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Trip Advisor; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- With an abundance of historic attractions, museums, excellent restaurants, and urban green spaces, Boston is a charming New England icon.
- Hotels across the city run the gamut, from stately properties that date back centuries to re-purposed buildings that were creatively transformed into boutique gems.
- We chose the best hotels in Boston based on our own travel experiences, as well as those with high review and rating scores, central locations, desirable amenities, and varied price points accessible to the average traveler ranging from $121 to $404 per night.
- Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here.
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Whenever that happens for you, and we know it will, we hope our travel content helps you make informed, useful, and inspiring choices on the best places and hotels to book. So whether you use our reviews now, bookmark them for the future, or simply need an escape from the news, we’ll continue to share the world with you. In the meantime, we encourage all travelers to stay safe, follow guidelines from the CDC website, and take precautions.
Rich with Revolutionary historic cites, Boston’s cobblestone streets are almost like one big outdoor history museum.
But rather than be defined strictly by its past, Boston’s dynamic art, culture, music, and dining scenes keep it relevant for the modern traveler. From landmark attractions like the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum to the innovative Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston blends history with a contemporary edge in a spirited way. Compact and walkable, the city’s pleasures are easy to explore and the large student population exudes youthful energy.
This feeling of old meets new can be especially visible within Boston’s hotel offerings. The city is home to many gracious properties that have been meticulously maintained, as well as numerous new hotels that were inventively re-purposed from existing structures, including a former jail and 1950s motor lodge.
Over the years, I’ve spent much time in Boston for personal and professional reasons and as such, have checked out many top properties. I carefully selected the best hotels based on my own experiences, as well as those with high scores from past travelers on respected sites like Trip Advisor and Booking.com. All hotels on this list are considered at least 4 out of 5-stars on the former and rated over 8.2 out of 10 on the latter.
These are all standout hotels with highly desirable amenities such as public art, dynamic design, and swimming pools, and range in price from an affordable $121 to $404 for more luxurious digs per night in low season. And, for good measure, we threw in one ultra-posh option if you’re looking for an indulgent splurge that promises to feel worth it.
These are the best hotels in Boston, sorted by price from low to high.
The Godfrey is housed in a 1908 Gothic Revival building and maintains original touches such as an original facade and preserved elevator doors. However, the overall look is modern and stylish, situated in the heart of the Downtown Crossing neighborhood. For those not in the know, that’s Boston’s central shopping district. It’s a buzzing area loaded with bars, restaurants, and shops, and just a few blocks to leafy Boston Common.
Standard rooms are small but functional with clean lines and a neutral color palette that feels uncluttered. High-end Frette linens, BOSE Bluetooth audio systems, and Heely bath products are a few of the amenities that add a high-end feel.
Ruka is the hotel’s popular on-site restaurant serving Peruvian-Japanese fusion fare with a loyal local following. If you can’t snag a reservation, much of the Ruka menu can be ordered as room service.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 11 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 9.0 out of 10
Pros: The Godfrey offers many original touches such as early morning guided running tours, which is a great way to get acquainted with the city while you exercise.
Cons: Rooms that overlook the street can be noisy. If you’re craving tranquility, ask for a room facing the interior courtyard instead.
The Verb Hotel
Housed in a restored 1950s motel, The Verb is a retro hotel with a light-hearted rock-and-roll theme. It’s impossible to miss the funky custom-restored 1947 red bus that is permanently parked outside of the entrance.
Common areas display vibrant pop art with decor that blends midcentury modern furniture with vintage rock memorabilia like jukeboxes and concert posters. The heated outdoor saltwater pool with a sundeck is a popular gathering place and a true perk of staying here in the summer.
Each of the 93 rooms comes with a record player, speakers, and a collection of vinyl. Music lovers will want to explore the hotel’s eclectic record collection, from which guests are encouraged to borrow. If your neighbor is cranking up the music just a little too loud, each room is equipped with earplugs.
The Verb is located near Fenway Park, home to MLB’s Boston Red Sox. Baseball fans may even book a guest room that faces the stadium.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 5 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Hotels.com Rating: 9.2 out of 10
Pros: This lovingly restored former motor inn has a hip music theme and lots of fun-loving flair with a convenient location for Fenway fans.
Cons: There’s no room service but a grab-and-go breakfast is included in the room rate. There is no fitness center on-site, though guests receive complimentary access to the nearby Boston Sports Club.
