Stephanie Holmes checks into the Four Seasons Hotel, Boston, USA.

Location:

At the top end of Old Boston, a block or two from the brownstone- and tree-lined avenues of Back Bay, and opposite the tranquil Boston Public Gardens.

Check-in experience: The four men behind the opulent lobby's check-in counter looked like the cast of Jersey Boys — all young, clean-cut, and dapper in expensive-looking suits. Mike looked after me and it was the most thorough check-in I've ever had. I left feeling that they really cared about whether or not I enjoyed my stay. (NB, he also took care of my check-out two days later and I had the same experience — top
marks, Mike).

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What's in the neighbourhood? The public gardens and Boston Common are just across the street — beautiful green park spaces, the latter of which is the oldest public park in the United States. The hotel is also walking distance to many of Boston's popular attraction: the Freedom Trail, which snakes around the historic sites of the city; the Boston Public Market, the high-end shopping of Newbury St, the Skywalk Observation Deck at the Prudential Building. There's also a train station nearby.

Price: Expedia's average room rate is $982 per night for a Deluxe Room.

Room: A King City View suite on the third of eight floors. It was huge and beautifully decorated — everything was mostly white or cream, with splashes of yellow in the leather club chairs and ottoman. Large windows let in lots of natural light, and the carpets felt plush.

View: Not much to look at in the City View rooms — just some of the surrounding buildings. Ask for a garden view room for a pretty outlook to the Public Garden.

The bed: Absolutely divine, like a big, white, Egyptian cotton cocoon. Others in my travel party thought it was too soft, but I just wanted to pack it in my suitcase and take it home.

Bathroom: Again, huge and luxurious, with a large marble walk-in rainhead shower, large vanity and excellent lighting.

Toiletries: L'Occitane products, which are just fantastic, and — unlike the bed — did make it home with me in my suitcase.

Food and drink: The lobby-level bar and restaurant The Bristol was like a lovely old American club lounge; all leather tub chairs, atmospheric lighting and a roaring fireplace.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available here, as well as evening drinks. It's popular with locals as well as hotel guests and on a chilly Thursday night, it was packed. The hot ticket at The Bristol is the yearly story-telling session, where a Boston-based celebrity comes to read stories to local children. Tickets go on sale in September and apparently sell out quickly — not surprising when you hear some of the former celebs who have read here.

Just a few years ago it was supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Exercise:

The eighth floor has a gym and indoor lap pool, steam room, sauna and whirlpool (although the whirlpool was out of action for my visit).

Noise: During the day there was a bit of construction noise outside my room, but at night it was quiet.

Contact: expedia.co.nz
Would I return? I would love to — it's a welcome touch of luxury in the beautiful city of Boston.

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