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The Onyx in Boston: I sense a disturbance in the force

May 31, 2013

It was an early start in Canada at 5am, but Air Canada and Global Entry conspired to make for an easy trip.

The Onyx still has a truly phenomenal staff. Friendly, interested, engaging, and fun; even when there’s a line at the front desk during the afternoon registration crush or a lobby full of impatient Germans waiting for their cabs to the airport. They used to be trained and led by Linda Chin, but now my friend Joe Capalbo is the general manager. (At that time, Joe ran the Hotel Marlowe just across the river in Cambridge.)

Joe and Dava Berman know all about my mixology problem and played right along by gathering the ingredients for a Nevada as a welcome package to room 1009. Super cool. The Nevada is a truly outstanding concoction.

Makings for the Nevada.

Makings for the Nevada.

Here’s the result. I think there is enough stuff here to make one for everyone in the hotel.

An actual Nevada.

An actual Nevada.

The only fly in the Onyx ointment is a distinct lack of glass showers. As a joke, Joe had the shower curtain liner removed from my shower before my arrival. Hilarious!

Not a glass shower.

Not a glass shower.

Kimpton bathrooms have high quality fixtures.

Kimpton bathrooms have high quality fixtures.

Joe has a sneaky plan to get some glass showers installed. We’ll see whether he can pull it off. You see, the Onyx is not the same level of property as a Palomar or the Marlowe in the Kimpton constellation of hotels. But what they lack in glass showers they make up for in personality and verve. Hence the title of this posting. We use the force (glass shower heuristic) to find good hotels. The onyx causes a disturbance in the force.

Onyx rooms are kinda small. I like more room to spread out and cause trouble.

Bed room.

Bed room.

Entertainment console view.

Entertainment console view.

Mixology fun on this trip did not end with the Nevada at the Onyx. In fact, they were just getting started. At the Cigital Boston launch party we hosted, we got a superb barman to make some real drinks. They went along nicely with the live jazz and the hors d’ouevres.

Mixology by Sage (until recently from drink) at the Boston office launch party.

Mixology by Sage (until recently from drink) at the Boston office launch party.

Then there was dinner and a visit to drink where we were lucky enough to be ministered to by the incomparable Ezra Star. Needless to say, the cocktails were superb. We even worked in a lesson in reverse engineering. I take back all the bad things I said about drink. Well some of them anyway.

Reversing the Brooklyn courtesy of Ezra at drink.

Reversing the Brooklyn courtesy of Ezra at drink.

A mid-day breakfast at Ferrara’s was just what the doctor ordered.

As our next trick, my band Where’s Aubrey played an impromptu concert in the Onyx lobby. I guess that’s one way to recover from a very late night at drink.

Back to drink (before a delicious and authentic Italian dinner at Bricco) for some cocktails with Ren Brown. Ren is playing with Gin and created the Gin Mai Tai 44
1 oz Ransom gin
1 oz Haymon gin
1 oz Lime
.5 oz PF orange curacao
1/8 oz Orgeat

Five enthusiastic showerheads for the Onyx. Come see for yourself how cool the staff is.

One Response to “The Onyx in Boston: I sense a disturbance in the force”


  1. […] Kimpton scuttlebutt news, Joe Capalbo is coming back to run the Marlowe after his stint at the Onyx, and Michal is headed to the Onyx to take his place. Musical chairs! Of course we selfishly like to […]


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