Best of Boston

2003 Best Inn

Charles Street Inn

In the comely Henry James room, a fresh orchid echoes earth tones and the arc of a tree depicted in the Hudson River School painting behind it. Such details are characteristic of the Charles Street Inn, built as a Victorian townhouse in 1860 and revived four years ago as a beautiful inn by proprietors Sally Deane and Louise Venden. Today’s rooms call up prominent Bostonians—Emerson, Gardner, Holmes. The Henry James Room, for example, offers lovingly restored classic antiques along with a thoughtfully stocked mini-fridge. The personable staff operates on the rare and precious middle ground between friendliness and respect for guests’ privacy.

94 Charles St., Boston, 617-314-8900,