What is the best indoor pool (at a hotel) for a kid in the Boston area?
March 15, 2022 6:48 AM   Subscribe

What is the best indoor pool at a hotel near Boston for a 5 year-old? The hotel doesn't need to be fancy. A Hampton Inn would feel luxurious. There are only two features we care about: Great pool for a kid to chill and easy commute into Boston for touristy activities.

The features we really like in a pool are COVID safety such as big atrium, not too crowded, chairs around the pool to relax, warm water. Bonus if the hotel provides floaties, noodles, etc. We are not looking for an indoor water park type thing and the crowds that such a place would draw are a dealbreaker. We are planning to travel during the April school vacation week and ideally would be able to swim in the mornings and then head into Boston in the afternoon for things like duck boats, aquarium, and so on. One of the things we'd like to do on this trip is ride the T for fun so bonus points if this hotel happens to be right at T station or commuter rail (but also we will have car). Thank you!
posted by TurkishGolds to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have not personally been to any of these, but these were the recommendations in a recent thread on the Moms of Camberville travel subgroup which asked for kid-friendly staycation hotels with good pools. They may be fancier than you're looking for, and everything is going to be more expensive than usual during April break week.

Royal Sonesta, Cambridge (near Museum of Science, Toscanini's ice cream, Lechmere on the green line)
Intercontinental Boston (near Children's Museum and Martin's Park, South Station on the Red Line)
Seaport Boston (near Institute of Contemporary Art, silver line)
The Verb (near Fenway Park, pool is outdoors, Fenway or Kenmore on the green line)
The Row (in a shopping/restaurant area, Assembly on the orange line)
Archer Hotel, Burlington (in a shopping/restaurant area but not directly on the T, 15 min drive to Riverside or 20 min to Alewife or Oak Grove)
posted by nonane at 7:41 AM on March 15

The brand-new Hampton Inn in Salem has a pool and is a 5 minute walk to the commuter rail station.
posted by bowbeacon at 8:40 AM on March 15

Less good for commuting (would have to use the car) but best for pool: Great Wolf Lodge

Edit - just saw you're not looking for a water park; oops
posted by Mchelly at 9:06 AM on March 15

The Residence Inn in Watertown is new, in a good commuting location and has a decent (smallish, hotel) pool. Bonus: the rooms have kitchenettes which is very convenient for feeding 5 year olds.
posted by david1230 at 9:43 AM on March 15

I can add some context to these options as a local mom who has taken my kids to various hotels for day-use of their pools.
- The Royal Sonesta in Cambridge would be my first pick. The pool is large and kid friendly. Often it has dedicated family lanes. My kids have never been yelled at there :-) It's a giant space vertically. There's also room indoors and outdoors (if the weather's cooperating) for adults to lounge around. You're within walking distance of the T, plus Charles River Boat tours, the Science Museum, and the duck boat tours. There's a little less within walking distance for dinner, but you could easily eat in either Boston or Cambridge and then T it back to the hotel.
- The Intercon is the best located if you want to roll out of the hotel and have Boston at your doorstep. The pool is smaller and not so much aimed at kids.
- Seaport Boston is in the seaport district which has pros and cons. It's only just beginning to feel like a neighborhood. There are a lot of restaurants and intentional outdoor spaces, and the walk along the water is cool. But it still feels a bit contrived and not organic. I haven't been there in a little while, but in the past it felt like it emptied out after hours, except on weekends. It's got decent transportation, but not great. The pool at the hotel is kid friendly.
- The Verb skews very young and hip. The pool is an outdoor heated pool (nice!). The scene at the pool can be rowdy depending on the night, the deals on offer that week, or the time of year. I don't think of it as a family hotel (I wouldn't not stay there, it's just not the vibe if that's what you're looking for). You can almost touch Fenway from your hotel window and there are a lot of food options nearby. Access to the T is ok. Parking is bad. The hotel may have a parking deal. For all sights except for Fenway, you'll probably be hopping on the T to come and go from the neighborhood.
- The Row is a recent, purpose-built area with high-rise housing, ground level retail, and some entertainment. It will not feel like you're in Boston. It's surroundings are very industrial and/or highways. The only draw that might tip in its favor is the Lego Store.

- The Copley Marriott has a decent size pool and is smack dab in the middle of Boston.
- One of the standard recommendations is The Colonnade, which is also in a good location and has a roof top pool, but it doesn't open until after Memorial Day.
posted by cocoagirl at 10:02 AM on March 15 [4 favorites]

I don’t know how good it works anymore but before Covid I’d wait until the last minute and book through Hotel Tonight. I found calling the hotel last minute gets similar results.
posted by geoff. at 4:42 PM on March 15

« Older Meal service that allows others to donate funds   |   Stubborn sister + new cancer diagnosis + new... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments