Amex Travel Benefits and our weekend in Boston
Jacek and I went to Boston this weekend, our first non-working weekend in 4 months. I’ve always wanted to go. I always tried to convince him to go. But he had this Boston grudge from the Stanley Cup that took 3 years to pass. Now that we live in Toronto though, and it’s only an hour flight away, he was in. And we fell in love.
Boston is SO beautiful. It looks great – the gas lamps in Beacon Hill, the waterfront, Fenway! Fenway! What a gorgeous, gorgeous ballpark. Boston also smells great. It smells like salt water, like Vancouver. And Boston tastes great. Lobster every day, lobster almost every meal.
We booked the trip with our AMEX card and while the trip was total leisure, it also happened to highlight for us the many benefits of booking travel with the AMEX Platinum card. Travelling is becoming more and more tedious. I don’t understand this. Everyone keeps talking about the Global Citizen. And yet the more I travel, the more complicated travelling becomes. I am a very particular traveler. I hate to wait. I hate inefficiency. I hate it when people still don’t take off their belts in the security line. So anything that I can sign up for, anything that I can be a part of to make travel more convenient and QUICK, I’m down for.
It all starts with how you get to the airport. Taxi drivers are impossible. Parking lots are often so far from the terminal. At Toronto Pearson though, they have valet service. And it’s complimentary for select Cardmembers with parking discounts included. You drop yourself at your airline check-in counter, they go park your car for you, and when you come back, it’s waiting for you in a good parking spot in the long-term stay lot. Come on!
After check-in is the security line, AMEX’s #Cloud10 offerings at Pearson blew us past the line and right to the scanners. This is available in both terminals. Then breakfast. I posted this photo Friday morning of the spread at the Plaza Premium Lounge.
Full hot breakfast. Not just cold bites and continental. Scrambled eggs and sausages and we didn’t have to make them at home before leaving. My kind of lounge.
Perhaps the best part of the AMEX benefit? Early check-in and late check-out as part of the travel benefit of booking Fine Hotels and Resorts through americanexpress.ca/travel. We got in at noon at our hotel, the XV Beacon. As I tweeted Sunday, we will never stay at another hotel in Boston. Then it was off to shop. This pick-up was the highlight of the afternoon:
Next was dinner at B&G Oyster and their signature dish – a Lobster BLT that’s pretty much the Lamborghini of sandwiches.
B&G Oyster is one of Chef Barbara Lynch’s properties. Lynch is the only FEMALE in the United States to hold the title of Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux. But she covers all levels of cuisine. B&G Oyster is super chill, not super fancy, with delicious food and outstanding service. (Hi Hilary!) Her other restaurant No 9 Park is the more upscale restaurant, even though Jacek and I walked in wearing kicks and t-shirts and no one cared. No 9 Park is considered by many Bostonians to be the best restaurant in the city. This is a true story. The menu is formal. The food is universally extraordinary. We were there on our last night, for a late dinner, and lost our minds.
Saturday was all about Harvard, check it here, watching the Red Sox lose, because I think I hexed them, and walking back to Beacon Hill. Because Boston is totally walkable. In fact, you shouldn’t get around any other way.
Speaking of Beacon Hill, we spend Sunday in our neighbourhood, such a glorious neighbourhood. And so much storytelling, real and fake. We made up stories about the people who lived in the impossibly beautiful townhomes, and then like every other tourist in the history of Boston tourism, we had to take a picture of Acorn Street, even though the residents were giving us dirty looks. But this little road, how can you resist? That’s original authentic cobblestone!
From Acorn we walked down to Charles Street. Great shopping. I mean, everyone knows Newbury Street in Boston but Charles Street feels less “visitor” and more “local”. We bought a vintage golf print from an art store and then I found my favourite Boston clothing store: Dress Boston. Thoughts on my watermelon dress?
It was so great to not have to rush to check out. We had a late flight and knowing that we’d still have our room to go to, and a $100 AMEX food credit (standard for Platinum Cardmembers through the Fine Hotels and Resorts travel benefit), meant that we could kick back in bed and watch the end of the US Open before heading to the airport. It’s such a civilised way to end a holiday.
So if you’re travelling, for leisure or for business, consider American Express. If you’re on the road a lot, you make back the up-front premium almost right away when you take full advantage of the service which, being Chinese, I do. Milk those services. Squeeze everything you can out of those services. They’re worth it.