Jul232015

On the Waterfront at InterContinental Boston

Waterfront views of Boston Harbor and the Boston Tea Party Museum are the preferred view side of the InterContinental Boston hotel. City views await guests from other sides of the 21-floor hotel.

I stayed twice at the hotel and both rooms were near the center of the hotel, facing the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy greenway and the City of Boston Fire Department. My only complaint about the hotel is the regular sirens from the fire department trucks. Not really sure what you might see from a side room facing adjacent skyscrapers across alleys.

IC Boston   IC  Boston sign

InterContinental Boston opened in November 2006 with a design by Elkus Manfredi Architects on the revitalized Boston waterfront. There are several hundred yards of waterfront with a pedestrian walkway. My first photo above of the hotel is the view from Boston Tea Party Museum.

IC Boston exterior

The waterfront cafes were very popular for dining in July with outside crowds at the InterContinental Boston RumBa from lunch to late night each day I was there. I assume the bar name is a play on Boston accents dropping the ‘r’ from word endings.

IC Rumba

One afternoon there were performers from the Berklee College of Music playing outside for the public. On a Friday evening inside the lobby there were musicians playing near the interior RumBa entrance.

Berklee musicians   IC Boston night

The lobby space inside the hotel is large with several areas for seating.

IC lobby view-1   IC lobby at RumBa

IC lobby-2   IC lobby-3

Free Transportation from Airport and $2.50 return

One of the nice features about staying at InterContinental Boston is its location two blocks from South Station. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is the public transportation system for Boston. The Silver Line service is a free bus from Boston Logan Airport to South Station. The ride back to the airport is $2.50 from anywhere in the Boston area to ride the “T” to South Station and transfer to the Silver Line airport bus to Boston Logan.

MBTA Silver Line

InterContinental Boston Rooms

I stayed two times at InterContinental Boston. Both rooms were similar on same side of the hotel, but the second room was better for two reasons. More privacy and an office cubby made the second room more desirable.

The angular configuration of the hotel probably means there are many types of rooms.

IC room   IC room-2 seating

IC room TV   IC office cubby

Panels over the bed close for guests who desire privacy between the bedroom and bathroom.

IC room tub   IC room sink

IC room sink-2   IC room door

Kelley liked the crescent marble counter by the room door for keeping her purse and all my pocket stuff rather than my natural reaction to clutter the TV countertop.

IC bathrobe     IC toilet

The reason I show the toilet photo is to point out the image of the Boston Custom House in the wall hanging. The tower built in 1915, at nearly 500 feet, was the tallest skyscraper in Boston until 1947. The property was converted into a Marriott Vacation Club International timeshare in 1985. The tower is about a 15 minute walk from the InterContinental Boston near the historic Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall shopping area. I checked out the building and published this post on Marriott’s Custom House.

Loyalty Traveler – Marriott’s Custom House Boston

Room office desk  

I guess one of the drawbacks of the office cubby space was no TV watching. Normally that is not a big deal for me, however, the morning I was working at the desk was also a big sports day with Tour de France and British Open golf happening.

The first stay we had a smaller room with the desk in the main room.

IC desk   IC bathroom panels closed

InterContinental Room views

The room shown in these photos was the second stay room with windows offering uninterrupted views of the Greenway and city buildings.

IC room view-2   IC view-fire station and art

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (President JFK’s mother) is a city project completed about a decade ago as a result of the ‘Big Dig’, a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project to remove the elevated Interstate 93 separating the waterfront of Boston from the center of the city.

The second photo shows the Boston Fire Department station across the street from InterContinental Boston, the primary source of noise throughout the day and night. The Janet Echelman art installation is on display from May to October. Lights create different colors in the evening. My primary thought on viewing the piece is whether it is bird-friendly? According to the art link above, the piece was designed with birds in mind and apparently the rope used is thick enough and has large enough holes to avoid trapping birds.

My first IC Boston hotel room was in a corner with another room only a few feet away outside the window.

IC Corner room

Interesting imagery with the Boston city skyline reflected off the mirrored windows.

The hotel has a spa, gym and indoor pool. Access to the gym and pool is through the spa.

I enjoyed our stays at InterContinental Boston. The location was convenient for airport transportation and walking along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall was about 15 minutes. Walking to Boston Common was the same. Walking along the waterfront to the North End was also about 15 minutes. Chinatown and the Theater District were also an easy walking distance.

During my seven nights in Boston, I also stayed at Wyndham Beacon Hill and that was a great location for access to Whole Foods Market and lovely historic neighborhoods on the north slope of Beacon Hill. This area was the historical African-American community in the 19th century and there are many significant sites to see such as the Afro-American History Museum and Free African Meeting House. That demographic is mostly history from what I perceived during my time in the area.

I also stayed at Marriott Copley Place where there are many big brand convention size hotels like Westin, Fairmont and Hilton and high end shopping in Prudential Shopping Mall. That hotel location had Star Market for groceries. I never found a major market near InterContinental Boston.

Boston Tea party Museum

Two nights at InterContinental Boston were free using IHG Into the Nights free night certificates Kelley and I earned in fall 2014.

InterContinental Boston is 50,000 points per rewards night. Published rates were $389 Deluxe to $449 Superior before tax for dates we stayed.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. “I never found a major market near InterContinental Boston.”

    The closest is a brand new Roche Bros in Downtown Crossing. Opened last month. Theyve been talking about getting a supermarket near Haymarket for years now.

    Fun fact: The hotel has one of the best and easily accessible public restrooms in the area, in their lobby.

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