Arrival/Check-In: I arrived at the Hartford, Connecticut, train station on a journey that began in Trenton, New Jersey, on an electric-powered Amtrak bound for Boston. The trip required a cross-platform train change in New Haven to the diesel-powered trains that operate north to Springfield, Massachusetts, and beyond. It was nice to complete the trip on the train instead of the buses that replaced the train while the line was refurbished and new stations were built along the route in Meriden, Wallingford, and Berlin, Connecticut. The return trip on the Amtrak Vermonter provided through service without a train change, only a quick change to an electric-powered locomotive.
The 15-minute ride to the hotel in West Hartford brought me to the circular drive around the entrance’s bubbling water fountain. The hotel car valet immediately greeted me, and the doorperson opened the door before I could reach for the handle, offering a friendly welcome. I learned this was the typical customer service approach by everyone on the staff, who went out of their way to offer help, bottled water and directions. Check-in took place at a small reception desk by the main entrance. The friendly clerk offered information on the free WiFi access available throughout the property and the time and location of the free breakfast and the 24-hour coffee and hot chocolate machine in the lobby area. Within five minutes I was in my suite.
Guest Quarters: The hotel, opened September 2017 in the commercial center of West Hartford, is one of three boutique luxury properties operated by the same company. The public spaces display artwork from the pulp fiction collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art — worth a perusal. Public areas also feature designer furniture and a custom-designed, glass-topped baby grand player piano in the reception seating area.
The suite opened into a foyer with a clothes closet stocked with an umbrella matching the ones available at the hotel entrance as well as a wet bar, refrigerator, Nespresso machine with bottled water and a well-stocked minibar. A separate living room provided a large area suitable for business meetings with table and side chairs, a large sofa and a delightful easy chair and ottoman. The bathroom off the living room provided direct guest access, allowing the bedroom door to be closed to provide privacy and a business-suitable appearance. The bathroom contained a free-standing modern bathtub and a large, separate, glass-enclosed shower.
The bedroom featured a king-sized bed facing a largescreen TV over a shelf with TV controller, informational books and writing material. A Tivoli radio, with instructions for use, topped a side table. The side table also provided multiple outlets for charging electronics. Traditional turndown included large chocolate squares and bottled water. Slippers and the use of luxurious bathrobes completed the bedroom amenities. The only negative was the lack of a clock in the bedroom.
Services/Amenities: In-house amenities included evening snacks for takeaway on a hall buffet table including M&M’s, fruit chips and cashews. The free breakfast was a delight with fresh-baked pastries including different flavors of mini muffins, rugelach and chocolate croissants; frequently replenished fresh-cut fruit; perfectly prepared scrambled eggs unlike the usual hotel buffet variety; bacon; and potatoes.
The hotel features a full-service restaurant, Artisan, packed the two nights I was there. Local contacts said it enjoys a positive reputation. The hotel location is in the center of an upscale area near Blue Back Square with many restaurants including chains, coffee houses and casual dining establishments. A brief walk at night highlighted the resurgence of the area with large numbers of people on the streets and at the dining and entertainment facilities surrounding the hotel.
The hotel has a well-equipped 24-hour gym with treadmills, Peloton bikes and weights, and provides free individual-use earbuds as well as a separate full-service spa on the second floor. With 114 rooms and suites, it also offers more than 5,000 square feet of private event space.
◆ Until the Delmar opened, the nearest quality hotel to West Hartford was in downtown Hartford or 15–20 minutes west of the town center in adjoining towns of Farmington or Avon. The convenience for those staying or working in West Hartford is a major plus.
◆ Unlike other farther-out standalone hotels, the Delamar offers walkable access to many restaurants and even a Whole Foods Market across the street.
◆ The hotel provides free limo service within five miles, and Uber and Lyft service is readily available for longer trips to the train station and to Bradley International Airport, 20 minutes away.
Delamar West Hartford
1 Memorial Road
West Hartford, CT 06107
tel 860 937 2500
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A few months ago, I flew Polaris business class on a United flight from Dulles (IAD) to Paris (CDG). It was only when I got to my hotel in Paris I realized that I didn’t have my iPad or its bag or accessories. Since I had been working on it in the restaurant in the Polaris lounge and then went directly to the gate, I knew I either left it propped up on my table when I packed up or in my business-class seat. But what was the best method to alert the airline about my careless mishap and (hopefully) retrieve it? With spotty data and WiFi, searching for information on my phone was frustrating and slow. Here’s what I learned from the anxiety-inducing experience (and unexpected ending) about what to do if you leave something behind on your flight:
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