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HotelChatter Checks Out Boston's Liberty Hotel

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  Site Where: 215 Charles St [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02114
June 25, 2009 at 4:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

As we told you yesterday, we went on a quick jaunt to Boston and had the chance to check out the Liberty Hotel, which opened up in 2007 inside a building that used to be the Charles Street Jail. The luxe hotel has a jail-y theme throughout that pays homage to the building's former life, and before we give you a full rundown of our overnight experience, check out the video tour of our room here.

Check-In
Our friend dropped us off in front of the hotel, and a valet opened the car door while we clutched our overnight bag (that's right; we were determined to take it upstairs ourselves this time. Success!) We were directed through the front doors and up one floor via escalator into the impressive lobby, which, despite the rainy day, was vibrant and warm — and when we rolled in (at 7:00 pm), there were plenty of locals and guests hanging out around the lobby sipping cocktails and munching on small bites. Cool vibe.

As one front desker checked us in, another poured us a glass of champagne (apparently they do that for everyone, not just single ladies who look like they've just endured a 5-hour car ride). Check-in was without incident and we were sent up to the 14th floor.

Room Reaction
The kickass view pretty much knocked us on our butt. It was the first thing we saw when we opened up the door. The TV, which was sitting on the armoire instead of mounted on the wall (a little low for our tastes, but we're picky) was playing some ambient-ish music.

There was nothing particularly striking about the room except the window — colors were muted; furniture was your standard luxe-hotel sorta stuff. The lamp situation in the back corner of the room was peculiar; a floor lamp was right next to the nightstand lamp, and the beige lounge chair seemed out of place. But no matter: there was tons of light in the room and plenty of desk space, which is where we spent most of our sit-down time anyway.

What We Liked
The bathroom was massive. We could have done yoga on the floor in there. Ours had both a shower and a separate tub, with Molton Brown toiletries stocked in each. Nice touches with single fresh flowers adorning some of the soap dishes around the bathroom, too. The black tile was sleek — and there was even a little battery-operated candle sitting on the bathroom shelf to, as Justin Timberlake says, "set the mood right."

The bed was plush, though the mattress felt like it was moving around a lot when we tossed and turned (yes, just tossing and turning.)

There were plenty of outlets around the room — plus two telephones (one on the desk, one on the nightstand) with a pretty flashy digital screen that said our name on it (yes, these sorts of things impress us).

Also, the lobby is absolutely stunning. There's tons of seating and it's not too loud — and the patrons going in and out of the bar, Alibi (which is at the bottom of the escalator) and the upscale resto, Clink, weren't loud or obnoxious — everyone in the place seemed sophisticated and laid-back. We had some drinks and munchies around 11 with a friend, and the specialty cocktails were — though expensive — refreshing and plenty strong, and the edamame we tried and fresh mozzarella we nibbled on in the lobby were delightful.

What We Didn't Like
Overnight parking was $42 (which we'd heard prior to our arrival) so we didn't bother driving ourselves and had someone drop us off.

Also, we're not sure if this is a throwback to the ol' jail theme or what, but the armoire that the TV and amenities were sitting on was looking a little bit worse for the wear.

WiFi
Free and fast, everywhere in the hotel (even in the restaurant, Clink).

Bottom Line
This place is damn cool. The kickass jail theme throughout the hotel is unique and sorta captivated us — and the amenities and service level lived up to what we'd expect from a hotel in this price range. Are there better values in Boston? Sure. But the experience of the Liberty is both funky and upscale without being painfully W-esque trendy; spring for it just to check it out, if only once.

Rooms here start around $345; because we'd go into debt and end up in a real jail if we weren't careful, we accepted a media rate of $200.

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