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“Have previous reviewers ever stayed in a 'real' 5-Star hotel??”

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Boston Harbor Hotel
Ranked #2 of 86 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Check out my other reviews - global traveller with over 150 night a year in hotels across the globe.

I was actually looking forward to a stay at the Boston Harbor, mostly because I put a lot of faith into all my fellow TripAdvisor Reviewers…but clearly none of you have experienced genuinely 5-star hotels judging by the reviews.

So, the hotel is not in the best location - as a tourist you want to be by the Common, not by a soulless harbor (there are no shops or restaurants on the strip of harborside by the hotel) on one side and a dead financial centre on the other - although to be fair, Boston is a small place and everything is a 15-20 mins walk.

Its also a little odd, kind of lop-sided with the entrance to the side and the hotel flopping over a pointless archway to the harbour behind. There are very limited public spaces and it looks like a popular destination for weddings/corporate events (always a bad sign).

This is simply NOT a luxury hotel, nothing like a good Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons, yet it charges the same. The rooms are chintzy and dated, and its no surprise that most of the other guests I saw were 60+. There is a good range of amenities and technology (good free WiFi), but thats about it.

As others have said, one of the biggest issues (a personal bug-bear) is the total absence of any insulation between rooms or corridors. I heard an entire conversation from next door about the flight in from Dallas, and the noise in the corridors is amplified by the silly long marble corridors to the rooms - at times its deafening, like when the turn down service is in the corridor - the noise of the Ice being decanted is like a tropical storm outside your room door. I had banging from the room above too and asked to move. They found me another room, a floor lower (8th) but no apology or nice touch like a room upgrade for a broken night's sleep.

The new room was even worse, despite only having one set of neighbours, but they had the TV on all night and again, I could hear every pitch of the World Series. The walls are paper-thin.

I went to flush the toilet in the new room and I had a broken cistern, with water cascading all over the floor. Again, another call to the front desk - and no apology, just a 'we will send someone up'. No offer to move room (having had waste water flood the bathroom). More Motel 6 than 5-Star hotel.

There really is no customer focus at this place. When I approached the check-in desk she picked up the phone and everyone looks like they are going through the motions. All perfectly acceptable for a 3-4 star hotel - but its the attention to the guest and the little details that matter (like cutting back the weeds growing outside my window).

I walked past the better located, better priced and better serviced Ritz Carlton later that day, and regretted trying something 'off-brand'. Never again and never here.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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8  Thank milesw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBostonHarborHotel, General Manager at Boston Harbor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

Please allow us to convey our deepest apologies that your recent stay at our hotel did not meet your expectations. It is truly concerning to read your perspective, as it is far from the normal compliments and accolades we receive from the majority of our valued guests. All feedback that our guests give us is used to critically assess our performance and understand the areas of improvement that need our attention. Once again, please accept our apologies and we sincerely hope you may grant us the opportunity to show you that this lapse in service is not the norm here. Thank you for your review.

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Reviewed 25 October 2013

From check in, to the support for our group during our meetings, to a lovely venue in a great location, to fantastic staff...I could go on. I was extremely impressed. Congratulations to the management and the staff - your dedication to service shines through.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
Thank golforharley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBostonHarborHotel, General Manager at Boston Harbor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

Thank you for your wonderful review! We are extremely happy that our attentive staff were successful in providing you with top of the line service, making you stay at the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf most enjoyable. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back and we hope that it is soon!

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Reviewed 24 October 2013

Lovely hotel with outstanding service from everybody we encountered. The view from our 10th room floor was wonderful and we enjoyed a sunset followed by a fabulous sunrise. The location is close to lots of sites that we wanted to visit like North End and the fabulous aquarium. The memory that we will take with us of our stay is the wonderful service that we got. The staff should feel very proud of the seamless service that they offer their guests.

Room Tip: Ask for harbour view
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MaggiemayCamberleyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBostonHarborHotel, General Manager at Boston Harbor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

What better compliment to receive than to learn that a guest’s experience at the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf was beyond their expectations! Thank you so much for your gracious review and kind words for our staff. We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

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Reviewed 24 October 2013

Great views of harbor or town. Hotel front desk and staff are very friendly and helpful. Concierge go out of their way to make your stay memorable. Close to downtown. Walk to Freedom Trail. Close to entertainment and great restaurants.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Roger M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBostonHarborHotel, General Manager at Boston Harbor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

We are excited by your kind acknowledgement of our staff, location and spectacular views. We are proud of the friendly service that our team members provide and we will surely pass along your kind comments to them. Thank you for choosing to stay at the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf and we hope to see you soon.

