Read our blog to learn more about what's happening at Crowne Plaza Boston Newton and the Boston area!
One of our most frequently asked questions from our guests is how to get downtown without having to take their own car. We’ve asked our local area experts, our Guest Service Team, to share their insights on getting around Greater Boston when you don’t want to be the one behind the wheel. Our guests are often surprised to find out about the convenience of the buses that pick up directly across the street from our hotel. We’ve outlined some info on the most frequently requested destinations in the handy infographic below.
Want us to answer more FAQs through our blog? Let us know!
Boston is a great place to visit. Whether attending a sporting event, the theater or just enjoying the shopping and dining, it offers fun activities for the whole family. When traveling with little ones, there are a number of kid-friendly attractions that are available year round and are less than 30 minutes from Crowne Plaza Newton. We’ve compiled a list 9 kid-friendly attractions for easy planning on your next family trip to Boston:
1. Jump N’Slide, Newton
Features: play place, dress up, Legos, arcade
Age: All ages
Hours: weekends only
Price: $15 and up
Approximate Travel Time: 20 minutes
2. Central Rock Gym, Watertown
Features: indoor rock wall climbing
Age: 6 and up
Hours: All days of the week
Price: $18 and up
Approximate Travel Time: < 10 minutes
3. Launch, Watertown
Features: trampoline park, jump time, group exercise, dodge ball, arcade games
Price: $12 and up
4. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston
Features: variety of hands on exhibits
Price: $16 +
5. New England Aquarium, Boston
Features: Penguin show, Harbor and Fur Seal presentations, 3D IMAX
Price: $19 + kids | $27+ adults
6. Legoland, Somerville
Features: Factory Tour, PlayZone
Age: 3 -10
Approximate Travel Time: 25 minutes
7. Boston Indoor Playground, Watertown
Features: climbing structures, inflatables, tumbling mats, riding toys
Age: Under 10
Approximate Travel Time: 10 minutes
8. Puppet Show Place Theater, Brookline
Features: puppet shows, puppet playtime
Age: see website for age breakdown
Hours: scheduled sessions available
Price: $25 +
9. Franklin Park Zoo, Boston
Features: Tiger, Western Lowland Gorilla, Hippo, Giraffe
Hours: Seasonal: open in Winter with limited hours/exhibits
Price: $13 kids | $20 adults
Approximate Travel Time: 30 minutes
Planning a family vacation away? Save with our Extended Stay Offer when you stay 3 nights or more!
1. No matter what channel you use to book your stay, check out the hotel’s website before you finalize your booking! As hoteliers, of course we prefer you book directly with us through our website or reservations office, however, we’re realistic and know our guests sometimes use online travel agencies or other methods to make their reservations. Different travel sites have different rules regarding how much details hotels can provide on their listing so before you “book now” on an OTA, go straight to the source. Check out the hotel’s website. Read about what they offer and any associated cost. Hotels don’t want you to be angry when you find out that breakfast or parking isn’t included so they tend to be very clear on their own websites about the details of these add-ons. If additional services are provided for the cost of your room rate, it is a great marketing tool so they’ll be sure to let you know that as well.
2. Look for packaged deals if you’re planning on using additional hotel services. If you know before your travels that you’ll need to park your car, eat breakfast on site, bring a pet or use extra Wi-Fi bandwidth look for a package that meets your needs. Many hotels offer breakfast or parking packages that will save you money by discounting either the room rate or the additional service in a bundle deal. While it doesn’t make sense to pay the extra for a breakfast package if you think you’ll be venturing out for your morning meals, if you know you’ll be dining on site it could save you some cash…especially if you’re staying for more than one night.
3. Always call! So, your family member is in the hospital or your flight was cancelled. Your company decided to move the conference start to the next day? Call. Call and let the hotel staff know. While hotels can be strict about fully pre-paid reservations, if you’re honest about the circumstances around your date change or cancel, most will offer an olive branch. Be kind. While depending on the rate you booked and the circumstances, you may not get a full refund, hotels want you back so most will do their best to work with you if you take the time to communicate. Simply don’t show up and you’re asking for full-price penalties.
