This was our 1-week getaway: started at the Marriott Marquis Times Square (what a view!), moved on to the Best Western in Newport RI, and finally the Nolan House B&B in Boston. We love to travel and are no strangers to staying at Bed-&-Breakfasts. Our overall experience with the Nolan House was very good, with a few caveats.
The house is a late-19th century Victorian house in South Boston. We had a bit of trouble locating the house as it was not marked and did not look much different from surrounding buildings. My wife ran in to let the Nolans know we'd arrived. Mr. Nolan said it was OK to double-park, instructed her to carry in the luggage. He invited both of us into the dining room to pay the bill, then took his time explaining the layout of Boston, where we were in relation to downtown, told us about the subway and the bus system, about the Charlie cards, etc. He also suggested local places to eat (the Junction, which we tried later and liked very much).
Upon seeing our room, we both agreed: "It feels like we’re staying in someone else's bedroom, instead of as a guest. It's difficult to make ourselves at home". Despite the clutter, the room was very clean, the bed was comfortable, and there was adequate storage space for a 2-night stay (although the flimsy wire hangers were a nuisance).
The 2 rooms on the second floor shared a bathroom. The bathroom was clean, but the shower was difficult to maneuver. Also, the bathmat was tiny, old and definitely not hygienic. There were notes posted throughout the guest quarters: unlike previous TripAdvisor reviewers, we did not find them to be irksome (however they could have been worded more gently, i.e. start with "Dear Guests" and avoid the use of exclamation points).
The breakfast was served promptly at 08:30 each morning. It was very good with fresh fruit, yogurt, good coffee/tea, pastries, english muffins, honey, cereal and milk, etc. We got to meet the other guests and have nice conversations and exchange stories. John (Mr. Nolan) was very pleasant; he would share the local knowledge of the city and gave excellent suggestions on which parts of Boston to visit. We did not feel rushed as John kept refilling our coffee pot and bringing fresh plates of toast and jelly.
Apparently, the house has a deck on the roof with beautiful views of downtown Boston, but for some reason John never invited us to use it and enjoy the view.
Located in South Boston, the house is close to public transportation: #9 bus stops just up the street, and the subway's Red Line was a 15-minute walk away (10 blocks). Coming back late at night, we never felt unsafe. In fact, the whole city of Boston was very safe, and we found Bostonians to be extremely warm and helpful people.
We loved Boston and enjoyed our stay at the Nolan House, and would recommend it to travelers. There is a certain charm in staying at any B&B (we certainly prefer it over chain hotel) and the Nolan House is no exception. There are a few minor details that would have taken it from “average” to “great”.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nolan House is a small non-smoking Bed & Breakfast in a privately owned circa 1860 Victorian private home. All guest rooms are clean and spacious, have TV/VCR, air conditioning and are furnished to create a warm and comfortable "home-away-from-home" atmosphere. We are extremely convenient to the Boston Convention Center, the Garden, and the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Nolan House Hotel Boston
- Nolan House Bed And Breakfast