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“A tale of two nights”

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Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House, Boston
Ranked #1 of 84 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 7, 2008

Part of a 2-week family holiday in the US.
Stayed for 2 nights in early August and booked direct with hotel.
First night: although we specifically asked for a high-floor, we ended up on the second floor, bar side. This is because, of course, this is not really a hotel but a time-share with occasional availability of rooms and the part-owners want the best rooms. Nothing wrong with that, but the room was not good. Spartan, worn down (reminded me of Eastern European hotels in the 80s) and VERY noisy given pubs across the street. 2*. Fortunately staff at reception managed to move us to the 19th floor the second night: what a difference. Fantastic room, great furnishings, spectacular views.... 4*.
In the end we were grateful for the swap and appreciate they were under no obligation to move us but the difference was spectacular and for $400 a night the room on the 2nd floor was a joke.
Great top floor 'games' room behind the clock in this famous Boston landmark though. Breakfast was mediocre and a bit weird as room was too small, historic as it was.
Overall, I would not stay here again as there is no guarantee of a nice vs rubbish room and overall a mixed experience.
Next, off Cape Ann but next hotel was Comfort Inn in Concord.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Gastronauta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 4, 2008

Husband, I and 14 year old daughter stayed here for 5 nights 17th-21st July. First time in Boston and chose this hotel because of reviews written here.

We were not disappointed. We had a room on the 6th floor, with a kingsize bed and double sofa bed in the lounge area.

The hotel is in an ideal position, a few minutes walk from Faneuil Hall with its wide selection of takeaways and restaurants, (anyone who knows Covent Garden in London - it's just like that) and also only a short walk to the wharf for whale watching and ferries.

The housekeeping was very good with shampoos etc replaced every day, and internet charges of $10 a day weren't too bad (though this was the only hotel on our trip that charged for this service).

As we were travelling around it was useful to have the laundry facilities on the top floor with the games room.

Staff were pleasant and helpful, and there was always iced water in the reception area, and cookies in the afternoon.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank llamacalmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2008

We stayed in the Custom House for three nights. We are 2 adults and 2 children. I asked for a high floor and we got it - right under the clock face. While the windows were small compared to the lower floors- there were only 2 suites on our floor as the floor plate is smaller at this level. The views stretched from a partial harbour view, North End/Charlestown, Cambridge, partial dowtown, government centre-so the views were good.

Overall the suite was small in size (but this is dictated by the floor plate and has to be expected given that this is a clock tower). When the sofa bed was pulled out there was little room to move about, mainly due to too many occasional tables in the living/dining/kitchen area. I had originally requested a rollaway bed (since the girls don't like sharing) but once I saw the size of the room I had to cancel it - it just wouldn't have fitted in.

Our room had a king size bed - which left little room for anything else, as this room was small as well. I am generally very fussy about matresses and I can say this one was fine - very firm.

The bathroom was off a lobby between both rooms. With four people travelling there was no space for all our bathroom stuff. A shelf over the wash basin would have been good for all that stuff. The extract did not work in the bathroom so one got a foggy mirror.

We are very concious about the background noise of air conditioning at night. It was quite noisy and kept switching on/off throughout the night. Another issue was the supply grilles were directly over the sofa bed - so one daughter was cold and we had to request extra blankets for the sofa bed.

The observation deck was very interesting as it is external and runs around all sides of the building. Also interesting was the rotunda lobby (with domed ceiling) and upper level (which was part of the original Custom House). The lower floors were all part of the original Custom House and the tower section was an addition about a century ago.

There is a laundry in part of the games room which would be very useful for those staying for a longer period or those travelling with small kids.

The kitchen was stocked with washing liquid, laundry powder and coffee. There was no stove - just a microwave and a undercounter fridge.

As others have mentioned the location is very handy for transportation (three lines are close by), food and shopping. We stayed over a weekend so many of the breakfast places were closed since they mainly serve the downtown office community. However there is a Starbucks just up the street on State.

The staff were very helpful and friendly, expecially the guys who take care of valet/bags/doors.

I choose this hotel because it was a hotel in an unusual architectural structure (not just an historic hotel- which can mean outdated facilities) and I wasn't disappointed. Expect an adapted reuse of the spaces and you won't be dissapointed.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Grainnew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2008

retro fit hotel into old customs house in boston, mass, usa. very neat. right next door to quincy market, irish pubs, aquarium, and T- stop. great front desk staff, ice water in the lobby, cookies at 4 pm. great restaurants nearby- legal seafood, wagamama, etc.

stately historic hotel. i'd stay again. we stayed in a suite ( family) and it had all kitchen amenities.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank anonymousca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2008

We stayed at this hotel before and we absolutely loved it. That time we had a really fantastic (standard) suite on the 19th floor. This time, having booked over the 4th of July (but 4 months in advance), it was a different experience. When we checked in, we were placed on the 2nd floor, which from a view perspective, is terrible. I also booked a suite for 3 people since a friend was going to join us for a few days. However the first room they gave us was totally inappropriate, as there was no separate bedroom. They did move us the next day, but as we found out that night, it was on the 'bar' side of the hotel and being so low, you were woken up each night at 2pm. I was looking for another 'magical' stay, like our first time, but sadly this did not happen. I doubt very much we will stay there again.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kckaceykc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2008

Stayed at the Custom House with my parents and 2 year old daughter. The pull-out sofa was horrible with metal sticking out and a very thin mattress. When we talked to the front desk about it they laughed and said that was what happens over time to these sofas! - Then someone came and dropped an air mattress on the floor without any assistance. The front desk staff was not helpful at all during our stay. The bathroom is in desparate need of renovation as well and the picture quality in the tv awful - again the staff said that was something that could not be helped. To shorten this whole story this was the worst stay we have ever experienced at a Marriott and we checked out three nights early and moved to the Kimpton property NineZero which we loved. The Custom House is in a charming old building but really needs some updating. The hotel is in a great neighborhood and could be very good but is not today.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank SaraS95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2008

We really enjoyed the location being close to the harbor & North End. Subway entrance right across the circle entrance made it very easy to travel around the city. Unfortunately we were not able to get much sleep due to the noise from the bars located around the hotel. A previous post had warned of the problem, and they were right. It affected us even on the 7th floor. I really liked the area, but might look at the other Marriott property next time. The internet also did not work in our room & we wasted a morning while the engineer worked on the problem. You use your room key for elevator access & our last morning my son & I were locked out of the elevator & our room twice. Front desk was helpful.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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Thank hatchetsup
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

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: $251 - $648 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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