I am very surprised to see so many positive reviews for this hotel. I am hardly ever one to complain but after having just returned from a two-night stay at the Omni Parker House for a special Valentine's Day weekend with my boyfriend, I truly feel ripped off and misled. I booked through Priceline and was "upgraded" from a 3-star to the "4-star" Omni, but I am sure I would have been better off not being "upgraded" at all.
Firstly, the advertised pictures were very misleading. The lobby was certainly beautiful but the room itself was HORRIBLE. The first thing I noticed was the strong smell of cleaning supplies, which lasted my entire stay. Then I saw how tiny the room was, barely fitting one double size bed and some squeezed-in furniture -- extremely close quarters and uncomfortable for two adults. Now, I've stayed in smaller hotel rooms before, but at least there was a queen or king size bed and a well-designed interior to make it feel a little more open. The bathroom was also very small -- you couldn't actually be in the bathroom and have the door open at the same time. Additionally, I did not expect to have any sort of special view, but this view was atrocious. We look out onto a rooftop covered in trash and could see right into peoples' apartments (and I'm sure they could see into our window). As much as we wanted to open the curtain to feel a little less claustrophobic, closing the curtain was really the less offensive option.
We then tried to connect to the internet on an iPod Touch to plan our evening. We called the front desk to ask for assistance and apparently "you have to purchase internet for $10 a day, but you could get it for free if you sign up for a rewards program but he wasn't even really sure how it worked but no matter what you have to go down to the lobby to do it". Huh? We didn't even try after that explanation.
Happy to get out of our room, my boyfriend and I proceeded to get drinks in the bar area of the lobby. While it was definitely a cozy atmosphere, we could not fully enjoy it because we were flat-out ignored by our waitress. After taking nearly forty-five minutes to flag her down to pay for our ridiculously expensive beers, we decided it was time to leave the hotel altogether and enjoy the local area. We asked someone at the front desk if he could suggest any fun places around, to which he responded, "I'm not sure if I can help you because I'm not sure of what reservations are going to be like this evening so I'm going to ask you to ask someone else." I translated this as "I don't know" or "I'm too lazy to help you" or "you don't look worth my time". So we asked another gentleman at the concierge to help. We were looking for somewhere in walking distance that had food and maybe some music and dancing. Since he immediately suggested a place called "Fajitas and Ritas", we trusted that this had to be a great local spot. Following the Concierge's directions in the freezing cold, we ended up nowhere near the joint and ended up going into another hotel to ask for directions, and they quickly pointed us in the right direction. We finally arrived at the restaurant, and although it had potential to be a fun place, it was practically a Mexican food dining hall for college students. Literally, the entire place was packed with college students. We ended up having an OK cheap meal and a few margaritas but the place closed only an hour after we arrived. Honestly, I was slightly offended that the Concierge at the Omni would suggest such a place that did not contain any of our criteria. Perhaps he was not knowledgeable about the area or maybe assumed we were college students. Either way, it was a huge disappointment and totally nothing like what we were looking for.
The next day while passing by the lobby we noticed two different couples complaining at the desk, having similar problems we had, particularly with the room. Our room specifically was right across the hall from the Housekeeping closet, which caused a few issues for us. We were totally unable to take a brief nap in the afternoon because Housekeeping was quite loud in the hallway, but that was understandable since it was in the afternoon. But what was really infuriating was being woken up in the morning by extremely loud chatting among the Housekeeping staff. They were literally yelling at each other right in front of our door (which had the Please Do Not Disturb sign on it) early in the morning. After about 15 minutes of this, my boyfriend had to ask them to please quiet down. They apologized but even their continuous talking at a low volume could be heard through the walls, in addition to the rustling of bags. There was certainly no going back to sleep for me.
I briefly and totally non-aggressively voiced my complaints at check-out and barely received an apology. In fact, the woman at the desk seemed to get quite defensive. We left with a very poor taste in our mouths. While the experience wasn't disastrous, the Omni Parker House is certainly not half as nice as any other "4 star" hotel I've ever been in and I feel a duty to warn people not to get their hopes up or spend any significant amount of money on this hotel. Nice location, but that's about it. Not worth it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located along the historic Freedom Trail in the heart of downtown Boston, the Omni Parker House has the perfect location from which to experience Boston. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Omni Hotel Boston
- Omni Boston
- Omni Parker House Boston
- Boston Omni