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“Staff should take a minute and think”
Review of Kimpton Onyx Hotel

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Kimpton Onyx Hotel
Ranked #34 of 83 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
58 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Staff should take a minute and think”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Shortly after our online booking was confirmed, we received a very thoughtful email from the Front Desk manager inquiring about possible special occasion, offering help with organizing our vacation, describing Boston. After communicating the scope of our visit (pre-wedding trip), surprisingly, the reply came cordially wishing us a good time and promising a "little something" on arrival. I was impressed with the initiative, thinking that it is based in the free will and creativity that comes with a boutique hotel. So, I was curious... anticipating how I will be impressed.

We booked 2 rooms (one king, one double) and this is where it got tricky. Even if the booking was made for 2+3, at check in I made sure to mention to the very friendly clerks at the Reception that we will be 5 people in total and that the double room should have 3 sets of towels. When we got to the room there were only 2. Understandable.
We went for a trip around downtown and when we returned, close to midnight, there were 2 chocolates offered at turn-down (which is still a nice touch, even if many hotels don't offer due to cost cuts), but obviously no 3rd set of towels - which had to be reminded one more time.

Then, there was a bottle of wine placed in the double bedroom. So, attempting to give the front desk a heads up, I called reminding them that the special occasion was mentioned for the king room. Which kind of makes sense. However, the lovely lady at the desk sounded like she heard for the first time about the occasion...
Not very thoughtful when in action, after all.

Even though I understand the miscommunication issues that appear in a hotel and the lack of rooms with a view in old cities, the ambiance was amazing and completed with typical American genuine hospitality applied by young, dynamic staff.

The last thing I want to mention, though, is the shower head - change it! It is old, dirty and has a very low water flow.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank acatri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnyxGM, General Manager at Kimpton Onyx Hotel, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Feedback is critical to the success of this hotel, so thank you for sharing. It makes sense to me, 3 people, 3 sets of towels. I promise it will be addressed.

Thanks again!

Joe Capalbo
General Manager
joe.capalbo@onyxhotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (231)
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Wausau, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

The Onyx has the feeling of being very tiny and intimate. The few public spaces are dramatic and comfortable. I love the usual funky Kimpton touches like the checkerboard carpet, the delicious morning coffee and the cool, refreshing flavored water in the lobby. The beds were comfy and as an "InTouch" member, I had a lovely half bottle of wine and chocolates on my nightstand when I returned to my room the first night.

The staff is wonderful here and it was nice to be within walking distance of Little Italy and some of the old cemeteries and buildings of the city.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Heidi G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnyxGM, General Manager at Kimpton Onyx Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Glad you enjoyed yourself while you stayed with us, it makes me smile! I love that you loved the coffee and the water, you've got to stay hydrated right?

Thanks for the great feedback!

Joe Capalbo
General Manager
joe.capalbo@onyxhotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

I visited the Onyx June 28-29 to celebrate my brother's birthday. A die-hard Red Sox fan and life-long New Jerseyan (seriously), we've visited Boston four times upon his request to catch a game and celebrate his birthday. Normally, we stay in Cambridge, but this time we wanted to try something different that was directly in the city. We decided on the Onyx because of its location to Faneuil Hall and the North End, in addition to the price being more reasonable compared to other hotels at its star level.

Before I booked I signed up for their free rewards program so we could get free wifi in our room, and in case we had a good experience, we would consider staying at other Kimpton hotels to earn free nights. What we loved about the Onyx was how extremely accommodating and personalized our experience was. I received several confirmation e-mails that had explicit instructions and confirmed the preferences I set. We also had the option to request upgrades like early check in or late/really late checkout for a nominal fee. The early check in was so worth the extra $25! We were able to settle in, go out and get lunch/walk around, and sneak in a catnap before going to the Sox game. It allowed us to really maximize the most of our time for such a short stay.

I also said that it was brother's birthday when I booked, simply expecting a "happy birthday" greeting when we checked in to surprise him. What we received was that and SO much more! The week prior to our arrival, I received an e-mail stating that I could e-mail a photo of a loved one or pet to make the room feel more at home. Naturally, I sent in a picture of my brother, and when he walked in the room and saw his photo blown up and framed, he cracked up. After we explored the city, we received a knock on the door, and discovered a friendly attendant who delivered some beers, waters, and peanuts along with a lovely note welcoming us to the city! Upon our arrival home late that night, we found a birthday card signed by hotel staff under our door. What a wonderful surprises! Every single time we passed through the lobby we were greeted, either asking how the game was or what our plans were, or asking my brother how his birthday weekend was going. These personal touches really exceeded our expectations.

As for the rooms, they were SPOTLESS, the beds were comfy, and the bathroom/shower was nicely sized. Yes, the rooms may be small, but we've seen smaller in Manhattan. Four adults fit comfortably...after all, you're there just there to sleep and get ready! With Faneuil Hall minutes away, the T a block away (and a 20 minute subway ride to Fenway), the TD Garden down the street, and a 10 minute walk to the North End, the Onyx will definitely be our go-to spot when we return again!

