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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 feature 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, Moo, named for the noise of its meat specialty, 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 boasts a Roman mosaic that dates back to the fifth century A.D. The hotel also boasts a rooftop gym, hot tub and terrace, but no spa (in-room treatments can be arranged.)
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.