October 5, 2022

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Just Do Travel

The 8 Best Hotels In Boston

7 min read

America’s history is one of booms and busts, cities that come and go, but Boston has never wavered. Today, people pass through the nearly 400-year-old city for all sorts of reasons—to see sights like the freedom trail and Fenway Park, for biotech and healthcare business and to visit students going to college.

But while Boston is fiercely proud of its history, it isn’t stuck in the past. It’s a vibrant place where religions, cultures and diverse communities coexist; where glass skyscrapers go up seemingly overnight, and where the food and drink scene continues to raise the bar. If you’re looking for an authentic Boston experience, selecting the right hotel as your launching off point can make all the difference. Here, we walk through the eight best hotels in Boston.

The Best Hotels in Boston

For Those Who Love Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston

Who Will Love It: Big spenders who want to be in the mix

All-Star Amenities: 24-hour room service; a stunning indoor pool; house car to shuttle you around town

What Not To Miss: Dinner at the hotel’s scene-y Zuma restaurant; a treatment on the wellness floor

Location: Fenway Neighborhood

High design and luxury amenities are the specialty at Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton, the triangle-shaped skyscraper at the intersection of Boston’s Back Bay, South End and Fenway neighborhoods. (Baseball fans should note, it’s just a few blocks from Fenway Park.) The rooms here are swoon worthy with floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable beds, marble bathrooms with oversize showers and clever design touches like bedside tablets for ordering room service. The service, too, offers everything a luxury seeker would need, including 24-hour in-room dining, premium Wi-Fi, a 24-hour concierge, and, of course, overnight shoeshine service. The hotel’s spa, salon, fitness center and curved indoor pool can be found on the seventh-level Wellness Floor.


Best For Shoppers: The Newbury Boston

Who Will Love It: Fashion and design lovers who want to be within easy reach of the city’s best boutiques

All-Star Amenities: Wood-burning fireplaces; exclusive library for guests; large residence-like guest rooms and suites

What Not To Miss: Dinner at Ken Fulk-designed Contessa; after-dinner drinks at the Street Bar

Location: Beacon Hill

Boston’s most iconic shopping district, Newbury Street, is right outside your front door when you stay at the Newbury Boston. Some of the world’s best names in style are found within a stone’s throw of the property, including Chanel, Valentino and even a Tiffany and Co. on the ground floor of the hotel. Inside, acclaimed interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud (whose work includes properties like Troutbeck in Hudson Valley and Raffles Singapore) outfitted the rooms in serene grays and whites, original works from illustrator Veronica Lawlor are found in every room and full-size customs Byredo amenities outfit the bathrooms.


Best Service: The Whitney Hotel Boston

Who Will Love It: Design lovers who want a neighborhood-y vibe

All-Star Amenities: House bicycles; fitness studio with Hydrow rowing machines; complimentary snacks in the common areas

What Not To Miss: “Neighborhood Passkey,” discounts and perks at a number of nearby shops and restaurants

Location: Beacon Hill

The Whitney, a tiny Beacon Hill boutique hotel, prides itself on perfecting the art of hospitality. Complimentary newspapers and shoeshines are de rigeur. There are house bikes, complimentary mini fridges and top notch concierge services that can point you in the right direction when it comes to things to do, such as exploring the Charles River Esplanade nearby. The Whitney also puts furry friends front and center. Call ahead and your room will be outfitted with a plush Lion + Wolf dog bed, a swanky drip module pet feeder by EJ Tanu, as well as complimentary treats from premium pet food brand My Zone Blue. With just 65-rooms, It’s one of the most comfortable and cozy stays in town.


A Boston Landmark: Boston Harbor Hotel

MOST POPULAR

Who Will Love It: Parents, business travelers, and boat lovers

All-Star Amenities: Fitness center complete with 60-foot lap pool; twice-daily housekeeping; Diptyque bath products

What Not To Miss: Outdoor live music series; movie nights during the warmer months

Location: Waterfront

Boston Harbor Hotel leaves a big impression with its soaring 60-foot arch framing Rowe’s Wharf over the gentle waves of Boston Harbor. The hotel fully embraces the waterfront location—many of the spacious, well-appointed rooms overlook the harbor, and scheduled and charter excursions to the Boston Harbor Islands depart from the dock behind the hotel. The hotel is close to land-based attractions, too, such as the Boston Children’s Museum, Faneuil Hall, the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s House. The hotel hosts the Boston Wine and Food Festival, the longest running wine festival in the country, which attracts some of the world’s top vintners and chefs for three months each year.


