Review: Ritz-Carlton Boston

I recently stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Boston on Avery Street (!) for three nights using free night vouchers. While perfectly located and comfortable, the hotel suffers from some drawbacks, namely that it is outdated and obscenely priced.

Booking

The Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa comes with three free nights as a sign-up bonus (and is available to Canadians with an ITIN). I was visiting Boston over the November 11 long-weekend, and prices for good hotels in the CBD were obscene – easily over $CAD 1000/night. As a note, I found Boston to be an incredibly expensive city, with rather poor food and beverage offerings. I consider the use of my free night certificates at this hotel as good value, considering the hotel routinely goes for over $USD 650/night.

Check-In

I was originally scheduled to fly on Delta from Ottawa – Detroit – Boston, but fortunately, my first flight was oversold and I was placed on the direct flight on Air Canada. Once I arrived in Boston around 9AM, I took the free Silver Bus from the airport, arriving at the hotel within about 20 minutes. Check-in was quick, however, I was told that there was no upgrade availability due to full occupancy that night (I am a Ritz Gold member), but if I came back the next day I could be upgraded to a suite. Interestingly, the NY Knicks were staying at the hotel for a game later that night.

Room

The room, while small, had a very nice washroom with a separate bathtub, shower, and toilet room. Like most Ritz hotels, Asprey toiletries were used. I’m not a fan of this brand, namely for their overly perfumed compounding.

Bathroom

The room had two beds (even though I requested a queen/king), but they were extremely comfortable. I love soft beds, but if you’re into hard beds, you might have a problem.

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My travel companion enjoys drinking tea in the morning, however, the room was not equipped with either tea or coffee supplies in the room. On request, the concierge brought up a tea set with lemons, cream, honey, etc.

While comfortable, the room felt dated. The carpet was something you’d find in a retirement residence, and the hallways of the hotel were grim. Fortunately, the elevators were quick, and I barely noticed any other guests even with full occupancy. Unfortunately, even though I was told I would be upgraded to a suite the next day, the hotel was unable to accommodate that promise. Oh well.

I didn’t visit the restaurant or bar, but it’s notable that the hotel charges one of the most ridiculous fees I’ve ever seen: a 1% “order-taker” fee for room service (on top of a $5 order charge and mandatory 18% service fee).

Conclusion

All in all, the hotel was comfortable and well located, being right beside most of the interesting tourist sites in Boston (ex. Boston Common, Freedom Trail). However, the standard price is astronomical, especially considering the dated nature of the hotel. While a good use of a free night certificate, I’d certainly be upset paying anywhere near full price (or even half price) for the Ritz-Carlton Boston.

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