02108 Travel Guide
UPDATE: We've just got word that THE WIFI IS NOW FREE! Glorious!
Back in early June, we learned that the Mondrian Soho was in danger of losing its Mondrian name, thanks to the behind the scenes drama going on with parent company, Morgans Hotel Group. We also reported then that the Ames Hotel in Boston was in peril of losing its management contract with Morgans Hotel Group. And just like that, POOF, it's gone.
We received a press release today announcing that StepStone Hospitality, a Rhode Island-based hospitality management firm, has taken over The Ames Hotel.
“This unique property contrasts modern style with historic sophistication to provide a unique guest experience,” added Blair Wills, StepStone Hospitality president and chief operating officer. “We’re committed to assuring that the level of service matches the quality of the surroundings.”
StepStone currently manages a Hampton Inn and a Springhill Suites in Massachusetts so having the Ames in their portfolio is certainly a stepping stone to greater things.
So far, we don't anticipate many, if any, changes to happen at The Ames. However, it would be excellent if the Ames decided to offer free WiFi under their new management. Currently, the hotel charges $15 for 24 hours.
Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Snapshots / Boston Hotels / Historic Hotels / Omni Hotels / Hotel Design / Design Thursdays / → All Tags
Our high school Latin came in handy the other day when we popped inside the Boston Omni Parker House. And though we didn't realize it at the time, the three-word inscription on the coat of arms above the main entrance actually sums up the whole hotel pretty well.
Fideli merces certa translates as 'For the faithful, there will be certain reward.' And you can't get much more faithful than the Omni Parker House, which a nearby concierge informed us is the longest continually-operating hotel in the whole country. Their reward? Still staying in business!
Click through for our photos from the historic lobby!
Twitter / Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Showers / Hotel Flowers / Boston Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / → All Tags
In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These Twitpics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we will feature one "Twitpic of the Week" to commemorate our favorite hotel-themed snapshot. Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
One of the best things about social media is how quickly it can turn one individual's "Kodak moment" (does anyone even use that expression anymore?) into a shared experience for people all over the world.
In the case of @Niki_Leondakis, better known as the President and COO of Kimpton Hotels, this burst of color she snapped from her room at Nine Zero in Boston is quite possibly the cutest floral display we've seen in a while, not to mention the best use of flowers in a bathroom. And don't think we haven't seen our share of flowers. Or bathrooms, for that matter.
We like to check in on hotels a year or two after opening to see how they are aging slash maturing, and that is just what we did recently at the Ames. Back in November of 2009, shortly after it opened, we reviewed The Ames Hotel in Boston.
Our biggest gripe actually happened *before* we even checked in. The Ames has zero signage outside the property, which means id'ing the property can be difficult, especially from a moving car. Furthermore, anyone who has ever driven a car in Boston knows, downtown Boston was made for horses, not automobiles -- meaning if you miss the Ames once you could end up stuck trying to navigate Boston's one way streets for the next thirty minutes or so.
Luckily we have a cheat for you. If you miss 1 Court St the first time, don't panic, just take your next left, and keep taking your next left for three straight blocks. If you do that, voila, you should be back in front of the Ames hotels. Not quite the same as Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-A-B-A-B-Start, but close. Want an easier solution? Take a cab. Seriously, the last thing you want to do is drive in downtown Boston, trust us.
The decor has not changed, you can still expect plenty of white, charcoal, and mirrors, and a very Morgansesque experience upon arrival. Internet is still $15.99, but it is free with
If you want to hit up Beantown for the Fourth of July, the Ames Boston is offering three ways to spend the holiday weekend at the historic hotel.
Patriotic history buffs (or Sarah Palin who needs a big brush-up on her Revolutionary history) will want to try the Explore package, which brings you all over the city to see spots where Paul Revere and the Puritans visited; homes of literary geniuses like Emerson, Hawthorn and Thoreau; and sites of the Boston Tea Party and Big Dig as part of the Boston by Foot Walking Tour.
Ah, the change of seasons. You can just hear the chestnuts roasting, the pies baking... and the constant sneezing. Yep, it's allergy season (or cold season, take your pick), but thankfully hotels are coming to sniffly guests' rescue by providing hypo-allergenic rooms. The latest to get in on the act? Boston's XV Beacon.
The posh boutique property is the first hotel in Beantown to introduce FDA-cleared devices in hypo-allergenic guests rooms, rolling out installation of the serious-sounding ViraTech UV-400 advanced air purification system.