4. Read the rate details. Here’s the deal: just like airlines, hotels offer some pretty great discounts if you’re willing to travel on their need dates or pre-pay for your whole reservation at the time of booking. It’s a tradeoff- hotels get business when they need it and you save some major dollars. But just like booking airlines, you need to read the terms and conditions of that great rate and make sure it works with your travel plans. If you are on the fence about your dates or which hotel you’re going to stay at either wait to book until your certain or spring for that refundable rate…it will save you in the long run if you need to cancel or reschedule.
5. Keep your confirmation information, read it, and call back right away if you missed something on the first time around. So, you did it! You booked your trip and feeling good about the details. Your auto-confirmation comes in and you delete it or move it to a folder in your email never to be seen again. Read it! The cancel policy and restrictions will be outlined in most major hotel brand’s confirmation emails. If you accidentally booked a non-refundable or the wrong dates this the best time to double check the details so you can call right away. If the hotel sees you booked just two hours ago, they are going to be much more lenient than if you booked 3 months ago and your stay is fast approaching.
We hope these tips help you feel more confident on booking your next hotel stay and we look forward to seeing you in Newton very soon!
As a student at Perkins School for the Blind, Carolyn, 21, has learned new skills, made lasting friendships and grown into an independent, confident young adult. She’s also amassed a resume that would rival many of her sighted peers.
In recent years, Carolyn has held positions at Watertown Savings Bank, Maplewood Senior Living and Ten Thousand Villages. Each job – whether it was operating a coin sorting machine, delivering bouquets or organizing display cases – brought her one step closer to figuring out her future career.
“It’s been a good process for her,” said Perkins Job Developer Karen McCormack. “That’s the goal of having work experiences – finding out what you did well in, what you liked and what suited you.”
It was a placement at Crowne Plaza Boston-Newton that helped Carolyn discover her true passion: serving and interacting with others. She’s now in her second year working at the hotel, where she’s a member of the food and beverage team.
“I love, love, love working with people,” she said during a recent breakfast shift. “That’s what I want to do. I don’t want to work behind a desk or behind a microphone; I want to be with people making them happy.”
On a typical morning, Carolyn whips up cappuccinos using a specialty coffee maker and makes sure the pastry and fruit platters in the 12th floor breakfast room remain neatly stocked. When a guest wanders in searching for coffee, she calls out a cheerful greeting.
“How are you?” she asks.
Carolyn’s social skills have earned her praise from supervisors, as well as complimentary notes from guests. They’ve also helped her connect with fellow hotel employees and develop self-confidence.
“She’s really fit in,” said Ward Childs, chief operating officer at Key Hospitality, who worked with McCormack to bring Carolyn on board. “She’s contributed and we’ve felt the difference.”
When breakfast closes at 10 a.m., Carolyn begins the breakdown process. She uses a plastic funnel to empty the juice pitchers into larger containers, and clothespins instead of twist ties to close the bread bags. By 10:30, she’s arrived in the downstairs restaurant, ready to assist the wait staff with any task they might need.
“She’ll do anything she’s asked to do and if she can’t do something she’ll try to find a way to make it happen,” said Childs. “That kind of attitude is hard to find.”
With support from McCormack and her Perkins job coach, Carolyn has managed the details of her work life with minimal assistance. She commutes independently to the hotel by calling a taxi or scheduling a pick-up with the RIDE, Boston’s paratransit service, and she emails her supervisor if she can’t make a shift.
When she graduates from Perkins in June, Carolyn plans to pursue a job in hospitality. Until then, she’s asked her boss for extra responsibilities.
“I’m going to try to learn everything that I possibly can,” she said.
Published April 2016
It's that time of year again! Our hotel team is thrilled to welcome marathon participants and spectators back for the 120th running of the Boston Marathon. We've put together some on property offerings to make this special weekend even more enjoyable.
