Outfitted in mostly white furnishings accented by the occasional sand-colored dresser, the twenty-seven rooms at 21 Broad foster a beachy vibe and soothing atmosphere. Once a historic inn, 21 Broad has undergone a complete renovation and now features uber-modern amenities. Like 76 Main, 21 Broad has an outdoor courtyard with fire pits, but also offers pampering luxuries like steam and massage rooms, as well as a juice bar serving gluten-free pastries.
Despite its location on Nantucket’s main thoroughfare, 76 Main is far enough removed that it provides a chic retreat from the crowds. With only twenty uniquely appointed rooms, it is a true boutique option, complete with the charms that come with a small property. The outdoor courtyard (complete with fire pits for cool summer nights) provides an attractive gathering space in the evening and the small café serves freshly baked treats. The main building features well-appointed rooms, and the cottage-like guest house rooms out back can accommodate families with one or two children, although the low ceilings can make the otherwise spacious accommodations feel a bit tight. For the ultimate preppy Nantucket experience, guests can rent the Vineyard Vines suite, designed in conjunction with the brand’s owners to feel like an authentic but chic beach house. If you’re visiting the island for great shopping and dining, the location is unbeatable, and the design-conscious will appreciate their modern take on Nantucket’s nautical theme.
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 twelve 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 perfect 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.
As the 19th century was becoming the 20th, Lenox, Massachusetts was a countryside vacation retreat for New England's robber barons and aristocrats. Robert Paterson bought a parcel of land and built a manor home modeled after his mother's family's stately pile in Scotland, named Blantyre. Eighty years later, after multiple generations enjoyed cozy autumns and sunny summers on the property, the property was transformed into a luxury hotel that celebrated the estate's heyday, the Gilded Age.
The twenty-one guest rooms each have names like the Crimson Suite and Ribbon Room and boast antique furnishings including four-poster beds, toile wallpaper and lush silk curtains. Some rooms have wood-burning fireplaces while others have terraces overlooking the grounds. (Note that the rooms in the Carriage House and The Cottages are not as stylish or historic.)
Meals are elaborate affairs at Blantyre with the highlight undoubtedly being sterling silver–service dinner in the Main House complete with live piano music. Lunch can be taken as a picnic or in the sunlight-drenched dining room and evening wine tastings are commonplace in the house's grand cellars.
The grounds of the hotel and surrounding land are home to lush landscape ideal for golfing and hiking in the summer and snow shoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. On property, guests can play tennis, croquet, bocce, go for a swim, or simply lounge in the hammocks. Cold weather pursuits include ice-skating on the property's own rink or cozying up in the adjacent warming hut. The excellent spa is located in former potting shed, one of the original buildings that predates even Robert Paterson's time.
Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort, Lenox
Whether you are looking for a weeklong personalized wellness experience or a long weekend reset with concentrated spa treatments you’ll find it here.
Castle Hill Inn
The fabulous shingled mansion that presides over the westernmost point of Newport was built in 1874 for a marine biologist who clearly appreciated the incredible spot overlooking the opening of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. In the decades since then, the house has witnessed hurricanes, wars (it housed Naval Officers during World War II) and became a hotel that housed movie stars (Grace Kelley moved in while filming High Society).
With rooms in the main house, including a suite in the turret, and in separate beach and harbor cottages, the hotel offers guests the chance to experience a quintessential New England summer escape. Of course, the hotel is winterized and open all year but rather than evoke the grand European formality of the Newport mansions just up Ocean Drive, Castle Hill feels more like nearby Hammersmith Farm, the childhood escape of Jackie Kennedy who spent days on the water and on horseback. The 35 rooms range from Victorian in style (in the main house) to settings that look straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalog (in the beach houses and cottages) to simple and modern with gas fireplaces (in the Harbor rooms). Throughout, furnishings feel lush and fresh, with fleece shearling throws and Newport-favorite Farmaesthetic toiletries. The Harbor rooms abut a beautiful back lawn that leads down to a tiny, secluded rocky beach. Beach rooms are set directly on the property's private beach (about a 5-minute walk down the hill from the main house).
