find other queer guests as well as staff. If anything, guests older than millennials may wonder whether they’ll be welcome but we’ve found in our many Moxy stays that it’s not about age as a number but rather as an outlook. If you’re an app-based person of any age, you’ll like it here. If you like the idea of spending less time in the room and more just and out exploring or chilling with a Chai tea or cocktail among other travelers in a common area, you’ll like it here. If you want more upscale experience or more services, you may want to just go across the street to the W Boston; but you will be welcome here no matter what your age. 

Rates

Like most properties in Boston the rate here can really vary especially depending on events including theatrical and other performances in the nearby cultural venues. During a recent holiday stay we found rates of around $100 per night, which is extraordinary given the amenities as well as the Bonvoy points you can accumulate. At peak times including graduation season (there are many institutions of higher learning throughout the region), rates throughout the city can be exorbitant. Those periods may be a good time to cash in those Bonvoy loyalty points but reserve as far in advance as the system allows.  

Ready to go

Tape here for rates and reservations at the Moxy Boston Downtown

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 12/28/17 in Boston, Gay travel, Hotels, Marriott, Philadelphia, Travel, Washington
This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott Hotels

Marriott Hotels in Washington DC, Boston + Philadelphia

Now that Marriott International encompasses 30 brands, many travelers are realizing for the first time that Marriott Hotels are no longer the big beige box next to the convention center. Indeed, some of the most exciting innovation in hospitality was already coming from Marriott before the Starwood merger. Moxy and Edition are as hip as hotels get – even the newest generation Courtyard properties are nothing like your old Regional Sales Manager’s Courtyard (check out Abu Dhabi or Tokyo Station).

And then there are still the big beige boxes next to the convention center. Sometimes they’re unavoidable. When we’re working or presenting at a conference, convenience is the greatest luxury, and that often lands us at a convention hotel. This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of those. Guess what? They’re not so beige anymore.

Marriott Marquis Washington DC

This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott HotelsNot just next to the convention center, this Marriott is actually connected to it via an underground passageway – super convenient when you’re dragging your display to the convention floor. But the moment you enter the lobby, it’s clear this is a modern, cool space. There’s a lively energy about the place with its soaring atrium and sculpture. The rooms are spacious, bright and contemporary in natural colors, and the fitness center is large and well-equipped. Best of all, the M Club Lounge is open 24/7, with free access for Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum members. Most Marriott lounges close on the weekends; but this one stays open, with breakfast every morning, and a candy bar during the day, where you can fill little Chinese takeout containers with snacks to keep you going.

Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown

This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott HotelsAlthough Courtyard has roots in suburban, office park locations, this was the first urban Courtyard, housed in an historic building just three blocks from the convention center (and the Reading Terminal Market). The ground floor is landmark protected, but head up to your room and a design surprise awaits. Decked out in masculine colors (dark blue, dark grey), and filled with design flourishes typical of a boutique hotel, the rooms are comfortable and whimsical — a modern interpretation of Colonial elegance. Combined with excellent service and an ideal downtown location, it’s a great choice even without the convention center proximity.

Boston Marriott Copley Place

This year, our northeast corridor tour from DC to Boston landed us in three of the best convention Marriott HotelsCopley Place isn’t the convention center, but it is the heart of Boston, and this hotel is a behemoth in the center of it all, with 1,097 rooms and 47 suites. Remember that classic Marriott décor from the 90’s? Stepping into our room at the Marriott Copley Place brought it back in all its glory. On closer inspection, it’s been updated, with some mid-century modern touches, and… it looks brand new – the hotel is impeccably maintained. Even more gratifying, you’ll find some really smart innovation under that harvest gold veneer. Smart elevators request your floor number before you get in, maximizing transit speed for everyone. Our stay here was our first encounter with Marriott’s “Fresh Bites” room service menu. Gone are the fancy roll-in tray and exorbitant service charges. Fresh, local and packaged to go, Fresh Bites are priced more like the corner deli, and delivered to your room for $5, or picked up at the bar for free. Finally, in-room dining that’s affordable for travelers without expense accounts. And after indulging in a lobster roll, there’s a big indoor pool, jacuzzi and large fitness center to work it off.