Omni Parker House
The Omni Parker House has exactly the sort of stately presence you’d expect from a hotel with roots dating back to the mid-19th century. Located at the foot of Beacon Hill, it’s located directly on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile path that meanders through Boston’s historic neighborhoods, and is perfectly situated for those who want to explore central Boston without a car.
With 551 guest rooms and suites, the hotel caters to a mix of business and leisure travelers. Guest rooms feature a traditional aesthetic with rich tapestry-like fabrics, crown moldings, and cherry wood furniture. In the public spaces, dangling Waterford crystal chandeliers and ornate hand-carved woodwork add to the Grande Dame atmosphere.
The on-site Parker’s Restaurant is revered by food historians as the birth-place of both Parker House rolls and Boston cream pie, the Massachusetts state dessert. The restaurant kitchen has launched the careers of chefs Emeril Lagasse and Jasper White and employed cultural icons such as Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X. Literary greats Charles Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson were regulars back in their day and Parker’s remains popular with locals and hotel guests for consistently great food.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 62 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Pros: The hotel’s dignified restaurant is where Boston cream pie and Parker House rolls were invented, earning a prime place on any food lover’s map. If you’re traveling with family, kids are given special treatment here, receiving milk and cookie room deliveries, as well as a backpack filled with trinkets and games.
Cons: Entry-level rooms are small, and reproductions of 19th-century art on guest room walls may make the decor feel dated to some.
The Revolution Hotel
The Revolution Hotel is an adaptive re-use of one of the first YWCAs in the United States. Housed in a landmark South End building, the hotel’s design is informed by the building’s original use, which was to educate and empower young women.
Guests are surrounded by art and objects that display Boston’s rich history. The site-specific foyer mural incorporates local cultural icons such as Samuel Adams into the scheme, and at reception, a wall of repurposed mailboxes pays homage to the fact that Boston was home to the nation’s first post office.
Similarly, the Fireplace Lounge and Library serves as a nod to Transcendentalism and the Beatnik movement. Both were significant literary moments in Boston and works by authors Jack Kerouac and Henry David Thoreau, among others, feature prominently. Additionally, the on-site coffee shop draws inspiration from the Boston Tea Party with custom-built tea crates.
Guest rooms are minimal and compact with smart storage solutions like a luggage cubby and gear wall. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, premium bedding, and powerful air conditioning. It’s important to note that as a former YWCA, approximately half of the guest rooms have shared single-occupant bathrooms located down the hall. The smallest room is a King, with a bath down the hall, measuring a petite 115 square feet. The largest is the top floor Studio Suite with a private bathroom and 338 square feet of space. In addition, there are 14 Loft Rooms in an annex across the street, ranging in size from 250 to 528 square feet. Rooms with a private bath cost approximately $50 more per night over a standard room.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 12 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 8.7 out of 10
Pros: If you don’t mind small rooms, shared bathrooms (in some instances), and communal spaces, the creative and clever design elements present plenty of eye candy for a fair price. Additionally, the lower level co-working space caters to hotel guests and local creatives and during the week, guests have complimentary use.
Cons: Even the largest rooms can feel cramped if you’re not traveling solo. In-room bathrooms are tiny, and not all rooms offer them, which may feel too dorm-like for many, despite the other perks.
Boston Park Plaza
Built in 1927, the recently renovated Boston Park Plaza is a traditional hotel near both Back Bay and downtown. Convenient to the Freedom Trail, Boston Common, and the theater district, the location and non-intimidating vibe draws a mix of business, convention, and leisure travelers.
Boston Park Plaza is a large hotel with 1,060 guest rooms and suites. Decor is straightforward without frills or frou-frou. There are many different room sizes and configurations, including a Studio Suite with a King-sized bed and a foldout couch.
The Art Deco lobby has a bustling rhythm, with piped-in music that adds an upbeat note, and an on-site eatery, Off the Common, which is right in the center of the lobby, and served homestyle comfort food like grilled cheese with tomato soup.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 53 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Hotels.com Rating: 8.2 out of 10
Pros: This centrally-located hotel is independently owned without a hint of corporate pretension. Many members of the staff will proudly tell you that they have worked here for decades.
Cons: The no-frills design may feel a bit dated, and it can be difficult to get your bearings in a hotel this big. Plus, the large size can feel impersonal. If you’re driving, on-site valet parking costs a steep $65 per night.
