Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Magical Mystery Tour

By Martha Reed

I see a theme developing in my 2009 What I Did On My Summer Vacation story.

As you may know, last month I received a citation for fishing without a license – my first brush with the law in more than 20 years – but I added to it last weekend when I spent 36 hours in the Suffolk County Jail. Of course, I should note right away that the Jailhouse, located on the edge of swanky Beacon Hill, Boston, has been converted into an amazing boutique hotel and I just have to tell you all about it.


Let me go back a bit more to 30 years ago when I was a student at Boston University. I was really poor and I used to walk around Beacon Hill admiring the homes, especially in the wintertime because you could look directly into some of the brick mansions and it all looked so warm and cozy and posh. I can also remember at the time people joking that the best view in Boston was from the Suffolk County Jail – although I was never tempted to test the view that way. So, anyway, it turns out my nephew needed to go to Boston for a conference and my sister asked me to locate a hotel for the weekend. Where should we stay? She asked. Beacon Hill, I joked, but I googled it anyway and damn if I didn’t find out the Suffolk County Jail had gone all upscale and turned into The Liberty Hotel.

Even though the pictures are amazing, they don’t do the place justice. First off, the staff was wonderful – friendly, courteous, helpful (especially with maps) and genuinely warm. When you come in from the street you ride up a short escalator right into the central unit – and it still looks that way a bit, if you can get past the decorations. The room was spacious and with 2 queen beds we split it 4 ways, which made it relatively affordable (for the East Coast).


I also loved the humor I found there – the hotel restaurant was called Clink and the bar was called Alibi. Both were packed on Saturday night and it was great to be part of such a swinging scene – we don’t get that here in Pittsburgh or maybe I haven’t found it? We enjoyed our dinner at Scampo – linguini with clam sauce, delicious – and Lydia is the chef there, too but the capper was seeing my nephew completely lose it when Penguin defenseman Hal Gill sat down at the table next to us. It takes a lot to make a 13 year old boy lose his focus on food but I can attest that that pretty much did it.

I have to add that Hal Gill was extremely gracious when my nephew worked up the nerve to go over to the table to ask for a picture. All in all, it was a great, great weekend and I highly recommend The Liberty Hotel for anyone traveling to Boston.

12 comments:

Annette said...

So where's the picture of your nephew and Gill?

Joyce said...

This sounds so cool!

I saw penguins over the weekend, too. At the zoo. (But they did have a Stanley Cup banner hanging in the background.)

Pat said...

Wow. I had never heard of the hotel and I live an hour away from Boston so I'm now glad to know about it! Thanks for the "tour"~ sounds like a great adventure!

Martha Reed said...

The picture is still in my sisters camera - I think she's so overwhelmed with laundry she's put that bit on hold. :)

As for the Liberty Hotel, I'm already planning a return trip in October (?) for a girls weekend. Great place, central to everything, and so much fun.

queenofmean said...

The hotel is beautiful. Hard to believe it was ever a jail, huh? Other than the set-up, I guess.

Jennie Bentley said...

Wow, what a cool place! I never knew it existed. Of course, I've never actually been to Boston, so I don't know why I would have, but still, it's the sort of thing one might hear about, isn't it? Thanks for sharing, Martha!

Martha Reed said...

I encourage everyone to visit. Boston is a great walkable town and makes a terrific weekend destination. We're planning to return in September for a Girls' Weekend - I should probably warn them that we're coming...

Annette said...

Martha, if you warn them, they might suddenly be all booked up for that weekend.

Patg said...

Needless to say, Martha, I love hotels and this one looks great. I know I can google it, but is it right in city center or on the outskirts of Boston?
Patg

Martha Reed said...

Pat, technically it's in the West End but strategically it's on the edge of Beacon Hill, an easy walk to almost anywhere. This really is an exceptional hotel.

Martha Reed said...

Annette, you know me too well. I'll have to use an alias...like Bonnie Parker?

Shalini said...

Real neat stuff!! Truly something that interests me. Mysteries are always fascinating.
BTW! I have been following this another thing I came across. It’s sort of abstract and interesting. It’s something to do with some Legend
By the way, good writing style. I'd love to read more on similar topics