Where to stay for your Fenway experience?


Oct 23, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; General view of the National Anthem prior to game one of the MLB baseball World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Prims had a great article on his latest excursion to Fenway Park and I will follow that up with some tips on where to stay. The ticket may be your cheapest investment on a trip to Boston.

Summertime is prime tourist time in Boston and all of picturesque New England. For baseball fans that means a journey to Fenway Park. For the casual fan it is a must, but for the ardent fan, this is part of their baseball bucket list. So here are a few tips for those of you planning a baseball pilgrimage.

Money to burn: If money is no object, then Boston hoteliers are waiting for you and your wallet. Many of the local hotels offer various Red Sox packages and at prices that can reflect substantial lottery winnings or, by comparison, a weekend at a luxury resort.

If your budget has no restraints, then the Hotel Commonwealth is just the place for you. Flying in? Like most four and five star hotels the concierge will set you up with a limo from Logan International. The Hotel Commonwealth has their own luxury baseball suite around the corner from Fenway Park so you will be pampered. And, of course, limo service will be provided to and from Fenway.

The Hotel Commonwealth has that suite as the real catch, but as with all upscale hotels with a Red Sox package, they will get you virtually any seat you wish – just be prepared to pay. In the same range is XV Beacon and Gramercy Park. They also have some elegant high end packages that are either a set designed or can be tweaked for your needs. If nothing is noted at a hotel web site that is no problem. Staying at the Mandarin Oriental? Ritz-Carlton? Four Seasons? The concierge will arrange for any of your needs.

A bit lower on the upscale food chain for Red Sox packages is the Hotel Lenox, in the Back Bay, Marriott Copley Place, which is also an attractive (and expensive) shopping venue and the Inn at Longwood, which is within a mile of Fenway. Courtyard by Marriott is in the Theater District and does, at last check, have packages available.

Jane & Joe fan: Boston is an expensive place to stay. Very expensive. But there are a few places to stay that are quite reasonable – that is how I got my pet cockroach – so figure $200 a night if you are lucky. My suggestion to those with a more realistic fiscal plan is to avoid the city. Go south, or north or west. Check out the MBTA so you can see where the commuter rail goes. For example, in the town where I live, forty miles south, you can stay at a Days Inn about ¼ mile from the commuter rail station. A room can be had for $100 a night and a round trip to South Station is $20. Half price for seniors. South Station will be the public transportation hub to connect you everywhere within the area. Staying outside the city means that you best be prepared to use the MBTA. Just remember that your destination is Kenmore Square. Green Line trolley.

And speaking of Kenmore Square, that is the place to stay: the Hotel Buckminster. My five star choice for history and location. Staggering back from Fenway and the Cask N’ Flagon is simple enough.

Baseball history surrounds this edifice from 1897. This is where the plot was afoot for the Black Sox Scandal. Buckminster was also home of the first network radio broadcast and, if you like Pizzeria Uno, they occupy a good part of the first floor. I have a friend that is in town for the Reds series and he’s paying $200 a night plus taxes. And he is on the sixth floor with a Fenway view.

Boston is a magnificent and expensive city to visit. Rich in history, shopping, entertainment, the arts, medicine, nerve-racking traffic, education, and sports. Enjoy your stay. Plan it well in advance. Watch your budget. Transportation is easy from the airport to downtown and surrounding communities.