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“good hotel in a good location”
Review of Kimpton Onyx Hotel

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Kimpton Onyx Hotel
Ranked #29 of 85 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed September 24, 2005

went to boston for 5 days in sept., this hotel was in a great location between beacon hill and the north end. walked everywhere. the north station T was just up the street. the staff was wonderful, the room was clean and very nicely done up. our only complaint was that the windows don't open, so it was either too stuffy or too cold from the air-conditioner, but all in all it was a very positive experience.

Thank katieinla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 12, 2005

Just returned from my first stay at the Onyx and my results were mixed.

The rooms are pathetically small but wonderfully furnished. Bed, pillows and linens were first rate and with a 10th floor room I didn't hear any street noise. The staff was quite accommodating and friendly, from the gent who parks and retrieves your car to the desk clerk. However, $32 per day to park is a bit much.

The location is terrific. Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market and the North End are both within an easy 10-minute walk and the Fleet Center is less than 2 blocks away. There's a T station close by. However, the area immediately surrounding the hotel has a fair allotment of derelicts.

Beware of the breakfast buffet. Not worth the money. However, about 4 blocks away is a charming cafe called the ETC. Cafe where you can get bagels, eggs, muffins and the usual breakfast fare.

The lobby area and Ruby Lounge are nicely furnished, the elevators are swift, pets are allowed and it is overall an attractive boutique-type hotel. I would consider staying there again but there are finer hotels in Boston.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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Thank Ruffian42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2005

I stayed at the Onyx Hotel on August 13th and was very impressed. The service was excellent - the staff was very friendly and extremely helpful. My room was small (as expected from reading other reviews) but was very nicely finished. I liked the extra touches like the CD in the room and the yoga channel and the complimentary wine for one hour in the evening. Although there wasn't much around the hotel in a one block radius, it only took 5 minutes to walk to some of Boston's main attractions. I would definitely recommend this hotel and would not hestitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2005, traveled on business
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Thank Susan_Black
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
San Francisco, CA
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
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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
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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.
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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
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:
#8 Spa Hotel in Boston
#18 Green Hotel in Boston
#21 Luxury Hotel in Boston
#29 Family Hotel in Boston
#29 Business Hotel in Boston
#31 Romantic Hotel in Boston
Price Range: $164 - $543 (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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