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“If paying discounted rate~great hotel if not, stay somewhere else”

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InterContinental Boston
Ranked #4 of 83 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“If paying discounted rate~great hotel if not, stay somewhere else”
Reviewed June 15, 2008

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.

  • Liked — calm safe area
  • Disliked — hotel staff was not particularly gracious
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank battgirl3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2008

Booked the hotel through AA vacations using miles. Hotel in great location for our purposes, used Red Line extensively. Travelled with 13-year-old niece. Near Silver Line, concierge called Water Taxi for return to airport. Hotel was clean, bathroom is amazing. Never had time for fitness center. Concierges and hotel desk staff were pleasant and helpful. Fire station across street kept niece up the first night. Could use better bedside lighting for reading in bed, a bit dark for me.

  • Liked — Great location
  • Disliked — Lighting and firehouse noise
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Warriorjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2008

I was in town for a large conference. This was one of the closest hotels to the convention center and I was excited that I'd be able to walk over.

I didn't have the same problems with check in as some other people however the doorman did let me stuggle with the door while juggling my purse and two suitcases. Thankfully some of my coworkers and I figured out a system to get all of us through the door.

The rooms are nicely decorated and the bathrooms are great looking. However when I took one of the white towels and wiped up the water that I'd dripped on the tile floor so that I wouldn't slip and fall later the towel turned BLACK, so they had obviously not washed the floor in a while which was pretty off putting. I also didn't get a newspaper for 3/5 nights that I stayed. (I would have complained but I didn't notice that it was advertized when I booked the reservation.) The sheets were so poor that I felt like I got a free exfoliation...I'd estimate 100 thread count if they make them that low. Not having a coffee maker does make the place look cheap, I was just as shocked as the other reviewers about this. I also had the issue with the minibar charges (they AUTOMATICALLY charge you if you just BUMP the stuff in there)--however they weren't so nice about taking them off. I had to argue with them to get them taken off.

This was the kicker for me though. Since I wasn't footing the bill I wasn't too irritated with all of the other problems that I had...However on my second day there I returned to my room at 6pm that I had left at 7:15am only to find it NOT CLEANED. When I called down to tell them at the front desk that my room wasn't cleaned they didn't even aplogize. They insinuated that I was mistaken. As if I wouldn't know!! I thought that was rude. Once I convinced them that I wasn't mistaken I waited 30 min for someone to show up to clean the room. I was asked to wait outside in the hall...so there I stood looking like an idiot. The last straw for me was the next night I was left with 0 washcloths and had to call 2 times to get someone to come up with one...and then the guy showed up with a bath towel and no wash cloth. When I pointed out that I wanted a wash cloth he actually said, "What do you want me to do about it?" He did eventually come back with the wash cloth but this was now 1 hour after I first called for it. Remember this was not a call for an EXTRA wash cloth...this was to fix their mistake in the first place.

Also Miel is WAY over priced--you're better off walking to Finagle a Bagel!

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank KBMicrobio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2008

We stayed at the Intercontinental for 4 nights over the Memorial Day weekend. We booked through Hotwire in March and received an excellant rate.

Rooms were not ready when we arrived and the bell staff held our bags for us. We enjoyed a couple of cocktails in the bar - Rumba - service and drinks provided by Kevin were fantastic. Prices are high but Kevin does make a great drink!

After a short stroll to Fanueil Hall for a late lunch we were able to check in. Our party had 2 rooms on the 7th floor - ours was a corner room and the views were great from two walls of windows. Our companions room was an interior and happened to be slightly larger than ours.

The rooms are definitely gorgeous. Very plush and comfortable. The bathrooms are to die for and I could have spent the entire 4 days in there! The glassed in shower is huge and water pressure was very good and my husband soaked in the giant tub one night after a day of walking in Boston! He enjoyed that immensely! Some people have mentioned that they don't like the sliding windows between the bathroom and bedroom but it is great for TV watching if you are getting ready to go out. Bath was well stocked with lots of towels, a hair dryer and Q-tips, cotton balls, etc.

The bed was extremely comfortable and triple sheeted. If you don't sleep well here you're just not doing enough walking!

Beware the dreaded mini-bar! If you even look at it the sensors go off saying you have purchased something. We had to have charges removed from both rooms, as we were merely trying to find a place to store our own wine. Charges were removed without hassle.

The only drawback to the I/C is the fact there is no in-room coffee and a pot from room service will set you back $10 plus gratuity, service charge and administrative fee - what? What's to "administrate" about a pot of coffee? We found our own coffee about 3 blocks away, at Rudi's, just past the Boston Harbor Hotel. Apparently we were not alone as every morning someone would ask us where we got our coffee?

We did get to experience the hotel coffee on our last morning when we had breakfast at Miel. Not only was it not good...it also was not hot....and we had to continually ask our waiter for more to fill our $4 "bottomless cups". Pass on the I/C coffee and go to Rudi's!

However, breakfast at Miel was terrific. The 3-egg omelette was too large to finish. A variety of fillings are available - including shrimp and lobster. One of our party had both of these ingredients and he proclaimed it the best omelette he ever had. Breakfast for 5 was $95 plus tax - one of the higher amounts we have spent, but I must say it was worth it.

