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Boston is 'The Athens of America'. Birthplace of the nation. Home of architectural and cultural treasures. And Ivy League Universities. With the added bonus of beautiful New England surrounds. This is a great town for a city break and the majority of the best places to stay in Boston are ideally located for making the most of its varied highlights.
With its easily-protected harbour, and being the closest port in the Americas to Europe, Boston quickly became the New World's most important city. Built as a Christian utopia, it produced many of America's great political and ideological thinkers.
This is where the American Revolution and modern democracy got their start. It's also always been a city of great intellectual influence. And these things didn't take place in just any old building. No, Boston has some beautiful architecture. And as with many European cities some of the best of it is crowded into the historic centre.
Beacon Hill is the other area worth exploring. Home to the majority of the city's greatest dignitaries - many of their homes have been turned into museums - it's also got great antique shops.
You should also make time for Faneuil Hall - 'The Cradle of Liberty'.
- If you want traditional luxury the XV Beacon is one of the best places to stay in Boston. The colour palate is pure New England greys and beiges and everything is weighty and comfortable. Their unlikely named 'Mooo' restaurant is award winning, so this is also a good choice for foodies.
Despite being founded by Puritans, Boston is now one of America's most politically forward thinking cities. A shift influenced by the artists and creatives who have made this city their own. And the opening of the Institute of Contemporary Arts means that it's not just Grand Masters that you'll find in the many museums and art galleries. Make time for the Museum of Fine Arts.
- For something really unusual, The Liberty Hotel has got to be one of the best places to stay in Boston. It was once the Charles Street Jail, and its 400 - 800ft luxury rooms, decorated in rose gold and mahogany, were once cells! It's also got panoramic views of the city, making it one of the best hotels in Boston to appreciate the beauty of the whole city.
If you're hoping for Harvard or M.I.T. you need to check out Cambridge. Or if you just want to imagine what it might be like to go to one of these famous universities. Just over the Charles River, Cambridge likes to think of its self as the 'left bank', more open minded and progressive - funkier and spicier.
- The Hotel Veritas is a great hotel if you want to get the best of both Boston and Cambridge. It's easy to travel between the two and you get the benefit of staying amongst the Harvard colleges. And of the lively, active, student vibe. This is also one of the best places to stay in Boston if you want to stay in a traditional New England mansion house. This is a new build, but perfectly done!
Boston for Families
Make room on your list of museums to visit for the Children's Museum. This is a haven from "Don't touch!", where everything is at kid-height - and if it's not you're welcome to climb up to view it. Or touch it! The Science Museum is another family friendly perennial, as is the New England Aquarium. If you're visiting in summer you'll want to visit the Public Garden for a go on the famous Swan Boats of Boston. These lake paddlers are educational, as well as fun, having been around since the 1870s.
- Conveniently located for pretty much everything, Nine Zero is one of the best places to stay in Boston for families. They seem to really want your kids as guests - providing them with special welcome packs including child-sized bath robes. They also offer free bike hire, yoga mats in all rooms and have an excellent gym, so this is also one of the best hotels in Boston for people who don't want this holiday to get in the way of their fitness.
Best Hotels in Boston
The Kendall Hotel 77 rooms from $110Boston (Massachusetts)
A welcoming and cheerful hotel with lots of character, located in an old 19th-century brick fire station. Bedrooms are homely, with large hand-made quilts and a charming New England feel. The restaurant serves home-style American dishes. Enjoy beers from local breweries at the hotel bar.Sights nearby - The Freedom Trail and trolley toursGreat walks - The Charles River.Full of character
Clarendon Square Inn 4 rooms from $125Boston
A sophisticated spot, close to ‘restaurant row’ & the SoWa arts district. Tucked down a quiet street, this boutique hotel offers tranquility away from the city’s hustle and bustle and New England style in abundance. Great for culture seekers, food lovers and couples in search of a romantic weekend.Sights nearby - Boston Common, the SoWa arts district, Tremont Street restaurants, Prudential Center’s Skywalk ObservatoryViews - From the roof terrace over Boston's skylineRomantic - Good for couples.
