Arrival/Check-in: On a clear, crisp February afternoon I arrived at The Inn @ St. Botolph in Boston’s Back Bay and walked through the front door directly to my room. The inn, opened in November 2008, was restored to blend into the fabric of this historic area. Unlike most hotels with the traditional front desk, the management has streamlined check-in and check-out by giving guests a keyless access code (provided online at time of confirmation) for entry into the inn and their rooms. By doing away with a grand reception area and the manpower needed to staff it, the inn can offer guests a very affordable price while maintaining all that is expected of an upscale hotel. The only requirement for checking out is to simply close the door behind you. (30/30)
Guest Quarters: My suite was tastefully decorated and, much more important to me, impeccably clean. A large bay window adorned the living room, offering a wonderful view of the neighborhood and bathing the suite in sunshine. A small couch and a comfortable chair made the living room a cozy place for watching the 42-inch HDTV, reading or just relaxing. The warm ambience of the room was accentuated by a beautiful gas fireplace. The suite also included a well-equipped kitchenette for those inclined to enjoy a “home-cooked” meal. The spacious bedroom offered a very comfortable four-poster bed, from which the TV in the living room could be easily viewed. (27/30)
Services/Amenities: The inn’s lounge serves a continental breakfast daily and also offers a comfortable place to relax in front of the fireplace, watch TV or enjoy a good book. A computer is available in the lounge for those who, unlike me, choose to get some work done. A small, well-equipped gym with state-of-the-art cardiovascular machines is available for guests. A very helpful attendant, while inconspicuous, is on duty to answer any questions. A full concierge service is just an in-suite phone call away to the inn’s sister hotel, XV Beacon, whose concierge helps with tickets, reservations or questions of a general nature. The inn does not offer valet parking, but I found an inexpensive public parking garage within walking distance. (35/40)
The Experience: The genius of The Inn @ St. Botolph is that while guests receive all they expect from an upscale hotel, they will also get the comfortable feeling that only comes with being in your own home. The inn is also within walking distance of many of the finer shopping areas, restaurants and clubs that Beantown has to offer. Boston’s numerous historical sights are accessible on foot or no more than a short cab or subway ride away. While walking back from a Saturday night dinner, I had the feeling that I couldn’t wait to get back to my own “apartment” in one of the city’s best neighborhoods — the nicest touch of all!
Total Score: 92/100
The Inn @ St. Botolph
99 St. Botolph St.
Boston, MA 02116
tel 617 236 8099
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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