Activities on offer include bocce ball and croquet on the lawns, kayaking, paddle boarding, yoga and the inevitable gazing out at the sea from Adirondack chairs. When guests want to head into town, the staff will happily take them in a hotel car or via the property's beautiful new motor launch, which runs from the hotel's private marina. The excellent concierge team can also arrange for such off-property undertakings as surfing lessons, bike riding, bird watching, hot air balloon rides, horseback riding and polo. At night there are regular clambakes, beach bonfires, movie nights and stargazing with a local astronomer.
The Lawnis the hotel's warm-weather outdoor restaurant overseen by chef Karsten Hart, who has a European and New Orleans background. A traditional afternoon tea is also served daily in the lobby.
Chanler at Cliff Walk
Not many hotel owners would furnish a suite with impeccable antiques, decide the results are not flawless and start all over again repainting and redecorating. But nothing seems to have daunted Jeanie Shufelt who, along with her husband John, is the mastermind behind the 20 art-filled rooms at the Chanler at Cliff Walk.
Perched on a rocky cliff with views of the beach and ocean, the stately Chanler occupies a rejuvenated Georgian-style mansion that was built in the 1870s for a congressman. It’s a perfectly peaceful enclave at the head of the three-and-a-half mile Cliff Walk, Newport’s famous coastal footpath path that curves along the seashore. A morning run, followed by breakfast on the Chanler’s verandah—which might entail caramelized banana compote French Toast with strawberry Grand Marnier butter sauce—is the ideal beginning of a Newport day, which should also include visits to the great houses.
The rooms at the Chanler are exquisitely accessorized by someone who clearly loves European antiques and an old-world sensibility. Curtains are sweeping and tasseled; beds are dressed up with four-posters and decorative pillows. Some have fireplaces, Oriental carpets and chandeliers, with the inspiration coming from the Gilded Ages cottages in the area and different eras. The Gothic room, outfitted with heavy purple drapery and faux stone walls is adjacent to the Mediterranean room, with wrought-iron furniture and upholstery in dark reds and oranges. Many accommodations have ocean views but also look out onto the major road, Memorial Boulevard. A favorite is the seaside Martha’s Vineyard Villa with its own private courtyard and hot tub. Shufelt’s triumph here is a hand-painted tile trompe l’oeil mural of an ocean scene and an antique stained-glass skylight. Equally enticing is the ornate Renaissance Suite with decidedly French antiques including three crystal chandeliers and a private rooftop deck with panoramic views of the ocean.
Though the hotel is not located directly in town, the Chanler's valets are available to run guests into town and pick them up at any time of day or night. During summer months, beach butler service, where staff will take you to a prime Newport beach, arrange your set-up and provide refreshments, is available.
Before dinner, consider a stroll on the Cliff Walk followed by drinks at the bar accompanied by the irresistible house signature: parmesan and truffle oil popcorn.
Situated 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 Rialto, a favorite among recruiters wooing the university’s graduating class, and Henrietta’s Table, whose child-friendly brunch is beloved by local families (Cambridge native Ben Affleck has been spotted here with his daughter). At twenty-three years old, 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 have simple, sophisticated decor and feature handmade quilts, Shaker-style furniture and comfortable beds that rival those in more expensive hotels. Although guest accommodations don’t have wireless access, most floors have a complimentary “Web Cube,” a mini business center with a computer, printer and internet access. Nice extras include oversized writing desks, Bose sound systems and DVD players.
The standard guest rooms aren’t small, but suites with pullout couches are a better choice for families. The Cambridge Suites have separate sleeping and living areas, but the bedroom lacks windows (a shuttered cutout in the wall looks onto the living area) and the bathroom has a shower only. Boston Suites, which are larger, receive more light and have additional connecting rooms available. 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.
