With much of the Boston area on lockdown Friday as authorities conducted a massive manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, hotels found themselves simultaneously fielding calls from people cancelling reservations and extending stays for guests who weren’t able – or allowed -- to go home.
Like most hotels, the three Kimpton hotels in Boston waived cancellation fees. Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge extended its normal free wine hour to two hours, from 5 to 7 p.m., and offered complimentary sandwiches, beer, and cocktails.
The Onyx Hotel near North Station set up Wii on a big-screen TV in the lobby and extended its lounge hours at the Ruby Room. At Nine Zero Hotel on Tremont Street, guests were treated to a pop-up movie theater, board games, and a season-your-own popcorn bar.
The Eliott Hotel in Back Bay was serving a limited room service menu for guests in its high-end restaurant Clio, which was closed.
“We’re just trying to make them as comfortable and feel as safe as possible,” said Maureen Toomey, director of sales and marketing.
Guests at XV Beacon on Beacon Hill who weren’t able to get their cars out of the locked-down parking garage, or take a taxi, were given rides in one of the hotel’s two Lexuses. The house cars also picked up employees who normally take public transportation to work.
With staffing levels lower than usual, employees were multitasking, said general manager Amy Finsilver, who changed sheets and served drinks throughout the day. Unlike many restaurants in the area, the hotel’s restaurant Mooo was open – and busy, but serving a limited menu because it didn’t get all its deliveries.
People who needed to extend their stay, or just wanted a safe place to be for a few hours, were given a discounted rate, Finsilver said. The hotel’s “canine concierge,” a Bernese mountain dog who sleeps under the concierge desk, was providing comfort, too.
“She’s kind of doing therapy,” Finsilver said.