For The It Scene: The Liberty, A Luxury Collection Hotel

Who Will Love It: Those who love a bumping hotel lobby bar

All-Star Amenities: Running concierge; energy efficient guest rooms; fitness center

What Not To Miss: Dinner at Scampo; drinks in a converted jail cell at Clink

Location: Beacon Hill

In a city where most buildings have rich history, The Liberty still stands out: It served as the infamous Charles Street Jail from 1851 until 1990, before undergoing extensive refurbishment and opening as a luxury hotel in 2007. Today, the rooms are much more comfortable with cheeky touches like a safe that doubles as a nightstand, a do-not-disturb sign that says “Solitary,” and throw pillows printed with tally marks. The main attraction is the hotel’s soaring lobby—a 90-foot central atrium with glass roof and 30-foot glass windows (it’s a sight to behold when decorated for the holidays). It’s no wonder that stylish Bostonians can always be found having an evening drink at the Liberty.


Most Traditional: The Eliot Hotel

Who Will Love It: The nostalgic traveler

All-Star Amenities: Overnight shoeshine; suites with sleeper sofas; award-winning restaurant

What Not To Miss: A morning stroll on Commonwealth Avenue outside your front door

Location: Back Bay

There’s something so quintessentially Boston about stepping off of brick apartment-lined Commonwealth Avenue and into the marble-clad lobby at the family-owned Eliot Hotel. The service is personally tailored and the spacious rooms, including suites with sleeper sofas, are ideal for families. In a Neo-Classical Georgian landmark dripping with wisteria, the Eliot has the old world feel many travelers are looking for when they come to Boston (guest rooms have Italian marble bathrooms and ikat fabrics. The hotel appeals to more modern, sustainably-minded travelers as well with sustainable touches like ultra-low flow toilets, and a robust recycling program and the James Beard Award-winning restaurant, Uni.


Most Romantic: XV Beacon

Who Will Love It: Discreet travelers looking for privacy

All-Star Amenities: Cashmere throws; pillow-top mattresses; Frette linens; complimentary transfers to and from the airport

What Not To Miss: A peek inside the wine cellar at the restaurant, Mooo

Location: Beacon Hill

With a plum location near bars, restaurants and shops on Beacon Hill, XV Beacon makes it a cinch to experience the best of Boston, but the hotel has a way of beckoning guests to stay in. Guest rooms have working fireplaces, flat-mount televisions with surround sound stereo systems, rainforest showers and soaking tubs. The cashmere throws and pillow-top mattresses will help you have one of the best nights of sleep of your life. Check in with your significant other, or yourself, order room service and remember why we love hotels in the first place.


Best Hotel In Cambridge: The Charles

Who Will Love It: Culture lovers and intelligentsia 

All-Star Amenities: Gorgeous Shaker furniture; wingback leather chairs; C.O. Bigelow bath products

What Not To Miss: Rubbing shoulders with the academic elite at Henrietta’s Table

Location: Cambridge

Across the river from Boston lies Cambridge, the city’s intellectual, off-beat, eclectic counterpart where neighborhood after neighborhood brims with exciting restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Due to its proximity to both Harvard University and M.I.T.—and its reputation for comfort and privacy—visiting academics, politicians and titans in their fields choose to rest their heads at the Charles. The rooms have an updated take on Americana, with handsome plaid carpeting, timeless Shaker furniture, and comfy leather wingback chairs. The hotel’s restaurant, Henrietta’s Table, is where Cambridge intellectuals come to discuss deep topics and dine on organic, locally-sourced farm-to-table fare.


About Todd Plummer, Your Boston Guide

I have written about gorillas in Rwanda and heli-skiing in British Columbia, but I am continually surprised and impressed by my native Boston. Since before the Revolutionary War, it has been a cosmopolitan, world-class city that continues to reinvent itself. Boston has noticeably upped the luxury hotel bar, with properties ranging from independently owned boutique hotels to international luxury brands; the food scene is as diverse and exciting as you’ll find anywhere. I have personally visited every hotel on this list—as well as some of the best hotels around the world. I can say there’s a lot to love about Boston.