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“Fairmont Copley Plaza - High Class with Room for Improvement.”

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Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston
Ranked #19 of 84 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Came back from a weekend at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. We stayed from 8/17/12 to 8/19/12. We booked there because we were in for the Springsteen concert at Foxboro and hoped that they would have a special train running on the T-Line to Foxboro as they do for Patriots games but they didn't. (More about Foxboro at the bottom of the review).

I rated this hotel average (I would actually say it is above average to good). The reason I did this is I am basing it on the type of hotel it is. For a 4* hotel I expect everything to be excellent to outstanding - Location, amenities, rooms, and service. This hotel falls short of that in the rooms and service area (and according to my friends amenities because they thought there would be a pool and a hot tub like at the Fairmonts). Also, we got a great rate through a corporate discount. If we were paying full price that is where the average comes in. At the rate I was paying I would say it was between good and very good. Below I break down the various areas and grade the hotel (A-F):

Location (A): The location of the hotel is fantastic. So easy to get to when you are entering Boston. A couple of blocks the exit into town. It is also very close to the shops Newbury Street, Cheers, and Boston Commons. Not so close to Faneuil Hall - a 20 to 25 minute walk. But hey it physically can't be near everything.

Lobby (A+) - The hotel lobby it is gorgeous. Best way to describe it is high class opulence . It is incredible and makes you think you are in for a ride when you are staying here.

Service (B-) - Service is inconsistent. It depends on who you get. I've stayed at the Ritz in Puerto Rico and New Orleans and there is a hotel with service. They can't do enough for you. While I don't expect the Fairmont to be exactly at that level I expect it to be close considering the price and hotel star level. When we pulled up in the car the valet who first checked us in said he was a bit stressed and said everyone was checking in at the same time. I wouldn't call the time we checked in high volume. .I would say there were about 4 other rooms arriving around that time minute. (I've been to hotels when about 10 or 20 rooms arrive at once). So it took him a bit to get to us. But he wasn't discourteous. Just for a 4 star hotel he should have been able to handle it better or there should have been enough other valets to help out. Also, he should have not let us known he was so "stressed". The bellman who took our suitcases was extremely friendly, courteous, and not at all a snob. (Sometimes at these hotels they can be snobby so I like that). When we checked into our room I asked for a good room (we had the deluxe room rate) that wasn't noisy as I read on tripadvisor some of the rooms can be noisy. The guy took a while and ended up giving us a room on the 2nd floor. Now we arrived earlyish - around 2pm not high volume time and after check out. So when I first heard it was the 2nd floor I thought to myself that it was weird to ask for a nice room and get a low floor. But I didn't say anything. But when we got upstairs the room was right opposite the elevator. Now that's noisy. So we went back down and asked for a different room. They didn't have another one ready yet. (That's weird at 2pm on a Friday in the summer). So we went out for a walk and it took about 2 1/2 hours before a room came available. I'm mentioning this because the next day when we went to brunch for over two hours and came back to the room the room was not cleaned. And we made sure we did not have the Do Not Disturb sign on. We got back around 2pm. As far as I am concerned that is not acceptable at a 4* hotel. They don't seem to have enough staff. The concierge John at the desk was excellent and really helpful. He helped us so much with how to find transportation to the Springsteen show. He was great. We ate at the restaurant on Sunday for brunch. The hostess was very nice and so was our server but then she was extremely slow. We had told her we were in a bit of a rush. I saw her in the kitchen standing and chatting for awhile. Eventually, I had to walk into the kitchen entrance and ask for the check. Special mention about Catie the Ambassador Canine. I give her an A+ on greeting and making guest feel comfortable. (Any hotel that has a dog as there ambassador is good in my book).

Rooms (C+) - I am rating the rooms a C+ because the first room we were given (see above in service) was not as nice as the second room and neither were at a level I think it should be at a 4* hotel. While the room was a decent size because it was a deluxe and not a standard, it was not well designed and also could use a face lift. Some examples about design and functionality. Bathroom: Light switch is outside bathroom rather than inside. So you need to wake up everyone in the room by turning on the light and then opening the door. Sink and vanity inside bathroom rather than outside. Many hotels I have stayed at have a sink in bathroom and also a sink and vanity and mirror outside bathroom so you can get ready while someone else is showering etc. Not a lot of Mirrors and not in the best part. There was a mirror by the closet right by where you first enter the room which is a dark area hard to explain. You had to open the closet door. Don't know why they can't put a full length mirror on a wall near a light in the room. Beds were unbelievably comfortable and room temperature/theromstat worked well. Had good A/C. Still not an incredible room though.

