3-2-1 Connect is part of Boston’s Back Bay Meeting Destination that connects three hotels (The Westin Copley Place, Boston Marriott Copley Place, and Sheraton Boston Hotel), two shopping centers (Copley Place Shopping Galleries, and The Shops at Prudential Center), and one Convention Center. Though in my case, I’m counting one as my one car rental since I didn’t quite make it to the convention center. This made everything so convenient (if the weather wasn’t so beautiful, I wouldn’t even need to leave the complex).
I somehow managed to splurge a little bit and stayed at The Westin Copley Place in Boston’s Back Bay because I knew we just did not have very much time in the city. I wanted to make sure we were staying somewhere close to everything during our short stay.
I started searching for hotels online and finally decided to go with Hotwire. I put our fate in their hand (haha). I chose Back Bay instead of downtown (though Back Bay is still considered downtown) because the prices were not as high and still close to everything. For $219/night (4 people), Hotwire sent me an email telling me we were going to stay at The Westin Copley Place in Back Bay Boston. I used Hotwire during my trip to Hawaii and kind of explained how Hotwire works in a previous blog post.
After arriving in Boston, I simply followed the directions on The Westin Copley Place website to get our hotel from the airport via subway. I found their directions very clear compared the google map I also had open. We were actually commuting during rush hour (5:30pm) on the subway, but it wasn’t too bad even with our luggage. Our hotel is a just a couple blocks from the Back Bay station on the Orange Line.
The Westin Copley Place (3 Hotels)
We were given a standard double room which is the same as a deluxe room without the best view, but I thought our view was pretty nice. According to The Westing Copley Place website, their favorite view overlooks the Charles River to the north. We had the view to the south overlooking Copley Place Shopping Galleries and the South End of Boston.
Our room is spacious enough for all four of us with plenty of natural lighting. It was also really handy that they had a charging station in our room. It was equipped to charge my android phone and an iPhone (both the lightning port and the older one).
There is free wifi in the hotel lobby (it’s available in the room, with a fee). One feature I really liked (but did not take advantage of) was that you can rent workout gear for $5 and go out for a run through the RunWestin™ program. They have maps and routes ready for you to run nearby or join a guided run on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are plenty of restaurants and some shopping in The Westin Copley Place, but Copley Place is connected to the hotel through a bridge.
Shopping and Dining: Copley Place Shopping Galleries and The Prudential Tower (2 Malls) and Top of the Hub
I actually didn’t do much (if any shopping), but I did walk through these two malls a couple times. Both Copley Place Shopping and the shops at the Prudential Tower cover stores from the high-end luxury brands to the classic American stores that you would normally see in an American mall. Both malls are very pretty to just walk through and can get quite crowded with tourists though.
I was actually really excited to be able to pick up a cup of New England Clam Chowder from Legal Sea Food through their “Grab-n-Go” stall right outside of the restaurant instead of having to wait for a table and ordering a full meal. I took that with us to the food court at the Prudential Tower where we got another cup of clam chowder (and a lobster roll) from Boston Chowda. It was nice comparing the two, and they sure did not taste the same. I ended up preferring the clam chowder from Legal Seafood.
You can see some of the best views of Boston from the observation deck (5oth floor) at the Prudential Tower. I actually made reservations at the restaurant located on the 52nd floor (Top of the Hub) to celebrate my sisters graduation and Mothers Day instead of just going to the observation deck. I made a request for a table by a window, but since it was not guaranteed I was disappointed to not get a window seat. The food was not bad, but not quite as good as I expected (maybe I was getting tired and was a little disappointed by the view).
Enterprise Car Rental
Public transportation in Boston was really all we needed to get around town, but we needed to rent a car to drive to New Hampshire for the graduation ceremony. I was actually a little scared of driving in Boston after reading a few blogs about driving in Boston. I can now say, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but I would prefer not to have to drive very much in Boston because of the traffic and parking. I decided to rent a car for just one day, technically less then that cause I returned the car once I got back to Boston.
I rented a car from Enterprise after seeing that they had a rental location in my hotel. That is convenient. There is just one guy working the Enterprise kiosk located on the first floor of The Westin Copley Place, so when I got their to pick up my car he was still busy running around getting another car ready for someone else. But once he was there with me, the process was quick.
The only thing is that you can’t return the car back at The Westin Copley Place. You have to take the car back to the Enterprise branch in the Prudential Tower. That process was just as quick and easy since I was returning the car during after hours, I just dropped off the keys and went shopping at the Prudential Tower and then walked back to our hotel through 3-2-1 Connect. I never felt as though I left the mall as we conveniently walked through the Shops at the Prudential Tower (make sure you’re going in the right direction though), across an air conditioned bridge, through the Boston Marriott Copley Place, to Copley Place Shopping Galleries, and finally across a bridge that should be air conditioned back our hotel The Westin.