Some people have trouble conceptualizing our weekend trips, from their purpose to their practicality, and just tell us we’re crazy. There might be some truth to that but it’s all a matter of priorities and how you choose to allocate your financial and time resources. Whereas it may seem inconceivable for you to fly to Boston on a red-eye flight, spend one night there, and fly back the following day, for us, it’s what we like to do to during our free-time while earning points to offset future travel.
As avid Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members, the SEA – Seattle Tacoma to BOS – Boston Logan route is a good mileage run to undertake; you can earn up to 14,940 miles based on your elite status level and the fare you purchase. Eventually, all these miles pay off in dividends, from first class upgrades to rewards redemptions on Emirates Airlines and Cathay Pacific, we have gotten to experience a lot.
Red-Eye Flights – Maximize Time and Save Money:
Red-eye flights are not easy but they are a great way to maximize time on the ground and save costs. Our flight departed SEA around 21:30 and arrived in BOS around 06:00; we ended up getting about 3 hours of sleep during the 5 hour flight. Next, we bought day passes to use the Boston transit and headed to our hotel to drop off our bags or see if an early check-in was possible. Since we slept on the overnight flight, we saved money on an extra night of hotel, making this weekend even more affordable.
Where we stayed: The Godfrey
We were planning on staying at Marriott, SPG or Hyatt property to earn points and stays but decided to book The Godfrey, a boutique hotel in downtown Boston only a few minutes’ walk from the State Street Station. We chose The Godfrey because it had the best price, most convenience location, and had very positive reviews and it ended being a great choice.
Built in the early 1900’s to house retail as an Amory & Blake store, the building was vacated in a state of decay due to urban exodus and a change in consumer patterns in the mid-1970s. It wasn’t until 2012 when renovations and capital were invested to transform the building into what it is now, The Godfrey Hotel. The hotel is a great blend of old and new through its preservation of its history but with modern design and functionality and that famous marble staircase you see in a lot of photos is iconic to this building’s past, present, and future.
If there is one word to characterize what The Godfrey is setting out to do, it’s “ambitious”; from the staff’s focus on the guest experience to the small but comfortable rooms, to the George Howell café and Peruvian-Japanese restaurant Ruka on site, it’s a well-curated city hotel and not surprising that it made Travel + Leisure’s “Coolest New Urban Hotels”.
At check-in, we were welcomed in a very professional and friendly manner. It was probably the first time we were told that if we didn’t like our room, they’d help us find one we like. They also have a clever survey when you login to the Wi-Fi; they ask you 2 questions about your satisfaction with the stay so far and if anything else can be done to make it better. It is not uncommon for them to follow-up on suggestions made to make the stay better, which is a great idea for a hotel to implement. At check-out, we were also delighted when they asked us how are stay was because so many hotels don’t do this and such a small thing that all of them should do.
As for the room, the bed was super comfortable and maybe it was that restless sleep on the airplane, but my body just melted into that bed as if it was made for me. We also loved the shower as the water pressure was really good. Compared to other hotels, they actually provide two small complimentary bottles of water which is a nice touch. The room is equipped with a Keurig coffee machine and to-go cups with coffee quotes on them.
If and when we do this trip again, The Godfrey will be our top choice for sure.
Where we ate and drank:
Boston is a super walkable city and has a great transit system so it’s not a surprise that we ended up walking 36,000 steps. We started off by having coffee at George Howell in the hotel and made our way to the Boston Public Market where we just browsed and enjoyed the atmosphere. The market has outdoor vendors of produce and the indoors vendors focus more on specialty food products and general merchandise.
We had already been to Boston before so we didn’t spend as much time checking out all the popular historical sites like the Old North Church, Granary Burial Ground, Faneuil Hall, and Harvard University.
Next, we made our way to South Boston for an early lunch at Loco Taqueria and Oyster Bar. We shared 4 tacos and the oyster ceviche. I wanted to get regular oysters but since it was Jason’s first experience with oysters, the ceviche was a good choice due to all its toppings. The one thing we found disappointing about this place was the price of things; $7USD for a very small 10 ounce beer(estimate) and close to $7USD for each taco. Overall, the food was really good but the store-bought tortillas were pretty weak and the shrimp taco was underwhelming. If we come back, we’d stick to oysters.
We really wanted to try Night Shift Brewing beers but it was very busy and there was a huge line-up so we hopped back on the train and headed to Aeronaut in Sommerville instead. We really loved the beers at Aeronaut but found the atmosphere a little dark and dank. We were lucky to find a seat by the front entrance which provided some light and a breeze as we enjoyed our beers which were also $8USD per glass.
Harpoon is renowned for their pretzels so we decided to stop in and have a beer and a pretzel. The pretzel is more of a pizza dough pretzel than traditional pretzel with the corn meal but it was delicious dipped in the buffalo blue cheese sauce and the spicy mustard. In Vancouver’s beer scene, New England IPAs are very popular right now and since we’re visiting their “birthplace”, we decided to try Harpoon’s Juicer New England Style IPA and it ended up being our favorite beer of the day and the cheapest at $6USD per glass.
Alaska flies out of Terminal C’s gates 40-42, which is separate from all the other gates and is somewhat inconvenient. We wants to visit the Priority Pass Lounge so we had to go through screening at the main gates to get access to the lounge which means we’d have to go through screening again to get to gates 40-42. The lounge was pretty mediocre with its bad tasting coffee and broken toaster so it wasn’t really worth it but we did end up grabbing some Pinkberry before heading over to screening again. There is also no TSA Pre-check screening at gates 40-42 but if you have pre-check, they’ll let you keep your shoes and jacket on. There really isn’t anything good food wise in this part of the terminal so if you have some time to kill and you’re hungry, you may want to go through screening for the other C gates to access all the food options there.
This was a really fun weekend and I hope we get to do it again. Next time, we’d like to eat more oysters, visit Night Shift Brewing, and maybe rent a car to see the outskirts of Boston. Maybe it’s the flight duration or that we’re getting used to these types of trips, but we didn’t feel as tired as we usually do when we visit Austin Texas on a similar itinerary. We quickly started to realize that $8USD is the going rate for beer in the city and since we’re used to about $5USD on the west coast, we found it a little expensive, especially when tax and tip are added, and then the conversion to $CAD.
Have you been to Boston? Where is your favorite place for oysters?