Amenities (B): I don't care too much about amenities. As long as there is a good hotel bar, I'm good to go. But my friends were hoping for pool and hot tub. There was neither. I think there may have been a spa. The bar was also in the restaurant. I thought it was very nice. Also, the food looked great. We never had snacks or dinner there but did have breakfast as mentioned above. I got this flatbread that had egg whites and cheese (I substituted cheddar for goat cheese). It was out of this world but pricey - although not ridiculous for a 4* hotel restaurant. The snacks also didn't seem that pricey and the bar drinks were not outrageous. We had wonderful Watermelon Margaritas. They were $11.00. In NYC, they would have been at least $16 but at a hotel like that probably over $20. Also, the Kennedy wedding was there so the food and amenities must be good. (We met Talyor Swift and Chris Kennedy outside the hotel when we were waiting for a car - see more below under Foxboro).

Other notes:

Special mention about the Fairmont's pet policy. Not only do they have Catie the lab as their ambassador who greets you in the lobby but they are a pet friendly hotel. IMO, all hotels should be like this.

Regarding Foxboro. Foxboro is a real pain in the neck to get to and pain in the neck to park. Originally, we were going to drive and we heard that to park your car there it costs $40.00 and that doesn't even necessarily get you in the lot right by the stadium. Also the traffic getting in out of there is ridiculous. It takes about 2 hours after a show. So since there was no t-train, and other feasible modes of public transportation (no special buses to-from stadium except for one coach the concierge told us about that some guy tried to put together but by the time we heard it was sold out and also the regional rail option was not direct and did not run late and was not nearby). So we opted for a car. We ended up finding a car service who was supposed to come at 4:45 the day of the show. The driver called a few times and said she was lost. So finally at 5:30 I hailed a cab at the hotel which ended up being cheaper and easier than the car service. If you are thinking of seeing any event in Boston I would reconsider. The only event worth dealing with that pain, aggravation, and expense is a Springsteen show. And boy did he play great that night because before he came out I said I would never go back to Foxboro again. (For him, I might reconsider).

BTW, had the car service not been late we would have never met Taylor Swift. She drove a mercedes SUV and had her boyfriend Connor Kennedy in the passenger seat. He first went inside the hotel and she waited outside. I asked if I could take a picture of her as my friends kids love her, and we also like her She was super nice and down to earth and suggested that we all get in the picture with her and her body guard took it. That is why we were surprised about the whole scandal that came out on the tabloid shows saying she crashed the wedding. It seemed they were led into the hotel and that there were no issues that they weren't supposed to be there. I would be very circumspect about what Kathy Lee Gifford says especially after our meeting with Taylor. Also Chris Kennedy who I took a picture of was entering the hotel at the same time Connor Kennedy was checking in so....

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank amysreviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jennifer Z, Internet Marketing Coordinator at Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2012

Hello, and thank you for sharing your feedback with us, Amy. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed our central location and I look forward to sharing your high praise of our Concierge, Joe Fallon – as well as Canine Ambassador, Catie Copley! I also appreciate your comments regarding your guestroom experience, though I am sorry to hear that you did not find either room to be satisfactory. I have shared your post with our Director of Rooms, as your comments could represent a valuable training opportunity for our Housekeeping colleagues. Thank you, again, for your thorough feedback!

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2,418 - 2,424 of 3,259 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2012

A fabulous hotel, great location, nice size rooms especially for a hotel celebrating their 100th Birthday!! The Grand Dame of Boston by far! Excellent staff and service!! Another beautiful Fairmont property thank you for yet another wonderful stay!!!

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank Jules72756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

My son had two surgeries in Boston this summer. We stayed at The Fairmont Copley for three days around each surgery. During both visits we felt that the staff truly went the extra mile to make sure that my son was comfortable and to provide whatever assistance they could. This was a very stressful time for us, so I was very appreciative of the courtesy and helpfulness on everyone's part. Before the surgeries, I asked for help afterward with a wheelchair and with getting my son out of the car and up to the room. It was wonderful to be fully confident that the help would be there when we got back from the hospital. While I hope that we don't have to visit the Fairmont Copley for the same reasons, I do look forward to visiting them again soon.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jody W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jennifer Z, Internet Marketing Coordinator at Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2012

Hi Jody, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. Though we, too, wish that we had welcomed you under better circumstances, I am so happy to hear that our colleagues made your stay this summer as pleasant as possible. Our warmest regards to you, your son, and the rest of your family. Thank you again for your kind words, and we look forward to welcoming you back again as well!