Our team looks forward to welcoming our marathon guests all year and we are thrilled to be ushering in another year of runners and onlookers this coming weekend!
We understand- excellent service at a hotel is an expectation and one that should be met at all times, but hotels are run by people and people make mistakes. So what do you do when things aren’t going right and you need something? It could be something as simple as needing extra towels or a service issue where your standards weren’t met and you aren’t happy with the results. We understand that each guest has different communication preferences and while that certainly is taken into consideration by the hotel team, there are always more efficient ways to get the response you need than others.
We asked Suzanne Roberge, Marketing & Revenue for Key Hospitality, to share her recommendations for which channels to use depending on the problem you’re facing in order to get the fastest and best results to meet your needs:
When to go to the desk directly, text (if the hotel offers a texting service) or call down to guest services:
If you’re still in the hotel, this is the way to go for the fastest and most productive results. Whether you’re unhappy with a service encounter, or simply need a toothbrush the front desk and guest service team is the hub of the hotel. They have the tools and resources to reach other departments as needed and to make effective changes to reservation needs and even address service issues. They are trained to and want to make your problem better. Utilizing other channels such as social media, calling a brand’s service line or emailing will likely slow down your results and possibly not getting the outcome you want on the first interaction.
When to ask for a manager:
It’s true- hotel management has more authority than the guest service agent behind the desk, however, if you want to do something simple like extend a reservation or even make a complaint about something that hasn’t previously been brought to the staff’s attention, let the guest service agent give it a try. They are likely directed to make the same decision that a manager would make in the situation and they are already standing in front of you. Unless you have an escalated complaint, the manager will likely offer the same solution and you’ll have to wait for them to be called out of a meeting, paged from another area in the hotel or get off of the phone.
If you’ve expressed your concern and aren’t satisfied with the results, still be honest with the staff member you’re dealing with. Tell them that you still aren’t feeling comfortable with the answer and would like to speak to someone else. And remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
When to take it online or to the brand:
Hotels want your feedback (see Please, Complain!). They truly do. There is no way to effectively make service improvements when we don’t know we’re doing something guests don’t like. Once you leave the hotel, if you’ve made your complaint known while you were there, and the hotel still didn’t resolve your problem, by all means, post to your favorite review site, Tweet or Facebook to your heart’s content. Hotels that care are watching these channels and responding to their guests. Just remember that behind that computer screen, there is a person monitoring these channels so the response may not be instant. Even the folks behind the Twitter handle or the Trip Advisor Management responses get days off here and there. While we understand at this point, you may be extremely frustrated, we also ask if the hotel takes the time to respond and requests to contact you directly that you give them the chance. Hotels want to win you back and even if they didn’t handle it properly on property, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Most likely, they will use your experience as a training opportunity as well as trying to make it right for you.
And conversely, if the hotel did an amazing job and a staff member really stood out, bring your positive comments online too. This not only helps the hotel, but also really helps reinforce the behavior of the best staff members who go above and beyond every day. Many hotels even offer incentives for team members mentioned in positive reviews, so make that staff members day if they did something that made yours.
Hype up your sports group for a successful trip by talking to your hotel about adding a few personal touches. Our sales team, shares some tips for starting your trip out on the right foot:
1) Host a welcome reception for team members and fans after arrival.
2) Offer a special treat at check in—personalize cupcakes or cookies by putting the team’s logo on them.
3) Talk to your hotel about having welcome signs with the team’s logo in the lobby and on monitors throughout the hotel, if possible.
To stay up to date on tips from our sales team, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
As we move into summer, we asked our Director of Engineering, Gerard Tilghman to share some of the most common requests his department receives. Not surprisingly, keeping your hotel room a comfortable temperature was at the top of the list. We’ve all been there – it’s a pain to get your home, apartment or office just to that sweet spot of comfort, let alone hotel rooms which are constantly being adjusted to meet guests’ preferences as they travel.
Gerard shared a couple of tips for guests as well as what his team does behind the scenes to keep you as comfortable as possible.
