8. IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Boston is famous for being a city of neighborhoods. Spend a day — or more — soaking up the atmosphere in a new community. Check out the handy neighborhood brochures at cityofboston.gov/neighborhoods.
9. TREAT YOURSELF
You’re saving a boatload of cash on travel and accommodations, so why not spring for some luxury services normally reserved for the 1 percent?
> Take a vacation from meal planning, prep, and cleanup by hiring a personal chef. The service can make “you feel a little pampered,” says Boston-based chef Lester Esser, whose pricing starts at $250 plus the cost of groceries for four to five complete meals for two. 617-512-5114, lesteresser.com
> Drop off your laundry for wash-and-fold service.
> A couple of small home improvements — like a deep cleaning or repainting a room — will last even after your co-workers’ tans have faded. Reserve these services and more on Handybook.com, a new site (developed in the Harvard Innovation Lab) that lets you choose from a list of fixed-price services available in your area.
10. GET A ROOM
Staying local doesn’t necessarily mean staying at home. Whether you’re looking for a romantic night out or a family getaway, take advantage of special packages.
> Winter Wonderland
The Liberty Hotel
You’ll receive skating passes for the Frog Pond on Boston Common, hot chocolates or hot toddies in the hotel’s Liberty Bar, and breakfast for two. 215 Charles Street, Boston, 617-224-4000, libertyhotel.com; from $229 per night, through March 30 (Frog Pond skating is expected to last through mid-March)
> Sweets for My Sweetheart
The Langham, Boston
This is classic romance: chocolate-covered strawberries, a bottle of champagne, rose petals on your pillows, and a meal at the hotel’s famous Cafe Fleuri Saturday Chocolate Bar (normally $40 per adult). Recover with late checkout the next day. 250 Franklin Street, Boston, 617-451-1900, boston.langhamhotels.com; from $389 per night (Fridays and Saturdays only), through March
> Couples Experience at Emerge
Clarendon Square Inn
Check in, then spend the day at nearby Emerge Spa & Salon on Newbury Street. You get a 60-minute couples’ massage, the “ultimate shave” for him and a wash and blow-dry for her, plus a private Hydrostorm therapy session — steam, shower, waterfall, and aromatherapy — and lunch in the spa’s penthouse lounge. 198 West Brookline Street, Boston, 617-536-2229, clarendonsquare.com; from $573 per night, through 2013
> Art Lovers Package
Millennium Bostonian Hotel
Stroll around the Museum of Fine Arts for the day before turning in at your room overlooking Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Wake up to breakfast for two at the hotel’s restaurant, North 26 (up to $50 value). 26 North Street, Boston, 617-523-3600, millenniumhotels.com/boston; from $249 per night, through 2013
> Little Black Box
In your room, you’ll discover a “little black box” from the South End boutique Olives & Grace containing an assortment of gourmet foods from small-batch makers across the country. The package also includes two cocktails at the hotel’s Emerald Lounge and late checkout. 200 Stuart Street, Boston, 617-482-1800, reverehotel.com; from $449 per night, through March
> Bed and Breakfast
Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common
This package is designed to get you moving. In addition to free valet parking and breakfast for two at Artisan Bistro (includes tax and gratuity), you’ll have free access to the state-of-the-art Sports Club/LA on site. 10 Avery Street, Boston, 617-574-7100, ritzcarlton.com/boston; from $405 per night, through 2013
> Set Your Sights on Boston
Nine Zero, Hotel Marlowe, Onyx Hotel
See Boston like a VIP. The three Kimpton group hotels have sightseeing packages that include one breakfast for four and a private tour of Boston — complete with souvenirs — with a local tour company. 800-546-7866, kimptonhotels.com/hotels/hotels-boston.aspx (mention rate code PSYS); from $529 per night, through 2013
> S’mores and More
The Lenox Hotel
Enjoy a campfire favorite without having to camp. Several rooms have working fireplaces. A concierge will maintain your fire for you during your stay; even better, the kitchen will send up gourmet s’mores (no toasting necessary). Top it all off with breakfast at City Table the next morning. 61 Exeter Street, Boston, 617-536-5300, lenoxhotel.com; from $359 per night (two adults, one child), through 2013
> Pirate Treasure Package
The booty includes a welcome toy and gift bag for each child and complimentary kiddie sundaes with the purchase of a meal in Aura restaurant, TAMO Bar & Lounge, or through in-room dining. 1 Seaport Lane, Boston, 617-385-4000, seaportboston.com (reference code FEBKIDS); from $169 per night (two adults, up to three children), through February 24 Continued...