Chatham Bars Inn
With shingled beachfront buildings and rows of Adirondack chairs on its lawn, the Chatham Bars Inn embodies the dreamy, seaside elegance of Cape Cod. Just a short drive from the charming town of Chatham, this hotel is a classic New England–style retreat and perfect beach destination for families.
The resort’s 217 rooms are spread across multiple buildings including the Main House, the Hunting Lodge, small cottages (some with ocean views while others are set back) and the spa pavilion. The 12 spa suites are reserved for adults traveling without kids, and each is fitted with an oversized hydrotherapy tub, sauna, steam shower and fireplace. Those who value great views above all else should book the gorgeous two-bedroom Presidential Suite, which is located on the second floor of the main house and boasts a private deck.
There are more than enough activities to keep guests occupied at the resort, and days can be spent alternating between the clay tennis courts, spa, beach and pool or out on the water, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing and fishing. The grounds also feature a croquet field, bocce and volleyball courts, kids’ club and fitness center. The small town of Chatham is a 10-minute walk (or short drive in the hotel’s complimentary Lexus car service) from the resort.
The Chatham Bars Inn is home to the best restaurants in the area, so most guests will remain on property for most of their meals. The fine-dining Stars restaurant is helmed by Executive Chef Anthony Cole, and serves delicious farm-to-table fare (more than half the produce is sourced from the hotel’s nearby farm). As fishing is the main industry here, the seafood is as local and fresh as the produce. For a fun lunch, head to the Beach House for lobster nachos and salted watermelon margaritas.
Forty 1 North
There's a South Beach, Miami quality to Forty 1 North, the marina-front boutique hotel in Newport that attracts a younger clientele than the town's other luxury hotels. Set in a Dutch colonial–style building between Thames Street and one of the town's wharfs, the hotel is comprised of 28 rooms and cottages, some of which contain full-size kitchens and gas fireplaces. All rooms are outfitted with Frette linens, LED flat-screen televisions, complimentary iPads for use throughout your stay and Malin + Goetz toiletries.
The Grill is Forty 1 North's dockside dining option that is popular with Newport weekenders and locals for meals and cocktails throughout the day and evening. Summertime brunch is particularly great and tables in the sun are a hot commodity.
The hotel is typically the top pick for those who arrive in Newport by boat—be it sail or motor—as the marina has slips to dock launches up to 250 feet. The restaurants provide on-boat dining options, and the hotel offers cleaning and maintenance services.
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, plus 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’ Donuts reigns supreme). Start each morning with complimentary barista-made drinks like delicious cappuccinos and iced coffees—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.
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.
Harbor View Hotel
An island icon since 1891, the historic Harbor View Hotel occupies a prized waterfront location at the end of Edgartown’s North Water Street and features unrivaled views of Edgartown Lighthouse. The shingled property is an easy five-minute walk from downtown Edgartown, so guests can frolic at the beach by day and dine in town at night—all without driving, a rarity in Martha’s Vineyard. And the on-site amenities provide little reason to leave; the property features an outdoor pool, fitness center, yoga classes, Children’s Program and multiple dining venues, including Henry’s, an elegant gastro-pub, and Lighthouse Grill, a family-friendly venue with stunning views.
The 114 guest rooms, suites and cottages are incredibly varied, so selecting the proper room is crucial. The chic cottages are the newest and most luxurious accommodations thanks to a bevy of amenities; the one-, two- and three- bedroom options include a washer/dryer, outdoor shower, kitchenette, fireplace and many feature a private porch. The historic main building is home to a number of accommodations that are ideal for those who want water views and don’t require the space of a cottage, and basic hotel rooms are located in the Governor Mayhew building.
