Bedroom at Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, Boston, New England

Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro

Visitors who want to pretend they live in Beacon Hill should check into this charming hotel, on a bustling corner of Charles Street. As in most Hill homes, the 14 rooms and one suite are small and simply furnished, but the cheery decor, flat-screen televisions and fantastic location more than compensate for the lack of size. In warmer weather, the hotel’s much coveted private roof deck is great for a cappuccino and the Herald, and the bustling first-floor brasserie an excellent choice for lunch or dinner. The elegant proprietress is Swedish and lives around the corner, so she is in the know when it comes to neighborhood offerings.

Note: Parking is scarce is the area, and the hotel has no lot.

Bedroom at Charles Hotel, Boston, New England

Charles Hotel

In the heart of Harvard Square, just a few blocks from campus, the property has 294 spacious rooms and suites; a modern fitness center with an indoor pool, a spa and a salon; and a host of restaurants, including Henrietta’s Table, whose child-friendly brunch is beloved by local families (Cambridge native Ben Affleck has been spotted here with his daughter). Opened in 1985, the hotel is neither the most historic nor the grandest in town, but its elegant version of New England luxury has helped make it a magnet for well-heeled families and dignitaries, such as the Dalai Lama and the Clintons. The rooms are simple and sophisticated and have handmade quilts, Shaker-style furniture and comfortable beds that rival those in more expensive hotels. Nice amenities include oversized writing desks, Bose sound systems and 55-inch flat screens and mirror televisions.

The standard guest rooms aren’t small, but the Dean Suites with pull-out couches are a better choice for families. The Chancellors Suites and the Presidential Suite have connecting options, and all suites have separate sleeping and living and dining areas. Because the Charles was built as part of a business-and-condo project, some rooms overlook an inner courtyard; ask for one with views of the river or town.

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Four Seasons Hotel Boston

The 273-room Four Seasons overlooks the Public Garden, Boston’s open-space jewel. Bordering the high-end boutique shopping area of the Back Bay and a five-minute walk from Beacon Hill, the hotel offers a sophisticated home base to visitors who want the best of the city’s shopping, dining and sightseeing. After an extensive design update by AD designer Ken Fulk, it has become one of the country's best urban retreats.

There is a full-time director of creative dreaming up magical moments for guests and fostering a spirit of generosity rarely seen at hotels. And there are so many complimentary perks, starting with “vaults” on every floor stocked with free snacks like M&M’s, Swedish Fish, bags of nuts and drinks. For children, upon arrival in the lobby, a hand-painted mural depicts the public garden with willow and oak trees—one special swan holds a key. They are handed a key to the mystery closet behind the front desk to choose from a veritable treasure chest of toys and books.

Coterie is an excellent brasserie serving New England classics like crab cakes and clam chowder. But Sottovento just might become your favorite place, a gourmet coffee shop equal to the city’s best (though this is Boston and Dunkin reigns supreme). Start each morning with complimentary barista-made drinks—or order it from the Four Seasons app for delivery.

Although the property lacks a spa, in-room treatments can be arranged, and there is a state-of-the-art gym and a long eighth-floor indoor swimming pool that overlooks the garden.

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Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street

Set in a 61-story skyscraper, Boston’s Four Seasons One Dalton is sleek, stylish and contemporary, with a central location and top-notch wellness offerings.

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Bedroom at Inn @ St. Botolph, Boston, New England

Inn @ St. Botolph

Boston’s brownstone and boutique-filled South End long lacked a proper place to stay—until the opening of the Inn at St. Botolph. A sister hotel to luxurious XV Beacon, the Inn shares the same eclectic, urban-chic look (and the same interior designer), with a mix of minimalist four-poster beds, classic wing chairs flanking sleek striped couches and a muted palate of coppers, creams and blacks. Flat-screen televisions are mounted above working gas fireplaces in the larger suites, and the tall windows overlook one of the area’s most charming streets.

The sixteen suites range in size from 300 square feet to 850 square feet and are divided into studios, one-bedrooms, deluxe one-bedrooms and one two-bedroom unit. All have fully equipped kitchenettes, smart phone docking stations, complimentary WiFi and desks that can be pulled out to serve double duty as dining tables. The building’s other amenities include a small gym, a lounge where continental breakfast is served and access to the concierge services at XV Beacon. The lounge also has a workstation with internet and printer access.

Although the Inn has plenty of advantages, there are drawbacks to staying here instead of in a more traditional hotel. Guests are emailed an access code that gains them entrance to both the building and their room. Once you commit this number to memory, buzzing yourself in and out is easy, but searching for that message on the night of my arrival, I missed the ease of a check-in desk and a porter.

When you consider the rates, which are hundreds of dollars below that of other hotels, the small sacrifices feel like an easy trade-off. And with a location one block from the Prudential Center and a short walk to South End eateries, it’s hard to complain. Besides, if after dinner and a bottle of wine at nearby B&G Oysters you can’t remember your access code, the concierge button will ring up a helpful assistant who can buzz you in remotely. The hotel does not have its own parking lot, and nonresidents cannot leave cars overnight on the street in this neighborhood. If traveling by car, park at the garage in the nearby Prudential Center. Better yet, use taxis or public transportation to save yourself the hassle and the fees. The Prudential Center subway stop is two blocks from the hotel.

