by Melissa Chapman
As guests step through the sculpted bronze doors of the Omni Parker House, a Boston landmark nestled in historic downtown Boston since 1855, guests will be struck by its historic charm. Rich mahogany walls, ornate gold elevators and decorative carvings are a step into the past. But there is no pretense here; the staff is welcoming and friendly to families.
Our Editor Loves
- Located on the Freedom Trail
- Wonderful welcome pack for kids
- Birth place of Boston Creme Pie and Parker House Rolls
- Family Room 5+
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The hotel's 551 smallish rooms range from economy to one-bedroom suites decorated in honor of historic Boston figures. All rooms imitate the dÃƒÂ©cor of the lobby, with richly colored fabrics, cherry furnishings and well-polished heirlooms. But you'll also find contemporary amenities, including flat-screen LCD televisions, plush robes, and high-speed Internet. Upon check in parents are provided with a list of top family attractions in Boston, local emergency numbers and a first-aid kit which includes a night light and outlet covers.
Check out Omni's family hotel packages, some of which include passes to the Museum of Science and Aquarium, a breakfast buffet, a disposable camera and other extras. They also have a Boston Common Skating Package for a family of four, which includes a breakfast buffet, two adult ice-skating tickets to the Boston Common Frog Pond Skate Park, four skate rental tickets and four coupons for hot chocolate.
Omni scores big points for its welcome pack. As soon as kids arrive at the front desk, they'll be greeted with a big blue backpack containing a kaleidoscope, kazoo, candy lightening bugs, oversized jacks and a scented bracelet. The bag also contains a plastic cup with a lid that can comes in very handy at the hotel restaurant.
Like most city hotels, this one does not offer any in-house children's activities; but there are plenty at its doorstep. Omni Parker House is the only hotel on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile red-brick walking tour of 16 historic sites, including the Paul Revere House, Constitution Museum and the Benjamin Franklin Statue, among many others. Walk to Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and Quincy Market. Or hop on the subway, which is one block from the hotel, and take in Cambridge and the Harvard campus, the Children's Museum, or catch a ballgame at Fenway Park.
During their downtime at the hotel kids can check out a suitcase from the concierge, filled with educational games.
The hotel has a 1,200-square-foot gym, which is open 24 hours a day and has flat-screen LCD televisions, elliptical machines, treadmills and a free-weight station. Those who might want to do a little exercising in the comfort of their room can also pick up their free Get Fit kit at the concierge which includes free weights, a jump rope and a mat. Maps of nearby jogging and biking trails are also available.
Omni's onsite Parker's Restaurant welcomes kids, and features New England specialty dishes like Boston cream pie, the famous Parker House rolls and Boston scrod. The children's menu offers up favorites like silver dollar pancakes, hot dogs and mini burgers. Twenty-four-hour room service is available, along with milk and cookies for the kids each night at turndown.
The hotel is also home to two bars: Parker's, an ideal spot for taking in a drink by the fire, and the Last Hurrah, with signature martinis and pub fare for a quick bite.