New Amtrak deal makes for cheap and easy East Coast hotel hopping

Washington, D.C.'s impressive Union Station
Washington, D.C.'s impressive Union Station

Offering creative snow-themed specials, hotels in DC are trying their best to keep beds full this month, in the wake of not one but two blizzards. And New York and Boston have seen their share of harsh winter weather, too. But a new special from Amtrak gives a compelling reason to tour the snowbound East Coast: with a two-week advance purchase, you can save up to 25 percent off fares in the Northeast, meaning trips between New York and either D.C. or Boston are as cheap as 49 bucks one-way.

But where to stay once you arrive? We’ve hand-picked a few good hotels near Union Station, Penn Station, and South Station, ideal for your whistle-stop tour of the wintery East Coast.

In Washington, D.C.

The Hotel George

  • Price in early March: $308
  • Why it’s better than a sleeper car: The stylish George brought a much-needed dose of pizazz to the area around Union Station when it opened a decade ago, and it’s still a rock-solid choice for those catching a train a few blocks away, with comfortable beds, well-stocked minibars, and a great on-site restaurant.

The Liaison Capitol Hill

  • Price: $216
  • Why it’s better than a sleeper car: The double entendre of a name works particularly well in D.C., but The Liaison is a great pick not just for its built-in humor but also for its top-notch service and well-appointed rooms. The pillow menu is just the thing to ensure a good night’s sleep before hopping the 8:35 to NYC.

In New York City

Hotel Indigo

  • Price: $194
  • Why it’s better than a sleeper car: Opened in October of 2009, the Indigo is a stylish 122-room boutique less than four blocks from Penn Station. Color-splashed rooms have modern amenities like 37-inch flat-panel TVs and iPod docks, and the on-site restaurant has food that far surpasses what you’ll find in a train’s bar car.

Affinia Manhattan

  • Price: $310
  • Why it’s better than a sleeper car: Great beds piled with pillows and high-end Aveda bath products will help you freshen up before the next leg of your rail journey. The excellent fitness center is a plus too – as is a location across the street from Penn Station.

In Boston

Boston Harbor Hotel

  • Price: $418
  • Why it’s better than a sleeper car: Rooms here start at 500 square feet, meaning you’ll have plenty of room to spread out after a few hours on the Amtrak. The awesome harbor views are just as good as the service, which we found to be some of the best in Boston.

Langham Hotel

  • Price: $241
  • Why it’s better than a sleeper car: Terrific service and beautiful rooms are the hallmarks of this luxury hotel set in a former Federal Reserve Bank less than a 10-minute walk from South Station. But if Boston’s not your last stop, pay attention to your own watch: the hotel’s clocks run a bit fast.

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