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“Great hotel, wonderful location”

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Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House, Boston
Ranked #1 of 83 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Valparaiso, Indiana
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great hotel, wonderful location”
Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

We decided to go to Boston at the last minute and I found the Custom House on-line. The location is great for shopping and eating and not to mention the Freedom Trail. Staff at the hotel is friendly and helpful with recommendations for activities, shopping, and restaurants. We stayed in a king suite and that worked for our family. We wanted a better water view, so a high floor would be great

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Mattywhale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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816 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (240)
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Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

My family traveled to Boston in mid-July. The facility itself is fantastic. Marriott did a great job on it, the rooms are great, and very clean.

However, the location is near several bars, where even from the ninth floor my family was woken up, and kept up, two of the three nights were were there. One a Saturday night, and the other a Monday night. By kept up, I mean by shouting, fights, screaming, from 12:30-3 on the Saturday night.

The Front Desk employees know all about these problems and say that there is nothing they can do. Management, both at the hotel and the corporation that owns it (which is not Marriott) could have cared less. They told me that my anger was "misdirected" and that I needed to take it up with the City of Boston. However, I have trusted Marriott to give me consistent service and a place to sleep. Marriott never told me I would not be able to sleep. So, both nights I paid $449 to watch a Carnival/Riot from my hotel room window for severa hours. If this hotel cannot get the City of Boston to make its downtown family friendly, then it should not be marketing itself as a family friendly environment.

When I complained, all the corporation (again, NOT Marriott, offered me 5000 frequent stayer points, which is worth $5 I think. Not a good deal.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Ben W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

ROOM: We were assigned room 1801 facing Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It looks like there were 4 units per floor. It also looks each room on each floor might be differently shaped. Our unit you walked in to the eating area/living area then, across the room you went down a short hall to the master bedroom. Off the short hallway before the bedroom there was the bathroom. There were full size windows in the living room and hallway. In the bedroom there was one full size window and the other two windows were part of the window bench and the windows were smaller old fashion kind. The room was a 1 bedroom with limited kitchen and a full bathroom. The bathroom was an odd shape. It had an area of dead space you had to walk around. The room was clean and simple. But I thought it was a dated and needs some updating like new fixtures, counter tops, couch, etc... The limited kitchen was okay. The refrigerator had a small freezer section. We basically just stored water and drinks in it. Sometimes we would put our leftovers into it as well. The other issue with the room was the electrical outlets either need updating or something. They did not fully charge our electronics and many times it took more than 10 hours to get a full charge. The internet worked great in our room. We had at many times 4 devices on the internet at the same time. The only pain was that you had to submit a password every 24 hours. Towards the end of the week it would sometimes just boot you out for no reason but I would just switch my ipad to airplane mode and then, back on and it would find the WiFi. We did not have many issues with the noise from the bar located below our room. My daughter did wake up one night to a woman screaming but other than that it was fine. I felt like there was generally less car traffic in Boston so, it did not feel noisy like San Francisco. We felt very safe walking around Boston at night. One other thing I forgot to mention the room was SMALL for 4 people. With the sofa sleeper pulled out it was impossible to walk around. But totally understood we were in a "city" resort and was expecting small. Also, there is no dishwasher. I really didn't like having to wash dishes by hand.
TRANSPORTATION: We took the "T" from the airport to the resort. It was VERY easy and I highly recommend (it is only like two stops). Another couple we met at the resort took a cab and the fare is $20 each way plus tip. We bought a week long ticket for the "T" and used it the entire week, the tickets were $72 for 4 of us ($18 per person per week). The furthest we traveled was to Boston College It was 18 plus stops so, it took us about 45 minutes. One thing tricky about airport to the Custom House is walking in the right direction once you get off at the Aquarium stop. We walked towards the left of the train station (to take the elevator up) and ended up at the 24 hour market right across from Custom House. Another couple that was traveling with us on the train walked more to the right of the station and ended up at the Aquarium side which is across a busy road. So, we were done with check-in when they finally arrived and they were a little miffed. We also rented a car 2 of the days to travel to Salem/Gloucester and another day to travel to Cape Cod/Plymouth. We used the Enterprise at the Govt Center. The first time they were able to bring the car to us at the Custom House. The 2nd time they were short staffed and we had to take a cab which they reimburse us for. It was $5. It was about $75 to rent a mid-size car. After gas it was about $100. You could also rent a car for the week and pay for valet at the resort which was $40 a day.
COMMON AREAS: This resort is located in a GREAT city location so, there really isn't a resort feel to it. It definitely feels like a hotel. The lobby is located in a circular room so, not very big. There are only 2 elevators and the staff uses the same elevators. Located in the lobby there is concierge to help assist you with tours and restaurant ideas. They had a sales floor on the second floor as well as the owner's lounge. The owner's lounge had coffee and tea available as well as plenty of seating and a TV. There is no pool (which we really wanted the first 4 days as Boston was going through a heat wave). We should have rented a car and gone to Cape Cod area to swim but we blew it and went to Cape Cod on a different day and it rained all day. There is an Activity center with Maze activities which we did not utilize. The Game room, laundry room, ice machine & book exchange were on one floor. There are 3 washers and 3 dryers. One set of washers and dryers (the newer model-front loading model) takes longer to wash and dry. It was really busy the one night I used the washer/dryer so, get there early as a line formed. There is also an exercise room as well as an observation deck. I was able to get some great pictures from the deck the first few days but the last 3 days it was overcast and there was really no view. Every evening they had a singer/musician in the owner's lounge. We attended the first night as we arrived when it was opening. They had some cheeses and cookies out. Plus, you got a coupon for a drink from the bar. The bar was open every evening from 6 to 11 pm but we did not use it. There is no restaurant onsite but it is not a problem finding food near the hotel.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Definitely will come back to this resort. I might want to come back in the fall so, we get some cooler weather.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Disneyfreak67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

