I just returned from a one night's stay (June
and felt like I needed to add some balance to most of the negative reviews on this property. There were upsides and downsides as you will get at 50% of the hotels on the market. The Park Plaza is far from being the best property I've ever stayed in but to be fair it is much better than some. One downside is the parking was $36 a day in a garage a half-block away. I would not pick up a rental car until it was needed...there is easy access to the airport from the subway and Hertz and another car rental company are actually located in the garage...just next to Legal Seafood.
To put everything in perspective, this is an old historic hotel but it is in a fantastic location. The room was clean, if a little small--but that is in keeping with any hotel that's been doing business in the heart of a metropolitan area for 100 years. When you think of the Park Plaza, just think of it as being in the same category with most of the NYC hotels that were built in the early days of the 1900s. This should not be confused with the other modern hotels on the scale of the new Hiltons or Marriotts or Hyatts that now compete for customers only a block or two away.
The bath was small but very clean, there were nice fluffy towels and adequate water pressure for sink, toilet, and bath. One of the downsides was the room was not quite cool enough and if you enjoy a hot bath it might take a while for you to cool down. The bed linens were top of the line and pillows very comfortable. No skimping in the bed department.
Checkin was a little slow and since I was traveling with my family and didn't want to be placed in one of the very small rooms I have read about, I had my family to stand with me at checkin. It worked. The person waiting on me said politely, with no hint of snobishness or mention of Priceline, that my reservation usually allowed only one bed but they try to accomodate a family when possible. Rather than getting one of the small rooms overlooking the airconditioning units (plenty of these rooms the way the hotel is designed in a U shape) we were given an outside room with two double beds, good natural light, and a view of a small park. It was still a small room but, to state again, it was very clean and adequate.
Was it worth the $120 we paid to Priceline? I wondered that many times before I checked in since it was by far the highest I had ever paid. But I had tried for several days to get a room but the city was sold out with Harvard and other graduations going on. The lowest Web rate was $299 and I doubted anyone would pay that. But on the day of our arrival, while standing in the checkin line I overheard two other business people mention they paid $275 and $315 and were grateful to have a room as the property and other hotels were sold out. That was also verified by the person checking me in.
The hotel is in a fantastic location, just a block from Boston Commons and is ringed by top-notch restaurants. This is an amenity that adds to the popularity of the property and the price of the room. Remember you always pay for location, location, location except when occupancy is nonexistant.
All said, I think some posters have been too hard on the Park Plaza. Yes it is old, but it is far from being a 2* as some suggest. I would far prefer staying here than at any 2* in the downtown area. It would not be my first choice on returning to Boston, but I would not be crestfallen if I got it again. Actually, I'd look forward to being within walking distance of those great restaurants again.