Recently stayed several days at the Inn at St. Botolph and left feeling a bit disappointed. Let me start off by saying that the rooms are impeccable decorated. I looked through the pictures on this site and my room is pictures and looked exactly as shown -- gorgeous modern furniture and fine linens. But once you get past the appearance there are some basic flaws which make a several day visit at this price point annoying.
I will start by listing the negative and needs improvement aspects of the Inn @ St Botolph and then finish the review with the positive aspects.
1) Absolutely no parking. I was warned of this by my secretary before arriving but was told it was easy to find. After driving several hours to Boston, I parked in front of the Inn’s building at 99 Botolph Street to get my several bags of luggage into the hotel and up the elevator to my room. I called the number on the room phone that said house manager (I believe it was room 109) and the gentleman who answered was very cold, uninformed and said that he didn't know where public parking was located and that the Inn Manager Ryan was not available. Very annoying -- so luckily my iPhone had "around me" feature and I was able to find the closest public parking garage about 1.5 blocks away. As this point – 30 minutes had passed trying to get the directions and when I looked out the room window to the street there was already a $40 ticket on the windshield of my rental car for parking after 4PM in "Resident Only" meters. I drove down to the public garage and the fee was $23 a day.
2) I walked back to the Inn from parking and unpacked by bags to find that there were no counters in the bathroom to place toiletries on. I had to place my items on the nightstand or under the sink. There was also no soap self in the shower which meant shampoo and soap had the rest on the shower floor during the entire visit. Bizarre, but I marked it up to growing pains, as they are a new Inn.
3) The security safe on the floor of the small closet was broken and would not stay shut causing the closet door to have issues closing. In such a small room this was creating an issue for me to get passed the bed to the bathroom area. I realized if I placed the ironing board in front of the safe to keep it closed – my closet would stay shut.
4) I opened my laptop to begin checking emails and look for a nearby restaurant / bar and found I could not connect to the Inn's Wireless Service. I looked around the room and in the drawers for a welcome letter with connection instructions and there were none. Once again, I braved calling the manager on duty and received voicemail (about 7:30 PM). He called back sounding very inconvenienced about 30 minutes later (I felt myself apologizing to him for even calling) and he gave me the pass code for the wireless which I tried but did not work. I wasn’t about to call back at that point so I emailed the Innkeeper (Ryan) with my issue so he could resolve it. Ryan did not call me on this issue for more than 24 hours -- luckily I had a wireless card that worked close to the window. Once Ryan explained that "pop-up blocker" needed to be turned off – it worked fine but then the connection expired later that evening and it did not reconnect again for the entire visit.
5) The first morning I woke up and walked into the very nicely appointed kitchenette to make coffee (there is a mini-coffee pot), however I discovered there were no small bags of coffee in the room. The coffee basket required the pre-measured packets so I went out and asked the housekeeper in the hall and she said they do not have coffee available for those machines and I could walk 1/2 a block to the 7-11 for coffee. Not cool and not appropriate when you are obviously trying to attract new, discerning customers.
6) Although the sheets on the very plush beds were high thread count (probably Frette) the many pillows were very tall and firm -- to the point I was uncomfortable and ended up sleeping between two of them as I could not get comfortable. There really needs to be a mix of pillows for different styles of sleepers.
7) Lastly, the elevator down the hall would "ding" very loudly every time it opened. Even with my room at the end of the hall -- it could be heard throughout the night. I am sure they can lower the volume or even turn off the floor bell since this Inn is very much like a private residence with keypad entries to the rooms instead of keys.
The upside of the Inn at Botolph for the price is:
1) Location, location, location!
2) Beautifully decorated room.
3) Security camera for letting visitors in with.
4) Walking distance to Prudential Center, shopping and nice cafes / restaurants.
5) Very clean -- daily housekeeper.
6) You do not feel like you are in a big hotel chain - very intimate (but you do need some service!).
7) Frette luxury bathrobes and plush white towels in bathroom.
8) Rain style showerhead in bathroom.
9) Windows open fully to allow breeze into room and gives a nice street view.
10) Fully stocked kitchen (cups, plates, wine glasses, etc.) and refrigerator has an icemaker.
I think once the Inn at 99 Botolph work through the growing pains of being new it will become a truly wonderful place to stay. They need work on refining the guest service dramatically and have the house manager (or someone) greet guests during basic Inn hours. If guests arrive late there should be a welcome letter or phone call from the Innkeeper explaining wireless, nearby public parking, cool places to eat and where to get coffee / breakfast the next morning… things that you would do if a guest was staying in your home.
I hope this review was useful and best regards.
Experienced Business and Leisure Traveler
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to The Inn @ St. Botolph, a luxury boutique hotel located in the shadow of the Prudential Center. With a keen nod to its namesake, the patron saint of travelers, The Inn @ St. Botolph in Boston's historic Back Bay wraps a wealth of luxuries in a tidy and affordable package for discerning travelers. Like its sister hotel, the internationally acclaimed XV Beacon, The Inn @ St. Botolph offers understated contemporary interiors graced with traditional styling and comfort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Inn At St Botolph Hotel Boston