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“Beware the construction”

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InterContinental Boston
Ranked #3 of 83 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
South Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Beware the construction”
Reviewed August 5, 2008

On arrival the pull up area in front of the hotel was blocked by 3 limos so to get off the road we went into the parking garage where we had such a long wait for a bellman that I went in search of a trolley to move our luggage myself only to end up in a battle with the manager as they would not let me use a trolley myself as it was against hotel policy? But not against their policy to keep clients waiting!

After getting a reasonable rate from hotwire we were disappointed to be overlooking a construction site which on the first day was ok as it was a Sunday but Monday the crew started arriving at 0700 and were in full swing boring holes by 0730 and worked until 1900.

Also on a minus note was the doorman who when asked how long it would take to walk to a landmark replied "Depends how fast you walk", really useful!!

On a positive note the concierge were very helpful with our enquiry about whale watching trips, which I strongly recommend going on.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Roadtrip66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Alberta
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2008

This hotel is exactly what I would expect for a higher end chain in terms of cleanliness, service, decor, etc. A few negatives and positives stood out though.

POSTITIVES
The conierge was great. I really liked the email ahead option to help us plan our trip. They found us tix for a Yankees vs Red Sox game at Fenway. They booked us a car for a day. They provided us with tickets for sightseeing tours.

The Rumba bar was a hip and happening place, unusual for a hotel bar. Lots of locals as well as hotel guests. A fun place to start of end a night.

The food in Miel was great, especially the Sunday brunch. Being open 24hrs was a bonus too.

Bed was comfortable. Linens awere nice enough.


COULD HAVE BEEN NEGATIVE, BUT HAD HAPPY ENDING
We were unhappy with our first room and a request to move was accommodated. We started in a room that was facing a wall of plastic covering a construction project. We were worried about the noise in the early morning and asked to be moved. We got some push back from the front desk initially, but they relented and moved us in the end. We ended up in a room on the 11th floor facing the city (the fire hall). This was fine. It was a corner room so lots of windows and natural light and neighbours only on one side.

We were able to check in at 10am. Although, I would not have expected anything less because we had actually paid for the previous night and were unable to use it due to a missed flight connection. When we asked to move rooms we were told we would not be able to check in until 3pm and that there would be no guarantee. It took some time to explain that we should be able to stay in our current room and move later because we had technically already paid for the night, even if we didn't arrive until the morning. All I wanted was to freshen up after more than 24hrs of travel then head out sightseeing. In the end this was accommodated. However, the process to get there was a bit painful.

NEGATIVES
The service in Miel, the restaurant, was TERRIBLE. At brunch we were greeted by a waiter who explained the brunch menu to us and then actually said he wasn't our waiter and walked away. As he did this I was in the middle of asking for a drink and he turned and said he supposed he could do that for us even though he wasn't our waiter. Then somehow he became our waiter, but basically ignored us. I eventually got up and asked the hostess to either get us a waiter who wished to wait on us or to move us to another waiter's section. We got the same waiter, but he was obviously told to smarten up. The service improved, but still wasn't great. However, it should be noted that the crepes (both sweet and savoury) were fantastic.

We ate at Miel late at night (just past midnight) one evening. Again, the food was fantastic. The service was slow and frankly painful to watch. The restuarant had about 5 occupied tables and two servers. Between then they couldn't determine who was doing what and as a result we waited for bread, for drinks, for everything really. The food preparation was slow for such an empty restuarant. Surely they would realize that what people want at that time of night is a quick bite, not a lingering meal.

During both instances in Miel we noted that the wait staff dragged their feet (literally shuffled around), spoke at a barely audible level, and seemed annoyed to be asked to do anything for you.

The business centre is a corner of the convenience store and the hours are not clearly marked. The computers face out so all the customers can see what you are doing.

The room didn't have a hotel information book so it was hard to determine what the amenities were and what the various hours and costs for certain amenities were. When I asked the front desk told me that they don't put these books in rooms. This was frustrating as I had to look everything up on the TV and it was slow.

The bell hops and door staff were great until check out day when we actually had to step onto the road and hail our own cab.

The sliding frosted glass windows that link the bathroom to the bedroom were a terrible design flaw. Fine if you are in the room alone, but with a partner to meant that all activity in the bathroom was easily heard by the person in the bedroom. There is a gaping hole at the bottom of the sliding windows so any bathroom odour leaks into the bedroom. Also, when you get up in the night (or are the first to wake in the morning) and turn the bathroom light on it completely illuminates the bedroom and disturbs your partner.

FINAL THOUGHTS
All in all we enjoyed our stay. There were a few elements that could have been imporved.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank LuxuryPreferred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
2 reviews
Reviewed July 31, 2008

We stayed at the Boston InterContinental last August/September and all that we can say is WOW! It was a wonderful place. The staff were so attentive, the rooms clean and tidy with the most fabulous bathroom and view. This place really made our stay and is probably the BEST hotel that we have ever stayed in.

We would highly recommend it.

  • Liked — The wonderful staff, accomodation, service ... EVERYTHING
  • Disliked — NOTHING it was wonderful
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank daisydreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ENGLAND
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2008

I was travelling on my own so concerned to have a comfortable and safe hotel and didn't want to be in a busy downtown area.

The Boston Intercontinental exceeded my expectations, the room was one of the best I have stayed in, very comfortable, the bathroom was superb and the room was always very clean.

I was expecting the hotel to be away from the centre as it was one of the reasons for booking this particular hotel, but was pleasantly surprised how well located the hotel is - just a couple of minutes walk to a main station (for transport all over the city) five minutes walk to the main harbour area (for boat trips etc) and a short walk to the main tourist attractions.