Located next to Fenway Park, Hotel Commonwealth is the official hotel of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox. The Kenmore Square neighborhood is also near Boston University, making it a convenient base for visiting parents, alums, and assorted academics.
There are rooms with ballpark views as well as special baseball-themed suites with a sight line straight into Fenway. The look mixes modern amenities with vintage charm, including touches of baseball memorabilia. Even the least expensive entry-level rooms are spacious and include two Queen or one King-sized bed with upholstered headboards, Italian linens, and down comforters.
Complimentary perks include courtesy transportation in a luxury SUV each morning and a daily selection of afternoon snacks in the lobby. If you’re traveling with a dog, water bowls and a dog bed can be delivered to your room prior to arrival. The 1,400 square feet of outdoor terrace offers fire tables, funky art installations, a menu of cocktails, and scenic views of Fenway Park.
Hotel Commonwealth’s Island Creek Oyster Bar serves a traditional lobster roll that rivals anything you could eat in Maine.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 29 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10
Pros: For die-hard baseball fans, you can’t get closer to Fenway Park, plus the baseball bric-a-brac is a cleverly-executed theme.
Cons: Guest rooms facing Fenway Park can be noisy after a game.
The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Seaport District is one of Boston’s up-and-coming neighborhoods and The Envoy is one of the hippest hotels in the area. The hotel boasts its own art gallery, and it’s also just steps from the Institute of Contemporary Art, a cutting-edge modern art venue. As such, The Envoy is a favored crash pad for art enthusiasts.
The 136 sleek guest rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking either the city skyline or Boston Harbor. There’s plenty of reclaimed wood and custom-made furniture, like funky television stands made from old bicycle parts. There’s also a local lean with bath products made by Boston-based Fresh, and a mini-bar stocked with New England nibbles.
The lobby offers workstations with printers and USB charging ports, so it’s no surprise that many guests choose to work in the communal space. The rooftop bar Lookout is an excellent spot to mingle as you enjoy great views, fire pits, craft cocktails, and tasty bar snacks.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 46 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Pros: The Envoy’s artsy vibe feels fresh and youthful. If you have a flight out of Logan, it takes just a few minutes to reach the airport via water taxi, which stops steps from the hotel.
Cons: The open-concept bathrooms offer little privacy.
Royal Sonesta Boston
The Royal Sonesta is located in East Cambridge on the banks of the Charles River. It’s just a few steps from the Boston border, and a fine base to explore both Boston and Cambridge attractions. The riverside position also presents numerous recreational possibilities including biking and jogging along the car-free path. There’s an unusual amount of space for an urban hotel, and a riverside patio enhances the indoor-outdoor flow. A large indoor pool adds to the resort feel.
There are 400 rooms and suites divided between two towers. Many guest rooms have unobstructed views of the Charles River, Boston’s bridges, and skyline. The room decor is contemporary with pops of bold colors, and though entry-level rooms are compact, they feel like studio apartments with a layout that maximizes space.
The hotel’s modern art collection includes an Andy Warhol hanging in the ArtBar, the property’s casual restaurant.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 6 out of 21 hotels in Cambridge
Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Pros: Though technically in Cambridge, this city hotel is just steps from many Boston attractions, including the Boston Museum of Science, a big hit with families. We also like that it feels more like a resort.
Cons: Bathrooms are small in entry-level rooms.
The Charles Hotel
The Charles Hotel is located in the heart of Cambridge and thanks to its proximity to Harvard Square, clientele includes sophisticated Harvard guest lecturers and aspiring Ivy League students. It’s perfectly situated to explore Cambridge, but you’ll need to take public transportation or drive to reach Boston proper.
Guest rooms are decorated in a blue and white color scheme with traditional Shaker-style furniture. Entry-level rooms include functional elements such as a wood desk and a television set embedded into the bathroom’s vanity mirror.
Public spaces are refined and include a large collection of New England landscape paintings, old-fashioned quilts, and an elegant central staircase that adds low-key polish. The large lending library is full of interesting titles, with plenty of buttery-soft sofas to sit on while reading.
Guests receive complimentary use of the excellent gym facilities at the adjacent Wellbridge Athletic Club, including an indoor pool and a range of group fitness classes.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 4 out of 21 hotels in Cambridge
Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Pros: The Charles exudes New England modesty but doesn’t skimp on creature comforts. Cambridge is a charming alternate base to downtown Boston.
