The Intercontinental Hotel is a new fancy hotel right on the site of the Boston Tea Party. Rooms are well decorated, clean and have a high end feel, as does the lobby, hallways, restuarants and lounges. Fancy spa area, small indoor pool, locker rooms with sauna. New fancy cardio equiptment.
Your welcome to the hotel is cordial at best. They take your car for valet (about $40/day) and they will send a bellman to help you (or at least they offered one to me because I am female AND I gave the man at the curb a tip.) We were able to roll our ownbags into the hotel. There is no doorman. Just the guy at the curb and a bellhop inside the door. You just go through a large revolving door yourself. The staff at the desk was business like and didn't make you feel like most higher end hotels. Perhaps it was that we booked through Hotwire and paid a really great rate. Perhaps they just aren't warm and fuzzy. We were well dressed and certainly looked like we belonged there, but they did confirm that I had booked through Hotwire, so they knew I didn't pay top dollar. Just a note: they didn't seem to be gushing over anybody else either, so perhaps it was just there way.
Arrived at the room through a fancy lobby with Anthony Quinn's artwork on display (interesting) and found the room very nice. All the things a high end hotel should have. There was no need to take pictures. They all look the same and the hotel is only 2 years old, so you know what you are getting. Bathroom was clean and nice, but we had to ask for extra towels and they must have figured that we only need ed them once because we had the same small number of towels the next day. The bath products were a strange brand, but on the last day they must have gotten their regular "fancy french brand" back, because we had nicer shampoo. As for linen count, I have stayed in 5 star hotels all over the world and the linens here were just fine. They were appropriate (and I am really particular) and certainly not 100 thread count as stated in an earlier review. The only bedding issue I had was that the pillows were really hard. They do have little reading lights by the side of the bed that were really great because they allow others in the room to sleep in the dark while you read!
There is no turndown service (which I thought was weird) and at times when you press the button on the phone for "any service they can help you with", they do not answer. USA Today delivered during the week but none on Saturday.
Internet is about $14/DAY and if you have more than one laptop, you are charged per IP address. Also, if you want to use your laptop in the lobby you are charged about $5/hour.
Drinks in the lobby or out on the rear patio start at about $10 each. The lobby bar gets very loud at night. There is a Sushi-teq restaurant that is tiny, but also serves drinks and sushi on the beautiful back patio overlooking the water. The area is small and if you don't get there early you just won't get seated. They take a waiting list, but people just don't seem to get up. My daughter and I tried to get seated around 7pm. They told us to come back in a half hour, so we went back up to the room. At 7:30...Still no table. We then sat in the lounge had a snack and waited. Around 9 they "DID US A FAVOR" and got us a seat. You really need to just stand around and hover or they will seat somebody else. It was expensive, the sushi was very "American", not very good if you actually eat sushi (non sushi eaters thought it was great ~ they always like potato chips and cream cheese in their sushi :)The desserts, which came from the French Bistro in the hotel were not great. I decided the high cost was paid for a really nice outdoor dining experience on a beautiful summer night.
If you want breakfast or a sandwich, room service, as anywhere, is very expensive and only OK. You can walk out the back of the hotel to the right. Walk over a tiny bridge and on the right is Finagle a Bagel and if you walk a couple blocks up on the left (I believe it was Farnsworth Street) is Flour Bakery & Cafe. They have daily specials, gorgeouscakes and the most delicious Raspberry seltzer. They make their own raspberry syrup and it is really good! Also an awesome Grilled BLT with applewood smoked bacon that is lush.
You can also walk out the front of the hotel turn right and walk about 3 blocks till you see the giant American Flag hanging down at Rowes Wharf. Just past that is a little cafe (I think it was called Rudi's, but I don't remember) where you can get coffee and pastries or eggs and eat inside or out. Reviews have noted that the staff is rude, which we were expecting, but did not experience.
We found the location of the hotel was upscale and safe feeling, but not a lot right there. You could walk about 10 minutes to Faniuel Hall where there were lots of expensive outdoor dining options, that were packed (again, you are paying for being outside in the middle of the action, which is fun sometimes)and a food court that I assume would be less costly. Food court and stores close between 8 and 9 on Friday nights.
Other than that, we took cabs, which seemed to eat up the Hotwire savings. We could have stayed in the Copely Square area near Newburry Street and walked everywhere or taken the green line T. This hotel was not on that train line and it would have meant switching trains which we just didn't have time to figure out. If you need to be in the Cambrige are for schools such as Harvard, Mit, etc. You could get a direct train from where we were.
Anyway, a cab to BU ran about $15 in each direction. We figured out if we wandered around and headed up toward Newbury it was cheaper to get a cab back to the hotel from there.
All and all it was a fabulous hotel for under $200/night in Boston, but if I was paying regular prices I would pick either a better area or a hotel with more gracious service. We will be back in August and October and we will be staying someplace else, regardless of price. It just wasn't convenient enough for us.
And don't think the service was subpar because it was Boston... None of the people working at the front representing the hotel were even from Boston.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This breathtaking, modern Boston waterfront hotel stands on the site where a late-night tea party ignited the American Revolution. Located between the financial district and the booming Fort Point Channel, find yourself at the heart of the city and take in waterfront views from Miel, Boston's first Provence-themed brasserie. An urban retreat, relax and revive with an indoor lap pool and full-service spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Boston Hotel Boston
- Boston Intercontinental