The food in the restaurant was excellent quality.

If I had to make a criticism it would be the reception staff who did not appear to be very friendly, but as I only encountered them on check-in & check-out wasn't really a problem, other staff around the hotel were friendly, ie housekeeping, room service & restaurant staff.

  • Liked — Very comfortable rooms, well appointed hotel
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JAC22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, NJ
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2008

The rooms are well done...they are nice and well appointed without being silly and overly stylized. The bathroom was a very good size and my wife was impressed with the large tub. The room was cleaned every day without issue. We could not be more pleased with the room.

I was also surprised at how good the location was. I haven't been to Boston in a couple of years, so I didn't realize how walkable that area is now. South Station is just a couple blocks away and Fannuel Hall is just a short hike in the opposite direction. Haymarket, North Station, the North End are all easily accessable on foot.

The bar was sort of a strange scene...kind of a forced-faux-trendy thing that honestly looked like it belonged in Orlando more than Boston. We ordered food off of the late-night menu and were genuinely impressed. The service, however, was adequate, but not actually good. (Our server clearly had somewhere else to be.)

Reception was definitely just ok...as was the Bellman. We also had a weird exchange with the Doorman who told us he could get a cab to take us to the Airport for $25...I flagged my own cab and it cost $17...weird.

The hotel itself was pretty perfect. We got a great price, and were pretty pleased all around. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Liked — Cleanliness and room quality.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CobraKai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
douglasville georgia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2008

We stayed at the Boston Intercontinental on a Monday night in July. We have stayed at the IC in Atlanta and I like the IC properties. The IC in Boston is just gorgeous! Gleaming modern décor, two incredibly hip hotel bars (RUMBA and SUSHI TEC) and rooms that are really gorgeous. If you want young, hip, and modern this is your place. I enjoyed the bar scene there so much I ended up going back with a friend the next night even though we had moved to a different hotel for a business conference. The rooms are spacious and have some very nice amenities such as small reading lights on the bed and a door that slides open to the tub. We paid extra for the club level. Note if you stay at any IC property they always offer you an upgrade club level at check in for just a bit more money. Sometimes, as in our case, the front desk folks forget to offer the upgrade. We reminded them as we checked in and got the upgrade for only $50 more. I feel the club level is worth a bit extra as it entitles you to drinks, hot appetizers at night, bottled water, juice etc and a fairly large breakfast. In fact, at both the IC’s we have stayed in the breakfast buffet included in the club lounge is exactly the same as the one in their main restaurant.

I do have some minor gripes about the Boston IC. When we arrived no doorman was there to help us with our baggage. We found that the service across the board was friendly but young, slow and inexperienced. For example, I ordered an expensive bottle of champagne while I sat in the outdoor patio area which is clearly set up as part of their bar. The waiter was very nice but young. He didn’t know the price when I asked, he took at least 40 minutes to bring out my champagne and complained that he was the only waiter working this large area. The concierge in the evening at the club level couldn’t even recommend a good Italian restaurant when asked…Hello? What exactly does a concierge at the club level do if they can’t even answer a basic question like that?!? If you are trying for a world class hotel that caters to top executives and business travelers, they are going to expect veteran service by well informed and trained staff. The Boston IC is really lagging in that department. We did not get nightly turn down service as we normally do in the Atlanta property, our room had some minor issues (lights burned out, phone not working) that further made me feel service was not what it needs to be. If the IC Boston gets their service up to par they will have a really great hotel on their hands…If you are someone who likes a lively lobby bar screw the service issues this place is a blast!

  • Liked — The big spa gym and hot bar scene
  • Disliked — lack of good service
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank afrutoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2008

The rooms at the Intercontinental Boston Hotel are on a par with the best luxury class hotel rooms, such as Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton. The only thing this hotel lacks is the level/quality of service and attention to the "little things".

The rooms are fantastic. Spacious, well designed and very comfortable. The bathrooms are even better. Great tub and a separate shower; both with great fixtures. The sliding window between the bath and room is an innovative design that we enjoyed. But here is an example of a "little thing" that separates the great hotels from the very good. The IC linens are a 60/40 cotton/poly blend. Why not spend a few extra bucks on fine quality 100% cotton sheets?

Other reviewers have made points about there not being a coffee maker in the room. I can live with that....Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons don't have coffee makers in their rooms either. I was glad to find complimentary coffee available in the lobby on Saturday (between 5:00 am and 7:00 am). However, when I went down on Sunday morning, I was told "we don't put the coffee out on Sunday". Why not? Another "little thing" that separates the great from the very good.

Some other pros and cons.

Pro: Nice outdoor area on Boston Harbor with an outdoor restaurant and benches for relaxing. Con: Music from outdoor restaurant was annoyingly loud.

Pro: Great Location: Close to South Station MBTA, easy walk to North End.

Con: $39 overnight parking. Tip: If you are there on a weekend and don't need your car, skip parking at the hotel. Drive cater-corner to the hotel to International Place. $9.00/day covered parking on the weekend and after 4:30 on Friday.

Con: Most (not all) of the front desk and just about everyone else we encountered were not overly friendly. Not rude, but certainly not warm. Just sort of disinterested.

Bottom Line: We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at our Priceline rate. Had I paid rack rate, I might not feel the same way.

  • Liked — Spacious, well designed room and bathroom.
  • Disliked — Linens were not high quality and the staff's attitudes in not 5-star.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank rlbintegrity
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:
#1 Spa Hotel in Boston
#2 Luxury Hotel in Boston
#7 Business Hotel in Boston
#7 Green Hotel in Boston
#7 Romantic 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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