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Onyx Hotel, Boston, MA: A Kimpton gem

September 28, 2010

As you know, I am a fan of the Kimpton Hotel chain even though my experience with them over the last year has been spotty. I’m super pleased to have tried the Onyx Hotel in Boston this time. My plan was to find out whether the Hotel Marlowe should be replaced as my default Boston hotel. Probably.

After 6 hours of weather delays for an hour long flight, I arrived in Boston around 11pm. The front desk staff (Alen and “queen” Darnella) was exceptional at check in, making me feel right at home. True to form, my room was ready and was a match for my Intouch preferences. There was a welcome note from Linda Chin the GM and a smal bottle of Merlot. Very nice.

I joined Joe the bartender for a night cap and we discussed mixology. Joe was interested, but not very knowledgeable. One day maybe all good hotels will have real mixologists?!

On to the room. The Onyx has fairly small rooms, nicely appointed but a bit cluttered. My room (808) appears to be a standard layout. Here’s what the bathroom looks like.

Unfortunately the plumbing was suffering some problems when I arrived and it was too late to get things fixed. But when alerted in the morning, the staff was very responsive.

Now to the shower, featuring the kind of shower curtain that gives me the heeby-jeebies, over a plastic tub. Horrors.

The water pressure was acceptable, but nothing to write home about. And the tiles are real tiles even though they are shiny enough that they look plastic. It’s a close call on this website’s criteria.

Here is a picture of the controls.

A real surprise are the containers of shampoo and conditioner.  As one of my friends says, this is a design just waiting for unscrupulous use of Nair.  Amazing that some of us get paid to think like that, huh?

The Onxy comes out on top of Hotel Marlowe because of its staff, which is the best trained staff I have come across in the last handful of Kimpton visits.  The Eventi hotel in NY pales in comparison to this hotel.  Real management is the key.

When I sent the Eventi GM Thomas Mathes a critical but fair note suggesting some improvements, he ignored my feedback.  In one fell swoop, Eventi is permanently off the list.  Too bad more Kimpton GM’s are not like Linda Chin.

On the strength of its staff, the Onyx earns four of five showerheads and a place on the list of hotels I will return to.

3 Responses to “Onyx Hotel, Boston, MA: A Kimpton gem”


  1. […] Some of my Kimpton-faced reviews do have a snarky flavor to them, but I also do my share of positive reinforcement when things are done right. As it turns out, positive reinforcement may be so rare among hotel […]


  2. […] I was setting this trip up I was shocked by the prices. Kimpton to the rescue. A quick note to the esteemed Linda Chin (GM at the Onyx) helped me reserve a […]


  3. […] Thank goodness Joe is around, because he rescued a Marlowe visit again even though he runs the Onxy across town! Thanks […]


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