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“Beautiful decor marred by design flaws”

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InterContinental Boston
Ranked #4 of 83 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Columbia, SC
Level Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Beautiful decor marred by design flaws”
Reviewed December 18, 2008

We booked this hotel as part of an overall package for a 3-night stay in Boston. While we got a good deal, it was not a cheap stay. Upon arriving, we were impressed with the lovely, modern lobby and fast elevators. Our room was big, with new furniture and a flat screen TV. Beautiful, huge bathroom. Convenient desk and plugs for electronics. We had no problems with service - everyone was very friendly and willing to help. The bar was convenient - they let us take a glass of wine up to the room without any hesitation.

There were two main problems. The sliding window between the bedroom and the bathroom is a total design disaster for couples. First, it does not completely close at the bottom, so all sounds (and smells) waft right into the bedroom, directly over the bed. Second, it has only a frosted glass panel, so, if anyone goes into the bathroom in the middle of the night, the light shines through into the bedroom, waking up the other party. (The bathroom was pitch dark at night -- and, since it was all marble, you really needed light to ensure you didn't kill yourself.) Anyway, the bathroom quickly became the joke of the trip, and if nothing else, will be one of the memories of our trip to Boston.

The other problem perhaps is not unique to Intercontinental. Since everything now seems to be digital, it is nearly impossible to have a room completely dark at night. The flat screen TV had a red glowing light. The phone had a green glowing light. The clock had a blue glowing light. The sprinkler system had a white flashing light. The curtains would not close completely. It struck me as ironic that there was so much light in the room where it needed to be dark and positively no light in the bathroom, where just a little of that glow would have been helpful.

There were a few other minor things. There was no coffeemaker. Also, no lotion in the bathroom to start, but they brought some the next day without me asking. The light on the make-up mirror did not work - until they cleaned the room - and then it did. Until the next day - and then it didn't again. One of the light bulbs had burnt out on a lamp - we did not mention it and I don't think it ever got replaced. WiFi service was a bit pricey at $14.95 /day or $6.95 hour.

The location was okay for us - it was easy to find places to eat breakfast and to get on the T. But the Marriott and Boston Harbor Hotels probably would have been better locations for our touristy purposes.

Had I been alone and on business, this place would have been fine. As it was, I felt like we could have made a better choice although we had a pleasant stay anyway.

  • Liked — Cleanliness, decor
  • Disliked — Sliding glass window in bathroom
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Rooms
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English first
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
49 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2008

Pros - This hotel is beautiful - from the lobby to the rooms, everything is chic and modern. The bathrooms are spacious with huge shower stalls and soaking tubs. Nice flat screen TVs and comfortable beds.

The location is also good. Although there isn’t much in the immediate vicinity, it’s a couple of blocks from South Station and a short walk from Fanueil Hall, Downtown Crossing and other shopping and restaurants.

The front desk staff, bell staff and generally everyone who works there seemed to go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. The only exception was that service at the bar tended to be slow; it seems like it’s a very popular after-work spot for locals and gets very crowded.

Cons - The food and drink at the restaurants and bar were ok, but very expensive. It’s annoying to have to leave the hotel and walk a few blocks every time you want a snack and don’t want to end up paying $20 minimum. It’s also a little irritating when you ask the front desk or concierge for a place to grab breakfast and the only place they can think of is the very expensive hotel restaurant, when there are a number of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and delis in the area. Given the room rates we were paying, I couldn’t justify paying even more money to eat meals in the hotel.

Also it is not a good hotel for business. The “business center” is just two computers tucked into a corner of the tiny gift shop/mini-mart, with printer, fax, etc. behind a counter staffed by a somewhat surly staffer. If you have your own laptop, wired and wifi internet is available but is not free, even in the public areas ($15 for 24 hours). And they charged me more than $17 (aka “package processing” fee) to receive one Fed Ex package that was shipped to me. All of this left a somewhat bad taste, for a five-star hotel that touts its business services. It appears that the operations of the business services is contracted out to Penfields, but still, at $400 / night for some rooms, it seems petty to nickel and dime guests for this type of stuff.

