- Pricey fee for self-parking
- Fee for Wi-Fi
- Room service is not 24 hours
- Other than business lounge, little seating in lobby
This 390-room Hilton in Back Bay offers spacious rooms with comfortable Hilton Serenity beds, plus a free pool, fitness center, and business center. But it doesn't quite measure up to the next-door Sheraton and nearby Westin.
Part of a cluster of midrange chain hotels surrounding the huge Hynes Convention Center complex, the 390-room Hilton Boston Back Bay offers lodging to big groups of business travelers. The hotel faces some stiff competition for convention traffic from the nearby Westin and Sheraton, which have more colorful rooms, bigger and better fitness centers, and direct access to the Hynes complex. But it's worth noting that rates are usually lower at this perfectly nice Hilton, which offers spacious and comfortable (if not supremely stylish) rooms and ample amenities.
Guests will find a pleasant but smallish lobby, with warm wooden columns surrounding a double-sided, burnt orange couch. Similar to the across-the-street Sheraton, a business lounge off to the side offers a Starbucks and several computers guests can use for free.
Following the renovation, the sizable standard rooms (starting at 300 square feet) now all come with Hilton Serenity Beds -- very comfortable Serta Sleepers topped with 250-thread-count sheets, down duvets and down pillows. A new 32-inch flat-panel LCD TV offers almost 50 channels, including HBO Family. That said, even after the renovation, the decor feels a little staid. By contrast, for example, the rooms at the Sheraton next door are more colorful and contemporary -- and even the standard rooms there offer panoramic views of Boston. (At the Hilton, you have to pay for an upgrade to get that.)
After a separate $1.7 million renovation in 2008, the fitness-center and pool complex here features brand new Life Fitness cardio equipment, a Jacuzzi, Philips flat-screens, and new locker rooms with showers. Again, it's not as splashy as the one at the Sheraton complex -- where the huge lap pool comes with its own retractable glass ceiling -- but it is spacious and sunny, with floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding two sides of the room.
Service is pretty much what you'd expect from a midrange chain serving hundreds of rooms. A free copy of USA Today is delivered to your door, but room service ends at midnight. The per-night fee for self-serve parking (no valet here) is also bit pricey. Dining choices here are a little limited, just a Starbucks and a single restaurant, 40 Dalton, serving traditional American cuisine. But with so many restaurants in and around the Hynes complex, you won't lack for options.
In Boston's Back Bay, across from the Hynes Convention Center
The Hilton is located in Back Bay, across the street from the Hynes Convention Center complex -- not attached to it, like some of its competitors. That means you must (briefly) walk outside to enter Hynes, which conventioneers may not enjoy in the middle of a Boston winter.
As an upscale commercial and residential area in the center of Boston, Back Bay offers a little bit of everything, from luxury shopping on Newbury Street to baseball at nearby Fenway Park. Office workers toil away in the area's high-rise buildings, some of Boston's tallest, while business travelers convene for conferences at the Hynes Convention Center. Major attractions like the Public Garden and Boston Common and the start of the Freedom Trail are within a few blocks. Many other tourist hot spots, like the North End and Faneuil Hall, are 20 to 30 minutes away via public transportation. The area is filled with midrange and upscale restaurants, many of them chains. The South End, a more lively, bohemian-flavored area with trendy bars and eateries, is a quick 10-minute walk.
Although not as classy as its neighbors, this Hilton is a comfortable, accommodating, and very affordable wedding option.
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