The Colonnade 285 rooms from $157Boston (Massachusetts)
A centrally located, contemporary downtown hotel with a gym, rooftop pool and bar. Bedrooms are stylish with floor to ceiling windows and city views. The Colonnad has a popular brasserie and plenty of local restaurants - this is an ideal spot for those looking to get out and see the best of Boston.Sights nearby - Boston Public LibraryGreat walks - Boston Public GardensSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
The Boxer 80 rooms from $159Boston (Massachusetts)
This boutique hotel offers a contemporary downtown feel in the heart of Boston's historic Bulfinch Triangle. Bedrooms have a classic loft apartment aesthetic with cool earthy tones and vintage furniture pieces. Fantastically located for exploring the heritage of the city, restaurants and shopping.Sights nearby - Located in the historical Bulfinch Triangle district. Easy access to all of Boston's attractions.Local markets - Quincy MarketRecommended by - Tablet
Chandler Studios 11 rooms from $145Boston
Stylish, clean and contemporary studios in hip South End. A true departure from the traditional Boston hotel experience, featuring state of the art 'virtual check in'. Bright, spacious rooms with wooden floors are decorated in a modern aesthetic and include fully equipped kitchenettes.Sights nearby - Fenway Park, Boston University, MIT & Freedom Trail all nearby
Encore B&B 4 rooms from $155Boston (Massachusetts)
A charming bed and breakfast in a 19th Century townhouse located in the trendy South End neighborhood. Bedrooms are spacious with a downtown apartment feel. This chic and welcoming guest house is ideal for those looking for a homely base in this eclectic and exciting city.Restrictions on children - Children under 10 are discouraged.Local markets - SoWa Open MarketGreat walks - Boston Common
Charles Hotel 294 rooms from $207Boston (Massachusetts)
Set in the heart of Harvard Square, this hotel is classically Boston- a smart, bookish feel with burgundy armchairs, private library and large bedrooms with city views. The on site dining has a cool bar and private jazz club. Charming cafes, restaurants and shops on its doorstep.Sights nearby - Harvard Art MuseumsGreat walks - Harvard SquareSpaSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Tablet
Taj Boston 228 rooms from $229Boston
An opulent Taj hotel next to the Public Gardens. Traditional decadence meets contemporary flair and all the mod cons. Sumptuous rooms and suites with private balconies. Fantastic restaurant and terrace with views, spa, and lively Sunday Brunches. A city stop for the luxury traveller.Views - Stunning views over the PUblic Gardens and Boston cityscape.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.City StyleLively - A popular Champagne Sunday Brunch.
Eliot Hotel 95 rooms from $195Boston
A piece of Paris in Boston? This hotel on Commonwealth Avenue which was modelled on the Champs Elysee would like to think so. Comfortable rooms and a popular French restaurant give this hotel the ooh la-la factor.Restaurant - Clio Resaurant and Uni Sashimi. Top notch culinary destinations.DowntownRomantic - Good for couples.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Recommended by - Fodors, Frommers, Kiwi Collection
The Verb Hotel 94 rooms from $239Boston (Fenway)
A classic 1959 hotel, located in Boston’s hip Fenway neighborhood. The hotel has been painstakingly restored to encapsulate the history and future of Fenway's vibrant music scene. The decor is a perfect marriage of modern style and homage to the areas cultural roots. A characterful and trendy spot.Great walks - Take a stroll in the Fenway Victory Gardens span 7 acres tended by a community of over three hundred gardeners.Sights nearby - Visit the Musesum of Fine Art, with a staggering collection encompassing nearly 450,000 works.Lively - Hip and happening.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - Tablet
Nine Zero 190 rooms from $242Boston
On the Eastern Corner of Boston Common and two blocks away from historic Beacon Hill, Nine Zero is an all-singing, all-dancing hotel with good attention to detail, suitable for business or pleasure, with or without children.Child friendly - child welcome packs and bath robesBicycles available - free to all guestsSpa - in room treatments availableSights nearby - Well located for major sights.Recommended by - Fodors, Frommers
The Langham 318 rooms from $199Boston
A five star luxury hotel, located in the former Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Boston. The elegant rooms exude old school opulence, with palatial beds, elegant drapes, marble bathrooms and plush linens. There are a range of high end restaurants and bars onsite. Explore Boston like a local!Sights nearby - Glide together across the iconic Frog Pond in America’s oldest public park, Boston Common.Swimming Pool - Indoor year round pool.OpulentLively - Hip and happening.
