Review: Boston Marriott Newton

Review: Boston Marriott Newton

NAME: Boston Marriott Newton
LOCATION: Newton, Massachusetts
DATE: August 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Marriott Newton is a perfectly nice, large, cookie-cutter business hotel. I appreciated the hotel's solid Bonvoy elite recognition, and wouldn't hesitate to return if I needed to be in the area.
22

We recently spent a few nights at the 430-room Boston Marriott Newton. Even though I’m a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium member, this was my first stay at a “standard” Marriott in the United States for as long as I can remember (I generally avoid Marriotts domestically). However, this hotel had a convenient location for where we needed to be.

So, with all the cost cutting we’ve seen at hotels in the United States since the start of the pandemic, how was the stay? Not bad, surprisingly…

Booking the Boston Marriott Newton

For our early August stay, the Boston Marriott Newton was charging ~$190 per night plus tax.

We paid cash, though as a point of comparison, the hotel would have cost 39,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night if redeeming points. I value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so paying cash was definitely the better deal, as I prefer saving my points for higher value redemptions.

Boston Marriott Newton location

The hotel markets itself as the “Boston Marriott Newton,” though you’re not going to want to stay here if you want to visit the city of Boston, whether for business or leisure. Rather this is a hotel off a highway that’s near all kinds of businesses and commercial parks that have offices in the Newton area, just outside of Boston.

If you’re staying here, plan on having a car or ride sharing, since the area isn’t ideal for walking. Fortunately parking is free if you come by car. The hotel is around 20-30 minutes (depending in traffic) from both the city of Boston and Boston Logan Airport (BOS).

While the hotel underwent a significant interior renovation in 2017, the exterior of the property could still use some love, in my opinion.

Marriott Newton signage
Marriott Newton exterior
Marriott Newton exterior

Boston Marriott Newton lobby & check-in

While the hotel is a bit outdated from the outside, the interior is fairly modern, especially the lobby. Inside the entrance and to the left were two reception counters, while the rest of the lobby consisted of a few different seating arrangements.

Marriott Newton lobby
Marriott Newton lobby
Marriott Newton lobby

I was thanked for being a Bonvoy Titanium member, and we were upgraded to a room with a balcony (this hotel has very few suites, so I wasn’t expecting a further upgrade). It was also explained that on account of my status we’d receive access to the club lounge. However, the club lounge is only open in the evenings, so we could have breakfast in the restaurant. That worked for us, and gave us the best of both worlds.

For what it’s worth, the hotel has seven floors, and the lobby is actually on the fourth floor. That’s because the hotel is built into a small hill, so the side of the hotel you enter on is a bit elevated. We were assigned a room on the second floor.

Boston Marriott Newton king balcony room

Once we were down on the second floor, we followed the signage in the direction of our room, #229. The room was about halfway down the hall and on the left.

Marriott Newton hallway
Marriott Newton room exterior
Marriott Newton king room entryway

The room was pretty much brand standard for Marriott. I think this is often the issue with reviewing chain hotels that have cookie-cutter design. The room was exactly what you’d expect for a (fairly) recently renovated Marriott. On one side of the room was a king size bed and a chair with a lamp.

Marriott Newton king room
Marriott Newton king room

On the other side of the room was a desk with a rolling chair (it’s nice to see those in Marriott rooms, since many hotels have eliminated desks), a wall-mounted TV, and a luggage rack. There was also a minibar setup with a coffee machine and an empty mini fridge.

Marriott Newton king room
Marriott Newton king room in-room coffee
Marriott Newton king room mini fridge

The bathroom had a sink, toilet, and shower & tub combo, and was absolutely tiny, to the point that you basically had to be touching the toilet with your leg in order to use the sink. On the plus side, the water pressure in the shower was pretty decent.

Marriott Newton king room bathroom
Marriott Newton king room shower

Toiletries were from both Pharmacopia and thisworks, and were pretty decent.

Marriott Newton king room toiletries

One thing that stood out to me about the room was the “popcorn” ceiling combined with a bad paint job, which definitely didn’t feel very premium, and doesn’t match the rest of the renovation.

Marriott Newton king room ceiling

The room also had not one, but two, connecting doors. There was one near the bathroom on one side of the room, and one near the bed on the other side of the room. Usually that would bother me, but surprisingly there was no noise from nearby rooms, so it didn’t turn out to be an issue.

Marriott Newton king room

The room also had a balcony, with two chairs and a side table.

Marriott Newton king room balcony

The hotel overlooks the Charles River, though our room just looked at a very big tree, plus a permanent(ish) tent that was presumably set up for events.

