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“Chic hotel, but poor service”
Review of Kimpton Onyx Hotel

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Kimpton Onyx Hotel
Ranked #31 of 84 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
A TripAdvisor Member
San Francisco, CA
13
Reviewed August 17, 2005

Although I found my room to be clean, comfy and extremely attractive (if a bit small - I barely had room to walk around my king bed), my overall experience was marred by poor customer service. Some examples:

* upon check-in, I inquired about high-speed internet service and was told that an ethernet bridge was recommended for the connection I needed, and that one would be brought up to my room right away. I waited an hour and 15 minutes, and not another word about it. I then called and it became apparent that someone had forgotten, so I requested it a second time and I eventually did receive the ethernet bridge.

* myroom came without (1) a room service menu, and (2) a "do not disturb" sign. After pointing this out when I attempted to order room service, I was told that they didn't have any more room service menus....which seems odd to me. I was told that they'd deliver a "do not disturb" sign.....which they did, finally, on the fourth day of my five-day stay and after multiple requests (a few times I had to deal with housekeeping bursting in the room while I was showering or getting dressed).

*Voice mail in the room didn't work. On several occasions, colleages left me messages but the message light didn't go on until the next day, for some unknown reason. Some messages that were left by a co-worker in an adjoining room never came through at all. Thank goodness for cell phones, or else I would be unreachable. I reported this issue as well, but it was never fixed. Only the message light on one of the two phones in room worked at all.

*several times, I had people call me to tell me that they had to make several attempts to reach me in the room (either they were transferred to the wrong room or a different department of the hotel).

*on the day that I was to check out, I learned that I needed to stay an extra day for the meeting I was attending. I confirmed via the hotel's website on my laptop that rooms were available at the same rate that I was paying, so I called downstairs to ask to stay an extra day. The individual I was connected to told me rather brusquely that it wasn't possible to extend my stay as the hotel was "fully booked." I then pointed out to him that I had actually just checked online, and there appeared to be rooms available, and if it was easier I would just book the room online He then quickly responded with, well, um, okay I just checked with my supervisor and we can accommodate you. I actually laughed out loud.....his response took about two seconds, and clearly he hadn't checked with his "supervisor." All I can figure is that he told me the hotel was full because I was receiving a discounted rate.....in any event, it was really rude, and laughable, when he then tried to cover his you-know-what by pretending to ask a supervisor about availability. I would think that the hotel would be trying to accommodate its guests, not brushing them off.

*during one of the nights of my stay, a weeknight, I was forced to deal with what sounded like a live band in a nearby bar, going on full blast until well after 1m. Not the sort of thing you want to deal with if you are traveling on business and you need to wake early. I don't fault the fact that there are bars nearby, but I was suprised that my room was SO poorly insulated that it truly sounded like there was a live band right inside my room. Ugh! .

*upon checking out, I informed the front desk that a bunch of the calls charged to my phone lacked complete information, i.e., the entire phone number wasn't listed, for some reason. In some places, it just listed the area code, so I had no idea if they were business or personal (makes a difference when you get reiumbursed for one but not the other). I was told that some research would have to be done (?), and that someone would get back to me, so I left my phone number with them since it was clear that they wouldn't be able to figure it out before I left town. After that< i never heard back from them; I had to call them myself about 3-4 times over the course of several weeks just to get someone to clarify my bill. In the end, they weren't able to track down the phone numbers.

*Like others have mentioned, I too experienced trying to get someone to help me at the front desk, and the front desk staff seemed to be more interested in talking with eachother than paying attention to whether guests needed help.

*Not very knowledgable with respect to recommending restaurants and the like.....the best they could come up with was a chain restaurant (Legal Seafoods, which had its best years in the 80s and is overpriced and mostly geared toward tourists).

*I wrote a letter to Kimpton describing some of these experiences, and other annoyances during my stay, and never got even an acknowledgment.

Bottom line: the good - nicely decorated rooms, upscale furnishings, nice touches like robe/slippers and high-end beauty products, convenient location; the bad - multiple technical difficulties, staff that can be rude and unhelpful, noise may be an issue depending upon the location of your room (?); expect to do your own research regarding things to see/do/places to eat (check out the Globe or Boston Phoenix).