As a guest, you can:
Most hotels have standards for temperature moderation:
Stay cool and comfortable this summer while traveling. If you have any special requests or needs, or would like to see any specific tips from Gerard, you can contact us here or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
May is a beautiful and busy time of year in Boston. From College Graduations, to Mother's Day, Duckling Day Parade, Memorial Day, Red Sox Games, Boston Calling and the beautiful gardens and trees in bloom, there is a lot to do and see this month. Here's a quick list of the most common reasons to visit Boston this time of year:
No matter what brings you to town, May is a great time of year to visit Greater Boston and we look foward to welcoming you!
Guests often ask us how they can get the best deals on guest room rates. While this can vary by property and location, Suzanne Roberge, Revenue & Marketing for Key Hospitality the management company for Crowne Plaza Newton, shares some of her tips to guests looking for the most affordable room rates:
For more from Suzanne, follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn. To find out more about Key Hospitality, check out their website or find them on Twitter. To find the latest promotions and deals at Crowne Plaza Newton, visit our Promotions page.
We know how expensive summer can be. Between summer camps, attending weddings and small weekend getaways your summer fun can add up quickly. Crowne Plaza Newton wants to help by giving you the best tips from around Boston on making an inexpensive vacation in Boston part of your travel plans. We’ve compiled a list of 41 of the least expensive (or even free!) ways to see all Boston has to offer without breaking the bank:
Take in the Scenery:
1. Stroll Along the Harbor following scenic Boston Harborwalk
2. Lounge by the Christian Science Center Fountains
3. Enjoy the Coit Observatory on clear Wednesdays: Free star gazing after 7:30
4. Get views of the whole city from the free observation deck at 470 Atlantic Avenue, the parking garage next to the InterContinental Hotel Boston. While it’s only 14 floors compared to the Pru, you still have sweeping views of Boston Harbor, Logan Airport and the surrounding city and coastline
Travel and Accommodations:
5. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), or the T, offers affordable public transportation around the Greater Boston area. You can travel by rail, bus, subway, or boat.
6. If you are planning to use the subway or bus frequently, consider purchasing the plastic, refillable CharlieCard. The CharlieCard is free, as you do not pay a surcharge.
7. If you know your travel dates and your plans aren’t changing, check out our Book Now and Save Big offer. Offering pre-paid discounts as high as 25% off, this is one of the best ways to save on your room rate. The highest savings can be found in August, November and December, so if you haven’t made up your dates yet, check those months for the lowest prices.
8. If you’re planning more than a weekend getaway, try one of our Extended Stay offers, which give you 20% off, simply for staying 3 nights or more with us in Newton.
9. Splash around the Frog Pond
10. Bring your bikes from home and ride the Boston Esplanade
11. Boston Common Carousel rides for the kids
12. Pack a picnic and dine on one of the many parks- Boston Common, Boston Esplanade, Christopher Columbus Park, to name a few
13. If you want to experience this famous ballpark take the official Fenway Park tour. The price is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $10 for children ages 3 to 15.
14. The Boston Children’s Museum is filled with interactive exhibits that provide children with an experience that is both fun and educational. Admission is $1 on Friday evenings.
Food, Drink and Shopping:
15. Take a Brewery Tour: Sam Adams in Jamaica Plain, $2 Donation to Local Charity Suggested
16. Coolidge Corner Wine and Spirits Wine Tasting : Thu/Fri/Sat
17. Quincy Market was created to replace the then-deteriorating Faneuil Hall Marketplace and features many eateries.
18. Concert or Movie at the Hatch Shell
19. Visit a museum with a Veteran using the Blue Star Museums Program
20. Watch Shakespeare on the Common
21. Enjoy the artistic side of the city at Newbury Street Art Galleries
22. Tour the Boston Public Library – “Art and Architecture Tour”
23. The Commonwealth Museum gives you a chance to learn more about the history of Massachusetts and the significant people who have shaped the state and has FREE admission.
24. At The Museum of African-American History, learn the history of African-Americans and famous figures who have influenced America. Admission is $5, but only $3 for those over 62 or between the ages of 13 and 17. Children 12 and younger are free.