Marriott Newton king room view
Marriott Newton king room view

All-in-all the room was perfectly nice, and did the trick. When the hotel was renovated in 2017, I think the press release about the new rooms being the “pinnacle of luxury” is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but… 😉

As a Bonvoy elite member I received premium internet for free, which was fast. The hotel also offers daily housekeeping, but only on demand. You couldn’t request it in advance, but rather each morning you had to let the front desk know if you wanted housekeeping.

Boston Marriott Newton club lounge

As mentioned above, the Marriott Newton has a club lounge on the seventh floor. At the moment it’s only open Sundays through Thursdays from 5PM until 10PM. It’s not open during the day, and clearly the days of the week are designed around business travelers.

It’s sad how low our expectations as consumers have become as a result of coronavirus, but I remember thinking to myself “wow, how generous that they’ve opened the club lounge,” given how many other hotels haven’t.

Marriott Newton club lounge exterior

The lounge itself was what you’d expect from a Marriott. There were some tables with a couple of chairs each, some booths, and some high-top seating near the windows.

Marriott Newton club lounge seating
Marriott Newton club lounge seating
Marriott Newton club lounge seating

What drives me bonkers about club lounges in the United States is how they assume everyone wants to watch TV. There were two TVs on in the lounge playing different things, both at very high volumes. Am I the only one who wishes club lounges would go for a more relaxing ambiance? Why not play some calming background music, or something?

The food spread was put out shortly after 5PM. Admittedly the quality of club lounges varies greatly around the globe, so this one was pretty standard for a domestic property.

Marriott Newton club lounge buffet

The evening food selection consisted of a few types of packaged snacks (chips and granola bars), plus three fresh options.

Marriott Newton club lounge snacks

These options alternated slightly every evening, but generally included some kind of salad, some kind of fruit, and some kind of veggies (in some cases with cheese). While the selection was limited, frankly I appreciated that the options were fresh and reasonably healthy. Other properties have much less healthy options, with things like pigs in a blanket, fried spring rolls, and nachos with cheese. So kudos to the hotel for that, at least.

Marriott Newton club lounge food

In terms of drinks, there was complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, plus a coffee station.

Marriott Newton club lounge drinks
Marriott Newton club lounge coffee

As it standard at Marriotts in the United States, drinks were with an honor bar system, and cost $6-9 each.

Marriott Newton club lounge honor bar
Marriott Newton club lounge honor bar
Marriott Newton club lounge honor bar

The bright point of the club lounge was the attendant, who had such a good attitude and was eager to please (sadly I forgot to write down her name, but she worked every night). Nonetheless it’s kind of amazing how the quality of club lounges varies based on the brand you’re staying at and where in the world you are.

Boston Marriott Newton Riverbend Bar & Grill

Riverbend Bar & Grill is the Marriott Newton’s all-day dining restaurant, located on the lobby level (the fourth floor). Breakfast is served here each morning from 7AM until 11AM, and since the club lounge isn’t open for breakfast, we could eat here instead. This space had both a lounge and bar area, and then deeper in was the restaurant.

Marriott Newton Riverbend Bar & Grill lounge area
Marriott Newton Riverbend Bar & Grill lounge area
Marriott Newton Riverbend Bar & Grill bar
Marriott Newton Riverbend Bar & Grill seating
Marriott Newton Riverbend Bar & Grill seating

You can find the breakfast menu below.

Marriott Newton Riverbend Bar & Grill breakfast menu

We were given breakfast vouchers for the buffet, which ordinarily retails for $20 per person. Again, it’s a reflection of the low expectations I have of many Marriotts, but I appreciated that they gave us the full breakfast. Many Marriotts would try to offer elite members a continental breakfast, so that there’s an upcharge for the full buffet.

The breakfast buffet was quite good, with fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, oatmeal, smoked salmon, and several hot dishes, including scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, sausage, and more.

Marriott Newton breakfast buffet
Marriott Newton breakfast buffet
Marriott Newton breakfast buffet
Marriott Newton breakfast buffet
Marriott Newton breakfast buffet
Marriott Newton breakfast buffet
Marriott Newton breakfast buffet
Marriott Newton breakfast buffet

Cooked-to-order omelets were also available at no extra cost, so I had a veggie omelet each morning.

Marriott Newton breakfast omelet

Boston Marriott Newton Starbucks lobby kiosk

Also on the lobby level, the Marriott Newton has a Starbucks kiosk. It has fairly limited hours — it’s open from 6:30AM until 11AM on weekdays, and from 7AM until 12PM on weekends. I appreciate when hotels offer easy access to coffee, so this was a great option to have, whether wanting a hot or iced coffee. I just wish the hours were longer, because as an early riser, 6:30AM doesn’t really cut it!

