Thanksgiving in Boston

With family members working and the grandkids at their fathers for Thanksgiving we decided to enjoy Thanksgiving in Boston for a night. Hotels were very reasonable for Wednesday night bookings, some of the lowest prices I have seen in Boston, so we looked at a few options and settled on a splurge at the Mandarin Oriental. To be transparent I actually had $400 in gift cards that I had received as a credit card reward to put towards the stay. Ordinarily the Mandarin would be out of our wheelhouse but with the credits we decided to treat ourselves.

 

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Boston is a quick ride down I95 and with light to moderate traffic we arrived after an hour and a half ride. As  members of Fan’s of the Mandarin we were able to pick 2 perks from a choice of 6 or 7 including room upgrade, late check in/out or Spa/Restaurant credit. We choose early and late check out which enabled us to check in at 12:00pm and out at 4:00pm. Pulling up to the valet right at noon we were greeted warmly and made our way into the lobby. The common spaces are beautiful and elegant with top notch service. Our room was on the eighth floor facing Boylston Street and was perhaps one of the nicest rooms we have stayed in, every detail thought out and every need anticipated.

The room was large with a nice sized marble bathroom. The entertainment system was the best I have seen at a hotel with the welcome screen containing a personalized welcome message and an easy to use guide, flight information, decent movie selection and local weather. The room also had a comfortable couch with a coffee table and a large work area that had everything you might need, again every detail was taken care of.

The hotel is connected to the Prudential and Copley malls with multiple food and shopping options so we decided to head out to explore and have lunch. We had a good time looking at $2000 handbags and $1000 parkas at stores such as Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Dior and Jimmy Choo but my wife didn’t need a new handbag so we just browsed. Lunch was at Legal Seafoods a restaurant we like and have eaten at on prior trips to Ma. The Fried Clams that we both ended up having were very good, small and sweet served with crispy hot French Fries and Cole Slaw. I know Legals takes some slack from foodies but we have always enjoyed it there.

 

After our shopping fun we headed back to the room to relax and were excited to find a welcome dessert waiting for us. Again service that can’t be beat. After a little respite we headed to Eataly an enormous Italian Food emporium located in the Prudential Arcade. This place is very cool featuring everything from fresh meats and seafoods to pastries and antipasti. The quality of the meats and seafood looked incredible but very expensive. It was fun to browse and people watch on the day before Thanksgiving as everyone wrapped up their shopping. Dinner was at the California Pizza Kitchen. My wife had the Cauliflower Crust with Mixed Mushrooms and I had the Hand Tossed with Pepperoni, Sausage and Mushrooms both were good. Heading back to the room we watched Crazy Rich Asians, for $12.95, enjoying the complimentary water that had been brought at turndown. Slippers were laid out by the bed and the bathroom was restocked. The bed was comfortable but it was weird that there was no top sheet only the comforter. Not sure if this was a mistake or just the way they make the bed.

Thanksgiving dawned with the coldest temperatures of the year so far 15 degrees with a cold biting wind. We decided to try something different for Thanksgiving this year and had a reservation for noon at Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian steak house located in the Westin Hotel Copley which was accessible through the malls so we didn’t have to brave the chilly  weather outside. I did head across the street to Starbucks for my morning dark roast. It was weird being in Boston on a holiday with the usually busy street empty and only a few people around. We headed through the malls to Fogo and interestingly enough there were quite a few people strolling through the concourses even though everything was closed. We were seated promptly upon arrival in a mostly empty restaurant due I think to the early hour.

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The concept of the Brazilian stark house is really cool as the Gauchos bring skewers of meat directly to the table alternating between different cuts of meat, chicken and pork. Our drink orders were taken and the server explained how our meal would work and where everything was located. We started at the Market Bar an excellent selection of salads, cheeses, charcuterie, breads and a Feijoada Bar. The selection of items was great with some interesting salads and antipasto. I loved everything I choose from the Market Bar. Soon they were passing the table with skewers of meat, you have a disc with green on one side and red on the other to let them know if you want more or not. The meats were hit or miss with our favorites being the Top Sirloin, Marinated Chicken and Pork Sausages. The biggest miss was the Filet Mignon which was tough and flavorless quite a disappointment as this is one of my wife’s favorite cuts. Overall it was a decent value at $55.00 per person as we left stuffed. They had some desserts on a separate menu that were extra but we couldn’t eat another bite.

We strolled leisurely back to the hotel and relaxed and napped until our 4 pm checkout time which was great after such a big meal! We absolutely loved the Mandarin Hotel an elegant property with exemplary service, large luxurious rooms and a great location especially in the cold weather. For a great splurge we highly recommend this hotel.

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