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XV Beacon
Photograph: Courtesy XV Beacon XV Beacon

The 16 best hotels in Boston

Our guide to the best hotels in Boston includes top picks for vacations and staycations

By Eric Grossman, Gerrish Lopez and Time Out Boston Staff
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The Hub has some of the country's highest hotel prices, and rooms at the best hotels are often in demand throughout the year. This means choosing a place to stay is one of the most important, and pressure-packed, decisions one faces when visiting the city. Whether you're visiting Boston for the first time or treating someone special to a staycation, our guide to the best hotels in Boston has you covered. Once you've settled on where to stay, make like a local and grab a cup of joe at the best Boston coffee shops, then deepen your appreciation of the city with one of the best Boston city tours. After a busy day in the city, you'll want to refue with dinner at one of the best Italian restaurants in Boston. And remember, if you splurge on a pricey hotel you can always take it easy on your wallet by sticking to the best free things to do in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Best hotels in Boston

Mandarin Oriental Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Mandarin Oriental Boston

1. Mandarin Oriental Boston

Hotels Back Bay

Centrally located in the Back Bay, the hotel exudes luxury at every turn, from the massive marble lobby to the well-appointed rooms with skyline views. If you seek the ne plus ultra of spa experiences, venture no further than the hotel’s award-winning, 16,000-square-foot oasis for a decadent, Asian-influenced massage or facial. Primo dining options include the in-house Bar Boulud from celebrity chef Daniel Boulud.

Four Seasons, Hotels, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel Boston

2. Four Seasons Hotel Boston

Hotels Back Bay

The five-star Four Seasons is known for its famous guests. When the Stones roll into town, this is where they set up camp. Built on the site of a former Playboy Club, the hotel boasts an ideal location in the Back Bay with swooning views of the Public Garden, plus impeccable amenities (swimming pool, fitness center and spa) and services. 

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XV Beacon
Photograph: Courtesy XV Beacon

3. XV Beacon

Hotels Boutique hotels Beacon Hill

Old marries new at a hotel housed in what was once a private mansion. Century-old architectural details still abound in the 1903 structure, including the wrought iron birdcage elevator. Each guestroom is decorated in a cream and espresso palette with specially commissioned art, with both a gas fireplace and a separate sitting area. Impressive amenities include cashmere throws, fine linens, and fresh flowers.

Boston Harbor Hotel, Hotels, Boston
Photograph: Daderot

4. Boston Harbor Hotel

Hotels Waterfront

This luxurious, waterside hotel is regally perched at Rowes Wharf, with easy access to the Boston Harborwalk, many waterside restaurants, and various boat cruises (which the concierge is happy to set up). One of BHH’s unique charms is that it hosts so many events right on site, from weekly alfresco movie viewings in the summer to outdoor fires and cocoa in the winter—plus the Boston Wine Festival, held every year from January through March.

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Ritz-Carlton, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy The Ritz-Carlton, Boston

5. The Ritz-Carlton, Boston

Hotels Downtown

Overlooking the Boston Common near the Theatre District, the Ritz-Carlton eschews old-fashioned opulence in favor of contemporary style. A creamy, neutral colour palette creates a warm, relaxing atmosphere, and suites feature sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows and imposing fireplaces. Guests enjoy access to the neighboring spa at the Equinox Sports Club, and a pair of on-site haunts - Artisan Bistro and the Avery Bar - provide a nice alternative to the many restaurants and bars nearby.

Liberty Hotel, Hotels, Boston
Photograph:Elan Fleisher

6. The Liberty Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels West End

For more than a century, The Liberty Hotel existed as a decidedly different entity—the Charles Street Jail, once home to the likes of Malcolm X and Sacco and Vanzetti. Some of the 298 rooms offer sumptuous river views, and many guests spend their time bouncing between the four different restaurants and bars. (Most notable is Scampo, which is helmed by legendary Boston chef Lydia Shire.) During the summer months, the hotel hosts regular yoga classes and after-work events for both guests and locals, including fashion shows, cooking classes and a weekly “Yappy Hour” for dog owners.

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Four Seasons One Dalton Street, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

7. Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston

Hotels Boston

Housed in the city's newest skyscraper, Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street offers the  luxury amenities and fine service the Four Seasons is famous for, all in the heart of the Back Bay. Gorgeous rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, and with an entire floor devoted to wellness, it's understandable that some guests opt to never leave the building. The lone local branch of the international chain Zuma serves up a lengthy assortment of fine Japanese-accented fare.

