Trip Reports

Review: W Boston

A review of the WOW Suite at the W Boston, probably one of the best upgrades I've ever had.

The Milelion’s RTW Trip 2018: Trip Planning
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The Intra-Europe Business Class Experience, 2018 Edition
Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class IST-AMM
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Egypt Air B737 Business Class AMM-CAI-NBO
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Ethiopian Airlines B737 Business Class NBO-ADD
Ethiopian Airlines B787 Business Class ADD-GRU
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport
Avianca Brasil A330 Business Class GRU-SCL
San Cristobal Tower Santiago
Air Canada B77W Business Class SCL-YYZ
Air Canada Express E175 Business Class YYZ-BOS
W Boston
United Airlines B757 First Class BOS-SFO
W San Francisco
United Airlines B77W Polaris Business Class SFO-NRT
ANA B787 Business Class NRT-SIN

I reached the hotel around 10.30 in the morning. Boston Logan isn’t very far from downtown, and the Uber took less than 15 minutes to reach the W. It was a freezing Friday morning and I had three heavy bags, yet declined the help from the doormen. I always find this such a struggle in the States because I feel like every service interaction is undermined by the “am I supposed to tip for this” question. I mean, I certainly think I can handle my bags myself, but even if I couldn’t the question then becomes “how much of a tip is warranted and will I look worse than Hitler if I undertip?” It’s an unpleasant by-product of the tip system in the States. Apparently you’re supposed to tip the doorman if he holds out his hand to flag a cab for you. No, really.

W Boston lobby

The lobby of the W is quirky, stylish and clearly meant to be party central (as lobbies of W’s often are). It was nice and bright early in the morning when I arrived. In the evenings it gets pretty noisy with a DJ and many people who are way too young buying drinks that are way too expensive.

W Boston lobby
W Boston lobby

I’d used an SNA to secure a Marvelous Suite upgrade, which cleared a few days before check-in. At check-in (10.30am), however, I was told that my room wasn’t ready yet and asked to come back closer to 4pm. I was also told that since my room had been upgraded, I wasn’t eligible for 4pm check out because “that only applies to standard rooms”. This was obviously wrong, but I figured I’d request it later from a more well-informed employee.

W Boston reception area

I decided to sit in the lobby and get some work done. In retrospect I’m quite glad I didn’t make a fuss about at the front desk about the late check out, because after 10 minutes she approached me and told me there was a WOW suite available, but it was an accessible room (i.e. roll-in shower) and asked if I minded.

For those of you who don’t know W hierarchy, a WOW suite is one step up from a Marvelous so I jumped at the offer. I imagine she might have been disinclined to do that had I given her a lecture on SPG policy, so maybe it goes to show that sometimes discretion is the better part of valor…

I’d been given room 1126, and as you can see from the floor plan I was in for some fun.

W Boston floorplan- check out the size of the room
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Open the door and you see the room forks into two branches. On the left is the bedroom, to the right the living room. It’s always a good thing when you open the front door and can’t see the bed straight away.

W Boston WOW Suite entrance

The WOW suite was indeed wow-worthy. Just look at that space!

W Boston WOW Suite living room

The living room was massive, with a huge sofa set, large TV, separate dining table with four chairs and a wet bar area. It had wrap around windows so you had a commanding view of the theatre district.

View from room
W Boston WOW Suite living room
W Boston WOW Suite living room

The dining table had really comfortable chairs, and ended up being my secondary workdesk.

W Boston WOW Suite dining table

The suite had the usual ridiculously overstocked (and overpriced) W minibar with every manner of candy bar, chips, fruit snacks, you name it.

W Boston minibar

That minibar sat on top of the wet bar.

W Boston WOW Suite wet bar

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There was a Bose portable speaker in the mini-bar area too which you could pair with your phone via Bluetooth and bring your music around with you. FYI- the retail price of this speaker is US$179 on Amazon, brand new, so there’s something to be said about hotel markups…

W Boston WOW suite Bose speaker

The suite is clearly set up for partying down. There’s an abundant amount of booze (for purchase, of course) scattered throughout the room.

W Boston WOW Suite alcohol selection
W Boston WOW Suite alcohol selection

And that’s just the visible alcohol. Pull open the mini-fridge (recessed into the drawer) and what do you see?

W Boston WOW Suite alcohol selection

And for when you’re completely hungover, there’s a Nespresso coffee machine.

W Boston WOW Suite coffee maker

The other half of the room was the bedroom, which had a sliding door which you could close to separate it from the rest of the room.

W Boston WOW Suite bedroom

W Boston WOW Suite bedroom
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The work desk in this room was pretty uncluttered, but also lacked dedicated power outlets.

W Boston WOW Suite bedroom desk

The room overlooks a street with construction during the day. Fortunately, the construction ceases in the evening, but for those who like to sleep in they’ve thoughtfully provided a “Call it a night” kit that has eyeshades and earplugs by the bedside.

W Boston WOW Suite bedroom bedside table

The shower, as I mentioned, is a roll-in design. It’s meant for disabled people who may be in a wheelchair. From reading FT I gather some people really, really dislike roll-in showers, but I don’t see why. It makes no difference to me.

W Boston WOW Suite bathroom

Besides, it’s not like there isn’t a tub as well.

W Boston WOW Suite bathroom

There were so many awesome places to have breakfast in Boston (The Paramount, The Friendly Toast, Flour Bakery, 3 Little Figs, Henrietta’s Table…) that I didn’t even try the breakfast at the W, but in any case it’s good to note there’s no buffet and Platinum guests who opt for breakfast as their amenity get to choose from a reduced continental selection.

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Upgrades like this are one of the reasons I’ll miss the SPG program when it’s gone. I just find it hard to believe that Marriott will have as generous a suite upgrade policy as that which existed under SPG, although I would love to be proven wrong. I’ve had limited experiences with Marriotts so far, but from what few I’ve had it seems that an upgrade to them is a room on the executive floor, which really poses no incremental value for Platinum guests since they’d have access to the lounge anyway. Ah well, SPG is around for at least 2018 so make hay while the sun shines I guess.

This was easily the most awesome room I had on my entire RTW trip, and hopefully you guys will luck out too on your visit to the W Boston.

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Dominicus
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Dominicus

The breakfast is a la carte. For Plat you get a choice of one breakfast item from the breakfast menu, it can be a (very comprehensive) fruit plate or full breakfast with 2 eggs (at your choice of cooking) and other accompaniments such as roasted tomato and potatoes etc. Coffee and juice is complimentary. The breakfast is very good, by US standard.

Dominicus
Guest
Dominicus

The same breakfast if you are booking thru luxury privilege, during my stay for 4 nights last summer (i paid for 3 nights and got upgraded to a cool corner room from standard 2 queen) they lovely concierge offered us 2 extra complimentary full breakfast for my kids on top of the 2 daily already offered. I value the breakfast at 10USD plus as it is much better than what you will get in hotels like W NY union sq which I also stayed on the same trip.