Royal Sonesta Boston

Unlike the Hotel Marlowe across the street, the Royal Sonesta is not a particularly engaging hotel. It’s essentially generic, if upscale. Yes, I’m sitting in an Aeron chair, but it’s one of the cheap models that is only somewhat adjustable. And, as usual, working at a desk that is too high for typing. Confidential to hotel decorators: The age of lovingly writing postcards by hand is over. Give me something that is typing height for email and blogging, especially if you’re going to put a $1,000 chair in front of it.
Anyway, all I really want to do in this post is make two complaints:
1. $25 a day for parking. Why? “Real estate is too expensive to offer free parking.” Really? The Hampton Inn, four blocks away, at half the price, offers free parking. The Sonesta should just say, “Because we can,” or “Because most people staying here are on expense accounts and it doesn’t matter to them.”
2. $10 a day for high-speed Internet. They have free wi-fi, but it’s slow as hell (“good for email and surfing”) , and so they upsell the premium service. How’s that for price discrimination—offer a free crappy product to make me feel better about buying the overpriced product you’ve always offered. BTW, the Hampton Inn also has free high-speed Internet.
So why am I here and not at the Hampton? My friend Stephen told me about the Sonesta’s “individual traveller” rooms, which are small, and next to the elevator, and about half-price. In-season that puts it at $139 (+$25 +$10 +tax). I wanted to check it out, because in the off-season it’s only $99. These mini-rooms, which are plenty big enough for a few nights at a time, are more comfortable for about the same price as the Hampton. But with the $35/day additional fees, it’s more expensive. The Hampton is a low-budget generic hotel, but somehow they get points for not being pretentious about it. The Sonesta is pricing-high and delivering-middle. I guess I prefer the price-low / deliver-low model better. Or better, the price-high / deliver-high model of the Marlowe, but I can’t regularly afford that option….
Bonus link: If you’re going to write a post card, make one for PostSecret. [via tip from Ashley]