Great value, good proximity to town, rough neighborhood A review of Hampton Inn & Suites Boston Crosstown Center
Let me begin by saying that I'd actually give this hotel an overall rating of 3-and-a-half stars if this website allowed it!
We were told that this hotel was North-West of Boston, towards Cambridge, so we were a little surprised when the cab driver took us from South Station towards the South End of town. He told us not to walk around the immediate neighborhood at night. Good advice! It's the first building in a planned redevelopment of this area, just by the Medical Center, and just down the road from a Methadone clinic, apparently. Suffice it to say, there are occasionally some disturbing characters wandering around at night, shouting at traffic and throwing things about. Having said that, it's actually fairly close to the sights for a new hotel, and 10 bucks gets you a cab into the middle of town, while the Crosstown courtesy bus is pretty reliable, though the driver was a bit surly.
The rest of the staff were extremely friendly and eager to help, though still trying to iron out minor teething problems (safety deposit box keys; internet access) that can be put down to the newness of the hotel. Our room was very clean and fairly well appointed considering the very low price we paid. Noise levels from outside were sometimes quite high, due mainly to ambulance sirens from the Medical Center, traffic noise, and large air-conditioning units 8 floors below.
Breakfast was OK. Sausage patties, curious egg-discs(!), muffins, rolls, fruit, cereals, coffee, tea, juices etc are all in plentiful supply, and are better than nothing at all. I did find some mould on a banana-and-walnut muffin one morning, but I'm sure this was an isolated incident.
There's a small fitness room, and a swimming pool on the 9th floor, which was very clean, but only 3.5 feet deep. Internet access is available from every room if you have a laptop. Otherwise, there's only 1 PC on the groundfloor with which to check your e-mail or print stuff, and queues can form pretty quickly. One of the staff was kind enough to let me use her desktop machine in the office, though, which gives you an idea how friendly they are.
Overall, you pays your money and takes your choice. For a low-cost hotel, the Hampton's pretty good, but probably more attractive to singles, couples and business users on a budget. Families might be better advised to choose a hotel with a better, more central location.