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To read about family-friendly fun near the Sonesta ES Suites Andover Boston, head over to the Sonesta Hotels blog!

My recent travel blogging for Sonesta brought me close to home, just up the road from Boston to Andover, Massachusetts and the Sonesta ES Suites Andover Boston. It turned out to be a beautiful, warm fall weekend, and our friends who live in Andover were home for us to visit.

 

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The first order of business was to check into the hotel, which is an extended stay property conveniently located near 93 and a variety of businesses, but set off from the road making it a quiet place to relax.

There’s a real emphasis on guests feeling at home throughout Sonesta ES Suites, with welcoming areas for meeting and breakfast (which is hot, delicious, and included in your stay!) and suites that offer full kitchens and living rooms. Our one bedroom suite was larger than our last apartment! I loved that we had the ability to cook right in the suite or even just to grab a proper wine glass from the cabinet for a glass of wine.

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The setup of the rooms is perfect for family travel; not only can the kids be put to bed and the adults stay up, but two TVs in our room meant no fighting over the remote.

Since Sonesta ES Suites are often the home-away-from-home for many on business travel, a spacious work area is a welcome addition.

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We were excited to get out and explore Andover, which is  beautiful New England town with plenty of our favorite things, including hiking trails and places to eat.

Our first stop was the campus of Phillips Academy, which, on a perfect blue sky fall day, was very pretty and very classic New England. Right on campus is the cozy and historic Samuel’s, and since it was 5:00, we decided on cocktails and a cheese plate.

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My Old Fashioned was delicious, and a well-stocked cheese plate hit the spot and got us ready for exploring some more. The Addison Gallery was already closed for the day, and we decided to add it to our itinerary for our next visit to Andover.

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We took the daylight time to explore more of the campus and decided on the sanctuary for our hike the next day.

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Since we’re always up for a meal, we headed to the downtown of Andover, which is adorable, and again very New England. We’d heard of Elm Square Oyster Co. from a few people, and never ones to pass up oysters, grabbed bar seats and wine specials while we browsed the menu.

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My Gruener Veltliner was perfectly acidic, great pairing with the Pemaquid oysters we slurped down.  A homemade hot sauce made it all more delicious; I am a hot sauce fiend!

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We added the shrimp tacos and chilled lobster, which came in the most incredible lemony sauce, to our feast. The Gruener and the lemon sauce were heavenly together!

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Elm Square Oyster Co. is a definite must-visit if you are in Andover, and there were several other restaurants in the area I also wanted to try.

Andover, while to many thought of as just a Boston suburb, is a destination in itself, and it was nice to get away without driving forever or dealing with airport lines.

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My stay at the Sonesta ES Suites Andover Boston was hosted; all opinions are my own.

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Tags: Andover, Boston, cocktails, getaway, hotels, New England, oysters, Travel, wine

View past Martha’s Vineyard posts :

Our stay at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Dinner at State Road MV

A Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

We discovered a few weeks ago that Martha’s Vineyard is well-worth an off-season visit, even if that visit comes right after a snowstorm and during the bitter cold of February. Our stay at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn was absolutely perfect for a relaxing weekend away from Boston, and while on the island, we made the most of our time exploring. We were surprised to find out how much was open.

Menemsha Beach After checking in at Nobnocket, we headed straight for Menemsha Beach to catch the sunset in the area. It was incredibly cold and windy, but so beautiful.

Menemsha Beach

Menemsha Beach

Aquinnah

We only lasted a few minutes walking on the beach before heading to the Menemsha Fish Market, which was open and serving piping hot lobster bisque.

snowy lobster traps

Snow definitely added an extra layer of beauty to the Vineyard that weekend!

Menemsha Beach

Still waiting for the sun to set and the Super Moon to rise, we raced over to Aquinnah and made it just in time to see the enormous moon coming up, and the sky turning all shades of pink and purple.

Aquinnah

Bean boots and beaches

It was all so breathtakingly stunning, even if we did almost fall a few times on ice as we ran up to the highest point.

Martha's Vineyard in winter

 

We were glad that we didn’t let the whipping winds keep us from catching this beauty. Only one other couple was out there with us, and other than the wind and waves, it was perfectly quiet.

Martha's Vineyard sunset

Our dinner at State Road was the coziest way to end the day!

The next morning after breakfast at the inn, we set off for the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary with the intention of snowshoeing. There turned out to not be enough snow for that, so we ended up walking for a couple of hours, all alone in the sanctuary, except for the company of deer, otters, and other critters whose prints we saw in the snow. It was magical.

 snowy walk Martha's Vineyard

We worked up quite the hunger, and decided to head to Edgartown’s Harbor View Hotel for some snacks and a glass of wine.

Edgartown

The hotel is beautiful, and I absolutely loved the pops of color on the porch. It was a nice sight against a gray and snowy day.

Harbor View Hotel

Mini lobster tacos and the most delicious Chateau Beaulieu rosé, along with great conversation with Petro at the bar made us want to tuck in and stay for the afternoon, but we had more exploring to do!

lobster tacos

Our next stop was Oak Bluffs. . . talk about pops of color! I absolutely love all of the little cottages there and dream of spending my summer in one. They looked so adorable in the snow, and we were wishing they were year-round properties. Most of them were closed up for the season.