25. The Museum of Fine Arts offers free admission every Wednesday from 4pm until 9:45pm, and it’s always free for anyone under the age of 17.
26. Tour the Massachusetts State House
27. Walk the Freedom Trail
28. For a little spooky- tour Copp’s Hill Burying ground, the cities second oldest burial site
29. Visit the Old North Church for a bit of history
30. Visit the Massachusetts Historical Society
31. Check out Park Street Church which dates back to 1809 and it served as a site for anti-slavery lectures and many other historical happenings.
32. Visit the Granary Burying Ground with the graves of John Hancock, Paul Revere, and many other historical figures are located here
33. Take a self-guided tour of King’s Chapel and Burying Ground, which was built to resemble the churches in England
34. First Public School Site and Ben Franklin Statue which was the the first public school in America, dating back to 1635
35. Climb the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument to see where the first major battle of the American Revolution took place. Open daily from 9am until 5pm.
36. At Faneuil Hall, talks are given every 30 minutes from 9:30am until 4:30pm by National Park Service Rangers. Since 1742, Faneuil Hall has served as both a meeting place and marketplace.
37. Climb aboard the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Tours are offered every 30 minutes.
38. Home of the first-ever World Series game, played on October 1, 1903, First World Series Site is the original home of the Boston Americans (now Red Sox)
39. Enjoy Free Fun Fridays – 10 weeks in the summer 70 museums, art centers and zoos participate
40. Check Goldstar for Half-Price and Discount tickets including Boston Duck Tours, Back Bay Chocolate Walking Tour, Tall Ship Adironndack III, Blue Man Group, Boston Harbor Cruise and More
41. Look into a Go Boston Card or Boston CityPASS to save up to 47% on area attractions
#MakeItHappen for your next getaway, with Crowne Plaza Boston-Newton. Book Now!
Many of our guests road warriors, traveling for work three or four days out of the week making it challenging, to say the least, to stay on top of wellness goals during the week. Food options can be limited between airport food, room service and the oh-so-tempting goodies served at coffee breaks that would never be found at home. Throw in an evening conference call and late night catch up work, or cocktails after a long meeting and forget any adherence to diet or healthy eating goals at all! While it certainly can take some extra self-control and dedication; it is possible to stay healthy while on the road.
We asked a few of our fitness-enthusiast coworkers to share some of their tips for staying healthy while on the road:
At Crowne Plaza Newton, we do our best to provide some healthy choices to our guests including:
For more ideas on staying healthy on the road, be on the lookout for our #WellnessWednesday posts on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out some of the best running routes in Newton prior to you stay by visiting Map My Run.
Successful off-site meetings may take a little extra planning, but can yield big results when done right. Our sales team shares a few tips for planning your next corporate meeting:
For more information on holding your next offsite meeting with Crowne Plaza Newton, visit our Meetings & Events page or contact our sales team. You can also keep up on the latest by following us on Twitter.
Why We'd Rather You Tell Us You're Unhappy When You're Still in the Hotel
In the years I’ve worked in hotels, I’ve seen different types of guests come through the doors with different philosophies about raising their concerns when something about their stay just isn’t going as planned. One of the most common types of guest is “I don’t want to be the complainer.”
We get it, you feel bad coming down to the desk or asking an employee in the hall to make something better. Don't. Please, complain! Too often as hoteliers, we find out that a guest was unhappy, after they’re gone. They didn’t feel comfortable mentioning their dissatisfaction while they were at the hotel, but then they get that survey, or are on Trip Advisor and think, “I should really let the hotel know about this.”
While we appreciate any feedback that makes our hotel, our team and our service better, we appreciate it most when it gives us the opportunity to make your stay better. We want to know if your soup is too cold or your room is too hot while we can bring you a hot soup, and send someone to your room to help with your AC. We want to have the chance to say “sorry this didn’t go as planned,” and to make it better so that you can enjoy your trip with your family or be productive on your evening before an important meeting.
