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Hotels

12 Best Hotels in Boston

For years, Boston lacked a stylish place to sleep, but a wave of chic properties (plus revamps of old favorites) has opened up from Back Bay to Downtown, enticing Jetsetters to check in and stay a while. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, these 12 best hotels in Boston measure up.

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1

The Eliot Hotel

It doesn’t get more charming than this elegant Back Bay boutique, around the corner from the swish shopping on Newbury Street. Originally built for Harvard professors, the 1925 neo-Georgian building now houses 95 rooms—75 of them residential-like suites—run by the same family for half a century. The interiors are predominantly a Parisian affair, from the toile fabrics and French mirrors and doors in the guest rooms to the 1920s-supper-club­­–style restaurant UNI, run by James Beard Award-winning chef Ken Oringer.

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XV Beacon

Don’t let this building’s 1903 Beaux-Arts façade fool you: Fifteen Beacon (as it’s commonly referred to) was the first real boutique to open in Beantown in 1998, and is one modernist sleep you’ll want to check into. Its chic, bold interiors—dark wood, brushed steel, a subdued palette of mocha browns and creams—complement vintage touches like an original cage elevator, marble busts in the lobby and four-poster canopy beds and fireplaces in each of the 60 guest rooms. You won't find a pool or gym here, but what you will find: the ridiculously good steakhouse, Mooo, whose wine cellar is 31,000 bottles strong, and chauffeured cars to take you on complimentary spins around town.

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3

Hotel Commonwealth

Headed to a Red Sox game (or just itching to be within spitting distance of Fenway Park)? You can’t get much closer than Hotel Commonwealth, a Back Bay mainstay that puts visitors in the heart of Kenmore Square. Behind its French-Empire façade, you’ll find 149 rooms that are plush and sophisticated, with splashes of red (a nod to the home team), a custom library of works by Boston authors, and views of Fenway or Commonwealth Avenue from the guest rooms. Bookend an afternoon or evening in the stands with a meal at Eastern Standard, where New American dishes (including the venerable Standard Burger) pair perfectly with expertly crafted cocktails.

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Boston Harbor Hotel

Although the Boston Harbor Hotel sits sandwiched between the Boston Harbor yacht marina and Faneuil Hall, it's a landmark all its own. The waterfront property epitomizes old Boston, with hard-carved furniture, a collection of antique New England maps and an iconic arched throughway that marks the heart of Rowes Wharf. Each of the 230 rooms, which look out over the water or the city, has an eye-popping nautical theme and is done up in maritime art and blues everywhere. The amenities are just as impressive, from the Sea Grille (famous for its Sunday brunch and James Beard Award-winning chef) to the indoor pool and spa (robes and workout clothes provided).

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5

Four Seasons Hotel Boston

This property is everything you'd want in a Four Seasons. Every space, from the gorgeous eighth-floor pool to the health club and 273 guest rooms, is airy, modern and light-filled. The iconic Bristol Lounge draws both locals and guests, thanks to its standout raw bar, and the service is flawless. Then there's the hotel's covetable location, across the street from the lush Public Garden and domed statehouse and just a few blocks away from luxury shopping on Newbury Street.

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The Langham, Boston

The gorgeous 1865 façade of the Langham makes enough of a statement, but the interiors somehow manage to up the wow factor. Guests walk beneath red awnings and into a grand hall lined with ornate chandeliers and portraits of famous Bostonians (see JFK). Upstairs, the 318 rooms are equally luxurious (if more modern) with vintage wallpaper, gilt-framed mirrors, and large windows that let in ample natural light. After digging into elevated New England classics (New Bedford scallops and bacon; North Star Farm lamb loin) at Bond Restaurant, walk off the calories on a stroll along the Freedom Trail, just a few blocks away.

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7

Fairmont Copley Plaza

This opulent grande dame has been welcoming Boston’s cream of the crop (including almost every U.S. President) since it opened in 1912. Today, the hotel still retains its old-world charm, thanks to the 21-foot-high gilded ceilings, Empire-style crystal chandeliers and elegant capped doormen, who ensure you never have to open a door yourself. While Beantown has plenty of restaurants you'll undoubtedly want to check out, leave one night free for dinner or drinks at the hotel's Oak Long Bar + Kitchen, with its Palladian-style windows and leather banquettes.

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8

Revere Hotel Boston Common

At Revere, smack dab between Newbury Street and the Financial District, it’s all about business meets pleasure. Inside, the look is edgy and contemporary, from the abstract art in the lobby to the vibrant green glow of the cocktail bar, which opens out onto a glassed-in rooftop pool and lounge. The guest rooms are chic yet functional, with private balconies, huge desks, and easy-to-access outlets for charging all your tech gear. What we love most about the property is its dedication to all things local. The restaurant, Rustic Kitchen, for example, doubles as a cooking show studio, and the staff uniforms come courtesy of fashion students at Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

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9

The Liberty Hotel, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel

The Liberty Hotel will wow even the most well-traveled of guests. Located in Beacon Hill, its entrance was built inside the former Charles Street jail, whose lofty octagonal atrium is now lit by massive windows and ringed by 18 guest rooms built from converted cells. The rest of the rooms are housed in a modern 16-story tower addition—though guests will find themselves drawn back into prison for dinner at Clink or drinks at Alibi, the bar that once doubled as the jail’s drunk tank and now features celebrity mug shots on the walls.

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10

Nine Zero

This new Kimpton combines the best of the brand (an eclectic and bold design, poppy colors and patterns, fun extras like loaner bikes and complimentary wine hours) with a classic location, just off Boston Common. All 190 rooms are stylish--if a bit small-- and maximize comfort with their ergonomic leather chairs and extensive pillow menu (bonus points for having in-room yoga mats and spa services). The service is a highlight, too, but not as much as the swanky cocktail lounge (complete with board games) and outpost of KO Prime.

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11

The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection

Travelers who choose to stay at the Envoy do so for two reasons: the incredible views (of either the skyline or the waterfront, if you choose a floating king room) and its exceptional design. The interiors are inspired by the surrounding Seaport Innovation District—the 10-foot lobby chandelier is made from recycled rope and coiled phone cords, heat-sensitive bulbs behind the check-in desk mimic movement, and mixed-media artwork incorporate things like VHS tapes and book covers. The guest rooms are more toned down (neutral tones; hanging maps of Boston Harbor) but still evoke their fair share of playfulness, from the TV stands made out of bicycle frames to the floor lamps built to resemble ladders.

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12

The Godfrey Hotel Boston

Two 1900s restored office buildings in up-and-coming Downtown Crossing have been transformed into one of Beantown’s coolest places to stay. Like its Windy City sister, the Godfrey Hotel Boston is all about combining style and substance. Its 242 rooms are handsome and high-tech, with plaid headboards, Frette linens, glassed-in showers, and ample USB ports, while the lobby is more mid-century and features 16-foot ceilings and a branch of cult favorite George Howell Coffee. At the heart of it all is RUKA, Boston’s first Peruvian-Asian restaurant run by Chef Preston Miller (formerly of NYC’s The Breslin).

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