When I graduated from college in the spring of 2006 my very first job was at Fidelity Investments in the Seaport. At the time, that area was very . . . sparse. There were the three World Trade Center buildings, the Seaport Hotel (and more importantly, its lobby bar, Aura), a place called the Seaport Bar & Grille (now Atlantic Beer Garden), Anthony's Pier 4 and LTK. That's it. The entire rest of Seaport Blvd was parking lots.
Now, 10 years later, the Seaport is booming. The neighborhood has gained hotels, office buildings, condo towers, restaurants, bars, public parks and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Even the Children's Museum, a longtime Seaport resident, got a makeover.
One of the newest additions to the neighborhood is the Aloft Boston Seaport Hotel, located on D Street. I had been to the Aloft in Burlington, MA and my parents also have one right near them in Miami so I was thrilled to hear they had landed in Boston proper. Scout and I were invited to come explore the hotel and enjoy a mini staycation. My friend Ashley also joined us for the slumber party.
When we pulled up to the hotel at 5:00pm on Friday afternoon I couldn't have been more excited. It's so fun to play tourist in your own city.
As soon as you step into the lobby you feel a great energy. Aloft is one of the Starwood Hotel brands and the look and feel for the hotel was inspired by a sister Starwood brand, the W Hotels, known for their bright colors.
The Aloft team really wants their hotels to offer plenty of space for gathering, mingling and socializing. The lobby has a pool table, board games (I spotted Connect Four immediately), a few areas with lounge-style seating, a fireplace and the bustling W XYZ bar for drinks at the end of a long work day.
The far side of the lobby opens up onto an outdoor patio. There is plenty of seating with both tables with umbrellas and some funkier chairs around the corner.
After admiring the patio, we went back inside and were greeted by one of the managers, Kevin. He gave us a tour of the whole first floor and then offered to take us upstairs to check out the meeting rooms and the ballroom. To get to the second level you walk up a beautiful staircase decorated with bright, modern artwork. If you were hosting a work event here, this has serious wow factor.
When we reached the landing I gasped. A Pop.Bop.Shop. purple wall!
Kevin explained that most Aloft Hotels have meeting space, but nowhere near as many rooms as the Seaport location. Given its proximity to the Convention Center, it makes sense for the Boston location. There are multiple conference rooms and one ballroom that can host up to 230 people (hello, wedding!).
Outside the conference rooms is a hallway with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Lawn on D across the street. I've been to many client events in hotels and none of them have ever had a space with this much natural light.
We walked back downstairs with Kevin and he showed us the snack corner. Kevin explained that in lieu of room service, Aloft has a serve yourself snack area. You pick out what you'd like, bring it to the check-in desk and they can add it your tab.
They have everything from fresh fruit to movie candy to soft drinks.
I flipped out when I saw they carry Ben & Jerry's ice cream. When I used to travel constantly for work I cannot tell you the number of times I got back to my hotel room at 10:00pm and thought, "What I wouldn't give for a bowl of ice cream right now." Aloft, you're speaking my language.
Eventually I peeled away from the freezer case (I was really thinking about bringing that ice cream up to the room) and it was time to check in and head up to our room.
The team at Aloft very generously reserved us a corner room on the 10th floor. As we stepped into the elevator to head up to our room I learned something new about Scout - he's afraid of elevators! The poor little guy was gripping the elevator floor as if his life depended on it. For the rest of our stay he refused to get into the elevator unless I carried him.
We stepped off the elevator onto an electric blue and orange carpet that led the way to our room.
We tapped our key against the front door and on the other side the Aloft team had left us a hand written note.
The note was surrounded by an incredibly decadent tray of treats!
Our room had two queen beds and plenty of space to move around.
Each bed had one decorative pillow with an image that looked pixelated up close, but as you moved further back you could see each one featured a face - one woman and a man wearing 3D glasses.
In between our beds was a piece of artwork depicting Boston's John Hancock tower and the Zakim bridge. I really love the local flavor.
Around the corner was the bathroom. We were both really impressed by how spacious it was. My biggest pet peeve in hotel rooms is when the bathroom has zero counter space. Aloft has tons!
In the part of the bathroom with the toilet and shower there is a burnt orange accent wall.
The glass shower is a generous size and is stocked with Bliss Spa products.
Outside the bathroom we had a mini fridge, a microwave and a large closet. You could absolutely be comfortable staying in this hotel room for a full week.
We both agreed that the very best part of our hotel room was the view. On one side we could see all the way to Boston Harbor and on the other side we could see the Lawn on D down below and all of Back Bay up above.
At night, when the sun had set and it was dark outside, we lowered the shades and discovered the cutest detail. At the top of all of the shades it says "good night" in seven languages.
