Check In @ Mandarin Oriental Boston
Professional service with a smile and a free beverage. Desk folks rush to help you with all your needs and not only do they do so with a smile, but they also hand you their business cards using the classic Far East two-handed-thumbs-down presentation.
Ok, yes, we prefer higher floor rooms with jaw dropping views. However, Room 415 felt peaceful and secluded, despite being located on the fourth floor, across from the fitness center and down the hall from the in-house spa. The large room size, the soft color palette (natural greens and browns) and the soothing entry music definitely helped. The negatives? The room definitely feels very corporate and lacks character. That could also be construed as a positive as you know you will get high grade Mandarin luxury when you check in here.
In-Room Entertainment & On-Site Facilities
WiFi is $15.00 per day, do we need to go any further?
Let's focus on the on-site facilities. We were on the 4th floor, which also houses the fitness center (small, but utilitarian) and the spa (16,000 square feet, giant, and very unique to the Boston hotel scene).
One freebie that is not mentioned often is the free car service. We used the service to head to a meeting downtown, as well as to get out to a meeting on near Newton (outside Boston city limits). During the second meeting the car actually waited for us and transported us down to South Station after the half hour meeting was over.
This was a huge perk, and while the availability and distance this free car service will go is completely dependent on demand, (thus mentioning it here probably makes it more difficult on future guests that want to use the service -- sorry!) it really saves you a bunch of money if taking a taxi is your preferred method of travel.
Of course, you could bypass all this and just take the T, depends on where you need to go and how much time you have to get there, obviously.
The saddest part about checking in to a room on the 4th floor is you can easily develop a serious case of "view envy." Luckily, our room did provide a nice view of Boylston street, which while not sweeping and panoramic, was better than staring at another building.
Restaurant & Bar
Bar Friendly service provided by a California blonde who makes up one half of a husband-wife screenwriting team (they have a movie debuting at Sundance in January). The scene at the bar is definitely low key class and the clientele skews international, not local.
Perfect breakfast. Brown sugar oatmeal (no, not the Quaker variety), croissant and coffee. If you are looking for a heartier breakfast, there are plenty of egg options on the menu. The price, both at the bar and the restaurant is a bit steep, but with both Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts right outside your door you will have plenty of opportunities to skip it, or save up for one good meal/night here.
One block from Newbury, one block from Copley, attached to the Prudential Center, right across the street from the Apple Store. Um, can you tell this location is fairly tough to beat, unless you *must* have a Boston hotel on the harbor.
High as a kite. In general, Boston hotel rates have shown few signs of falling this year, and the Mandarin is one of three or four high-end hotels in the City, thus, we got charged $345 for the night.
Should you stay at Mandarin Oriental Boston?
If you are a business traveler looking for consistent luxury, a Back Bay location, and are not concerned about your hotel feeling local, go for it.