- Fee for in-room Wi-Fi (though it's free in lobby)
- Valet parking is pricey, but typical for Boston
- Smaller standard rooms than at nearby Westin or Hilton
Massive business-oriented chain hotel
Geared toward business travelers, the Sheraton is one of several chain hotels attached to Back Bay's massive Hynes Convention Center complex, which also includes the Prudential Center and Copley Place malls (attached via indoor walkway and skybridge). This 1,220-room hotel is literally surrounded by the competition -- the Boston Marriott Copley Place and Westin Copley Place are also attached to the complex, and across the street is the Hilton Boston Back Bay.
Despite the number of people rushing in and out, the expansive lobby feels calming thanks to large plush couches and oversize chairs. The star of the hotel is the excellent fitness complex, featuring an indoor lap pool -- the biggest in Boston -- with a retractable glass ceiling, a huge outdoor atrium with lounge chairs, and separate weight and cardio rooms. The Westin's narrow fitness center and the Hilton, with its smaller outdoor deck and pool, can't come close to this. The business center is pretty impressive too. The lobby-level Link@Sheraton offers several computers, a Starbucks, and a living room area with a gigantic flat-screen TV, all with free Wi-Fi. Score a good room rate at this Sheraton, and you won't be disappointed.
In Back Bay, attached to the Hynes Convention Center
The Sheraton is one of several chain hotels attached to Back Bay's massive Hynes Convention Center complex, which also includes the Prudential Center and Copley Place malls (attached via indoor walk way and skybridge). Along with the Hilton Boston Back Bay, it's one of the closer hotels to Berklee College of Music -- just about a five-minute walk.
As an upscale commercial and residential area in the center of Boston, Back Bay offers a little bit of everything, from luxury shopping on Newbury Street to baseball at nearby Fenway Park. Office workers toil away in the area's high-rise buildings, some of Boston's tallest, while business travelers convene for conferences at the Hynes Convention Center. Major attractions like the Public Garden and Boston Common and the start of the Freedom Trail are within a few blocks, but other tourist hotspots, like the North End and Faneuil Hall, are 20 to 30 minutes away via public transportation (about eight to 10 minutes by car). The area is filled with midrange and upscale restaurants, many of them chains, and the South End, a more lively bohemian area with trendy bars and eateries, is a quick 10-minute walk.
Panoramic views of downtown Boston and the Charles River
The rooms -- which start at 250 square feet -- are generally smaller than those at the Westin. But the Sheraton is the only convention center hotel with panoramic views of downtown Boston and the Charles River from even the standard units. Decorated with orange armchairs, melon-green lamps, and sleek circular wooden side tables, standard rooms (called Traditional Guest Rooms) are marginally more stylish than what you'll see at the Hilton across the street or the Marriott down the block. Upgrades will get you larger rooms with fresher furnishings and free bottled water. Rooms on the top four floors of the hotel's North Tower -- Club Level Guest Rooms -- come with free Wi-Fi and access to the Club Lounge (where free continental breakfasts and early-evening snacks are served). All rooms come with 37-inch flat-screen TVs and comfortable Sheraton Signature beds with thick Sealy mattresses.
The best hotel fitness complex in Back Bay, plus a free business lounge
The Sheraton's wonderfully designed fitness complex bests anything you'll find at the nearby Westin, Marriott, and Hilton. It's got the biggest indoor lap pool in Boston, plus an outdoor atrium with views of skyscrapers towering above. The pool area features a retractable glass ceiling (opens when it gets warm), plus a whirlpool, a redwood sauna, and plenty of towels. On either side of the pool are separate weight and cardio rooms, each with floor-to-ceiling windows, and more equipment than any other Boston hotel gym we've seen: LifeFitness strength-training machines, treadmills, bikes, weight benches, yoga mats, and medicine balls. Plus, all cardio machines have their own LCD flat-screen TVs. The fitness center isn't 24 hours, but it opens early in the morning and closes late at night.
It is surprising how limited the Sheraton's dining options are, considering its location at the largest convention center hotel in New England. There’s 24-hour room service, but the main restaurant, Apropos, only serves breakfast. For lunch and dinner, you only have one dining option -- the bar. Sidebar & Grille serves typical pub fare (sliders, chicken wings, flatbreads) until late, but compare this lone option with the 803-room Westin’s three restaurants. Luckily, Sheraton guests never truly lack for dining choices since the Hynes-Prudential-Copley mall complex is a few steps away and offers ample options.
The 24-hour, lobby-level Link@Sheraton has PCs, printers, and free Wi-Fi, and the 2nd-floor FedEx Office Business Center handles services such as copying, printing, faxing, and shipping. There is a fee for in-room Wi-Fi, but it's free in the lobby (including the Starbucks).
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