Loafing in the lap of luxury
October 13, 2016 12:11 PM   Subscribe

What's the most luxurious place in Boston where I can sit on my butt all day and do nothing?

A few years ago, I went to a spa resort for a weekend. They had the usual spa stuff: massages, yoga classes, expensive skin products, fancy meals made with unfamiliar leafy sprouts. But the part I liked most was the lounge area. It was quiet and clean, with lots of light and nice comfy chairs and soothing music that was easy to tune out. There were little stations with trail mix and fruit and tea and ice water, and you could just park in a chair all day and read books and drink tea while waiting for your next treatment. I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.

I have a few days off coming up, and no plans. I have a feeling I'll probably be spending a lot of time sitting around doing nothing. Fine with me; I enjoy doing nothing! It'd be awesome to do some of that nothing in the most indulgent way possible. The loafing venues I can think of are home, parks, libraries, and coffee shops, which are all nice but not particularly special.

Here's what I'm looking for:

- Must be accessible via MBTA.
- Open during daytime hours (this will be a morning or afternoon trip).
- Super comfortable seating/lounging.
- Will let me hang out in one spot and knit/read/look at my phone for several hours.
- Posh but not exclusive, i.e. somewhere I won't feel out of place as a socially-awkward slightly-unkempt non-rich person.
- Quiet - not silent, but not a place where people have conversations.
- Not the kind of place where people wait on you hand and foot; I'd like to be mostly left alone.
- Tea or snacks would be nice but isn't a requirement.
- I imagine anywhere fancy would be priced accordingly, but I'd rather not pay an arm and a leg. $200 is probably my upper limit.

I guess I'm looking for a day spa? Except I just want the sitting-around part of the spa, not the treatments. But if I have to get a massage for the privilege of sitting around for hours, I suppose that's a relaxing sacrifice I can make.

Do spas just let you go and hang out for half a day? Is there one in Boston you can recommend? Or is there some other kind of place nearby where I can loaf in luxury? I'm open to suggestions.
posted by Metroid Baby to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Seems like you are describing the lounge or lobby of an luxury hotel, such as one of these. You wouldn't necessarily need to purchase anything, but it would probably smooth your way to buy a $10-$15 drink or snack every few hours.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:25 PM on October 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

Look for a luxury hotel with a sauna/steam room/pool locker area in their day spa that will issue you a day pass. Undoubtedly that sort of set up will have lounge chairs in the locker area.
posted by slateyness at 1:31 PM on October 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you don't find a better answer (and a nice hotel lobby would likely work well, I've even done well in hotel bar areas sitting with just tea, etc), the Bella Sante Spa on Newbury has nice tea and nibbles and a soothing couch area, but you'd probably have to get a massage or something. I've had good massages, facials, and manicures there.

I will say that though I was a little uncomfortable at first because I'm not Newbury-streety, the staff and other customers were all pleasant and largely left me alone.
posted by ldthomps at 1:51 PM on October 13, 2016

Try calling the spa at the Mandarin Oriental and see if they have a facility day pass. If they don't, find the least expensive treatment that will get you access. I haven't been to that particular one, but Mandarin spas are great. You'll want to pack a swimsuit for loafing maximization.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 3:26 PM on October 13, 2016

You definitely want a luxury spa. (The spa at the Omni Bedford Springs resort has a room exactly like you describe, only accessible for guests getting spa treatments, if you're every in rural western PA.) And I think you'll also want to focus on a facility with a bathing area. That will increase the likelihood of getting a less expensive pass that allows you access to loaf. A place that's just massages and facials is probably not going to be set up for a lot of people to spend a long time lingering.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:12 PM on October 13, 2016

The Boston Public Library in Copley Square/Back Bay has a lunch and a high tea. It is fabulous.
posted by floweredfish at 4:36 PM on October 13, 2016 [8 favorites]

I believe the Intercontinental has a spa that fits those criteria. Right next to the Harbor, killer views.
posted by Sublimity at 4:36 PM on October 13, 2016

I'm pretty sure Exhale in the Back Bay has a lovely sitting area and the treatments don't look too expensive.
posted by papergirl at 5:22 PM on October 13, 2016

Haven't been, but the G20 Spa sounds pretty fabulous and like it would meet your requirements. Might have to book a service, though.
posted by praemunire at 6:10 PM on October 13, 2016

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