Bedroom at Liberty Hotel, Boston, New England

Liberty Hotel

The 2007 opening of the Liberty Hotel brought luxury living to the renovated Charles Street Jail, most of which was restored along historical lines. The designers preserved the original catwalks and spectacular windows, and the atmosphere is hip and lounge-y. In a playful nod to the building’s notorious past, the restaurant is named Clink and the do-not-disturb signs read SOLITARY.

The 298 guest rooms, located in either renovated cell blocks or the 16-story tower, are serene and elegant and have rich mahogany furniture, soft linens and Molton Brown bath products. Modern touches include flat-screen televisions and wireless access. The Liberty is central to public transportation, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Museum of Science and the Charles River; many rooms overlook the latter. Be sure to have a meal at the CLINK, the hotel’s hip seafood-focused restaurant, as well.

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Suite at Mandarin Oriental Boston, Boston, New England

Mandarin Oriental Boston

The sleek Mandarin Oriental aesthetic soothes travelers on busy Boylston Street. The lobby and public spaces are home to 50 works from established contemporary artists, chosen by designer Frank Nicholson, a Boston native. From the David Hockney lithograph in the lobby to the Terry Winters engravings and Judith A. Brust paintings, many mediums are showcased along with a focus on New England sculptors, painters and potters. The 148 rooms and suites, some of the largest in the city, are serenely decorated in light wood furniture and subtle Asian touches, and the bathrooms have heavenly large soaking tubs. Many rooms have excellent views over charming Back Bay streets and their solid bourgeois architecture.

The main restaurant on property is Ramsay’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay, serving the chefs classics alongside local fare. There is a also a Forbes award-winning Spa and 24-hour fitness center. As with many Mandarin properties, the Boston hotel caters to children and offers many nice touches to keep families entertained and comfortable.

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hotel suite in a city with bedroom seen through open sliding door and a seating area in the foreground with wall of windows showing boston skyscrapers

Raffles Boston

On an unassuming street in the Back Bay, Raffles Boston was the brand’s first foray in North America.

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Lounge at The Langham, Boston, New England

The Langham

Like the canyons of Wall Street, Boston’s financial district is a maze of tiny streets flanked by grim skyscrapers. Luckily for business travelers, the Langham combines the convenience of a location in the financial center with the luxuries a weary executive requires. Housed in a former Federal Reserve Bank building, the hotel feels more like a genteel urban retreat than an investor-conference hot spot. The 312 rooms and suites have large windows and high ceilings, and their traditional upholstered furniture and heavy silk curtains seem straight out of a Brahmin home in Beacon Hill. This is the opposite of hip, on the other end of the spectrum from the Liberty or Nine Zero, and there’s something comforting about that. Keeping business travelers in mind, rooms include a safe big enough to fit a laptop, an iPod docking station and high-speed Internet access. Service is efficient and friendly, with many on the staff veteran employees. The hotel’s restaurant Grana serves Italian cuisine in a high-ceilinged room hung with dramatic chandeliers and the cocktail bar The Fed serves British-inspired cocktails and pub food. The compact but well-furnished and pleasant fitness area overlooks the indoor pool.

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Suite at Fifteen Beacon, Boston, New England

XV Beacon

It’s no surprise that XV Beacon consistently ranks as the top property in Boston in Conde Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Not only is the historic Beaux Arts building a work of art, but the hotel is also distinguished by its outstanding art collection (including works by Jules Olitski and Gilbert Stuart) and interior design by Celeste Cooper, which combine to create a sense of elegant sophistication. The check-in staff is efficient, but warm, and the cozy lobby feels more like a living room than a hotel entry. There’s a fireplace and deep, comfy couch and you may see a dog curled up at a guest’s feet on the striped carpet.

The historic 1900s building is not as old as many of the Beacon Hill landmarks in the surrounding neighborhood, but it is dripping with architectural drama. The 63 guest rooms and suites all share a similar palette with lots of black, white and shades of gray. This crisp, contemporary look is softened by homey details like in-room fireplaces, piles of books and interesting art that ranges from black-and-white photographs to 19th-century oil portraits. The seven types of rooms all have fabulous marble bathrooms with rainforest showers and LeFroy Brooks fixtures.

The hotel sits on the edge of the Financial District and a block from the Boston Common, so it attracts a mix of tourists and parents visiting college kids, as well as executives in tech, advertising and media who expect excellence (and 24-hour room service), but appreciate individuality. The hotel restaurant, Mooo is an area favorite that is known for its steak, seafood and wine list. Guests can book wine and whiskey tastings in the beautiful wine cellar, which has a Roman mosaic that dates back to the fifth century A.D. The hotel also has a rooftop 24-hour gym, hot tub and terrace, but no spa (in-room massages can be arranged.)

Note: This is a pet friendly hotel.

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