After the craziness of the holidays, along with the hubs birthday and the fact that I had a few comp days, we decided to take a long weekend in Bahston (Boston). We decided on Boston since the hubs is a HUGE Cheers fan, beer aficionado and history buff. We started looking into hotels and found The Bulfinch Hotel which seemed like a cute boutique hotel right in the center of it all, and the price was right. (*Note to all and to self, you get what you pay for.) We couldn’t wait to get to Boston and see the history, drink the beer and just enjoy each other’s company. As always, I developed a full on itinerary of where we will be visiting, eating, etc. along with our reservation times and address. I’m a little crazy like that.
Thursday – We drove through a blizzard, arriving late (according to my itinerary) to our destination, The Bulfinch Hotel. We pulled up in front of the hotel next to the valet parking sign. We waited and waited. Finally I got out of the car and went inside to say “We’re here and we are parked right outside by the valet sign, now what?” The gentleman looked up from his iPhone and said “Valet parking means, unload your stuff, drive to the stop sign, turn left and turn left again, park in the parking garage and walk back”. Hmmm… I mean I knew people in Boston had accents, but didn’t realize that not only the pronunciation of words were different, but so were the definitions. I walked back to the car, told the hubs. We brought our stuff in and he walked up to the gentleman and said so now what do we do? His reply was “Like I told your wife, blah blah blah”. Ok not off to a great start. We have Mr. Personality at the front desk and have to park our car, walk, etc. We finish unloading, the hubs goes to park the car I turn to check in and the gentleman is now on the phone. So I wait. And I wait. My husband returns asking if I checked in and I say nope he’s been on the phone the whole time. Other people are now waiting in the lobby. Finally a gentleman named Corey comes out from behind a wall, he was early to work and able to help us all. We finally check in. Later on that evening we expressed our concern with the way we were handled during check in to Corey who assured us he would forward the information to his manager Liz. We had lunch at the Cheers Replica bar which had surprisingly good food. Took a nap and then headed to dinner at Turner Fisheries which was great. The food and service were wonderful. The maitre’d even walked us through the hotel to show us where we could catch a cab. What service!
Friday – We woke up to get ready and realized we have no hot water in our shower. Grabbed lunch at the Union Oyster House which is the oldest restaurant in the US. Of course we had to grab a cup of Clam Chowder (or chowdah). Went about our day, did the Boston Super Tour which was a fantastic way to see the city and I highly recommend it. So did @BostonTweet. If you don’t follow him on Twitter, you should. He is the be all and end all of everything you need to know Boston. I felt like he was my own private virtual concierge. One of our stops was the Original Cheers Bar, so of course we had to grab a drink. We did some shopping and then got ready for our dinner at Lucia Ristorante. Lucia Ristorante is on Hanover Street in the Italian section of Boston. It is the spot for Italian food. Everything we ordered was out of this world and all made to order. Our server’s recommendations were right on. I ordered a chicken dish and the hubs ordered the veal chop special. Even the coffee was wonderful. We will definitely be back there next time we are in town. At some point during the day, we met John the manager of the Bulfinch. He came over to meet us at the bar since we had chatted with them on Twitter. Turns out someone else does their Twitter, but big deal. (Oh forgot to mention… they promised us a special treat at check in for being a Twitter follower, yea that didn’t happen.) We told John about our experience checking in the day before and he seemed to feel bad, kinda.
Saturday – Another cold shower. I called to order room service for breakfast. They offer room service, but they don’t put menus in the rooms so you have to ask for one at the front desk. I wanted to order a waffle, but their waffle maker was broke. They were also out of a lot of wine the night before and waiting for a shipment. We ended up ordering their continental breakfast which was yogurt (which arrived not as described), bagels and coffee. It arrived after an hour and without sugar for the coffee. So the hubs went down to get me some. We ventured over to the Sam Adams Brewery by subway (super easy) and had a great lesson on the history of Sam Adams and beer in general. The hubs loved this part of the trip. We even ended up sitting with a guy who shared a birthday with the hubs. Crazy right? We travelled over to the Freedom Trail and grabbed a bite at The Purple Shamrock. Had a great reuben. Our arms were heavy from shopping and were carrying a number of bags. We went up to our room at The Bulfinch Hotel and guess what? Our keys don’t work. None of them. Luckily there was a phone in the hall so we called the front desk. Liz the manager came up and tried other keys, nope they didn’t work. She tried using some special machine, didn’t work. Finally she got us in. She went back down to the front desk to get another machine. She played around for a while on our door and finally was able to get keys to work in our room. Time for a nap! We rested and got ready to have dinner at The Oak Room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. Let me just say we almost stayed there. Every President has stayed at the Fairmont Copley Plaza and most of them have eaten in the library of The Oak Room. The place is beautiful! We were ushered in and brought to the far back room, the library. It was quaint, charming and elegant. I put my purse on the floor and our server Pasquale said “wait let me get you something for your purse”. I thought he was going to come back with one of those purse things you clip on to the table so it’s not on the floor. He came back with a beautiful ottoman for my purse. I had a chair for my purse! The service was impeccable, the food was good but overpriced. You pay for the ambiance and the service there. But it was a great way to end our trip.
Sunday – We checked out and headed home. I messaged The Bulfinch Hotel on Twitter to let them know of our disappointment, but no reply.
Since then I have tried to reach out to them, but not only does the hotel have “great customer service” but so does their Twitter consultant who blocked me from writing them.
Word to the wise… you get what you pay for, not everything is what it seems, if it seems too good to be true… it probably is. Don’t stay at the Bulfinch Hotel. There are plenty of amazing hotels in Boston that are so much better, have better customer service, prices and hot water. Oh and valet does mean valet everywhere else in Boston.
Filed under: Boston, Food, marriage, Uncategorized, Vacation | Tagged: bad service, beer, Boston, Bulfinch Hotel, Cheers, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Food, hotel, Lucia Ristorante, Sam Adams, The Oak Room, The Purple Shamrock, travel, Turner Fisheries, Twitter, Vacation, valet |