On our end, we’ll promise to ask how we’re doing when we pass you in the hall or lobby, but please, promise us that you’ll answer honestly so that we can do something about it. Our shared goal is that you leave our hotel happy, feeling taken care of and looking forward to coming back.
Please note, the fastest way for us to help you is asking us in person, but if you can't, or you aren't comfortable doing so, email us at email@example.com. You can also call our guest service team at any time from your guest room by dialing '0.'
For guests who are not familiar with our hotel, our unique location, truly is unexpected. We are indeed located directly over the Massachusetts Turnpike, I-90 or as the locals say, “The Pike.” Our guests tend to have varying reactions to this view atop the bustling Boston Traffic and while it may not be the perfect fit for the lightest sleepers among us, many of our guests find it to be an interesting and unforgettable view.
We thought we’d share some of our favorite guest comments and photos regarding our location so that you can get a feel for our one-of-a-kind hotel setting, for yourself.
If you’re a light sleeper, let us know. We will do our best to assign higher floors, when possible, and we do offer ear plugs and white noise machines upon request at the front desk. While our decibel level is well within the standard range for a metro hotel, we want our guests to be comfortable and rested when staying with us.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions and we look forward to welcoming you to Crowne Plaza Boston-Newton!
There's a lot to consider when planning an off-site event or meeting—everything from venue layout to the schedule of events. Luckily, our Catering Sales team, has a few tips for planning one successfully:
Visit our Weddings & Social Gatherings page for more information on holding your event with us at Crowne Plaza Newton.
When it comes to bringing a corporate group for an off-site stay, there are a few details that can go a long way. Leah Giossefi, our Senior Sales Manager, has a few tips to share:
For more great tips from Leah, you can connect with her on LinkedIn. Also, be sure to check out our About page to learn more about if Crowne Plaza Newton is the right location for your next off-site meeting stay.
There are so many sites and activities in Boston, especially as the months get warmer. We asked our Front Office Manager to share some of his favorite activities in the area. First up: Boston Super Tours Upper Deck Trolley.
Super Tours Upper deck trolley features stadium seating, which is unparalleled with any other tour. The ticket (which is under $40) is a two-day pass along this hop on/off tour of Boston and Cambridge. It also includes access to 21 museums and attractions around the city.
To get the most out of your tour, we recommend:
You can purchase tickets at www.bostonsupertours.com or from our concierge.
Photo courtesy of Charles River Canoe and Kayak on Facebook.
We asked our staff to share some of their favorite activities to enjoy when visiting the Boston area in summer. Our next pick is Charles River Canoe and Kayak which offers convenient launch points from Cambridge, Boston, Waltham and Newton.
Offering a drop-in paddle off or a group guided tour, guests can choose from sunset, moonlit or even a BBQ tour of the Charles River. With fairly calm water, places to stop along the shores, picnic tables, and amazing views of natural wildlife along the route this is a perfect summertime outing for visitors and locals alike. The nearby launch spot in Brighton gives you easy access to Boston where paddlers share the water with sailboats, stand-up paddle boards and collegiate rowing teams.
Staff Tip to get the Most of Charles River Canoe and Kayak:
If you’re a hotel guest here in Newton, there is a convenient launch/rental location in Nahanton Park, only a few short miles away form the hotel and offering an amazing environmental tour.
Hourly rental starts at $15/hour.
We asked our staff to share some of their favorite activities to enjoy when visiting the Boston area in summer. Whether you’re going to be in Newton, Waltham, Boston or the surrounding area, they had some great ideas on how to spend the sunny summer days and warm summer nights in one of the most historical cities in the United States.
Up first: Shakespeare on the Common. Here’s what our team had to say about this unique Boston experience:
First of all, you are literally siting on the exact common pasture dating back to the 1600’s: the oldest park in the country. It’s a true piece of American history. Surrounded by spectacular, panoramic views of Boston spanning from Back Bay office buildings to frog pond, the State House and historic Beacon Hill, you sit under the stars while enjoying a first rate theatrical performance.