Marriott Newton Starbucks kiosk
Marriott Newton Starbucks kiosk

There was also a gift shop of sorts next to the coffee kiosk, where you could purchase a drink or snack. This was available even when the Starbucks kiosk was closed, and they could just ring you up at the front desk.

Marriott Newton gift shop
Marriott Newton gift shop

Boston Marriott Newton gym & pool

The Marriott Newton has both a gym and pool on the second floor, and this was right down the hall from us. The gym had a good selection of equipment. I don’t think the hotel was very full during our stay, so it was nice to almost always have the gym to ourselves. However, this is a 430-room hotel, so I imagine when it’s busy this place could get very crowded.

Marriott Newton gym
Marriott Newton gym
Marriott Newton gym
Marriott Newton gym
Marriott Newton gym

There was also an indoor pool. I’m not much of a pool guy even at a nice resort, let alone an indoor pool at a business hotel. I imagine some families appreciate this amenity, though, especially in winter.

Marriott Newton pool
Marriott Newton pool
Marriott Newton pool

Bottom line

The Marriott Newton is a perfectly decent business hotel, if you have a need to be in the area. The hotel is huge and cookie-cutter, but that’s kind of what you expect from your average Marriott in the US, right?

On the plus side, the staff at the hotel were friendly, and I appreciate that the hotel’s club lounge is open in the evenings, and that elite members receive a full (hot) breakfast in the restaurant in the mornings. That’s how it should be, but it’s also an area where some other hotels are much stingier.

I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to stay here again, but if I needed to be in the immediate area, I wouldn’t hesitate to return.

Conversations (22)
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  1. Reed Guest

    A touch of history about the hotel. It is on the site of the once-famous Norumbega Amusement Park and the Totem Pole Bandstand, which was built in 1897 and closed in 1964. The hotel was Marriott's eighth hotel, and opened in 1969 as the Marriott Motor Hotel. I worked there in the 70's, and spent a week there (stranded on duty) during the Blizzard of 1978. Originally it had 2 restaurants, a Fairfield family dining,...

    A touch of history about the hotel. It is on the site of the once-famous Norumbega Amusement Park and the Totem Pole Bandstand, which was built in 1897 and closed in 1964. The hotel was Marriott's eighth hotel, and opened in 1969 as the Marriott Motor Hotel. I worked there in the 70's, and spent a week there (stranded on duty) during the Blizzard of 1978. Originally it had 2 restaurants, a Fairfield family dining, and Sirloin and Saddle Steakhouse, both of which were common brands in early Marriott days.

  2. Frank Valentino Guest

    If you were there for a few days I’m sure you went to famous moody st for dining lol .

  3. MJS Guest

    As someone who lives about 10-15 minutes from that hotel, I've put up relatives there quite a bit, and I actually have friends who have booked the cheapest rooms on cold days, just to use the pool with their kids. It actually works very well for those kinds of specific needs.

  4. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

    Timely review. We are supposed to be in Boston for a couple of nights next month and we have a couple of Bonvoy certificates. This looks like a good option in a pretty decent location for where we plan to go on our day in town. Will have to look at the rates to see if it is better to hold the certificates for another time. Thanks!

  5. iamhere Guest

    No surprises there.

  6. Fabio Colasanti Guest

    I find it disappointing that a recently renovated Marriott only has a fixed showerhead without an additional hand-held one.

  7. TheBestBlackBrent Gold

    Hilarious, 4 out of 5 stars.

  8. Jacques Guest

    I drive by this property a few times a month. Hard pass on the hard product. The Newton Marriott always strikes me from the outside as somewhat grim and uninviting, maybe even stuck in the 1970's. Rather surprised the property merited 4 stars, with the outdated furniture and carpeting, ceilling and bath being all sub-par. There's a Westin just up the road in Waltham which seems a little nicer.

    1. Jacques Guest

      Forgot to add that the need to specifically request housekeeping on a daily basis is not exactly stellar customer service.

  9. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I don't know why you're calling this a "standard" Marriott. Marriott is the flagship brand of Marriott International. This particular property is owned by Chesapeake Lodging and operated by TPG Hotels & Resorts. It is pretty much your standard 1980s suburban or corporate office park Marriott that was probably built because of one or two big corporate clients back in the day. These days, these properties are generally relatively cheap in terms of rates. They've...