  • Stayed: November 2004, traveled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,270 - 1,276 of 1,427 reviews

Reviewed August 8, 2005

The hotel is in a great spot has a great look to it the lobby and the Ruby Room are very nice. The room is decorated very modern styles with a nice flair about them. Typical Kimpton Hotel which is why we choose to stay there. But the room is very small 2 adults and we felt cramped. With the wife ironing and me showering and getting ready was a challenge. The shower water pressure is poor and avoid the $13.00 each all you can eat breakfast. The hot food was dry and the bagels and cereal are just not worth it. Parking was $32.00 a day which is typical for a downtown hotel, but I found cheaper parking myself and walking one short block. Ruby room at night is very nice. Nice Martini specials. But when all is done and said we have stayed at better rooms for this price it was not worth it.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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1  Thank chifinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2005

We stayed 4 nights at the Onyx, it is located within a 10 minute walking distance from Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, -- a good location to some attractions except it is smack in the middle of Government Center, a very gritty area. The entrance is very understated and we would have passed right by it, if we hadn't looked up to see the banners high up on building. The valet whisked away our car and check in was very quick. The room was contemporary design and a nice change to your typical hotel decor, however very cramped and the carpet really dirty. It is not a hotel for families--especially since there are no amenities. The hotel did not have any tourist pamphlets or information to help visitors with their stay. I think the valets and front desk staff should be better prepared to answer questions about area restaurants and attractions...when we would ask directions they really didn't seem to know too much about Boston. We came back to our room after being out all day and the room was not yet made up, it was 3:30, we had to call for some towels which the room staff promptly brought up. I am sure it was just an oversight. If I had to sum up the stay at the Onyx, I would say the rooms are too small and the service needs improvement. We found a deal through a travel website for this Hotel for $159US which I think was appropriately priced.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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2  Thank TanyaOttawa_Ontario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2005

The Hotel Onyx is a charm. A new boutique hotel little more than a year old, it has all the charm and excellent service you would expect from a Kimpton Group hotel. The service was excellent -- my wife was having a headache and the concierge readily provided aspirin. Our room was tastefully decorated.

The only potential drawback -- the neighborhood surrounding the Onyx is a tad gritty. You are very close to the Fleet Center and the North Station terminal hub -- great for easy access to the T system and the Green Line. That said, this is a neighborhood still on the rise -- and you will not be in the middle of historic Boston. We had no problems, but just don't expect to be walking distance from Newbury Street or other shops/restaurants. That said, you are walking distance from the North End neighborhood.

A strong thumbs-up ....

Thank JofiJoseph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
San Francisco
13
Reviewed July 24, 2005

My travel agent recommended this hotel when it first opened with the caveat that this is a "new" hotel. I should have known better that this meant that the property will be nice but should not expect quality service. The location was very convenient. The hotel was within walking distance of North End, Mass General and the train station. The rooms were small but comfortable. The large bed did not leave any space in the room but the plush bathrobe and the stylish furniture were worth giving up some space. The service was another matter. I had to wait about 15 minutes at the front desk when I checked in because the staff were too busy chatting with each other (frequent occurance). The front desk staff lost a fax that I received. I was disappointed that no one at the front desk could give me any suggestions for a place to go for breakfast other than to eat at the hotel. (Fortunately, the hotel driver was very helpful and gave me a lift to a pretty good diner.) Most disappointing was the staff''s response when I her that I got violently ill after eating an appetizer from the hotel restaurant. I got in late on my last night and was tired but hungry. I was told that I could order food from the restaurant and eat it in my room. I ordered the asparagus spring rolls which were highly recommended. I ate it and got really sick. I mentioned what happened to the person at the front desk at check out early next morning. Absolutely no apology. All I was told was "that's weird, perhaps I should let the restaurant know." I asked to speak to the manager but was told that it was too early in the morning. On top of that, I was charged for the food that made me violently ill. I hope that the lack of experience of the staff will improve since this is the only decent hotel in this part of town. I probably will go back there again, but not for another few years to give the staff some time to learn how provide service on par with the quality of this property.

  • Stayed: June 2004, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2005

My daughter who is studying with the Boston Ballet this summer and I decided to arrive a few days ahead of schedule to acclimate to the East Coast time. We chose the Onyx Hotel as I have stayed in other boutique hotels by Kimpton before and prefer the intimacy of a small hotel. The Onyx was fantastic. We arrived at 6:00 am from a red eye flight from LA and they immediately accomodated us for early check in. The hotel is also conveniently right around the corner from the North Station as well as walking distance to many popular areas in and around Boston. The hotel offers a nice breakfast buffet in the lobby. The front desk was extremely informative in giving directions as well as what "T" line to take. Room service was prompt, and the maid even left my daughter a handwritten note thanking her for her note saying she liked the hotel. My only complaint was the reving of cars at 1:00 am in the morning on the weekend which woke me up. There are apparently some rowdy sports bars right around the corner. Other than that, I highly recommend the ONYX!

  • Stayed: June 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Balconylove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2005

The Onyx has an ideal location, friendly staff and very clean and new rooms. The only complaint is that the beds are too small. (comfortable- but small) We stayed for 5 nights and walked everywhere and were centrally located to all of what Boston has to offer. Special features of the hotel were: Car service, coffee and 5:00 cocktails nightly, and special attention from the staff! We would definately come back to the Onyx!!!

  • Stayed: July 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Danielle F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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
#23 Luxury Hotel in Boston
#29 Business Hotel in Boston
#31 Romantic Hotel in Boston
#34 Family Hotel in Boston
Price Range: $174 - $600 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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