Staff Tips to get the Most of Your Night:
1. Arrive early for the best view and bring a blanket. Chairs are available for rent at $5 a piece. Pack your own snacks or dinner. Our team likes packing multiple small courses to enjoy throughout the evening.
2. Don’t worry if you forget your snacks! There are various food trucks, an ice cream stand and the Earl of Sandwich just a few feet away.
This summer’s performance is Shakespeare’s King Lear and will be performing July 22 – August 9. To view the full schedule, click here.
*Updated Nov 10, 2017
As we approach the holiday season in Boston, we’ve compiled a list of some of our holiday favorites for our local friends and guests alike. Whether art and culture, or sporting and family events are your cup of tea, there is something for everyone on this list of holiday festivities. November, December and January in Boston may be chilly, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of winter activities for those looking to go out and about.
November offers more than Thanksgiving dinners and tree lightings. Starting with Veteran’s Day, here is a list of some of our favorite November activities:
If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit, look no further. With so much to do surrounding the holidays, we’ve provided a couple comprehensive lists below as well as calling out a few of our team’s favorites:
While you’re in town, the holidays are one of the best times of the year to stay for less in Boston. For the best deals, check out our book early and save or extended stay offerings.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Decorations everywhere you look, festive music and food and of course, the time for holiday parties. Between the company party, family events and even hobby group gatherings, it can be hard to keep your schedule straight, let alone if you’re the one planning the festivities. Have no fear, our expert team of sales and catering professionals have five questions to ask yourself to get the planning in gear and reduce your holiday stress!
1. How many people do you plan on attending your party?
This is an easy one to start with. How many people are you inviting? Are significant others invited? Is the whole family welcome? Start with how many guests to narrow down your venue and help secure your budget plans. If you’re a small company with only a handful of employees, you might get the most bang for your buck buying tickets to a big-little party. These are put on by event venues and the venue plans the details and sells tickets to smaller groups in order to offer a larger scale holiday party feel. If you’re a large company, you may want to plan more of the details of your event, in which case a private party may work best.
2. Is there a specific theme you already have in mind?
If you have dreams of ice sculptures and know the party playlist you have in mind then a private party in a private event space is probably best. Sometimes the vision in your head is hard to stray from and if you can envision the whole event from invitation to post-meal signature cocktail, working with a dedicated event manager to help you pull off the event may be the best plan.
3. What is your budget?
This obviously can make a big impact on your plans. Smaller budgets benefit from those cozy gatherings at someone’s house with everyone bringing their favorite holiday treat, a team lunch out with a Yankee Swap or buying admission to a big-little party. Bigger budget means more flexibility to hold an event in a private room with a cocktail hour, seated meal and entertainment.
4. Are there scheduling restraints or is your party date flexible?
If you need a specific date and time, keeping it flexible with venue availability could be a challenge. If your company is large and has the space, keeping the event in house and catering it out may be best. If you’re somewhat flexible but have a short list of dates, a private party may do the trick and if you really want to go with the flow, joining a group party or finding a dinner reservation spot may be affordable and meet your time needs. For the best deals on private space, consider hosting your party after December 31st. Your price point may be easier to meet and your guests may be more available after their family holiday obligations are complete.
5. How social are your party attendees?
If your team, co-workers or friends tend to be a quieter, turn-in early bunch you may want to revisit the idea of a dinner out or small gathering at home. If you have a small team with big personality, a pub or entertainment venue may work better. Many of the big-little parties offer a party atmosphere without requiring your own guest list to be large. You can also consider transportation options or overnight accommodations if you have a rowdy bunch and your budget allows.
If you’re interested in joining us for the holidays, we have a wide variety of options. Ask our sales and catering team about how we can help you plan the perfect holiday party to meet your needs.
Boston can be a magical place in winter. This year, our staff suggests checking out the City Hall Plaza Skating Path and Holiday Market.
