Convenient for hospitals, but bad if you are on vacation A review of BEST WESTERN PLUS Boston - The Inn at Longwood Medical

I stayed at the Longwood Inn for business in August of 2006 for for three nights. The location of the hotel in proximity to Beth Israel Deconess and Harvard Medical is really convenient and It's about a 15 to 20 minute walk to Fenway park. The hotel staff is helpful and courteous.

I first need to say that I believe that the hotel and garage are managed separately, but my dealings with the garage contributes to my overall experience at the Longwood Inn.

The hotel shares their garage with the Galeria mall next door. On the day of my arrival, the garage posted a sign saying it was full. I drove up to the attendant who confirmed the lot was full, but also wanted to charge me four dollars to pass through just to make a u-turn. I was forced to drive in reverse out onto the busy Longwood Avenue. I phoned the hotel and asked what the process is for parking if the lot is full. The kind receptionist advised me that during Sox game days, the garage posts a "temporary full" sign to deter overflow of fan parking. I was to go back, advise him that I am checking in. In turn, he is supposed to valet my car for me.

I went back to the garage, did as the receptionist said and the parking attendant didn't believe me and accused me of being there the night before. After about ten minutes of arguing, he told me to go ahead and park, but I have to prove to him that I am staying at the hotel. Obviously, there was no valeting of my car. The attendant saw me walking through the garage with my luggage, which to me was pretty much proof enough that I was guest.

Once I got into my room, I found it to be quite small and dingy. The bathroom was a little scary with mold on the ceiling, deteriorating caulking around the bathtub, and the floor looked like it had the beginnings of water damage. The comforters were dirty (which is general knowledge that hotels don't wash comforters on a regular basis, so always ditch it the first thing you do after you check in), and the menus for room service were incorrect and out of date. If you try to call the elevator, there's no guarantee that it'll come. They don't tell you if you're going down or up either. If you get it, you'll have to go all the way up (or down) before it stops on the floor you want to be on.

On my last night I received a notice that the hotel had to temporarily shut the water down for a few hours, the wireless internet decided to stop working (bad during a business trip), and the fire alarm went off for 20 minutes while they tried to figure out why. One note about the fire alarm going off is that it wasn't extremely loud enough to penetrate into the room. You can hear it quite well when you are standing by the door, but if the tv is on loudly and you are all the way inside the room, you probably wouldn't know anything was going on during a real emergency.

Anyway, if you are into no frills, don't mind a little wear and tear, and won't be planning to stay in your room far too much, then by all means, it's a comprable value. Otherwise, save yourself some grief and stay somewhere else.

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BEST WESTERN PLUS Boston - The Inn at Longwood Medical
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