Other things to note....our room was across the street from the Boston Fire Department - we hardly knew it was there. The neighborhood is mostly high rise office buildings and condos, a couple of hotels and little more. If it wasn't for Rudi's and their coffee we would have been sunk! South Station is about 2 blocks away and the T-stop at the Aquarium is 4 - 5 blocks in the other direction. The neighborhood seems very safe and is very pretty. Gardeners worked in the park across the street all weekend getting it ready for the summer and it will be very pretty.

Staff was very nice and competent - not overly friendly, but that's OK. Our housekeeping staff was excellant - we left notes for extra towels and tipped by the day so our housekeeper was taken care of.

The hotel is currently displaying some of Anthony Quinn's artwork, which was very interesting,

Hope I haven't forgotten anything...we would definitely stay here again if the price was right....but they must do something about the coffee situation to make it perfect!

  • Liked — Beautiful room
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mollyanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2008

Great lobby, wonderful bar, lovely room. However, the room lacked the small amenities that make a hotel stay comfortable, like a simple coffee maker, and free internet access. With places like Homewood Suites and Raddisson offering free access, why do the high end chains cheap out?

The restaurant was nice for breakfast, but not worth the cost. Don't expect friendly service. Go to the Harbour Hotel next door to feel special, and spend about the same amount.

Location is great for exploring the waterfront and the North End. Don't expect to borrow an umbrella if it's raining. None to be had all day long. Another small disappointment.

Overall, the high end price is not worth the mediocre experience.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank uluru4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco,CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2008

We got a great price for the IC Boston through Hotwire and it was well worth the value! The hotel lobby, bar and restaurant are very nice. Our room was very modern and stylish with beautiful wood accents throughout. The bed was very comfy, the soaking tub was wonderful and the flat screen TV was great. And thank you to the IC Boston for NOT charging for access to the gym! We were very happy and comfortable in our accommodations.
The only negatives were charging an arm and a leg for internet access. I couldn’t believe it when I was told that after paying a large fee for internet access in my room, I would have to pay an additional and separate fee to use the wireless connection in the lobby!!! Also, something to be aware of - the hotel is in the heart of the business district. To eat at a local, neighborhood restaurant, you’ll have to take a good walk, taxi or subway. There is nothing really right outside the front door. It was not a problem for us at all, it is just something to be aware of if you have never been to Boston.

  • Liked — The beautiful room, soaking tub, roomy shower, lobby bar, good room service & food and the price we paid for it all!
  • Disliked — The fees for internet access are just outrageous.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank CALove2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
220 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2008

I recently stayed at the Intercontinental with my husband and 2-year-old. My husband was in Boston for a conference so we tagged along.

The hotel is very nice and is especially geared for business traevlers. I wouldn’t describe the hotel as necessarily family –friendly, but we knew going in that it was more of a business hotel so that was o.k. The furniture in the room was very contemporary. Everything was very clean. The bathroom is very large and has a great separate shower. The room also included a very nice marble entry. Only downside to the room was the view, or lack thereof. We looked into the offices of the next building. (see picture).

The location was great. We were only a couple of blocks from the children’s museum (highly recommended) and the Aquarium. The Boston Common, where we rode the swan boats, Fanueil Hall, and the Freedom Trail are also all within walking distance. In addition the South Station, with train and bus connections and a reasonable food court if needed, is only a couple of blocks away. The Convention Center is about a 15-20 min walk or a $7-9 cab ride.

We walked to all the restaurants as well. Barking Crab was very good and fun. Legal Sea Foods is near the Aquarium. OK, but a local chain, so that was to be expected. Ate a couple of times at the Flour Bakery & Café, which is a couple of blocks behind the Children’s Museum. We saw it on the Food Network and it ended up being great for breakfast and lunch – excellent food, reasonable prices for a simple meal.

There were three problems we came across at the hotel. All had to do with service. The first thing was that the service was slow at times. My husband grabbed dinner at the restaurant and the service was very slow. We also met someone in the lobby outside of the bar for a drink and the waitress failed to acknowledge us on several trips even though others were helped. Probably because we had a child with us, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t need a drink. The second problem was with one particular doorman, if you can call him that. Many times we would come through with a stroller, bags, etc. and he wouldn’t open the door for us. Sometimes he would say “hi,” but he would never offer assistance. Third, the concierge was very nice, but, when we asked for a child friendly recommendation for a simple restaurant the first night we were in (in need of a simple and quick meal where a potentially fussy child would not be an issue), we were sent to a higher end restaurant that looked very nice (and not child appropriate) with $40 entrees – this made no sense.

  • Liked — Location, furnishings
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hendersongal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Boston

Property: InterContinental Boston
Address: 510 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02210-2210
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Boston > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Boston
#3 Luxury Hotel in Boston
#7 Business Hotel in Boston
#7 Romantic Hotel in Boston
#7 Green Hotel in Boston
#8 Family Hotel in Boston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Boston 5*
Number of rooms: 424
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

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