Best of Boston

2008 Best Hotel, Debut

The Liberty Hotel

When the Liberty opened last winter in the old Charles Street jail, following a $150 million building renovation, it was met with the requisite jokes about white-collar inmates and doing time in the Clink (one of the hotel restaurants). Penitentiary puns aside, the 298-room hotel has raised the bar for Boston accommodations: Its 24/7 fitness center, dining, and concierge services are all first-rate, and the rooms—exposed brick walls, Molton Brown toiletries, VoIP phones—are eminently comfortable. The magnificent vaulted lobby is worth a visit in itself.

215 Charles St., Boston, 617-224-4000,