BOSTON -- Here's what's new at a number of Boston hotels this season:

  • The Howard Johnson Hotel-Boston Bayside opened last month on the spot where company founder Howard Dearing built his first restaurant in 1935.
  • The five-story, 132-room property is situated about 3.5 miles from downtown Boston and a mile from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and the Bayside Exposition Center.

    Guests receive complimentary shuttle transportation to and from Logan Airport as well as continental breakfast.

    For business travelers, the hotel features an executive floor, as well as high-speed Internet access and voice mail in all rooms.

    Howard Johnson Home Office rooms are equipped with two telephones, office and sitting areas and minibar.

    All guest rooms feature coffee makers, irons, ironing boards and hair dryers.

    Per room rates range from $99 to $169, depending on season; group rates are $99.

    The property is located in a complex that also features the Phillips Old Colony House Restaurant, Pizano Caf} and an indoor family fun center that includes the 44-lane Boston Bowl.

    For more information, call (800) I-GO-HOJO or visit the Web site at or

  • Fifteen Beacon, a 61-room luxury boutique hotel, designed a frequent guest program to encourage repeat business from upscale travelers.
  • This segment accounts for as much as 25% of the almost 1-year-old hotel's business.

    The plan provides services and amenities to repeat guests based on information gleaned from earlier visits.

    The hotel also offers high-tech guest room touches such as three telephones; a color printer; high-speed direct Internet access; a bedroom TV and CD player; a four-inch LCD TV in the bathroom, and a bedside keypad activating digital satellite music with a surround-sound stereo system.

    Guests receive personal direct telephone and fax lines and personalized business cards.

    A concierge also is available to do everything from make airline reservations to help host a dinner party.

    Guest rooms feature gas fireplaces, queen-size canopy beds with Italian linens and such libations as Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Opus One and Krug champagne.

    The hotel's restaurant, the Federalist, has an extensive wine cellar and highly rated cuisine.

    Rates range from $395 per night for a classic room to $1,200 for a suite; accommodations on a private floor cost from $3,500.

    For details, call the hotel at (617) 670-1500, Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide at (800) 323-7500 or Leading Hotels of the World at (800) 223-6800.

    The hotel's Web address is

  • Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel is holding a Celebrity Chefs Culinary Program Saturdays from Jan. 15 through March 11.
  • The 379-room property has invited nine chefs to give scheduled cooking demonstrations at the hotel, which visitors can attend by series for $320 per person, or one at a time for $40.

    A Celebrity Chefs Weekend package that includes two tickets to the program, a deluxe guest room and breakfast for two at Copley's Grand Cafe;, has rates from $229 per couple.

    Proceeds from the cooking demonstrations benefit local nonprofit charitable organizations.

    A member of the National Trust Historic Hotels, the hotel offers such in-room amenities as data ports and a fax machine as well as a Sony PlayStation.

    On-site firness facilities are available at the property, which is located within walking distance of Beacon Hill, Copley Place, Newberry Street and the Hynes Convention Center.

    To reach the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, call (800) 441-1414 or visit its Web site at

    JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI