The Liberty, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston
What We Love
- Prime downtown Boston location
- Free bicycles, Saturday yoga, and a Running Concierge (depending on the season)
- "Liberty Affairs," a full range of weekly on-site social events (including Gallery Night Tuesdays, Fashionably Late Thursdays and Fall Fitness Saturdays)
What To Know
- 18 rooms are in the original jail itself, while the other 280 are in the new, modern building
- There's a young, hip vibe; Alibi Bar & Lounge is busy late into the evening
- The fitness room is on the small side, and there’s no pool or spa
- Free WiFi and overnight shoeshine service
- The hotel is pet-friendly and nonsmoking
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In just a few years the Liberty Hotel has become Boston’s most talked-about property and one of the most unique on the National Register of Historic Places. Dual escalators separated by a contemporary mosaic rise to the jail’s central octagonal rotunda — now the bustling lobby. Complementing the original granite exterior, tiers of wrought iron and weathered brick fully envelop the space. The lobby is in a five-level, 90-foot atrium, and the space is illuminated by chain-link chandeliers and natural light filtered through elaborate ocular windows and three-story glass panes. Burgundy, black and white couches and fabulous chairs set a tone of warmth and splendor.
Bed and Bath
In the adjoining tower’s guestrooms, the focus is on details such as four-fixture baths and superfine linens. In some rooms floor-to-ceiling windows look out at the crossroads of Boston and Cambridge, where sailboats fade into the horizon. In all cases, the rooms themselves are elegant, technologically up to date and delightfully comfortable. The ubiquitous prison theme is reflected in the “Solitary” key rings placed on doorknobs in place of “Do Not Disturb” signs.
In the main building, the prison theme is ever present. The Clink restaurant uses the vestiges of original cells as the backdrop for its modern American cuisine, which is heavily focused on local and sustainable ingredients. Downstairs, at Alibi Bar & Lounge, patrons can raise their glasses and sip cocktails in the Charles Street Jail’s drunk tank.
In the Area
Renowned restaurant Scampo is adjacent to the hotel’s entrance and serves renowned lobster dishes that showcase chef Lydia Shire’s culinary ingenuity. Take in the beauty and prestige of Beacon Hill and the Italian charm of the North End by walking through Boston’s famous neighborhoods on the Freedom Trail, still the best way to learn about Boston’s rich history. With a recent expansion that added 53 galleries, the Museum of Fine Arts houses a vast and varied collection from all over the world. (Don’t miss the Buddha room.) A visit to the country’s first restaurant, Union Oyster House (circa 1826), is a must on any trip to Boston. Shuck ’til you drop or feast on lobster, New England fish cakes or any of the fresh fish specialties at yet another National Historic Landmark.
How to Get There
This hotel experience was similar to moving from a first date to a third date...a quick no when the shine wears off.
At first glance it’s all shiny and everything is great. Sparkling wine at check-in. A gorgeous lobby that makes an incredible impression. A prison theme to recognize its incredible history and architecture. A few restaurants.
Rooms are nice. Bed is great. Nice soaker tub. Stay on high floor for a good view (lower floors offer a lot of road noise).
We are an entrepreneurial couple in our 30s. We enjoy a good cocktail and a great place to eat and drink. Oysters were great here. However, this hotel turns into a Vegas style night club IN THE LOBBY after 9pm.
Upon returning from dinner at Neptune Oyster on a Saturday night, our Lyft driver wouldn’t pull up to the hotel as “it’s too busy and his car would be stuck with the club goers”. We were confused. Our hotel? Maybe he got it wrong?
Unfortunately not. We got out and walked to the front of the hotel and then realized- the lobby turns into a night club luring 21 year old drunk people for a night of dancing to a DJ in the lobby.
It’s not even a separate entrance for guests so you line up to be checked by the bouncer to get entrance into the hotel you are staying at.
The club is bumping and you can barely get to the elevator as it’s standing room only. Then, you greet other guests who made it to the elevator who are also shocked at what this hotel has become. A little warning would have gone a long way!
We are on the top floor, otherwise we’d be slammed with bass in our room till 2am.
Is this luxury? No. Is it confused about what it should be? Yes. I wonder if the lobby nightclub pays for the hotel to operate? Either way, it’s not advertised as a party destination and it’s imprisoned guests should be warned ahead of time.
Earlier in the day we saw a lot of emergency vehicles- ambulances and police- arrive and a crime scene investigation van was at the hotel all day. After seeing the vibe later in the evening it makes me question the nature of this “luxury” destination. It made us sad for whoever was involved.
