Created over 25 years ago to establish greater consistency with Marriott’s convention services, Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network, with four premium properties in Boston, is surging forward, as Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network Vice President of Sales Mike Wainwright explained.
“In March 2017, the collection expanded to more than 100 properties throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and into Canada,” Wainwright said. “This growth allows The Network to expand its ability to provide the ultimate meeting facilities and experience for planners and groups in the most sought-after meeting destinations, such as Boston.”
Boston’s CRN quartet (the most in any major city) more than delivers on the promise, as I discovered while visiting for this story.
First was the 793-room Westin Boston Waterfront. Connected by skywalk to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), this AAA Four Diamond Seaport District anchor, just three miles from Logan Airport, offers 89,000 square feet of flexible space in 32 meeting rooms, including four ballrooms, a 19,000-square-foot exhibit hall and the 350-capacity Waterfront Pavilion.
“Financial and pharmaceutical groups especially value the privacy and exclusivity of our meeting areas,” said Marketing Manager Greg Clark, adding that CRN’s marketing strength has opened up many new opportunities for the hotel.
Other unique features include the spacious park-like lobby; Laugh Boston comedy club; Enterprise car rental office; and dining options, including a traditional Irish pub with seasonal outdoor seating.
With Silver Line subway service close by, the Westin Boston Waterfront affords easy access to the restaurants and attractions of Boston’s fast-evolving waterfront and Seaport areas.
Meanwhile, its CRN siblings, the 803-room Westin Copley Place, Boston; 1,146-room Boston Marriott Copley Place; and 1,220-room Sheraton Boston Hotel, form part of a Signature Boston program known as 3-2-1 Connect (www.3-2-1connect.com). The trio connects with two shopping centers, Copley Place Shopping Galleries and Shops at Prudential Center, and one convention center, the Hynes, to form a powerful hospitality, meetings and retail compact in Boston’s attraction-rich Back Bay.
Collectively, the hotels offer more than 3,100 rooms and nearly 200,000 square feet of space, with the latter two able to serve as co-headquarters. Additionally, the Hynes has 91,000 square feet of meeting space, plus 176,480 square feet of exhibit space in five halls and the 4,000-seat Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
Overnighting at the Westin Copley Place, my 36th-floor room offered breathtaking Back Bay views. Touring the property with Samantha Mahoney, director of sales and marketing, and later, visiting with her counterparts Erin Gilroy, director of sales and marketing at the Marriott, and at the Sheraton, Greg Novek, 3-2-1 Connect’s director of national accounts, I discovered that each hotel maintains unique identity and appeal.
Offering 54,000 square feet of recently renovated flexible space in 32 rooms conveniently stacked on contiguous floors, the Westin Copley Place wows with spaces like the 15,000-square-foot America Ballroom and in-demand Staffordshire Room, scenically overlooking Copley Square and the Boston Public Library. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2017 on a $45 million guest room renovation, incorporating Boston signatures such as the Citgo sign in the design.
Boston Marriott Copley Place is for meetings first and foremost. Credentials include 70,000 square feet of flexible space and 45 meeting rooms, including the 22,231-square-foot Grand Ballroom, boasting a million-dollar digital lighting system, and 22,500-square-foot Back Bay Conference and Exhibition Center, accommodating 124 booths. Standout amenities include Champions restaurant, which features Boston’s largest indoor bar video wall, and the Connexion Lounge.
Opened in 1965, the two-tower Sheraton was the darling of jet-set Boston. The Pan Am ticket counter and Tiki Room are gone, but with seamless access to the Hynes, her glory continues with 70,000 square feet of flexible space, comprising 50 meeting rooms, seven ballrooms and an outdoor seasonal patio. Plus, there is an indoor-outdoor pool and Green Tangerine Salon & Spa.
Like The Network promises, 3-2-1 Connect, all under one climate-controlled, all-weather roof and offering one-stop planning services, is not just bigger—it’s better.