From former prisons to luxe penthouses, our guide to the city’s best places to stay and play.
Boston boasts no shortage of hotels, from sky-scraper stunners to small gems that feel like a luxe slice of home. Looking for a staycation or a guide to send your out-of-town friends? We’ve rounded up the best of the best—from boutique, luxury, and historic hotels to stays on the waterfront and downtown—for you to check out before you check in.
The Verb Hotel
A verb is an action word—a fitting title for this boutique hotel in the middle of bustling Fenway. Once a Howard Johnson, the Verb leans into its retro past and rock-and-roll vibe with 93 guest rooms centered around the heated pool and decked out with music-themed decor. And have you heard? Vinyl heads rejoice because each room boasts a record player and records to jam out while you wolf down takeout from neighboring Hojoko. Be sure to check out the onsite “mascot,” a 1947 cherry red Flxible 24 bus, too.
1271 Boylston St., Boston, 617-566-4500, theverbhotel.com.
The Liberty Hotel
The interior of this Beacon Hill hotel is so gorgeous it may as well be a crime, which is fitting given the building’s former life as the Charles Street Jail. The stately granite structure might have been completed in 1851, but the enormous interiors and the 298 guestrooms are rooted in the here and now: floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screens, sleek bathrooms, and more. The six dining options lean into the building’s past, from new American eatery Clink to cocktail lounge Alibi—set in the former jail’s “drunk tank” and featuring brick cell walls and celebrity mugshots, like Jane Fonda’s 1970 fist-raised salute.
215 Charles St., Boston, 617-224-4000, libertyhotel.com.
Staypineapple in Back Bay
You’ll still hear locals call this spot the Chandler Inn, even though the Pacific Northwest-based Staypineapple brand took over back in 2018 and overhauled the 55 rooms, with renovations to the lobby and restaurant taking place earlier this year. In the guestrooms, you’ll find European-style duvets on each bed, fluffy towels and robes, and pops of yellow decor. Plus, you can bring the pooch, as the hotel is as dog-obsessed as you are.
26 Chandler St., Boston, 1-866-866-7977, staypineapple.com/south-end-boston.
This Back Bay beauty boasts Boston’s only rooftop pool, a cabana-studded stunner twelve stories above Copley Square. Open seasonally by reservation only, you can make a splash and then lounge under the umbrellas and savor sips and snacks from the pool bar. When it’s time to towel off, head indoors and relax on one of the pillow-top beds in your sprawling room with its floor-to-ceiling windows. Even furry guests get the luxe treatment with the VIPet program, which includes a pet bed, a bowl with your choice between three types of dog or cat food, and help with sitting, grooming, and walking services.
120 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-424-7000, colonnadehotel.com.
Ready for a one-two punch of luxury and location? Located in the instantly recognizable flatiron building, this boutique hotel is a quick jaunt to the North End and more. An industrial aesthetic infuses the interiors, with an antique map of Boston adorning the lobby ceiling, open-frame wardrobes in the 80 slate-blue guest rooms, and marble bathroom vanities. Another reason to say cheers: The hotel is also the hospitality partner of City Winery Boston, where you can indulge in private tours and events, in non-pandemic times.
107 Merrimac St., Boston, 617-624-0211, theboxerboston.com.
Studio Allston Hotel
For those who need a contemporary counterpoint to Boston’s colonial history, look no further than this visual fantasy right on the Charles River. “Studio” is an apropos name, as the hip Studio Allston tapped the talents of 22 artists to fill the sprawling common spaces and 117 guest rooms—including ten custom suites—with hundreds of works of art, essentially turning the space into a gallery you can lay your head in. Drink in the masterworks, from the funky mod wallcoverings to sculptural pieces, and then drink in some skinny piña coladas at the onsite New Latin restaurant and rum bar Casa Caña.
1234 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, 617-206-1848, hotelstudioallston.com.
Revere Hotel Boston Common
What’s clear about the Revere is that the spot reveres local lore, with an aesthetic inspired by Boston’s history and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride.” The rooms feature balconies and minuteman-themed artwork, with the presidential suite boasting a king bed, seating area, conference space, bar, and even a library stocked by Brookline Booksmith. A must-see is the giant stylized eye room divider and canon in the hotel’s restaurant, Rebel’s Guild. Revel at the [email protected], with over 16,000 square-feet of lounge space, and it’ll feel like you’re taking your own midnight ride as you gaze at the streets at night.
200 Stuart St., Boston, 617-482-1800, reverehotel.com.
The Envoy Hotel
This sleek Seaport stunner showcases some of the finest waterfront panoramas in all of Boston. The 136 guest rooms with custom furnishings and mammoth floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the Fort Point Channel, Boston Harbor, and the gleaming waterfront buildings—that is, if you can peel your eyes away from the funky, art-filled lobby and the huge chandelier of reclaimed materials. Grab a bite in the seasonal-inspired Outlook Kitchen, while the Lookout Rooftop beckons with small plates and craft cocktails. Even the winter chill won’t kill the vibe of the luxe four-season rooftop lounge, with its heated igloos and mini plexiglass-shrouded lounges.