Cons: There’s no in-room coffee, though the on-site restaurant Henrietta’s Table offers guests a complimentary morning cup. While the location is excellent for Cambridge, it takes time to reach central Boston.
The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Interestingly, the Liberty Hotel in Beacon Hill was once the Charles Street Jail. With a challenging starting point of mid-19th century Boston Granite Style architecture, the structure was imaginatively transformed and opened to guests in 2007.
The revamp honors the building’s history and integrity and the former jail’s soaring light-filled central atrium was maintained and now serves as the lobby. Exposed original brick walls, winding catwalks, wrought-iron windows, and preserved jail cells in the on-site restaurant further demonstrate the preservationist ethos of the hotel’s design and architecture.
Most of the 298 rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, many with views of the Charles River Esplanade, and are spacious, starting at 400 square feet for an entry-level room. The decor is stylish with whimsical reminders of the hotel’s storied past such as vaults converted into bedside tables. The color scheme is rich in restful earth tones. Design details include textured wallpaper, hardwood floors, and handsome Chesterfield couches.
The lobby’s Liberty Bar draws a big crowd thanks to its dramatic design concept and menu of creative cocktails and wines. There’s also outdoor seating in warm weather.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 51 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Pros: This design-forward property housed in an old jailhouse makes it easy to escape with complimentary bikes to pedal around the neighborhood.
Cons: There’s no in-room coffee service. Guests can enjoy complimentary coffee downstairs, but the lobby is often crowded and noisy.
Boston Harbor Hotel
The Boston Harbor Hotel is so close to Boston Harbor, it gives the illusion that you’re spending the night on a luxury yacht. Situated on Rowes Wharf, it is actually surrounded by water.
The nautical feel extends to the 232 sumptuous guest rooms, decorated in a cool coastal color scheme. Many have unbeatable harbor views and each room includes amenities like in-room tablets, smart TVs, marble bathrooms with rainfall showers, plush robes, and attentive twice-daily housekeeping. Even entry-level Superior Rooms are large with 500 square feet of space.
The ambiance is very upscale but never stuffy and the modern lobby is airy and inviting. The friendly staff is respectfully chummy with many regulars who appear to use the hotel as their Boston base.
Though the hotel enjoys a central location, it feels like a self-contained resort. There’s a 60-foot indoor lap pool and fitness center with small-group yoga and Pilates classes. The top-notch spa offers locally-inspired treatments such as a hot stone massage using stones from the Boston Harbor Islands. The on-site restaurant, Rowes Wharf Sea Grille, serves three meals daily and has a large outdoor patio. In summer, the hotel hosts complimentary live evening entertainment and movie screenings on its marina.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 3 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10
Pros: The Boston Harbor Hotel is so close to the water if you were any closer, you’d be swimming.
Cons: You may hear noise from ferries and foghorns early in the morning from low-floor harbor view rooms.
Four Seasons Hotel Boston
Located on the cusp of Back Bay, downtown, and Beacon Hill, with Boston Public Garden as its front yard, Four Seasons Hotel Boston enjoys a prime location and perhaps the swankiest digs in town.
From the moment the doorman escorts you in, the effortlessly elegant hotel oozes sophistication. The lobby’s plush, dark velvet sofas and petite round tables set around the perimeter invite you to perch. Exotic glass ceiling sconces sparkle like holiday lights on the black and white marble floors. It’s not unusual to spot well-known politicos in the reception area or to ride the elevator with a movie star in town for a press junket.
The Four Seasons has 273 guest rooms and suites. Book a room with a view of the Public Garden and you’ll feel immersed in greenery. Decor is modern with a soft edge and neutral color scheme that is clean, practical, and has enough restraint to never appear overdone. Furnishings have subtle metallic undertones while the upholstery has interesting touches of texture that infuse the room with the feeling of home, but better. Top-quality linens and an exceptionally comfortable mattress surround you in comfort. Twice-daily housekeeping keeps everything shipshape.
The health club is one of the best in town, with a large swimming pool, and The Bristol is a restaurant with a clubby vibe and a traditional menu that makes it popular with power lunchers. Of course, the hotel charges some of the city’s highest room rates.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 10 out of 93 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 9.0 out of 10
Pros: The Four Seasons boasts Boston’s best location, with the finest service and top-notch amenities that will make you feel like royalty.
Cons: In a city with so many fine hotels offering good value, a stay at the Four Seasons is very expensive.
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