Now, I need to take a minute to talk about the royal treatment Scout received at Aloft. All Aloft Hotels are pet-friendly and welcome dogs under 40 pounds. When we checked in Scout was presented with a gift bag and we were surprised by a second one in our room!
Each puppy gift bag has a tennis ball, milk bone treats, a poop bag (very practical) and a sign you can place over your door knob that lets housekeeping and other guests know you have a dog in your room.
He was immediately interested in the neon Wilson tennis ball.
He played with that thing from the moment we arrived all the way until we crawled into bed at 11:00pm!
In addition to the goodie bag, Aloft also provided food and water bowls.
On top of all those thoughtful touches, Aloft went above and beyond and welcomed Scout in the most adorable way. They embroidered his name onto a dog bed!
On our first night at the hotel we headed down to the waterfront for dinner at Babbo, Mario Batali's restaurant. It was a short, 15 minute walk from the hotel and 80% of the walk is along the water. The Seaport was buzzing because there was a concert at the Pavilion as well as a special event happening at the World Trade Center, Chefs in Shorts.
After our meal I was grateful we had to walk home since we definitely needed to burn some calories after that splurge!
Back at the hotel we crawled into our beds and we both slept like babies. The Aloft beds are so comfortable and their air conditioning was glorious.
I woke up super early with Scout and took him on a long walk. We walked across the Summer Street bridge toward South Boston and took in the gorgeous water views.
When we returned to the room after our walk, Ashley and I decided to take an early morning dip in the pool. Aloft's pool is saline, not chlorine, taking away that harsh smell and chemical feel on your skin.
I absolutely love the orange chairs that line the pool deck. That bold color really makes you feel like you're on a tropical vacation.
Though the pool is indoors, it has floor-to-ceiling windows providing a ton of natural light. There is also a door on the far side of the pool deck that leads to an outdoor patio, so you can take a dip and then sun bath right outside.
If a morning swim isn't quite your thing but you still want to get in a work out, the hotel gym is just on the other side of the pool wall. The treadmills actually face the pool, so you'll have plenty to look at while you run.
Post-pool we showered and headed out to brunch. We walked from the hotel to Fort Point to enjoy a breakfast feast at Lucky's Lounge on the corner of Congress Street and A Street. Aloft is just a 10-15 minute walk from that neighborhood, which is also home to Row 34, Pastoral, Tavern Road, Drink, Sportello, Caffe Nero, Blue Dragon, Trillium Brewing Company and more.
On our walk home from Lucky's we stopped into the Lawn on D. For those who haven't been before, the Lawn on D is a public park (zero cost to enter) that has swings, corn hole, bocce, ping pong tables, food vendors and all kinds of special activities in the summer months like visiting artists, DJs and outdoor movies.
The Lawn on D is basically the unofficial backyard of the Aloft Hotel. It's directly across the street. Though staying in the Seaport definitely puts you in the heart of the city, having such a lush, green place outside your window helps it feel less like a concrete jungle.
I couldn't resist dropping my stuff and taking a swing.
After a healthy dose of Vitamin D we headed back to the hotel to check out. Both of us (and Scout) were so impressed by the Aloft Boston Seaport. The location is amazing. You can easily walk to the waterfront, Fort Point or South Boston. If you have a car you can hop on 93 or the Mass Pike in a matter of minutes and take a day trip in any direction. Our room was spacious, comfortable and had a killer view. The way Aloft welcomes pets is unlike any other hotel I've seen. They are genuinely happy to have them. I love that you can use the pool 365 days a year. The lobby is always full of people, the bar often hosts live music and the meeting spaces are excellent. In fact, I plan to share that discovery with my clients since we are always in need of new venues.
Before checking out I snapped one final picture in the hotel lobby in front of this cool wallpaper. The decor at Aloft is very Molly.
That night when I got home I told both my mom and my sister that the next time either one of them is in town we're staying at Aloft. Heck, I might plan a girls staycation weekend with my Boston friends just so I can stay there again.
While I was at the Aloft Hotel I took over their Instagram account, @aloftseaport. If you'd like to see more photos from my stay, give them a follow and start scrolling.
A huge thank you to the entire Aloft team for such an amazing experience. I'm already plotting when I'll come back!
*This post was sponsored by Aloft Boston Seaport. Though my stay at the hotel was complimentary, all opinions are 100 percent my own.
Wed, 07/06/2016 - 09:22
I had no idea about this hotel until now! I really enjoyed this in depth tour and all your lovely photos, this space is so fun and really pops. What a fantastic staycation!
Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:16
They just opened in February! I totally agree, the space is decorated in such a vibrant, fun way. It really does have a great energy about it. I loved playing tourist in the Seaport, especially with all the new additions.
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