Are you heading to see Lady Gaga perform in Boston on the night of July 1 and perhaps hoping that she'll make an appearance at the hotel after-party like she did in New York? If so, you could be in luck...since The Ames Hotel is inviting the public to the after-party of the Semi Precious Weapons, after they open for Gaga at the TD Garden.
To be held at Woodward at The Ames, the after-party is just another stop on what seems to be Lady Gaga's tour of Morgans Hotel properties. Her last big party appearance was at NYC's Hudson Hotel, during a night hosted by her friend Lady Starlight. Considering that Gaga and Semi-Precious Weapon's lead singer Justin Tranter are friends from way back, we'd say that the chances of her appearing her are pretty good. After all, what else would Gaga do in Boston?
The list for July 1's Ames party is limited to 100 guests, first-come, first-served. Thus, you should totally mark it on your iCal now and send off your RSVP to RSVPwoodward@morganshotelgroup.com.
Outrageous hotel fees make our blood boil, and if WiFi is the king of offenders, hotel parking is a close second. And you know what really grinds our gears? The way hotels try to hide this info from you by not posting it on their websites, or by posting a note in fine print fit for a mouse that says “additional fees apply.”
The Ames has directions to the hotel on its website but nothing about parking. No one answered renaudl’s email inquiry so we called the hotel this morning to find out that it offers valet parking for $42 a night.
Anyone with a birthday around the holidays knows it sucks. You get combo gifts (if any at all) and everyone’s too busy with holiday parties and shopping to celebrate with you. But in the case of Boston’s XV Beacon Hotel, the festive-season birthday means gifts for all. The hotel turns 10 on January 1st, and is marking the occasion with a 10th Anniversary Package.
The deal is available throughout 2010 and includes an automatic upgrade on your room and a XV Beacon “remembrance” gift. Then there is a menu of other “enhancements” for your package—you can pick one from a list of 10 add-ons, which include a bottle of Champagne, a 10-year Tawny, a full American Breakfast, or parking. The package starts at $410 a night.
When we checked into the Ames Hotel last week, one of the things we were most looking forward to was the food. The lobster sandwich we ordered from the room service menu (almost identical to the menu in the restaurant) was generous and tasty, served with thin, salty fries, just the way we like them. (Although, as we mentioned yesterday, our beer arrived 20 minutes after the food.)
Woodward was fairly quiet at 9 a.m. on Saturday, so we snagged a prime spot in one of the chesterfield booths along the front window. Aside from the booths, there was a mix of small tables with white Windsor chairs, and bar-height tables with stools. The dark colors of the bar and booths was offset by the brightly lit curio-cabinets that wrap around the staircase up to the restaurant’s second level. (Upstairs there’s more tables, another bar, a fireplace and a private dining room.)
When we think of Boston hotels, we tend to think of stately properties like the Taj and the Fairmont Copley Plaza—places befitting the city’s preppy-Yankee vibe. But with the Morgans Hotel Group now in town, that image is getting a shake up. The new Ames Hotel brings some serious sexiness to Boston’s financial district, and you know what? We kinda like it.
The Ames is just around the corner from Faneuil Hall, amid banks and legal firms in the financial district. And since this is Boston, where blocks are small, it’s also a short walk to Boston Common. The New England Center for Homeless Veterans is next door, and South Station is less than 10 minutes away on foot. During our stay at least, there was some noisy construction going on just down the block. The kind that wakes you up before 8 a.m. on a Saturday.
UPDATE:Boston.com has some new interior pics of The Ames Hotel.
What a long way in such a short time The Ames Hotel in Boston has come. When we checked in on the hotel at the beginning of October, we were quite skeptical based on the construction work we saw going on.
But lo and behold, The Ames has gone ahead and opened itself up. Boston.com has the scoop on the hotel execs that made it out last night to the hotel's opening party:
The opening party for the Ames drew a long list of VIP guests including the project’s celebrated architect and designer David Rockwell, hotel partner Seth Greenberg, former “Top Chef’’ contestant Sam Talbot, who’ll be at the Ames restaurant, Woodward, until he moves on to another job in SoHo.
Congratulations, Ames! We're happy to see you made the opening date. And we're happy that Boston is getting some Morgans Hotel cool. No reason why NYC and Miami should have all the fun. But we bet the W Boston can't be too happy about this. Room rates at The Ames start at $225 a night for a 350-sq.ft. minimalist-designed superior room. If you use the special opening code we told you about--Spgrat--the rates come down to $180 a night. Meanwhile, the W Boston starts at $242 a night.
Tell us where you would rather stay--The W Boston or The Ames Hotel? Put your thoughts in comments below.