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“Extremely Disappointed”
Review of Omni Parker House

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Omni Parker House
Ranked #44 of 83 Hotels in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Stamford, CT
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Extremely Disappointed”
Reviewed 15 February 2010

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!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank aespins18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 February 2010

I can't believe this hotel got any bad reviews. They must be the unluckiest people in the world. I think this place is wonderful--the room is beautiful and comfy, and the staff is just beyond nice. It's not the size of a suite at the Hilton and the bathroom isn't big, but it's a lovely historic hotel and everything is clean and new without being antiseptic, it's a great deal for the price. Not to mention the location, it's so close to everything you want to see. I highly recommend joining the Select Guest program. It's free, they don't stalk you through e-mail and I got an upgrade without even asking. Just the free internet and free morning beverage is worth it. I would definitely stay here again and I'm even thinking of trying the Omni in Chicago for an upcoming birthday treat downtown. If you want a sleek, modern hotel it isn't for you but if you love elegant historic places definitely give it a try.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank jezebel59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2010

As part of a two week family vacation, we spent our last three days at the Parker House. My daughters are 7 and 11, my wife had never been to New England, and we were ending a vacation that included, Wash DC, Williamsburg, Philidelphia, and Boston. I had done my research, and decided to book a suite. We had the Freedome Trail Suite, which was really great and well worth the money. This hotel oozes with history, is right on the Freedom Trail, good walking distance to wonderful attractions, and had a great staff.
I am aware that rooms very here. The suites are really nicely done, and the staff is great. If you like to take in history, enjoy a classic hotel...this is really the place!

Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank LarTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager1856, Manager at Omni Parker House, responded to this review, 11 February 2010
You were really wise to reserve the Freedom Trail Suite for your family, particularly for your little ones as it was designed specifically with children in mind - thanks for the great review and we were pleased you and your family had a wonderful time in Boston.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chesapeake bay, va.
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2010

Ok. Why do I say that. The rooms are a little small, but who stays in the room when you are sitting in one of the most historic settings in the world! Within five minutes you can walk to Boston Commons, Fanuiel Hall, Old State House (where the Revolutionary War began) , Kings Chapel, and more and more --including of course the Boston Harbour. The restaurant in the hotel -- ever heard of Parker House rolls, how about Boston Cream Pie--all discovered there. How about the historic people -- Jack proposed to Jackie, Babe Ruth -- when he played for the Red Sox stuffed himself with the steaks, and let's not forget about Charles Dickens reciting his novel "The Christmas Carol", in front of the mirror on the mezanine floor. Sadlly, the hotel and restaurant is the same place that John Wilkes Booth likely planned the murder--of Lincoln, which happened only days after his stay! If you don't like history, or fabulous food, or comfortable surroundings --and a wonderfully pleasant staff -- do not go . I have stayed there at least twenty times in four years, with family. I highly suggest staying at the Parker House.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank howardbodine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager1856, Manager at Omni Parker House, responded to this review, 11 February 2010
We are so happy to read of your affection for this Grand Dame of a hotel - and that you frequently stay with us - we wish to thank you for your continued patronage and we look forward to hosting your next stay with us.
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Milan, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2010

Service was very good and the hotel is very elegant, with a majestic foyer. Our room was on the small side and it overlooked an internal courtyard, with other room's windows directly in front of ours, so had little privacy and kept our blinds down. Location was great, right on the Freedom Trail in front of the Old City Hall. Didn't try breakfast or the restaurant as they seemed quite expensive. The great plus is location and service.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Molosso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager1856, Manager at Omni Parker House, responded to this review, 11 February 2010
Thank you for your kind review of our hotel as well as your nice comments about our service. We take great pride in our hotel and in taking care of our guests - we are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to you staying with us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, CA
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2010

Stayed at this historic hotel for three nights. Before I traveled, I joined their select guest program online and would recommend doing so. It entitles you to free morning beverage service and discounted breaskfast service and free wi-fi. When I arrived they upgraded my room to a king bed at no charge. Service was very good. The rooms are not huge, but to be expected in a historic hotel. The recent renovation was well done and rooms are well appointed. The bed was very comfortable and the linens good quality. The fitness center was fine, nothing great but adequate. On the downside, the room was drafty - could feel cold air coming through the door jam(!) and on one morning, room service missed my breakfast order completely. Other than that, the food service in the hotel is quite good. Overall a very nice experience and I would stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ncalitravelboi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager1856, Manager at Omni Parker House, responded to this review, 2 February 2010
We are all so pleased to read how much you enjoyed your stay at the Omni Parker House and also that you took advantage of our Select Guest Program and the benefits it offers. We look forward to welcoming back the next time you are in Boston.
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England
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2010

Yes the rooms are small but you should visit central London hotels which are even smaller! Many city centre hotels tend to offer smaller rooms but that's the pay off for being so central. Omni Parker is consistently friendly, professional and the rooms clean with very comfy beds. We joined their loyalty programme (free online) and were very impressed that the hotel's loyalty ambassador went out of her way to upgrade our room to a deluxe as she knew it was my birthday during our visit! We also returned from dinner to find chocolate covered strawberries and a birthday card in our room which was a really nice touch. We paid only £92 through British Airways online - really good value. The breakfast is great in the restaurant, though not cheap. If you've just flown in, as we had, and need to sleep request a high up room to avoid traffic noise, we were on the 8th floor which was not too bad but lower floors may keep you awake.
We love this hotel, it was our 2nd stay and hope to be back soon.

(only gripe was the $40 per night car parking charge by the way, which seemed expensive!)

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank janeyjane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manager1856, manager at Omni Parker House, responded to this review, 2 February 2010
Thanks for the great review - yes, some of our rooms are small, but there is so much more to the Omni Parker House, its history, its location, its famous food and we are thrilled that you truly enjoyed all we and the city of Boston has to offer its visitors. Come back soon.
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Additional Information about Omni Parker House

Property: Omni Parker House
Address: 60 School Street, Boston, MA 02108-4109
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 ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Family Hotel in Boston
#32 Green Hotel in Boston
#33 Romantic Hotel in Boston
#33 Luxury Hotel in Boston
#33 Business Hotel in Boston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Omni Parker House 4*
Number of rooms: 551
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

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