Hotel Commonwealth 245 rooms from $199Boston
Soak up the atmosphere of vibrant Kenmore Square and enjoy excellent hospitality in this stylish hotel. A new wing of spacious rooms and terrace overlook Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. Try the New England oyster bar, sip an award-winning cocktail, or dine in the hugely popular restaurant.Lively area - At the western end of Back Bay, Kenmore Square is a busy place and close to the Boston UniversitySights nearby - Superb location with easy access to all of Boston's best bitsSpa - In-room spa services available by appointment
Beacon Hill Hotel 13 rooms from $219Boston
Charming, intimate hotel in the heart of Beacon Hill, an elegant neighbourhood at the start of the Freedom Trail. Twelve thoughtfully designed rooms mirror the area's historical character whilst offering all the modern conveniences. Relax on the private terrace or try the award-winning restaurant.Sights nearby - Right by major attractions - Beacon Hill, Boston Common, the start of the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall MarketplaceOutstanding location
Ames Hotel 114 rooms from $246Boston
Cool, designer hotel in downtown. Rooms feature high ceiling, wooden floors and contemporary furniture in monochrome; marble bathrooms. Full gym at your disposal. Excellent menu in the grill restaurant-come-bar, with live entertainment most evenings. Chic, central and glamorous.City Style - A very cool bolthole in downtown, with modern sculpture and knowledgable staff on Boston's gemsSights nearby - Boston Public Library; Charleston Navy Yard; John Hancock TowerLocal markets - Faneuil Hall MarketplaceDesigner - David Rockwell
Hotel Veritas 31 rooms from $306Boston (Cambridge)
A boutique hotel in atmospheric Cambridge, home to Harvard University. Modern facilities, comfortable beds, good bathrooms and impeccable friendly American service.Sights nearby - Harvard University, Boston Tea Party Ships and MuseumLively area - In the thick of the action.Recommended by - Tablet, Johansens
The Inn @ St Botolph 16 rooms from $295Boston
This stylish design-led 19th-century brownstone has a home-from-home feel in a prime Back Bay spot that’s ideal for Newbury Street shoppers and culture seekers alike. It’s sharp modern décor yet family-friendly amenities make it a great all-rounder.City StyleSights nearby - All Boston's highlights are easily accesibleDesigner - Designer furniture and fabrics throughoutFour poster beds - For romantics.
The Boston Harbor Hotel 230 rooms from $310Boston (Massachusetts)
This contemporary luxury harbour hotel offers guests an indoor pool and spa. The large, classic rooms with city, bay or harbour views and modern bathrooms. Meritage Restaurant's chef is award winning and whips up seasonal produce accompanied with an extensive wine list.Sights nearby - Boston Harbor Islands National Park is only 100 metres away.Lively - Hip and happening.Views - Great views from hotelRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Tablet, CN Traveller
XV Beacon 63 rooms from $325Boston
A classy luxurious hotel in the smart Beacon Hill district of Boston where guests can enjoy almost any treat they can think of. A super-sybaritic treat.Restaurant - the award-winning MoooCity StyleFour poster beds - in some rooms5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Frommers, Johansens, Kiwi Collection
Mandarin Oriental Boston 148 rooms from $443Boston (Massachusetts)
A luxury city hotel set in an elegant limestone and marble fronted building. Gorgeous suites and contemporary bedrooms with an exotic Asian feel. Modern luxuries and fine dining venues as well as a vast spa offering high end pampering. Fantastic downtown location.Sights nearby - Boston Public LibraryGreat walks - Boston Public GardenSpa5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Recommended by - Fodors
Four Seasons Boston 273 rooms from $450Boston (Massachusetts)
This luxurious hotel overlooks the Public Garden with indoor pool and spa treatments. Classic contemporary rooms with city views, marble bathrooms, all the mod-cons. The Bristol offers seasonal dishes, Bistro Bar for cocktails and small plates in a lively yet relaxed setting. Location is spot on!Museums - Art lovers should head to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art.Fishing - Head to Boston Harbour to see what the fisherman are saying for the day.Sights nearby - Head up to the 50th floor of Prudential Tower for views of the city.Views - Great views from hotel
Loews Hotel 225 rooms from $520Boston (Massachusetts)
Leisure or business, this 1925 hotel in Black Bay is a modern and relaxed affair. Large, decorative rooms have city views and modern bathrooms. All-American dishes are served at Precinct Kitchen + Bar, or head out to the many restaurants in the area. Fitness and business facilities avaliable.Sights nearby - John Hancock Tower and Copley Square are 250 metres away.Fishing - Head down to Boston Harbour.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Views - Great views from hotel
The Liberty Hotel 298 rooms from $695Boston
What was once the iconic Charles Street Jail is now the stunning, vibrant Liberty Boston Hotel. Minimalist rooms with epic views over Charles River. The restaurant CLINK serves inventive and modern cuisine and still features the jail bars and catwalk. A stylish hotel near the city centre.Foodies - Boasting three of Boston's best- fine dining and wines at CLINK, knockout cocktails at Alibi and excellent Italian at Scampo.City Style - An 1851 vintage prison, turned luxurious and trendy hotel in Boston's hottest neighbourhood, Beacon Hills.Sailing - Learn how to sail at the Community Boating Dock just two minutes from the hotel.Full of characterRecommended by - Fodors, Frommers, Kiwi Collection