Recently we surprised the girls with a one night stay at DoubleTree Hotel Boston North Shore and water park fun at CoCo Key Boston. We went during the New Hampshire spring break as a special treat for the girls and for me to review both the hotel and water park. There are affordable overnight packages available with the two properties and I highly recommend signing up for them early as there are only so many packages available.
I will admit on first impression…beyond the fact that they had one of the entrances blocked with a crew cleaning bricks overhead, this would be one of the negatives of my stay. We arrived on Friday at 3pm hoping to check in early (normal check-in is 4pm) and normally when you arrive at check-in at DoubleTree you are greeted with a warm chocolate chip cookie for each guest staying at the hotel. In fact their website states “When your day of traveling comes to a close, enjoy the warmth of our welcome chocolate chip cookie, fresh from the oven just for you.” However, at 3pm on this Friday there was a large meeting that required every single employee to attend…so only one person was working the phones while checking in the line of people waiting. So our check-in process was under 5 minutes and did not include the general information about the hotel, where things were located or even the cookies advertised.
After we placed out bags in the room I came back out to the desk and spoke with another employee (since the meeting had ended) and we were able to get the full proper check-in experience. I also mentioned I was reviewing the hotel and I think this might have helped with the quickness of service.
I decided to book one of the DoubleTree Hotel Family Rooms that are designed specifically for families attending the water park. Located on the first and second floors these rooms are equipped with a king size bed, two “youth” beds (recommended for those under 52″) and two flat-screen TVs…one for the parents and one for the kids. No need for fighting over the remote since each area is separated by the bathroom so each group can watch their own shows.
I enjoyed the separation from the kids (although my youngest still would not sleep in her bed) although I was a bit hesitant that they were so close to the locked door and we were not. If there was a way to switch that around somehow it would have made me more at ease.
When you walk to the Family Room suites you will feel like you are in a basement at least our section of rooms which were on the first floor. In fact if I had known the exact location of the rooms I would have changed the room to something on the Executive Level as all the Family Room suites appear to be located in the older part of the hotel and not actually in the hotel. You walk down a sloped hall into a maze of hallways with low ceilings and it just reminded me of a basement apartment with dirty carpeted floors and low hanging ceilings.
If these rooms where located in the hotel with the rest of the rooms and kept up to the standards of their Executive Level rooms then I would recommend the Family Room suites. I love the concept of them however I think that having a room with two queens on the eighth floor would have been better.
The highlight of the hotel I must say is the lobby of the hotel and the business center available. I loved how they had comfortable seating with TVs, a conference table and multiple computers available with free internet and printing. This lobby was definitely designed for the business traveler or for bloggers like me! Plus, while my husband took the girls to the pool at the attached fitness center, I enjoyed a cup of coffee from our room’s coffeemaker in quiet. Those moments are always rare and special.
The hotel is huge so there seemed to be halls and twists to new rooms everywhere. One of their gathering places (I assumed for conferences) was like a large living room with a huge fireplace…two stories tall…with tables, chairs and couches for sitting. Their fitness and pool area is attached but is a separate entity just like CoCo Key so you have access to the amenities but you have to go through a maze of hallways to get to them.
COCO KEY BOSTON
The CoCo Key Boston water park combines the enchantment of the islands with the wild excitement of over 65,000 sq. ft. of indoor water play including slides, sprays, pool and an indoor river ride. There are cabanas for rent so your family can stay in a dry reserved space with a table and chairs, cushioned benches and a TV for those not enjoying the water. In addition there are two areas to get food and drink inside CoCo Key which is important because no outside food or drink is allowed in the water park.
There are lockers available inside the locker/changing/bathrooms and also outside in the hallway. These lockers are average size for about $6 for unlimited access. There are plenty of tables and chairs available for hanging your towels and enjoying a bite to eat, however I recommend getting there early as by 12-1pm there weren’t any available.
There are four water slides available for only individuals over 48″ since they are tube rides and actually go outside the building! However there is an all-ages/heights water-filled jungle gym with shorter, open-topped slides, squirting water cannons, and a huge bucket that dumps hundreds of gallons of water every few minutes. And the entire area is surrounded by their lazy river tube ride.
And for little kids there is a zero depth entry pool, kiddy slides (which my girls loved) and water spouts and buckets. Plus you can watch movies on the large sail screen over the pool! My kids never wanted to leave!
Overall we had a great time and enjoyed our stay. Next time I will book a room up in the Executive Level and try to get a package since I paid for everything separately (no packages were available when I went) and although there were bumps in the stay the kids enjoyed every minute of staying at a hotel and enjoying the water park and that is all that matters.
If I had to grade my experience I give the following:
The Room: B-
The Hotel: B+
Overall Hotel Experience: B
CoCo Key: A
CoCo Key Food/Drink: B
Overall CoCo Key Experience: A-/B+
Disclaimer: The Centsible Family was provided a $20 discount on the one night Family Room rate for a review of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston North Shore in Danvers, Mass. All other expenses including tickets to Coco Key and food were not included. All expenses were out of pocket for this review. All opinions are honest and true and no other compensation was given. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.
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