Room Tip: Higher floor was nice and quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Danielle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnyxGM, General Manager at Kimpton Onyx Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
A Sox fan in Jersey, who knew?? I am so happy you chose us for your brother's birthday weekend and I glad we played a small part in making it memorable. Thanks for the kind words and hope to see you again!

Joe Capalbo
General Manager
joe.capalbo@onyxhotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
61 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

Service here was super. Staff were friendly, competent and helpful. Our room was clean and quiet. Duvet was ever so comfy. Location is a bit away from the tourist areas, but we found that the hotel's proximity to the subway did not require us to take taxis. Great happy hour reception - the sangria spritzer after a long, hot day of sightseeing was a welcomed relief. Overall, a very nice stay and will stay again the next time we're visiting Boston!

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank AnnieS509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnyxGM, General Manager at Kimpton Onyx Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Who doesn't love a little sangria after exploring Boston on a nice hot day? I know I do! Thanks for the great review!

Joe Capalbo
General Manager
joe.capalbo@onyxhotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2013

I was at the Onyx with a small group last weekend (June 27-30). They evidently forgot we had reserved the meeting room and there was a delay. But it was fine once they removed about 21 beds from the space.

That is the reason for four stars but as an individual (and I see family in Boston often) I will be eager to go back. I had nothing but good experiences with the desk staff and also remember a long-suffering bartender who stayed on past the (early) closing bar hrs, I think on Sat night, to help us out. I also remember a really nice person, I wish I could remember his name, who brought me a teakettle.

The service is excellent. The bed is comfortable and the room is clean. My window looked out on other rooms about 4 feet away, so I kept the drapes closed.

Every single suggestion about restaurants made by the desk was good. Everytime I went to the desk, an intelligent and polite person talked to me.

I liked this hotel a lot. I didn't like the location (not near my stomping ground in the Back Bay) but I would stay again here in a heartbeat. I hope to stay again here in the Fall. I really loved it. I want my same goldfish, too (I named her "Spot").

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Annie021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnyxGM, General Manager at Kimpton Onyx Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
This explains why "Spot" is swimming around in our big fish tank with a sad look on her face. She must miss you! Thanks for the feedback and sorry about the hiccup with the meeting room, glad we resolved it quickly! We can't wait to see you in the fall, I know "Spot" will be excited to hear you are coming back!

Joe Capalbo
General Manager
joe.capalbo@onyxhotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

There's a lot to recommend the Onyx, but the hotel staff, in particular Jennifer at the front desk, were among the most helpful staff I've come across. There wasn't a curve-ball we threw (early arrival, hassle free in-out valet parking, luggage storage before and after check-in, and eating recommendations) that the hotel staff wasn't able to solve quickly and helpfully. Everything was handled quickly, well, and with a smile. The staff are, in a word, awesome. The hotel has a boutique, modern feel and while other reviewers claim the rooms might feel small, I found them to be perfect: the room (facing the back from the 9th floor) was very quiet, the bathroom was large and extremely clean, the bed and linens were extremely comfortable, ample work space at the desk, 24 hour room service, 4+ star experience. My only complaint is that the water pressure in our bathroom wasn't great, but I'm nitpicking here. The in/out parking valet service was flawless (we never waited more than 5 mins for the car), and though it felt expensive ($45) I didn't have the time (or inclination) to navigate Boston's somewhat confusing resident-permit parking rules, and the parking lots nearby were not cheap and not as convenient.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank voldenuit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnyxGM, General Manager at Kimpton Onyx Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Curveball, fastball, screwball...we hit them all! Thanks for a great review and such positive feedback! Hope to see you again!

Joe Capalbo
General Manager
joe.capalbo@onyxhotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
110 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

I stayed at this hotel as part of a group of 50 teachers, two to a room, for 5 nights, and I was very pleased with my stay. Comfortable, modern, clean and quiet with a very helpful staff. Near the TD Garden, a short walk to North End or Faneuil Hall, with subway lines in walking distance at the Garden or the Haymarket, so you have access to pretty much the whole metro system. Only complaint would be about the water -- not much water pressure in the shower and the bath sink had trouble giving you cold water once you'd been using hot, though staff installed a new faucet when I said there was a problem, so no complaints here. Of course, I have to say, I didn't have to pay for my own room, because I was on a grant funded trip, so you'll have to decide on value.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank misterfisher2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnyxGM, General Manager at Kimpton Onyx Hotel, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
We already miss you group, what a fun bunch! Thanks for the great feedback!

Joe Capalbo
General Manager
joe.capalbo@onyxhotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kimpton Onyx Hotel

Property: Kimpton Onyx Hotel
Address: 155 Portland St, Boston, MA 02114-1702
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Boston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in Boston
#18 Green Hotel in Boston
#25 Luxury Hotel in Boston
#29 Business Hotel in Boston
#31 Romantic Hotel in Boston
#34 Family Hotel in Boston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Onyx Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kimpton Onyx Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel in historic downtown Boston, offers exceptional service in stylish surroundings. This gem of a hotel is situated on a charming side street within walking distance of the Boston TD Garden (Fleet Center), Bunker Hill, the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall and North Station. The notable neighborhood is harmoniously met with the old-world hospitality of this Kimpton Hotel. The mesmerizing Ruby Room lounge adds to the bejeweled ambiance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Onyx Hotel Kimpton

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