It is a very nice hotel with nice rooms, but overall, a bit overpriced for what you get.

  • Liked — Rooms were clean, comfortable and chic
  • Disliked — Business services, restaurants
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Essie16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2008

The lobby is striking and modern. The rooms are beautiful and peaceful with a large lcd tv. The bathroom was a dream with a shutter that opened to the bedroom so you could see the light from the window. The decor is so clever that the light curtain matches the look of the office buildings you can see from across the street. The french bistro served a fantastic breakfast although it was expensive. The room has a great desk with plug ins for all of your computer equipment.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank hotelducap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2008

The Intercontinental is a striking hotel both inside and out. The lobby is lovely with Murano glass scattered throughout. Comfy sitting areas and a fire place make it inviting. The rooms are decent sized and comfortable but the bathroom is extraordinary. There is a huge bathtub plus a glass shower stall and lots of marble. There was noise that could be heard from adjoining rooms. You may find that the view from your room is of an adjacent construction sight. The spa area was disappointingly small with very little in the way of amenities but I enjoyed a wonderful massage by Iris. The location is within walking distance of the World Trade Center, South Station, the Blue Line Aquarium subway stop, the ICA, Fanueil Hall area and the North End. Valet parking is pricey at $40 for 24 hours and you should call ahead 10 or 15 minutes before you need your car. There seemed to be a shortage of personnel at the hotel when I arrived on a busy Saturday. There was only one person at the front desk checking in a line of guests. There was no one manning the bell station, and when I arrived at the spa, I waited several minutes for someone to appear at the desk. I enjoyed my stay at the Intercontinental but improvements need to be made in order to justify their room rates.

  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank risottoqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, UK
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2008

We really liked this hotel. We got a great deal direct from the hotel website. The room we had was massive and the bathroom was amazing. Although I really did not like the sliding window between the bathroom and bedroom ..... but that was just me.

The location was great. South station is only a few mins walk away from the hotel. In the other direction, you have a 10 min walk to the restaurants down at the aquarium.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank wee_burd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dublin
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2008

The Intercontinental is a lovely hotel.
The restaurant & bar are exceptional.
Just problem while i was there in Oct.
There is a building site to the right of the hotel,
where many of the rooms face!
So noise can be a problem.
Also the front of the hotel faces the
Boston fire Dept.That was very noisy
on 1 of the nights i stayed there.

  • Liked — rooms
  • Disliked — noise
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fergo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2008

At check-in I was greatly impressed with the hotel. Of course with a $400 price, the hotel should be top notch. The room was lovely, spacious and comfortable looking. As soon as I arrived in the room, I called guest services to request that the down pillows and down comforter be removed from my room due to allergies. In addition, I requested hypoallergenic pillows, blankets and asked that my bed linens be completely changed due to down contamination. The hotel responded immediately and sent someone to bring the pillows, blankets, take away the comforter and linens. I asked when the new linens would arrive and the person said soon. I needed to leave for a meeting and then a late evening. Upon my late return to my room, I found my bed WITHOUT linens but the blankets were made up over the mattress pad. No sheets! I was appalled. Surely any budget hotel could do better than that. I phoned guest services immediately and they just couldn't understand what happened but apologized and sent someone to make up the unmade bed. I asked to speak to the manager on duty but only got a front desk clerk. I asked that the hotel manager contact me the following morning. I received a voice mail the following day from a housekeeping manager assistant who apologized. The excuse was that due to language, somebody misunderstood. What hotel staff person who speaks any other language thinks that a guest wants an unmade bed without linens? For $400 a night for 4 nights, I really expected something more than an excuse. It is apparent that they don't expect guests to return.

As it turned out the bed after all that commotion was quite uncomfortable.

It was a very disappointing stay. If you have any problems, don't expect anything more than a simple apology from the front desk. They won't let you talk to a manager. Perhaps there is a language problem with the managers as well. :)

The LIP service did not match the hefty price. They offer lip serice but no genuine service.

  • Liked — decor
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank LMMM
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 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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