Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A 190-room downtown property, located close to Beacon Hill, goes heavy on style
Like many properties that are part of the style-focused, midlevel Kimpton chain, Nine Zero Hotel takes an aggressively contemporary design approach -- from its modernist lobby to the fur-blanket-draped beds in the standard rooms.
The rooms recently received a soft goods renovation that freshened up the bedding, window treatments, sofas, and carpeting; dark colors and contrasting patterns and stripes now predominate. If you like this sort of look, and are tired of standard-issue hotel decor, you'll probably find the rooms to be interesting and cozy. On the other hand, there are a lot of big, dark pieces of furniture in these 280-square-foot rooms, and, well, let's just say that none of it fades into the background. Add to that the fact that some of the rooms have unfortunate views of a brick wall and the result is that some will no doubt feel the rooms are too dark and perhaps even cramped.
Don't be fooled by the "boutique" patina -- the service at this property is about what you'd expect from a large midrange chain -- reasonably professional most of the time, impersonal, and sometimes flawed. Case in point: When I arrived in my room, the minibar was a mess. When the minibar service arrived and I pointed out the mess, the staffer checked her papers and incorrectly reported that I'd been in the room for two days. And when I called downstairs later on to ask for a new desk chair due to an unsightly stain, I was told someone would be up immediately; an hour later, no one had shown up.
As at most Kimptons, the amenities are modest but well-executed. The free evening wine hours, a Kimpton trademark, are popular and pleasant. The gym is on the small side, but the equipment is brand new, including a couple of Precor treadmills and ellipticals with their own TVs. And the on-site steakhouse, KO Prime, via James-Beard-Award-winning-chef Kenneth Oringer, is fantastic. (On the other hand, I'd skip the unimpressive continental breakfast.)
In the end, not a bad midrange option considering the location, especially if you like a distinctly unconventional atmosphere. On the other hand, other convenient Boston hotels offer more for your money and some history to boot. If you're willing to part with the hip boutique thing, and are satisfied with more traditional-looking decor, the historic Omni Parker House, across from the Boston Common, has recently upgraded rooms, generally lower rates, and a lot of history.
Open-arms policy toward pets
No extra charges for pets; all sizes and types welcome.
In the heart of downtown, across the street from the Boston Common
Nine Zero is in downtown, just outside Beacon Hill, a historic, wealthy, residential neighborhood known for its Federal-style rowhouses, brick sidewalks, and narrow streets. The hotel faces the Boston Common, one of the oldest city parks in the United States. At the top of the common is Granary Burial Ground, where the likes of Paul Revere, Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Mother Goose were laid to rest. The blocks surrounding the hotel are lined with bars, Irish pubs, and restaurants.
Just to the north, Beacon Hill is a quiet area with hidden gardens and more than 40 antique shops. It is a bit less tourist-focused than much of Boston, even though the nearby Acorn Street claims to be the most photographed street in America, and 84 Beacon Street, formerly known as the Bull & Finch Pub, was the inspiration for the show Cheers.
This 190-room boutique hotel from the off-beat Kimpton group has a great location across the street from the Boston Common, an excellent on-site steakhouse, and an open-arms policy toward pets. The amenities are modest, and the service is middling, but otherwise a decent midpriced option if you like this kind of aggressively contemporary design.