The custom outdoor skating path and European-inspired holiday market has winter activities, holiday shopping, a pedal-powered holiday tree and Santa's House! With kid-friendly activities including an Enchanted Castle, letters to Santa and an enchanted Christmas Tree maze, the whole family can enjoy the festive feel of the holidays. Adults will enjoy the tastings and Vinopolis, an interactive wine and beer experience. Not local? Not to worry- skate and locker rentals are available, as well as shopping the variety of local and international vendors to bring home unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list.
Friday, November 24, 2017 - Wednesday, February 28, 2018:
November 24 - December 31:
Monday - Thursday: 11a- 9p
Friday: 11a - 11p
Saturday: 10a - 11p
Sunday: 10a - 9p
Christmas Eve (12/24): 10a - 4p
Closed on Christmas
NYE (12/31): 10a - 5p
January 1 - February 25:
Monday - Thursday: 3p - 9p
Friday: 3p - 11p
Sunday: 10a - 7p
School Vacation Week:
Monday 2/19 - Thursday 2/22: 10a - 9p
Friday 2/23: 10a - 11p
Looking to book your Boston Holiday trip? We have something for every travel need here.
As part of Key Hospitality, our hotel team has signed up for a variety of charity and community events over the years. Caring about each other, but also the communities we work in is part of our commitment to upholding the KeyABCs. One of our Key Beliefs that seems to hold a special place in our hearts this time of year is believing in being great stewards in the communities where we work, social and environmental responsibility and dedication to modeling our Key ABCs.
This year, our Director of Engineering, Gerard brought a great local charity to our attention, LUK Inc. Their Warm Hands and Warm Hearts program touched a special place in the heart of Gerard and his wife and Gerard decided to lead a collection for coats, gloves, hats, scarves and new socks for those in need. Our hotel team will be collecting these items through the holidays and Gerard will be delivering the items on our behalf for the MLK Day of Service.
When one of our team members has a passion for a project, it tends to spread, and we thought there was no better way to share the details of this great cause with our guests than on our own site. While this collection at our hotel, started as a way for our co-workers to give back, we also welcome donations from our guests. In addition, we will link you to the official drop-off locations for those who'd like to donate on their own.
You can read more about LUK, Inc. below. Hoping the spirit of giving follows you throughout the holiday season!
LUK, Inc. is a not-for-profit social service agency located in central Massachusetts dedicated to improving the lives of youth and their families. LUK offers a full spectrum of programs addressing mental and behavioral health, trauma, addiction and substance abuse prevention, and homelessness.
LUK was established on the belief that all people have inherent worth and every community is empowered to make changes to ensure the well-being of its members. LUK has a long standing reputation of being person-centered, with qualified, caring and compassionate professionals working with community members “where they’re at.” Each individual is met with qualified staff who provide personalized services to help people meet immediate needs.
Since our founding in 1970, LUK has offered strength-based services, which means that each person receives individualized care, sets their own goals with the support of LUK staff, and has a voice throughout their care. Many of LUK’s staff members have a long tenure with the agency, and have helped LUK to grow, develop, and utilize the best models for care.
Each year LUK delivers crisis care, social service and behavioral health care to over 3,700 children and adults: keeping children safe through foster and residential care, strengthening families through counseling and mentorship, and offering youth a pathway to a healthy future through life skills training. LUK also reaches over 12,000 community members through positive youth development activities, community organizing around youth substance abuse prevention, responses to trauma, autism spectrum services, and street outreach.
At LUK, we get to support and cheer on individuals and families, and are happy to watch the people we work with grow into their unique potential and reach success as they define it. Some people work with us for a short period of time, while others stay on for longer – it is important to us to be able to be there for people as long as they need us.
This year, LUK’s Youth Development program’s Peer Leaders will be working with the Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC), and Fitchburg YMCA on their Warm Hands& Hearts project. They are collecting winter clothing items for those in need, and will distribute the items on January 14th, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. These youth are energetic, enthusiastic, and committed to making their community a better, happier, kinder place.
For more information about the Warm Hands & Hearts project, email YouthDevelopment@LUK.org or call 800-579-0000 and ask for Youth Development.