Either way - I’d recommend for a bachelor party visit or a girls night out but families or couples on a romantic getaway or if you want luxury go elsewhere. The hospital is close by but maybe that’s more so for alcohol related injuries vs staying here while you visit loved ones.
Just my two cents. The hotel needs to decide what it is and market to that population’s version of luxury.
I do love this bed though...
I live in Boston, but I chose to spend the night at the Liberty Hotel to celebrate my 50th birthday. The Liberty used to be the old Charles Street Jail, so it had a jailhouse theme I was curious to see. Well, it certainly didn't disappoint. The lobby of the hotel was huge, with a round stained-glass window which I think was original to the jail. Stone walls, also remnant of the old jail, made up part of the decor. It's hard to describe the hotel and it's prison theme, but it was chic, beautiful, and delightfully quirky. The room we stayed in was pretty standard for a good hotel, nothing special. The bathroom was big, the toiletries were good quality, and the beds were soft.
We started our evening at Alibi, the hotel's trendy bar (there are also two restaurants in the hotel too). Metal cell bars graced the walls of the bar, and like the lobby, it was tasteful and unique. The drink menu was absolutely outstanding, filled with creative (but expensive) drinks. My husband and I each got a cocktail and were impressed. After drinks, we headed to the Catwalk. The Catwalk is a guest-only area that encircles the lobby, so you can watch the comings and goings as you enjoy drinks or dinner. The Catwalk was interesting: you could order food from their flagship restaurant Clink, or you could get food from their more casual menu. The Catwalk also had a great drink menu, and we enjoyed drinking and eating while looking down on a busy Friday night. My husband ordered a seafood dish from Clink, and I got an appetizer of dumplings and a main course of burger and fries which were quite good. We were too full to eat dessert so we got it to go. My husband got a tasty cheesecake and I got a collection of French macarons. I rarely see macarons on a dessert menu, and thought it was a classy touch.
The next morning we had a late breakfast at Clink. The Eggs Benedict was perfect.
I left the Liberty feeling like I had a very special treat for my milestone birthday. I highly recommend spending a night or two at the Liberty Hotel.
I would like to start off with that the staff were helpful, friendly and professional. The concept of the hotel was executed beautifully. Unfortunately, all if the wonderful things about this hotel were negated by the bad. The liberty advertised itself as a luxury hotel. NO where on there website does it list that it turns into a nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights. It should be made transparent and blatantly clear when you book this high priced hotel that its lobby turns into club. My husband and I came to Boston for an event at TD garden. We entered on Friday night after working all day and then traveling to Boston from out of state. We were met by excessively loud music. It was to the point that I had to shout in my husband's ear to say anything. We had booked a king suite. The staff were kind enough to automatically change our room to a two queen bed room because they said we would not be happy with our room as it was right above the nightclub. The next evening when we returned from the event. We had to push our way in to the building because of the people huddled at the entrance trying to enter the club. We made it into the lobby and then had to fight the crowds in the lobby. There were spilled drinks everywhere; people were fighting around us; and after the sea of people there were multiple people hanging out by the elevators. People were trying to sneak up the elevators. There was NO security. Yes you have to use you key card to make the elevator move but if hotel guests are going to their room there is no one stopping someone from jumping on the elevator. Which is exactly what happened to us. As we approached the elevator there was a random guy staring at the elevator. My husband, myself and another hotel guest attempted enter the elevator. The nightclub guest got on as well; he was completely altered by much more than alcohol. The nightclub guest thought the elevator was a bathroom and tried to use it as such. He then randomly jumped out of the elevator. I actually have never felt so unsafe in a hotel. The amount we paid for this luxury hotel was not equivalent to the service that was rendered. As much as I would like to recommend this hotel to people I can not. There were families staying in this hotel and the clientele of the nightclub patrons is frightening. As much as I wish this was an exaggeration it is not just simple facts. I am shocked this is a Marriott hotel.
This is a truly luxury hotel in a historic landmark. It is just a few steps to MGH. The room service prices are extremely high. You can get a good deal for a room rate if you book in advance and have flexible dates. There are many resonably priced fine restaurants in walking distance. The subway station is just across the street. The views are spectacular. I have stayed here twice and would choose it again. It is a Marriott property. Stay here and enjoy the best experience Boston has to offer.
Welcomed and checked out efficiently, comfortable modern room with usual luxury amenities. Valet parking is available and helpful but slow. Breakfast is adequate but not make with love. Scampo's Italian restaurant is not part of the hotel but located in the hotel and contrary to what most people think, we found it horribly noisy and the food totally disappointing except for the super thin crust pizzas. Hotel staff is very helpful.