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By @ 09/28/16 in Billy Kolber, Hotels, Marriott, Starwood

Marriott/Starwood loyalty merger

When the Marriott/Starwood merger closed last Friday, the frequent traveler world was surprised with a same-day linkage of the two loyalty programs, immediate reciprocal elite memberships, and the ability to shift points between the two programs freely, at a 1 Starpoint = 3 Marriott Rewards point ratio.

Starwood Gold Elite members (who only needed 10 stays or 25 nights to qualify) got the biggest bonus, since Marriott Rewards Gold (which requires 50 nights) offers benefits more closely aligned with SPG platinum, notably free breakfast and lounge access at most Marriott hotels. Elite qualification nights are not shared or transferable currently, so you’ll need to be careful not to split your nights in a way that jeopardizes your status.

The combination of the Marriott/Starwood programs created some unexpected bonuses for elite members. And some newly minted ways to instantly become Marriott Rewards Gold — like spending $30,000 on the SPG Amex card in a year.  Even better, are these seven sneaky clever ways to get or leverage your new status for significant travel benefits.

1. If you have an American Express Platinum Card, you’re now gold with Marriott.

Platinum Amex Cardholders get awesome benefits, including SPG Gold Elite membership. Which gives you Marriott Rewards Gold, which is even more valuable: it includes free breakfast and lounge access at most Marriott hotels — a benefit you only get at the Platinum level with SPG.

2. If you’re a Delta Skymiles Diamond or Platinum Member, you’re now gold with Marriott.

Like American Express Platinum card holders, you’re also entitled to automatic SPG Gold Elite through the Crossover Rewards program. Once you register, your SPG Gold status gets you Marriott Rewards Gold.

3. If you’re a Platinum SPG member, you’re now silver with United MileagePlus

RewardsPlus, a Marriott/United Airlines partnership offers Marriott Platinum Elites a United MileagePlus silver elite. Once your SPG and MR accounts are linked, you can apply for the benefit with United based on your Marriott Platinum status.

4. If you’re a Marriott Rewards Platinum Member, you’re now silver on Delta

SPG Crossover Rewards grants Delta Skymiles Silver membership, Once your Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts are linked, you can link your SPG and Delta accounts.

5. If you’re United Mileage Plus Gold Elite member, you’re gold with Starwood.

RewardsPlus grants Marriott Rewards Gold to United MileagePlus Gold members. And that of course, gets you SPG Gold once your Marriott and Starwood accounts are linked.

6. Transfer 90,000 Starpoints into 132,000 United Mileage Plus points.

Almost every SPG airline partner offers a 1:1 point transfer ratio. But the united ratio was 1:2, requiring twice as many starpoints. But transfer 90,000 Starpoints into 270,000 Marriott Rewards points, and redeem for a RewardsPlus vacation package. Those 90,000 Starpoints become 132,000 MileagePlus miles, and a free 7-night Marriott Category 1-5 hotel stay. (Same offer with 7 nights at a Category 9 hotel is 130,000 Starpoints; 180,000 Starpoints at Tier 5 Ritz-Carlton).

A similar Travel Package offer is available for 60,000-120,000 miles on the following carriers: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, AirBerlin, Air Canada, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, American Airlines, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA, British Airways, China Eastern, China Southern, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig,  Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Jet Blue, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways Voyager, Southwest Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines,Virgin America. Virgin Atlantic

7. Double Your Credit Card Enrollment Bonuses

You likely already have one or the other. But you should have both, earn the enrollment bonuses, and freely transfer points between the programs. Currently, you can earn 25,000 Starpoints for getting the Amex Card, and 87,500 Marriott Rewards points for their visa card. Once you’ve earned the Marriott bonus, switch your everyday, non-Marriott spending to the SPG American Express card, since the 1 Starpoint per $1 is worth three times as much as the 1 MR point per $1 from the Marriott Rewards card.

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