Envoy Hotel
Photograph: Eric Levin

8. The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection

Hotels Seaport District

The 136-room Envoy’s interior plays to its buzzy Seaport location, with modern, nautically themed rooms facing out towards the Boston Harbor. Outlook Bar and Kitchen, the hotel’s in-house restaurant, serves up contemporary American dishes with a Caribbean flair and live music; locals often stop by for lunch or a cocktail at the bar. But the truly happening spot is the massive rooftop bar overhanging the harbor; during the warm weather months, locals line up for the pleasure of rubbing elbows with hotel guests. 

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Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, Hotels, Bars, Boston
Photograp: Chris Sanchez

9. Beacon Hill Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Beacon Hill

Housed in two historic, 19th-century townhouses on the cobblestoned Charles Street, Beacon Hill Hotel is all about Old World amenities. The airy rooms, with their writing desks and neutral color schemes, recall a Parisian pied a terre; shuttered windows face out towards Beacon Hill and can actually be opened. The second-floor common area invites conviviality among guests, as does the private rooftop terrace. The street-level bistro is open morning through night, and the fireplace bar is a great spot for a nightcap. The location cannot be beat; right in the middle of Beacon Hill’s revived shopping scene, with the picturesque Charles River just a skip away.

Fairmont Copley Plaza
Photograph: Courtesy Fairmont Copley Plaza

10. Fairmont Copley Plaza

Hotels Back Bay

The centrally located and beautifully appointed Fairmont Copley Place first opened in 1912, and the grandeur of an earlier era is reflected in the ornate marble lobby. The 383 rooms are more sedate, decorated in cool hues and commissioned art sketches depicting Boston scenes. Guests can head upstairs to the expansive rooftop gym, then gain back the calories at OAK Long Bar and Kitchen, a thoroughly renovated bar and brasserie.

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Hotel Commonwealth, Hotels, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Hotel Commonwealth

11. Hotel Commonwealth

Hotels Fenway/Kenmore

Both kid- and pet-friendly, Hotel Commonwealth offers rooms that are modern and doused in sunlight; many face out onto Fenway Park. (Baseball-themed packages are available for die-hards.) The collection of on-site F&B might be the most impressive in the city; between Eastern Standard, the Hawthorne Bar, and Island Creek Oyster Bar, guests are well-served day and night.

The Eliot Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

12. The Eliot Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Back Bay

Built in 1925, the historic Eliot Suite Hotel is located on the edge of the Back Bay. The elegantly decorated rooms feature marble bathrooms and soundproof windows. Uni, the award-winning, subterranean restaurant, lets guests enjoy primo sushi bar treats and inventive small plates without having to venture outside.

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Nine Zero Hotel, Hotels, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Nine Zero Hotel

13. Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Downtown

A blend of classic and modern architectural elements, this downtown hotel is a boutique haven for business travelers and those seeking central access to the city. From a wood-paneled lobby, you’ll travel upstairs to rooms that are urbane and opulent, with terrific city views. Nine Zero provides a master class in pet-friendliness, from complimentary dog beds to pet sitting and, yes, four-legged massage services.

The Lenox Hotel, Hotels, Boston
© Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

14. The Lenox Hotel

Hotels Back Bay

The privately owned Lenox, which first opened in 1900, boasts a prime location next to the Boston Public Library. The hotel’s old-style gold and blue decor oozes quiet elegance, while its rooms feature brass chandeliers, dark wood furniture and marble bathrooms; several also boast working fireplaces, as does the charmingly restored lobby. The Lenox also houses City Bar (stylish lounge), Sólás (Irish pub), and City Table (neighborhood restaurant).

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Loews Boston Hotel
Photograph: Booking.com

15. Loews Boston Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Back Bay

This historic Back Bay district hotel—located in the former headquarters of the Boston Police Department—provides an ideal base for out-of-towners and local staycationers alike. Modern rooms and amenities provide a nice contrast to the historic surroundings. The Precinct Kitchen + Bar provides a stylish locale in which to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Revolution Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Provenance Hotels

16. The Revolution Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels South End

Ever lacking in hotel options, the South End is one of the nicest places to stay in the city, and The Revolution Hotel puts visitors right in the heart of the historic neighborhood. The hotel—which resides within an adaptive reuse of one of the first YWCAs in the nation—offers Conspire, a modern co-working space that is free for guests and available to non-guests for a daily or monthly fee. The property also features engaging art and objects that display Boston’s many innovations.

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