    I don't know why you're calling this a "standard" Marriott. Marriott is the flagship brand of Marriott International. This particular property is owned by Chesapeake Lodging and operated by TPG Hotels & Resorts. It is pretty much your standard 1980s suburban or corporate office park Marriott that was probably built because of one or two big corporate clients back in the day. These days, these properties are generally relatively cheap in terms of rates. They've also suffered pretty significantly with remote work as those offices are never coming back like before. It's good to see a property not cheat on the breakfast buffet. I wouldn't say that most domestic Marriott lounges have an honor bar. Those things have been on the way out for a while now. It's interesting that the M Club concept wasn't put in when the hotel was renovated in 2017 as it's my understanding that every new or newly renovated Marriott since about 2015 or 2016 has a M Club. That tells me the corporate client that drives a lot of traffic to this property wants a club lounge but there is otherwise no market demand to have a lounge open on weekends. By contrast, M Club was supposed to give owners a way to monetize lounges by selling access to non-elites and also reduce F&B costs since M Club lounges have premium food and drinks but are largely self-serve and unstaffed. For example, many of the M Clubs have a self-serve wine machine that charges your guest room with the swipe of a credit card. I'm also intrigued to see that the owner wasn't required to replace the circa 2006 nightstands and headboard behind the behind. Those pieces of furniture are going on 17 years now.

    1. John T Guest

      TPG Hotels?? Is that a coincidence?

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Of no connection to The Points Guy.

  10. JackG Member

    This is 5 minutes from my parents house lmao and I think part of my bar mitzvah was here. Definitely not a good hotel for doing anything in downtown Boston.

  11. Jerry Diamond

    "some kind of veggies (in some cases with cheese)"

    Not sure what they call it in Mass., but in Pennsylvania that's known as crudité.

    1. ConsAreTraitors Guest

      I also been told Pennsylvania is weird in that they crudité with salsa and guacamole.

  12. sean Guest

    That hallway & in-room carpet. Ugh. Between that and the popcorn ceiling, the rooms look like Holiday Inn or one of the many 2-star Marriott properties (Fairfield Inn?). Marriott is dooming their business model by not having real, differentiating brand standards for their 3 & 4 star hotel brands

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Most Fairfield Inn properties these days are nicer than Sheraton, Marriott, and Courtyard. The only problem is no bar and the breakfast has been significantly reduced. The gyms at most new or newly renovated Fairfields are generally Marriott's best, except Westin. I think Holiday Inn Express is the best limited-service brand. If only they had the bistro/bar concept of Courtyard. I would give them 75% of my stays domestically.

  13. Klaus Guest

    I heard they have good hospitals In That area

  14. pstm91 Diamond

    Certainly one of your more random reviews, but I'm assuming you had to be in the Newton area for something... otherwise I've heard decent things about The Liberty if you need to use BonVoy.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ pstm91 -- Indeed, in this case we needed to be in Newton, hence the choice of hotels. A couple of Boston hotel reviews will be coming up shortly.

    2. John T Guest

      My guess is it is where Miles was born.

    3. Janet Guest

      That’s what I was thinking.

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FNT Delta Diamond Guest

Most Fairfield Inn properties these days are nicer than Sheraton, Marriott, and Courtyard. The only problem is no bar and the breakfast has been significantly reduced. The gyms at most new or newly renovated Fairfields are generally Marriott's best, except Westin. I think Holiday Inn Express is the best limited-service brand. If only they had the bistro/bar concept of Courtyard. I would give them 75% of my stays domestically.

2
FNT Delta Diamond Guest

I don't know why you're calling this a "standard" Marriott. Marriott is the flagship brand of Marriott International. This particular property is owned by Chesapeake Lodging and operated by TPG Hotels & Resorts. It is pretty much your standard 1980s suburban or corporate office park Marriott that was probably built because of one or two big corporate clients back in the day. These days, these properties are generally relatively cheap in terms of rates. They've also suffered pretty significantly with remote work as those offices are never coming back like before. It's good to see a property not cheat on the breakfast buffet. I wouldn't say that most domestic Marriott lounges have an honor bar. Those things have been on the way out for a while now. It's interesting that the M Club concept wasn't put in when the hotel was renovated in 2017 as it's my understanding that every new or newly renovated Marriott since about 2015 or 2016 has a M Club. That tells me the corporate client that drives a lot of traffic to this property wants a club lounge but there is otherwise no market demand to have a lounge open on weekends. By contrast, M Club was supposed to give owners a way to monetize lounges by selling access to non-elites and also reduce F&B costs since M Club lounges have premium food and drinks but are largely self-serve and unstaffed. For example, many of the M Clubs have a self-serve wine machine that charges your guest room with the swipe of a credit card. I'm also intrigued to see that the owner wasn't required to replace the circa 2006 nightstands and headboard behind the behind. Those pieces of furniture are going on 17 years now.

1
John T Guest

My guess is it is where Miles was born.

1
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