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 Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Oak Bluffs

We headed back to the inn for some time chatting by the fire and then decided to check out the Vineyard Haven dining scene, first grabbing fried oysters at The Black Dog, which I know is a tourist destination, but still, I love it! It was so cozy, and the oysters were delicious.

fried oysters

We finished the night with sushi and sake cocktails at the highly recommended Copper Wok, which was really a fabulous date spot.

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All good things must come to an end, and due to snow on the mainland, we decided to take an earlier ferry, but not before visiting the alpacas at the alpaca farm. If you are an animal lover or have kids, it is definitely a spot worth visiting. The alpacas were cute and friendly and soft, and the store is full of beautiful alpaca fur items.

alpaca farm alpaca farm

Martha's Vineyard ferry

We left Martha’s Vineyard feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, chatting about making a winter trip an annual tradition.

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Tags: Martha's Vineyard, MV, New England, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger, traveling

Winter getaways seem to be the topic of conversation more than ever this year. I don’t know about you, but I have become desperate to unplug from the world on weekends, and being near the ocean has been my saving grace.

A few weeks ago, we started discussing a possible winter trip to Martha’s Vineyard. We craved being on a boat, hiking, good food and wine, and quiet, and we knew that we could find all of that close to home on MV.

As fate might have it, just a couple of days after that discussion, I received an email from the owners of the Nobnocket Boutique Inn on Martha’s Vineyard, inviting us to come and stay for a Valentine’s getaway. The timing was absolutely perfect, and after swooning over the inn’s website photos, we were soon counting down the days until we left Woods Hole for Martha’s Vineyard.

One major perk of visiting Martha’s Vineyard off-season? We left mid-day on Friday and hit absolutely no traffic. The ferry was fairly empty, and the entire trip was a breeze. Once we drove off the ferry in Vineyard Haven, it was about two minutes to Nobnocket. Vineyard Haven’s adorable town center is easy walking distance from the inn, and you’ll likely encounter a few dozen turkeys along the way!

Photo via Nobnocket Boutique Inn website

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Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with offers of coffee, tea, water, wine, and we chose tea, which we enjoyed while chatting with inn owners Annabelle and Simon.

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The common areas of the inn are welcoming and cozy, and, like the rest of the property, decorated with beautiful little details everywhere you turn.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

The breakfast room is also an all-day oasis, with coffee and tea, cold drinks, filtered water, snacks, and a few nightcap options.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

The surroundings are just as lovely as the inside of the inn. A fresh snow on the island made things just a bit more sparkly, and the trees, including massive holly trees, brought a nice touch of natural beauty right up to the doors of the inn. Another perk of winter? The trees aren’t grown in, and you can easily see the harbor in the distance.

Also, the turkeys! Who knew that Martha’s Vineyard had SO many turkeys?

Martha's Vineyard

 

lighting

 

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Before settling into our room, we toured the other guest rooms, each delightfully appointed with its own unique details. The above room is as it was in the original home, with details like a brick fireplace and lots of beautiful dark wood that has been lovingly treated, giving it a more lodge-y, masculine look than the others.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Rooms upstairs are bright and sunny, each with its own color scheme that’s perfectly woven throughout. I appreciate an eye for detail like this immensely; I certainly don’t have it! Throughout the weekend we continuously pointed out little details that we hadn’t noticed earlier.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

inns of Martha's Vineyard In our luxurious yellow-and-black room, even the beer opener was yellow!

Martha's Vineyard Nobnocket Boutique Inn has managed to perfectly blend chic design and clean lines with beachy coziness, making every space feel warm, welcoming, and relaxing. Our room was no exception, with a plush and comfy bed, lots of pillows, bathrobes, slippers, a fireplace, and a bathroom that was to-die-for.

luxury on Martha's Vineyard

How amazing is this tub? What I didn’t capture is the flat-screen TV on the wall behind it. I love a good, super hot soak more than anything, and I am surprised I left that space all weekend long.

Martha's Vineyard inns

luxury bathroom

Attention to detail extended beyond design and into every aspect of the day,  from turndown to turndown.

On our first night we were greeted with homemade lemon cookies (which I knew about from their Instagram post earlier in the day!) And yes, we turned in for the night by 8:08 on our first night.

cookies for turndown

Breakfasts were works of art. On our first day, yogurt parfaits, poached eggs, bacon, and toast started our day.

Nobnocket Boutique InnAfter a busy day of exploration, we relaxed by the fire with our wonderful hosts and another couple (Hi Matt and Dave!) before dinner. . .

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

And when we arrived back home were greeted by the most decadently delicious chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. To.die.for.

cookies at turn down

The next morning there was more breakfast art; a bento box of yogurt and fruit, flaky homemade sausage rolls, local baguette and scones, and the best ginger pear marmalade from New Lane Sundries.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

We were thoroughly spoiled with treats, comfy spaces, and lots of laughs throughout the weekend, and it wasn’t easy to leave. If you’re craving a relaxing getaway, keep Nobnocket Boutique Inn at top of mind. Their specials and packages page is a great place to start!

More on Martha’s Vineyard in the winter to come. . .

Our stay was generously hosted by the inn. All opinions are my own. Thank you again to Annabelle and Simon for such a fantastic weekend!

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Tags: inns, luxury travel, Martha's Vineyard, New England, New England travel, travel blogger, travel. Travel Tuesday

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