Seems like staycations are still the rage for the summer of 2012, so why not the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge? With the other-side view of Boston from the Charles River, it’s the hidden view that only the locals seem to know. I drive by the Royal Sonesta at least once a week, but never knew the hidden luxuries that awaited me.
The Royal Sonesta has created a package called Summer Fest to make the most of their strategic location across from the Charles River Bike Path. Free bikes are offered to guests who want to work off their dinner at Restaurante dante or just enjoy the breathtaking views of Boston.
We opted for the free Charles River Boat Tour, and were glad we did. Maybe not as well-known as the Boston Duck Tours, we found the Charles River Cruise an elegant alternative. With some of the best views of the downtown Boston skyline, we learned about some of Boston’s hidden history that made us appreciate our town even more. Although the weather was chilly, we could still enjoy the tour inside the paned-glass interior, and take pictures, which would not have been possible on the Boston Duck Tour. The Charles River Boat Company also offers a sunset cruise, so we’ll be sure to come back, especially during leaf-peeping season, for a vivid skyline with a rainbow-colored sunset!
Even though most hotels own the restaurants therein, this is not the case for Restaurant dante, the Royal Sonesta’s independently owned and operated fine dining restaurant. Opened in 2006 by the Magistris family, Dante has won a number of awards, including Best Upscale Italian from the Boston Magazine, and the Cracker Jack Award by Stuff Magazine. Dante even won a very prestigious international award from the Chaine des Rotisseurs, the world’s oldest international gastronomic society, based on the traditions of the French royal guild of meat roasters.
The sfizi menu is a great way to grab a few affordable bites and splurge on some of their wonderful digestifs for dessert. We opted for a Gambrinus red and an Erbice Recioto white. I would compare the Gambrinus to a ruby port with tastes of almonds and cherry, and the Erbice Recioto was akin to a tawny port. What a wonderful lingering way to leave a restaurant.
We didn’t get a chance to enjoy the Boston’s best saltwater hotel pool with retractable roof or the Royal Treatments Spa. Just across from the hotel is the Museum of Science, with its IMAX Theatre and Planetarium. Guess we’ll just have to go back for more!