70 Sleeper St., Boston, 617-338-3030, theenvoyhotel.com.
Battery Wharf Hotel
Looking for luxury with a side of sea views? Jutting out into the Boston Harbor and right on the fringes of the North End, this 150-room retreat is a contemporary sanctuary for some post-cannoli pampering. The granite spa-like bathrooms showcase walk-in rain showers while the pillow-top mattresses promise cushy, well-deserved winks. The hotel’s perch on the Harbor Walk is perfect for exploring the city’s waterfront history, and after hoofing it, you can treat your tired muscles to a full-body massage at the onsite Exhale Spa.
3 Battery Wharf, Boston, 617-994-9000, batterywharfhotelboston.com.
This luxury hotel makes waves right on the waterfront, as a behemoth gleaming building that bucks the trends of its brick and stonework neighbors. Check into one of the 424 guest rooms and then check out the neighboring Fort Point Channel and its waterfront destinations like the Boston Tea Party Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art. The InterContinental’s frills are decidedly continental, too: the indoor pool, the two in-house restaurants, and the deep tubs for an end-of-day soak. Here, you can laze like royalty in a king suite wrapped in water views.
510 Atlantic Ave., Boston, 617-747-1000, icbostonhotel.com.
Boston Harbor Hotel
Perhaps you’re harboring some feelings about what your ideal hotel should house. Say, coastal-inspired rooms, lush finishes, and in-room dining all with waterfront views? Dive into this destination, with its 232 rooms and enormous, iconic archway right on the water. Rooms feature perks like tablets, coffee-makers, and more, and if you’re feeling particularly statesman-like, you can spring for the 4,800 square-foot John Adams Presidential Suite with private terrace, media room, and kitchen. The Rowes Wharf Sea Grille offers old-school elegance and dishes like a traditional lobster dinner and steak au poivre, or get the silver-tray treatment with some room service.
70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 617-439-7000, bhh.com.
Moxy Boston Downtown
“Moxie” is an old-school term for grit and nerve, as in, “you’ve got moxie, kid.” The Moxy Boston channels a similar sense of daring within its 340 tech-forward guestrooms, with keyless entry and flat-screen TVs, though good luck tearing your eyes away from the city views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. From the outside marquee—a nod to the neighboring Theater District—to the street-art murals and a rooftop lounge called the Mez, the vibe here is playful and buzzy. Plus, say “cheese” at the food truck-inspired photo booth in the lobby, which is just a preview of the endlessly Instagrammable digs.
240 Tremont St., Boston, 617-793-4200, moxy-hotels.marriott.com.
Kimpton Nine Zero
Though it might be a block from Boston Common, what’s uncommon about this boutique hotel is the laser-focus on luxury, like the Eames chairs and leather bedframes in the guestrooms, or the glinting metal finishes and marble floors of the lobby. Each of the 190 guest rooms and suites toy with mid-century design, like the oil painting-like artwork of nobility splashed with bold colors. Plus, you don’t even have to leave your room to bring the indulgence to you, with the hotel’s spa offering in-room massages. Be sure to check out the Better Sorts Social Club cocktail bar and lounge, too.
90 Tremont St., Boston, 617-772-5800, ninezero.com.
The Godfrey Hotel Boston
Smack in the middle of Downtown Crossing, the Godfrey is where you might picture a millennial reincarnation of Jay Gatsby knocking back a cocktail. The apartment-like rooms are impeccably tailored without feeling fussy, with menswear-inspired upholstered headboards, sleek furnishings, Bose Bluetooth sound systems, and phone-to-TV streaming. You don’t have to travel far for great eats, from the Peruvian-Japanese fusion spot Ruka, to an outpost of the famed George Howell Coffee right in the lobby—or slip into your bathrobe and ring up some room service.
505 Washington St., Boston, 617-804-2000, godfreyhotelboston.com.
The energetic W Boston boasts a design spirit inspired by memorable New Englanders: the Edgar Allan Poe artwork, the pillows emblazoned with a red W in homage to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the nods to Aerosmith. The recently revamped rooms remix the old and new, with wood paneled headboards and bold, geometric carpeting. Grab a cocktail from W Lounge and head to the mezzanine floor, where all of the artwork in the rotating collection is for sale. Thanks to the hotel’s Reebok partnership, you can get new shoes and socks delivered to your door, so there’s no excuse not to work out in the 24-hour gym.
100 Stuart St., Boston, 617-261-8700, marriott.com.
Sometimes you just need to go glam with your accommodations. Take this boutique hotel as a beacon of luxury, with its stunning Beaux Arts building of brick and iron, original cage elevator in the lobby, and the 63 modern guest rooms. With only seven guest rooms per floor, the getaways feel more like apartments, with sitting areas, canopied beds, and rainforest showers in the bathrooms. When you need to nest, wrap yourself in a cashmere throw and relax by your room’s gas fireplace. Feeling social? Hit up the roof deck, or let one of the hotel’s fleet of Lexus cars whisk you around the city.
