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“A good choice for enjoying Boston”
Review of 40 Berkeley

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40 Berkeley
Ranked #12 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Boston
Reviewed October 29, 2012

After being treated badly in HI Boston (see the review for details) it was good to experience nice and friendly customer service at 40 Berkeley. This hostel is in a nice area, a good pub nearby, 7-Eleven maybe a block away, a few minutes to the subway station, a great area to have a little evening walk and see beautiful buildings.

The hostel has a huge common area and it's nice to spend time there - even I liked it even though I don't usually enjoy the common areas. The breakfast is the best hostel breakfast I have had with watermelon etc. and the room was good enough - you need to remember you are in a hostel! The wifi worked well, too. The only things why we don't give five points are the showers (low water pressure, first cold then hot) and the fact that two elevators aren't enough for this size hostel.

If going to Boston again, this is easily our choice.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Liisa_Eskelinen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 28, 2012

I spent 4 nights in 40 Berkeley in September 2012. I picked it for location and cost. At about $100 per night for a twin room in the Back Bay area of Boston, it seemed like a good pretty good price for a really good location. The location is 40 Berkeley's best feature. It's 4 blocks from Copley Square and it's $300/night hotels. You can walk to Boston Common in 10 - 15 minutes OR to the Museum of Fine Arts in less than 30 minutes. The historic, tree-lined residential streets of brick row houses provide all the charm you could want.

And, $100 per night for a twin room is pretty cheap. Breakfast included by the way.

Ultimately, though, the negatives outweighed the location and affordability for me. 40 Berkeley is LITERALLY a college dorm building circa 1960. The rooms have one built-in desk and one built-in closet (so I am assuming they were single rooms when built). The floors all have that 50's hard linoleum tile commonly found in old office buildings. The shared bathrooms are one large men's room and one large women's for the entire floor. (In the men's, three showers, three stalls, 2 urinals, three sinks.) And, the included breakfast is served in the college cafeteria on lower level.....steel steam trays with college-eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes and of course some fruit and cereals.

If I sound a little bit nostalgic about how similar 40 Berkeley was to my early 80s college dorm life, it's probably because I was mildly entertained by the similarities. I was also vividly reminded of how much dorm life and dorm food sucked. And, just like my college dorm, the bathrooms appeared to be cleaned once a day.....so by the time night rolls around, they can be pretty littered.

Three more points to make:
1 - 40 Berkeley is pretty danged big. It's 6 or 7 floors....maybe 50 rooms per floor. So, there are a lot of people there. The number of international travelers there is really noticeable.
2 -- It seemed to me and my traveling companion had a permanent resident population. Women who are probably in a public housing program. That wasn't an issue for us, but clearly everyone there was not a traveler.
3 - Some of the other amenities (the TV/movie theater, the first floor lounge areas, the free coffee and pop corn, the courtyard) were pluses.

I am typically an "all I need is a bed in a room" traveler. However, if I were to go back to Boston, I would look for a different "bed in a room" option.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank BradleyJP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

My girlfriend and I spent 6 nights in this hotel in Boston. The location is good, just a 5 minute walk from Back Bay station (on Amtrak and T) and in a nice part of town. We stayed in a basic twin room and it was fairly basic. The beds in particular were not very good and felt like we were sleeping on camp beds. It was clean enough and had a desk and closet area to store things, but felt a little cheap. That said, it is the basic twin and I gather that some of the other rooms are better (I can only review the one we had). For the price it didn't feel like desperately good value but then everywhere in Boston is expensive. The hotel itself has a good lobby/lounge area with nice sofas and was light and airy. Wifi throughout the building is always good, but it was a bit unreliable at times, but that seems quite common from a lot of the places I've stayed. Breakfast is included and is quite plentiful with eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, potatoes, toast, cereal and oatmeal. Plenty of drinks to choose from as well including tea, coffee, milk, orange, apple, cranberry. They offer an evening dinner which is reasonable price and you get quite a lot for your money. We used shared bathrooms and they were cleaned regularly and were good enough with hot showers. My overall opinion is that if you book a nicer room then you will enjoy your stay more.

Room Tip: We had the basic room and it wasn't up to much. Select something that doesn't say basic, or...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MarkSparrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We were greeted by a very friendly receptionist when we got to the hostel, which was welcomed at the late hour we arrived. The room we stayed in had a comfortable double bed, a nice view and was clean enough. The breakfast was very good and varied. The Wi-fi was good in the public areas (it did drop out once, but the staff were quick to fix it). The staff were very knowledgeable and friendly. We would recommend this hostel for all those on a budget in this beautiful city.

Room Tip: You do get a good view from the top floor!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Al C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

This is my first stay in a hostel. The rooms were clean with access to a convenient bathroom down the hall. There's a large first floor sitting area, movie room and a wonderful park like outdoor private patio.
A full breakfast in the dining area on the lower floor was included with the overnight stay.
Various events for guests are identified throughout the month. Jim took us on a memorable freedom tour. A. He obviously loves Boston and was very enthusiastic about the places that he took us. I will definitely venture back to some of those locations at a later date.
We were lucky to have beautiful fall days and I fell in love with the rich historical city of Boston. I will stay again at 40 Berkeley next time in Boston and recommend it to my friends.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank AkDoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Big hostel, decent rooms, reasonable food, laundry, pay-phones, internet/printer, lounge areas, helpful staff, 5 min walk to train and shops. If you don't mind sharing bathrooms and dated rooms it's great.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
1  Thank Matthew O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2012

The title says it all. A colleague of mine got a room at a different hotel and paid well over two times more.

The location is great. I walked home from a night out. On that same note, the staff was very helpful in giving me advice regarding where to go or eat.

The room is very, very basic. No AC, but you can open the windows, or use the ceiling fan or another little fan. No phone either. Small bed too, but I actually found it more comfortable than at some luxury hotels. Also, I saw no bugs of any sort, so I'd say it's very clean.

The downstairs lobby is nice, and has iPads with internet for you to use, if you need it.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank DSWindsor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 40 Berkeley

Address: 40 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116-6316
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Boston > South End
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Boston
Price Range: $122 - $136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — 40 Berkeley 2*
Number of rooms: 168
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Boston's historic South End within easy walking distance of Copley Square, Back Bay and downtown Boston, 40 Berkeley offers an unbeatable value for budget-minded travelers. Our 168 private guest rooms are an appealing alternative to Boston's high-priced hotel rooms. All have either a shared or private bathroom and many have spectacular views of Boston's skyline. The hotel's elegant main lobby and public spaces recall the building's storied history as the country's first YWCA. In addition to its dramatic interiors, the hotel has a lovely private patio garden where guests gather in the warmer months for socializing and impromptu events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
40 Berkeley Hotel Boston

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