Arrival/Check-in: Boston is my hometown, but the landscape has changed significantly in recent years following the completion of the Big Dig — a decades-long project that involved replacing an elevated central artery that effectively divided the city with an underground tunnel. Addresses that I had become used to viewing from high above via the old-and-ugly overpass — or from under the shadows of the same structure — are now at an easy-toaccess street level. The InterContinental Boston is located at one of those addresses. We pulled up at the curb amid heavy traffic, but the valet was right there ready to whisk our bags from the trunk and send our car off to the parking garage. The check-in desk was off to the right of an open lobby that extended all the way to the back of the property offering views of the Fort Point Channel. We were traveling light, so with wheelie bags in tow we were off to our room in no time flat. (30/30)
Guest Quarters: Our room provided an expansive view of the “new” Boston through floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Fort Point Channel. First-time visitors may not realize the InterContinental Hotel Boston is a key player in the development of a neighborhood that had previously been an overlooked and underrated part of the city. An oversized desk positioned facing out the windows provided a well-equipped work space with enough drawers, cubby-holes and power outlets to satisfy even the most finicky business traveler. A settee positioned at the end of the king-size bed (which also faced the windows) provided a relaxing place to read a book or watch the flatscreen television. There was also an armchair and ottoman. Controls on the bedside table made it easy to adjust room lighting. Intriguing back-lit wall panels on each side of the bed provided the perfect evening ambience. The marble bath boasted a separate tub and shower, a doublesink vanity and plenty of space to store toiletries. (30/30)
Services/Amenities: While the InterContinental Boston books plenty of meetings, the hotel configuration is such that leisure travelers can get away from it all while business travelers wheel and deal. There’s a full-service spa and fitness center. One minor drawback: The fitness center’s location adjacent to the spa check-in desk tends to compromise the peaceful atmosphere you would expect at a spa. Still, once you’ve donned your spa robe and stepped into the inner sanctum, it’s all about rest and relaxation. The hotel’s main dining room, Miel Brasserie Provençale, offers a culinary celebration of Provence with cuisine highlighted by products indigenous to the region — aromatic herbs, lavender, honey and olive oil. Neither my dining partner nor I could resist the pan-roasted lobster with chickpea truffle blended with Chateau Virand olive oil. Here, too, though, noise from the adjacent RumBa, a fun gathering spot where patrons kick back to the rhythm of Latin and Caribbean music, wafted into the dining room and infiltrating an otherwise serene setting. Across the lobby, Sushi-Teq, a sushi and tequila bar, has earned a reputation among locals as a go-to gathering spot. The outdoor patio overlooking the channel only serves to enhance its appeal. (37/40)
The Experience: After one stay, InterContinental Boston has moved to the top of my list of favorite Boston hotels.
Total Score: (97/100)
510 Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
tel 617 747 1000
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