XV Beacon is an excellent property. The effort at being “five star” is ubiquitous, tangible and usually successful.
Like many urban boutiques, XV is snug everywhere - lobby, rooms and bathroom. Even the building itself is tucked into the Beacon Hill neighborhood which means that many windows look out upon other windows or walls. It will seem tight to some travelers, and charming to others. What, though, XV lack’s in roominess, it compensates for by being well thought out, highly comfortable and beautifully appointed. There is an attention to detail in everything from fabrics to fixtures to electronics to towel warmers – the kind of attention that is at the heart of every five star experience. The workout room is first rate and the roof garden is a real treat. It’s a must do when weather permits. Two places that could use a little more attention are the lighting in the rooms (too dim) and the lack of sufficient electrical outlets to make multi-device charging as easy as it should be.
The hotel’s location is a plus. Beacon Hill is a charming neighborhood and a terrific area for antiquing, walking and just enjoying Boston. The Commons is a stone’s throw, and Newbury Street and the North End are a short cab ride away. Cab fetching can be a little difficult sometimes. On the whole it’s good, but particularly at night it can be less so. On a few occasions we ended up walking a few blocks down the hill to a busier cross street.
Food and beverage service comes by way of the adjoining restaurant, “Mooo”. There is a common ownership between the hotel and the restaurant and the relationship between the two works well for the hotel. The food is good and the spirit of the service is consistent with XV’s own excellent service, which, with one anomaly, and one exception was outstanding.
This is a top-notch staff that knows how to make a guest happy. I can’t say enough about their professionalism, affability, and genuine desire to be helpful. The one exception was the service at the front door. Service was great when we arrived (car door opened, hotel door opened, luggage handled). It was also good when we left (hotel door opened for us cab hailed, luggage handled). In between these moments, it was not very good. We went in and out of the hotel at least 20 times – rarely was a door opened, rarely did anyone offer to get us a cab or help us if our hands were full. Sometimes the members of the staff were busy, other times they were chatting with each other; sometimes they just didn’t seem interested. This little slice of the XV experience seemed very much at odds with the hotel’s own standard.
The anomaly had to do with having our room made up. On our first morning in the hotel we left early and came back around 2:30 PM and the room had not been serviced – irritating when you’re tired and would like to rest and freshen up. When we called the front desk, there was no apology, just an odd explanation that it was the schedule of the hotel for the room staff to begin servicing rooms at 10:00 AM and finish at 5:00 PM – that if we wanted our room serviced early, all we had to do was ask. I was surprised at the answer and asked for it again - it was the same. It seems inherently contradictory to the five star experience for a traveler to return to one’s room in the late afternoon (as late as 5 PM in this case according to the explanation I was given) and being told that if they had wanted to make sure their room had been serviced, they had to have requested it. I was even told that this policy was explained on the little cards that are left in the room explaining the ecology/fresh towel policy. It turns out that none of this was accurate –neither the odd service schedule nor the accompanying story that the policy is articulated on a card left in the room. I confirmed same with other employees of the hotel. Again, XV’s service was so consistently good (even here, a maid was sent to the room right away), I have to consider this one thing a weird outlier, but a good reminder of how difficult it is to provide the perfect experience that all five stars are trying to achieve. There are a lot of moving parts.
Sometimes it’s easier to notice every small flaw in a terrific property simply because those flaws stand out so vividly against the bright white background of a boutique hotel experience that is so good in so many ways. Be assured, this hotel knows how to play the game. Perfect it is not, but in a state of constantly trying to be perfect, it is. `
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- XV Beacon Hotel reigns over Boston's historic Beacon Hill neighborhood in its turn-of-the-century landmark Beaux Arts building. The modern furnishings counterbalanced by a grand staircase of marble, mahogany paneling and original caged-glass elevator reflect how past lives transform into the present. The 63-room luxury boutique hotel, recognized for peerless personal service, sophisticated interiors and luxurious custom amenities, distinguishes itself with its sense of heritage, peacefulness of home and utmost discretion. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Xv Beacon Boston
- Xv Beacon Hotel Boston