15 Beacon St., Boston, 617-670-1500, xvbeacon.com.
Omni Parker House
At over 165 years old, this downtown hotel is still looking gorgeous. In fact, since it’s welcomed guests since its 1855 grand opening, the Omni Parker House takes the gold medal as the oldest continuously operating hotel in the nation. Right from that marquee-lit, art-deco entrance to the rich fabrics of the 551 rooms, you’re in for some old-world luxury. Love literature? Lay your head in the hotel where prose pros like Emerson, Longfellow, and Hawthorne held their Saturday Club literary meetings. Come dinnertime, get decked out and visit Parker’s Restaurant, where the famed Boston Cream Pie found its sweet start.
60 School St., Boston, 617-227-8600, omnihotels.com.
Fairmont Copley Plaza
Fair to say that the Fairmont Copley Plaza is a gem of Golden-Age glamor in the Back Bay. The stately building houses 383 rooms, including 17 suites, as well as a loft-like rooftop fitness center, a Renaissance-inspired Grand Ballroom that housed galas of yesteryear, and more. Plus, the current Oak Long Bar + Kitchen comes with a liquor-linked past. Now you can feast on bacon-wrapped turkey breast in the same place where revelers toasted the end of Prohibition at the aptly name Merry-Go-Round Bar, which featured an actual merry-go-round. You can still spot the ride’s track in the floor today.
138 St. James Ave., Boston, 617-267-5300, fairmont.com.
The Lenox Hotel
The Lenox lures with romance, from the wood-burning fireplaces in the executive fireplace rooms, to the enormous ceilings, to the red-and-white bricks of the 11-story Beaux Art exterior. Built in 1900, guests staying in the 214 classical-inspired rooms—with ornate wooden headboards and Italian marble bathrooms—are in good company, with celebs like Anne Hathaway and Tony Bennett among the past patrons. In fact, pack up your troubles and just get happy at the Judy Garland Suite, named after the iconic songbird, who lived at the hotel in 1968, with its Old Hollywood-infused aesthetic, apartment-style lounging area, marble bathroom, and Back Bay views.
61 Exeter St. at Boylston Street, Boston, 617-536-5300, lenoxhotel.com.
Copley Square Hotel
From its enviable perch right by the library where it welcomes visitors with that vintage red sign atop the seven-floor brick building, the Copley Square Hotel has seen a lot of history since opening its doors on July 4, 1891. Legendary slugger Babe Ruth spent time here, as well as legends Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. You’ll still find an air of vintage elegance mixed with modern comfort among the 143 guest rooms that—though they lean on the cozy side—offer modern amenities like flat-screens, sleek furnishings, and decorative pops of red.
47 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-536-9000, copleysquarehotel.com.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Lodgings don’t get much more luxe than this five-star stunner in Back Bay beauty, with its giant contemporary-chic rooms, signature bathrobes, and legendary spa. Recent renovations tweaked the rooms to make them more residential-like for longer stays, like the addition of kitchenettes to the suites. In case you have a cool $12,000 to drop, opt for the one-bedroom Royal Suite with over 2,500 square-feet, complete with a living and dining room, fireplace, media room and walk-in wardrobe. If that’s not in the (credit) cards, you can still feel like royalty with a jaunt to the spa. Himalayan salt stone massage, anyone?
776 Boylston St., Boston, 617-535-8888, mandarinoriental.com.
Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston
Boston’s Four Season’s outpost elevates elegance to an art form. The 61-story skyscraper perched by the Prudential pulls out all the stops, from the black granite floors of the lobby to the 215 rooms. The hotel even has an art curator behind the vast trove of treasures, from brass sculptures in the lobby to collages and paintings on the walls. No surprise that the other amenities are delightfully over-the-top: from the curved pool surrounded by windows, the wellness floor (because a wellness center isn’t enough), to the three onsite eateries, including the lobby bar, Trifecta, where you can dish over high tea on Sundays.
1 Dalton St., Boston, 617-377-4888, fourseasons.com/onedalton.
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
Ever wanted to go clubbing at the exclusive top level of a hotel? The Ritz-Carlton invites you to the Club Lounge, almost like a mini hotel where guests enjoy concierge services, complimentary food and drinks throughout the day, and spots to work or just hang out over board games. And the rooms are all about the glitz, with handcrafted bed linens, soaking tubs, views of the Common and more. Guests enjoy free access to the swanky Equinox Sports Club, where you can squeeze in a workout or unwind with a massage before you toast the evening with craft cocktails at the Artisan Bistro or the Avery Bar.
10 Avery St., Boston, 617-574-7100, ritzcarlton.com.
You can’t strike out with a stay at the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox, right in the shadow of Fenway Park. From the Italian linens to the Fenway Terrace where you can gaze at the Green Monster, this 245-room spot makes for a decidedly Boston experience. Plus, the top-floor Red Sox-themed Fenway Park Suite feels like a new home base, with a private king bedroom and separate living room, oversized bathroom, and a balcony with real seats from the park. With four dining options, globe-trot from the New England fare at Eastern Standard to the steaming Japanese noodles at TsuroTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie.
500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-933-5000, hotelcommonwealth.com.