Review by Ron Bernthal
In 2014 the Sonesta Collection of hotels and resorts launched their Sonesta ES Suites brand, with “ES” the abbreviation for Extended Stay, one of the fastest growing hotel categories. I really like most extended stay properties, especially when the room rates are comparable to regular, non-extended stay properties.
When I needed to spend some time in the Boston area I chose Sonesta’s ES Suites Burlington, a property located in Boston’s NW suburbs, close to Route 128, known as the “high tech” highway because of all the technology companies that are located in that area.
The hotel, which had been another extended stay property brand before Sonesta took it over several years ago, has been completely remodeled, updated and refreshed with room and public area renovations and redesign. This part of the Boston metropolitan area is busy, not only with corporate offices, but residential housing and shopping malls have expanded throughout the area, and regional highways are maxed to capacity during morning and evening rush-hours. Rooms at the Burlington Sonesta ES Suites property, as well as the Sonesta ES Suites property in nearby Andover, are often quite full with business travelers on multi-week work assignments, leisure travelers visiting friends and relatives, and travelers on I-95 going to/from New Hampshire and Maine needing an overnight stop.
Despite a busy lobby with late afternoon check-ins the front desk wait was minimal, and the reception staff was friendly and efficient. Good extended stay hotels need to have oversized and clean accommodations and my one-bedroom suite did not disappoint (the property also offers studio rooms and two-bedroom accommodations). My suite had a full kitchen with a separate table for eating, full-size fridge and freezer, microwave, two-burner electric stove, dishwasher, and a complete set of glasses, plates, silverware, pots and pans, toaster and coffee maker.
The living room of the one- and two-bedroom suites are equipped with a 32” Samsung TV, work desk, chest of drawers, couch, comfortable reading chair, phone, plenty of lighting and outlets everywhere, and a large window for natural light. Framed prints hung on the walls. For a business traveler staying for several weeks, this room could easily be a home-away-from-home.
In the bedroom, separated by its own door, was another chest of drawers, another large screen Samsung, two Queen beds (Kings are also available), night tables with reading lights, another phone and charging port, and a colorful, plastic laundry basket for taking clothes to the guest laundry room. Both rooms had pleasant, if not institutional looking, brown carpeting. Wi-Fi speed was excellent throughout the property, and complimentary.
The bathroom contained a nice looking, square Kohler sink with a large vanity mirror, and many drawers under the sink. There was also a separate tub, shower and toilet room. Poggesi brand canisters of Coco Mango shampoo, conditioner and bath gel were attached to the shower walls.
The public areas of the property were equally as impressive, including the large breakfast room, a modern and colorful space near the front desk with a variety of seating choices. The complimentary breakfast was your normal buffet lineup of eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit, cereals, juices and coffee, and it was kept clean and refreshed during the entire morning until 10:00 am. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the property offers a 5:00-7:00 pm manager’s reception, a social gathering offering complimentary hors d’ oeuvres and wine or soft drinks. This is targeted to their extended stay business travelers, which make up much of their mid-week business, but all guests are welcome.
The hotel’s fitness room is called the “Mat” and is a small room near the lobby with two new treadmills and other “Life Fitness” brand equipment. The “Shoppe” is little grocery section next to the front desk that sells a variety of snacks and drinks. There is also a wonderful, landscaped courtyard, accessed by doors off the breakfast room, with an outdoor pool, barbecue grills, tables and chairs, and a full-size outdoor basketball court (a rare amenity at any hotel).
A huge shopping mall is located five minutes from the hotel, along with other retail outlets and a large number of restaurants. For business visitors with appointments along the Route 128 corridor, Burlington is quite convenient, and for trips to center city Boston the drive is just 25 minutes during non-rush hour periods. There is also a commuter train from nearby Woburn station, a 25 minute ride.
Sonesta Collection ES Suites, Burlington/Boston
11 Old Concord Road
Burlington, MA 01803