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Reviewed 21 October 2013

First, the bad (starting off with this as there is really only one flaw with the hotel) - the suite is nothing to write home about considering its name and price tag. This is the Harbor corner suite which in reality is a largish room (with no separate living room), plain decor, and basic toiletries. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being so-unbelievably-plush-you-don't-want-to-emerge decor/bathroom/toiletries, this will probably be a 5.5. (eg, Raffles Hotel in Singapore will land somewhere between 8 and 9 on said scale).
But that aside, the view (the sunrise was a giant ball of orange fire) was breathtaking. Apart from the sunrise, our room on the 10th floor overlooks the dome-shaped restaurant abutting the waterfront, and the view was one of still sparking water, and tranquil little white boats moored in the middle of the bay(?). We could see planes landing and taking off from Logan Airport, but the Airport was too far for any of the noise to reach us. Water taxis are available to transport hotel guests to the Airport - very romantic, or just very different!
It's a fantastic location from which to explore all the must-dos in Boston City: Faneuil Hall (7/8 minutes), the Aquarium (5 minutes if you walk slowly), the North End (15 minutes again if you walk slowly). We had breakfast in the Sea Grill restaurant. It was pricey but pretty good. All American fare but without the arteries-bursting calories.
For me, that extra X factor was not its location or the food. It was the service. I think it is a pretty good sign a hotel chooses to place framed pictures of its employees in all the strategic places (hallway, corridor, outside the hotel). It (hopefully) says that it treats them well and puts a premium on service. It certainly feels that way during our stay. Other than having everyone greet you by name, everyone we have approached for help (room service, concierge, restaurant staff, front desk, housekeeping) was impeccable. Service was very prompt, and flawlessly and warmly polite. Most went above and beyond.
We were there for my husband's birthday, and they made it a very special one. Thank you.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with harbor views.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank PLong123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBostonHarborHotel, General Manager at Boston Harbor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

We are honored that you chose to spend your husband’s birthday with us and are pleased to hear that our efforts created a memorable experience for you both. The convenient location of the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf makes it easy for our guests to make the most out of their stays and we are pleased that you had an opportunity to explore our exciting city. We are looking forward to welcoming you back in the future and we thank you for your kind review.

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Reviewed 19 October 2013

This is a fantastically positioned hotel - right by the harbor, with easy access to the financial district, the airport and in particular the developing area of the harbor. The views of the harbor are great, particularly from the upper floors, and if you arrive there with jet lag you will get to enjoy the sun rising over the water. The rooms are very comfortable, although I found the decor now rather dated and our superior room on the 8th floor certainly didn't feel as large as the 500 sq ft claimed in the room description on the hotel's website. Breakfast in the hotel restaurant was good and the service was particularly efficient.

Room Tip: The higher the better
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Charlie1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBostonHarborHotel, General Manager at Boston Harbor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2013

Enjoying the beautiful sunrise over the Boston Harbor is a splendid way to start your day and reinvigorate yourself after a long flight. We are very pleased to hear that our location helped you to make the most out of your stay and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf very soon. Thank you for your review.

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Reviewed 19 October 2013

Right by all the main attractions, beautiful water view, you can take the ferry, eat lobster next door, grand hotel, walk go everywhere, nice spa and gym, but very expensive. Parking was difficult, self park was 36 dollars for just 2 hours, I recommend not to drive there unless you absolutely have to it. Use the subway, taxi, or boat. Avoid the highway robbery parking lot rate!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank johnwtmb t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheBostonHarborHotel, General Manager at Boston Harbor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review in regard to your recent stay at the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf. While the cost of staying here can be higher than some, our expectations are set even higher for providing our guests with an amazing stay. May we suggest using our very convenient Valet parking during your next stay, of which the rates are very comparable to other facilities? We would love to welcome you back very soon and we thank you for your review.

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Additional Information about Boston Harbor Hotel

Address: 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110-3354
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Massachusetts > Boston > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 86 Hotels in Boston
Price Range: £234 - £645 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Boston Harbor Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 230
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A 230 room luxury five star hotel located on the waterfront at Rowes Wharf. Adjacent to the Financial District and walking distance to many different shopping areas including Fanueil Hall, Quincy Market, Downtown Crossing and the Historic North End. Close to many attractions including the New England Aquarium, Children's Museum, Trolley Tours, Whale Watches, Paul Revere House and Freedom Trail. The Spa at Rowes Wharf features a 60 foot indoor lap pool, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi. The workout room includes free-weights, elliptical machines, stairmasters, treadmills, bicycles and crosstrainers. All workout attire is provided including shirts, shorts, socks, towels, bathrobes, and slippers. Beneath the unmistakable arches of the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf, overlooking the majestic waterfront, three first-class restaurants combine to provide the perfect blend of delicate fare, scenery, and ambiance. The Rowes Wharf Sea Grille opened in May 2009 and features the freshest possible seafood artfully presented. ... more   less 
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