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Reviewed August 24, 2012

I am in the travel industry and have stayed in numerous luxury hotels. This was no different, it was a fantastic stay. As I checked in the front desk agent was explaining the layout of the hotel for me and as he got to the gym, I stated that I forgot my workout clothes which he then said to me that is not a problem. They have a Fairmont Fit program which they loan you a full set of workout clothes including sneakers. The room was beautiful and redone, the location is prime and right across Copley Square and Boylston. Could not have asked for better.

Room Tip: Request high floor
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Ronit N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Firstly the good......
We travelled to Boston by train and the hotel is a very short walk from Back Bay station. It is also very well positioned for the T subway, Newbury St, the upscale Copley mall etc. Our room had a lovely view over Copley Square.
The hotel has been renovated and we took a room on the Gold Floor so that you get breakfast and cocktail snacks and a lounge included. It was very nice but not as good as the Executive Lounge at the N Y Palace for example.
The rooms have been very well remodelled - lovely beds, smart carpet and even a fireplace, but WHY OH WHY did they leave the old and antiquated air conditioning with the ugly grills and noisy workings in the rooms. It is impossible to sleep with it on and devalues the room.
The bathroom is small and no hand shower for the shower/bath configuration. Nice toiletries.
The closet - and old fashioned cupboard had hanging and no drawer space. The paint job was shabby with door frames and fireplace showing congealed paint drips.
It's a great shame they didn't take the remodelling one or two steps further and make it fabulous.
As others have said it is very NYC Plaza like - and has real old world charm and the lobby and areas are beautiful.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank gablegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

Had the best July 4th ever in Boston at the Copley. The hotel is in the process of renovating but that didn't interrupt our stay one bit. When we checked in we were asked if we would like a tour. Spending just one night and having several things on our to do list I wasn't sure we should take time out for a tour. It turned out to be one of the highlights of our stay. The gentleman that gave us the tour was amazing. He was very knowledgable about the history of this hotel and the Fairmont Hotel in general. Don't usually enjoy tours but this one was awesome.
Our room was very clean and newly decorated. The staff was very pleasant and helpful with directions. Wish we had stayed for more than one night.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Patty O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jennifer Z, Internet Marketing Coordinator at Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2012

Hello, and thank you for your comments, Patty. I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay – so much so that you wanted to stay an extra night! As you surely learned during your free hotel history tour, The Fairmont Copley Plaza is a Boston landmark with a storied past and exciting future. Since you visited us in early July, we’ve completed our renovation and restoration project, which included the redesign of all 383 guestrooms and suites, the addition of a contemporary, rooftop health club, and the debut of a new restaurant, OAK Long Bar + Kitchen. I do hope you’ll stay with us again soon, to experience these fabulous changes in person! Thank you again.

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Reviewed August 21, 2012

We stayed two nights last week. They just finished remodeling the hotel mid-July, so it looks amazing. Our room was small, but really nice. Great bed. Only complaint was the loud air conditioning unit, which because of the age of the hotel, is located in the closet. It was hard to sleep. But, the hotel is so beautiful, it was worth it.

The newly created Long Oak Bar was fantastic. We ate at the bar two nights. Anthony and Luis were fantastic bartenders.

The entire hotel staff could not have been nicer.

The hotel is half a block from the subway station, so it's a perfect location to get around Boston.

This hotel reminds me of The Plaza in New York, and is just as elegant.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank LarryLosAngeles2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

Address: 138 St James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116-5002
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Boston > Back Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Family Hotel in Boston
#12 Romantic Hotel in Boston
#13 Green Hotel in Boston
#14 Luxury Hotel in Boston
#15 Business Hotel in Boston
Price Range: $192 - $680 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston 4.5*
Number of rooms: 383
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This luxury downtown Boston landmark hotel has been a symbol of the city's rich history and elegance since its gala opening in 1912. Centrally located in Boston's historic Back Bay, Fairmont Copley Plaza sits steps away from the Boston Public Library, historic Beacon Hill, the Freedom Trail, and Newbury Street. Our Boston hotel offers 383 lavish guest rooms, including 17 elegant suites. Every room has a modern look, while keeping the downtown hotel's rich history and Back Bay location in mind. In addition to 24-hour daily in-room dining service, we are home to one of the hottest drinking and dining destinations in the city, OAK Long Bar + Kitchen ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston Hotel Boston
Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston
Fairmont Boston
Boston Fairmont

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