This is a great hotel for a family of four. Our kids had a great time with activities to help them learn about Boston and the history of the Custom House building. The location is great - right in the middle of the freedom trail and next to the South Market, near Faneuil Hall. We were within walking distance of everything so no need to rent a car. You must check out the observation deck on 26 and the clock mechanism on 24. Very cool! The only downside is no swimming pool, but the sites of Boston kept us plenty busy.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Meadow, New York
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Staying at the Custom House was like stepping back into history, while still having a comfortable place to stay with wonderful views and an amazing location. There were three of us in our group. My spouse and I stayed in the main bedroom of our suite (on a very comfortable king-size bed), and our friend stayed on the queen-size pullout sofabed in the living room area. She tells us that the sofabed was quite comfortable.

In addition to the comfort of the beds--always a primary concern for a hotel stay, since a good night's sleep is the main reason for having the room--we had lovely views of the city and harbor from our room. We also had access to the great observation deck (amazing views in all directions!), game room, the classic "Counting Room" where breakfast was served in the morning and drinks in the evening, as well as offering nightly entertainment.

The quality of the experience makes the Custom House stand out as a cut above so many of its competitors!

It's also in an excellent location. Right across from the Long Wharf and the Aquarium, it's literally steps from a subway station, making it easy to get anywhere in town. We definitely will be back at the Custom House for our next trip to Boston! It's not just a hotel. This historic building, updated to offer modern comforts and with a professional staff to match, really is a special experience in its own right.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jessnyus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, TN
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

While these rooms are expensive (we paid over $400 per night) you do get some extra space. Perfect for our family with two teens, giving us room to spread out. You are two blocks from Faneuil Hall and a subway stop is within a few yards. We did not have a car there and parking looks challlenging like any downtown area. We got a roll away bed that was really quite nice.
Certainly better than staying in a traditional hotel room if you are going to be there a few days.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gherman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2013

I'll start with the things that cause me to give it a "very good" instead of an "excellent", the type of hotel and the noise. First, this is a Marriott vacation location, so regular Marriott guests do not receive the benefits of their reward tiers (gold, for example). This means there's no complimentary breakfast, or an honor bar, newspaper in the morning and other things like that, or even that warm Marriott greeting you get used to as a gold member. This also means that the place feels more like an apartment in some ways than a hotel. Second, Saturday night the noise from the local bars was incredible even though we were on the 9th floor. Honking horns, screaming people, it was amazing (not in a good way, but it was over by 1 or 2 am).

Now to the good stuff, that same noise means that you're in the heart of the action. The location can not be beat. You are close to the harbor, multiple MTBA (subway) lines, the North End (Italian food and sites) and many stops on the Freedom Trail. It's just a fantastic location. You can walk everyone, take the subway, catch a boat and you are two stops away from the Airport on the blue line (the Aquarium stop is directly across the plaza from the hotel).

Also, the building itself is a landmark and it's absolutely gorgeous. Walking into the lobby is a pleasure every time. Everyone working there is friendly and caring and we really enjoyed all our interactions, especially the wonderful help from the concierge Bonnie. The views from the rooms as well as the 26th floor observation deck (which is open air) are incredible, although we were there at the wrong time of year to see the nesting Peregrin falcons.

Bottom line, it's a great building, in a great location, with a caring and friendly staff. It's just not a regular hotel and you may miss some of the the things you would want in a hotel, such as a coffee shop or what-not, but with Quincy market directly across the street and so many shops within a few minutes walk, it's hard to quibble about these items.

Room Tip: Try to get a high room especially if staying over a weekend, it can be VERY LOUD on a Saturday night...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House, Boston

Property: Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House, Boston
Address: 3 McKinley Square, Boston, MA 02109-2609
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Boston > Downtown
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Boston
#10 Romantic Hotel in Boston
#27 Business Hotel in Boston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House, Boston 3.5*
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marriott's Custom House is located in the heart of historic downtown Boston. Our Vacation Club Resort offers 84 beautiful villas, all with king sized beds with sofa beds. The resort offers modern day amenities, such as Free Wi-Fi internet access, cocktail lounge with live entertainment on select nights, Boston's only Kid's Zone, and much more in one of Boston's most historic and recognizable buildings. Book your stay today! **Please Note: Marriott's Custom House is a Timeshare Facility** ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Custom House Hotel Boston
Marriotts Custom Hotel
Marriotts Custom Resort
Marriott Boston
Boston Marriott

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