Hyatt Regency Boston Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Downtown and Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • One block from both the Boston Common and the Financial District
  • Big 24-hour gym with extensive equipment
  • Easy access to Orange, Red, and Green T lines
  • Lots of ballroom and meeting space
  • On-site pool

Cons

  • Pricey valet and self-parking
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Late check-in

Bottom Line

The 498-room Hyatt Regency is in need of an overhaul -- it's outdated, disorganized, and not well maintained. While the location is good, on a quiet street in downtown with the Boston Common and the Financial District each just a block away and it has a big 24-hour fitness center, it's hard to recommend a stay here; just up the street the Omni Parker House does it better.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

The hotel is like an uncool version of the 1986 film Labrynth: misleading, geographically confusing, and outdated.

The Hyatt Regency's rooms could use updating.
The Hyatt Regency's rooms could use updating.

Everyone seemed to be quite lost at the Hyatt Regency. First, there isn't really a proper entrance to the hotel, with the exception of a small staircase that's burdensome if you have luggage (though they do have an employee standing there to help you -- and he expects a tip). If your bag has wheels, you can enter through the parking garage, and while it's dangerous, this was how they suggested I exit. Of course, neither of these lead to the actual lobby or front desk; to find these, you take the constantly malfunctioning elevators to another floor. I encountered many lost and otherwise irritated guests during my stay.

Like the elevators, the rest of the hotel felt ill maintained. While the large gym is pretty good -- lots of free weights and weight machines, though the ellipticals and treadmills don't have their own TVs -- the pool is not: the ladders are rusted, and the nauseating presence of a used Band-Aid indicated the infrequency of basic cleaning. (Also, the gym and pool are located at least five minutes walking distance from any room; even if you're on the same floor, you have to trek down a series of long, faded-yellow hallways and stairwells. Once I finally got to the gym entrance, I was actually quite surprised to find the gym right behind it ... rather than find a smaller door behind it, and then another even smaller door behind that one, and so on and so forth). That's the feeling you get when you navigate around this hotel.

All rooms now have flat-screen TVs. They come with Nintendo 64s, which came out more than twelve years ago. Other highlights? My room smelled overwhelmingly of car freshener, the bathtub's drain was rusted, and the hair dryer induced images of faulty-wire fires. The rooms did, however, have iPod docks, which came in handy when the not-remotely-soundproof rooms got noisy. (One guest said he could hear not just the person in the adjoining room on his cell phone, but also the person on the other end of the line.)

The lobby's unremarkable restaurant, Avenue One, serves the type of unfocused fare that calls itself "contemporary cuisine": nachos, meatloaf, fish and chips, with most typical entrees (steak, fish, et al.) ranging from the low to mid $20s. The 24-hour room service was not much better. It was slow and sloppy: the tomato accoutrement that I didn't ask for may have been, along with the potatoes, an intended bonus, but the tomato was burned and what few potatoes I was served were cold. Tomato. Potato. Let's call the whole thing off. However, the lobby and Avenue One both saw renovations in 2011 and, though still not terribly impressive, the updates have improved the space aesthetically. The menu has, unfortunately, not undergone the same overhaul.

The business center, however, is decent, with several computer consoles and printers ($5 for the first 10 minutes, and 50 cents for each additional minute), and the hotel has a great location just a block from the Boston Common. But you can get that at other, better Boston hotels. Until the Hyatt Regency undergoes a full renovation and its entry/exits are made easier to access, there's just not much of a reason to stay here, especially when you can go to the similarly priced Omni Parker House up the street for a better overall product and a little history thrown in.

 Location

Centrally located downtown, just one block east of the Boston Common

For business travelers who want to easily access a bit of Boston's history, the Hyatt has a great location. Bordered by the Financial District and the Boston Common, the Hyatt Regency is located on Avenue de Lafayette, a small downtown street. There are three T stops (Boston's subway system) (Downtown, Chinatown, and Boylston) nearby, each no more than a five-minute walk. The hotel's surrounding blocks are lined with bars, Irish pubs, Chinese restaurants, steakhouses, and seafood joints. Handily, the hotel is just around the corner from the 19-screen Loews Theatres Boston Common, which is available for videoconferencing or simply movie-going.

  • Two minutes' walk to the Boston Common, the country's oldest park and the start of Boston's 2.5-mile Freedom Trail
  • Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, is a 10- to 15-minute drive.
  • Harvard Square is across the Charles River, about 20 minutes via public transportation.
  • 10- to 15-minute walk to New England Aquarium
  • Faneuil Hall, a historic marketplace and modern-day mall, is about 10 to 15 minutes on foot or via public transportation.
  • One block to Downtown T (Red and Orange Line) and Chinatown T (Orange); two blocks to Boylston T (Green Line)
  • Boston's Logan International Airport is a 20- to 25-minute taxi ride.

 Weddings

Simple packages that include the help of a wedding coordinator, a plated dinner, and a few freebies.

An impression of what the meeting room areas look like
An impression of what the meeting room areas look like
  • Wedding Size: Up to 350 people
  • Extra Fees: Ceremony fee, plus a 7 percent "administrative fee" on the entire cost of the wedding (in addition to the required 15 percent service charge and 7 percent sales tax).
  • Wedding Packages: All packages include the help of a wedding coordinator, a bridal suite (to get ready in), a cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres and an open bar, a champagne toast, a three-course plated dinner with wine, a wedding cake, simple decorations, and a free suite for the bride and groom.
  • Ceremony Locations: The Thomas Jefferson Ballroom (also called the "Grand Ballroom") can host up to 350 guests and it also includes an outdoor terrace. Smaller events can be held in the Adrienne Salon.
  • Food: The total cost of the package depends mostly on your food choices. You can also get a kids' meal, and kosher and vegetarian diets can also be accommodated. If you don't like what's on the menu, you can also choose your own entree (along with three other options from the menu) for a four-course dinner.
  • Drinks: Bar items, in the standard package, include a good selection of brands -- Absolut, Jameson, and Patron Silver among them. In addition to the one hour of open bar included in the standard packages, you can also opt for an additional four hours at a pricey per person charge.
  • Freebies: Depending on how much you spend on your wedding, you can get some impressive freebies, namely two-to-five free nights at any Hyatt property for your honeymoon

 Bottom Line

The 498-room Hyatt Regency is in need of an overhaul -- it's outdated, disorganized, and not well maintained. While the location is good, on a quiet street in downtown with the Boston Common and the Financial District each just a block away and it has a big 24-hour fitness center, it's hard to recommend a stay here; just up the street the Omni Parker House does it better.

Things You Should Know About Hyatt Regency Boston

Address

  • One Avenue De Lafayette, Boston, MA, 02111

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Boston Hyatt
  • Boston Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt Boston

Room Types

  • Business Plan Room
  • Corner Room
  • Lafayette Suite
  • Presidential Suite
  • Respire Hypo-Allergenic Room
  • Standard Room

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Omni Parker House
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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 498
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Downtown and Waterfront, Boston
Address: One Avenue De Lafayette, Boston, MA, 02111
(See Map)
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