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Inside Boston's Hotel Commonwealth

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 500 Commonwealth Ave [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02215
January 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM | by | ()

A few years back we reported on the controversial façade and BU student-population at the Hotel Commonwealth. Now that the fuss has died down, and Boston has welcomed hot new properties like the W Boston, The Ames, and The Liberty Hotel, how is the Commonwealth holding up?

We checked in on a snowy winter Sunday to give the hotel’s Girls in the City package a whirl. The deal includes a night in a Commonwealth Room (similar to a junior suite), a gift box of Fresh bath products, Frette robes and slippers to use during the stay, a $50 gift card to spend at the hotel’s Eastern Standard restaurant, a pre-loaded Charlie Card to use on the T, and a late check-out (3 p.m.)

What We Liked
The big, cozy beds, the space, and the polished but relaxed feel of the room. (It makes you feel at home more than the sexed-up design of those newer hotels.)

With plans to hit up a show and a few bars on Lansdowne Street—right behind the hotel, near Fenway Park—we decided to save our visit to Eastern Standard for the morning, but we did order up midnight snacks from room service. And they even let us order off the kids’ menu. Hello, chicken fingers!

Since the Commonwealth Rooms are huge and so conducive to chicks lounging around and gossiping, we didn’t actually hear room service knock on the door (or hear their call) until their third attempt. But in the end we got our food, and it was tasty and plentiful. The breakfast at Eastern Standard, which is spacious and glossy, also hit the spot for a next-day recovery.

What We Didn’t Like
The valet parking was $42 a night. But it had been snowing all weekend so when we pulled up outside the front door, we thought, “What the hell?” In the valet’s rush to help us exit the car and get out of the frigid air, however, we unknowingly dropped our GPS monitor into the snowy curb. We only realized this the next day after checking out. After a frustrating game of “yes, we have it” and then “we can’t find it” with the hotel’s front desk / lost-and-found closet, we left Boston without it. On the plus side, the hotel called a day later to say it was still lost after all but they would reimburse us the cost for a new GPS.

The Bottom Line
We got to experience the Girls in the City package gratis while on assignment for another publication, but we would gladly pay for the experience in the future. The package starts at $259 a night, and Commonwealth Rooms can accommodate two to three people (although a sofa bed would make this even easier).

The location near Fenway and the Kenmore Square nightlife—with a T stop and bus stop right outside—couldn’t be better. It’s more “Girls Get Cozy” than “Girls Gone Wild” but then this is Boston, not the Jersey Shore. Keep it classy, and you’ll enjoy the Commonwealth.

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