With its cheerful interiors featuring mismatched furniture, pastel-colored wallpapers and cozy sitting nooks, the Hob Knob exudes personality. The rooms are outfitted in a hodgepodge design-scheme, with furnishings found at antiques fairs and flea markets. The loveliest of the rooms is on the third floor, and features a pink-and-yellow color palette, a skylight and a kitchenette. Despite its small size, the property features a small but functional gym and spa. One person’s drawback—the inn is on busy Main Street—is another’s delight: with the Hob Knob as your base, you’ll be able to navigate all of Edgartown’s shops on foot.
Inn @ St. Botolph
The South End, Boston’s brownstone and boutique-filled answer to New York’s West Village, 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. LCD television 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, iPod 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 features 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.
Inn at Shelburne Farms
The former estate of Lila Vanderbilt Webb (daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt) and her husband, William Seward Webb, Shelburne Farms has been a working farm since the 1800s. In the late 19th century, architect Robert H. Robertson designed a series of extraordinary buildings for the property, including the main house, set on a cliff above the lake; the enormous Breeding Barn, which has a cathedral ceiling and gabled dormers; and the five-story Farm Barn. Over the years, many of these buildings have been restored.
Today the Webbs’ great-grandchildren run the property as a nonprofit environmental education center with an emphasis on sustainable farming. In the 1980s, they turned the impressive 110-room main house, with its bay windows and carved marble panels, into the Inn at Shelburne Farms. A National Historic Landmark, the house retains most of its original furnishings, including rare books, Persian rugs and Empire sofas. The twenty-four guest rooms are simple and old-fashioned, with minimal amenities (and no air-conditioning) but marvelous charm. The best views of the lake are from Overlook (Lila’s quarters) and the White Room (her husband’s), both in the main house. Guests typically spend their days having breakfast on the terrace, playing games in hammocks by the garden and lounging in Adirondack chairs overlooking the lake.
Because the landscape is so open, it is impossible to resist taking long walks along the property’s many trails. A favorite spot, however, is the Farm Barn, which has tractors to climb on, baby animals to feed and a regular schedule of activities for children. (Throughout the summer, the farm also operates a series of camps and programs for kids of all ages.) In another wing of the barn, you can watch the farm’s award-winning cheddar cheese being made.
At the inn's excellent restaurant, kids can order a grilled cheese from the kid's menu while their parents will delight in such refined dishes as pepper-crusted rib eye with truffled spinach and pickled-red-onion gremolata. Another example of multiple divergent tastes perfectly satisfied.
Inn at White Elephant Village
Opened in 2012, the Inn at White Elephant Village is located in the newly renovated historic Harbor House, and connected to the Residences at the White Elephant. Guests have access to the Brant Point Grill and all other facilities at the White Elephant, as well as the outdoor heated pool at the Residences. Housing just 20 rooms on three floors (14 suites and 6 luxury rooms), the Inn offers another a third option for White Elephant guests who may not be keen the traditional feel of the White Elephant Hotel or the apartment style of the Residences.
Islander Kathleen Hays decorated the room interiors in natural tones of browns and beiges. The high-ceiling beamed lobby is stark and enormous, with a seating area around a huge fireplace that dominates the well-manicured space. The Presidential suite on the third floor is the most spectacular of the accommodations; it is the only suite with its own balcony, and is worth upgrading for.
The 2007 opening of the Liberty Hotel brought luxury living to the renovated Charles Street Jail, most of which was restored along historical lines. Named as one of the “Best Business Hotels” by Fortune, 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, divinely 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 restaurant, as well.
Life House, Nantucket
Mandarin Oriental Boston
The sleek Mandarin Oriental aesthetic soothes travelers on busy Boylston Street. No fusty New England antiques here—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. As with many Mandarin properties, the Boston hotel caters to children and offers many nice touches to keep families entertained and comfortable.
Mayflower Inn & Spa
Indagare reviews Migis Lodge, the family-friendly, luxury all-inclusive lakeside retreat that's ideal for multi-gen vacations on Maine's Sebago Lake.