The 12 Best Hotels in Boston Right Now
Just in time for your holiday guests, we consulted Needham’s own Tripadvisor to bring you the top hotels in Boston, according to actual visitors.
The Whitney Hotel
Quiet yet cosmopolitan, moneyed yet not flashy, and, like many of its Beacon Hill neighbors, named for a descendant of William Bradford (in this case Henry Melville Whitney), the Whitney leans into our city’s Brahmin character and well-earned stereotypes in the best way possible. No wonder Tripadvisor reviewers have anointed it the top-rated luxury hotel in Boston, with one visitor from North Carolina recently quipping that it “deserves more than five stars.” Of course, it wouldn’t be a first-rate hotel without a small twist on tradition—see: the cheeky monocles hanging from each guest room door.
Beacon Hill, whitneyhotelboston.com.
The Lenox Hotel
Mere yards away from the Boston Marathon finish line, the Lenox is the embodiment of the phrase “slow and steady wins the race,” having spent decades in Boston before triumphantly emerging in the new millennium as a leader. Retaining the old-world charm that tourists covet when they come to town, the boutique hotel has additionally evolved into a nightlife destination for locals, thanks to its two onsite hot spots, City Bar and City Table.
Back Bay, lenoxhotel.com.
Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House
Before the Zakim Bridge was built and the Big Dig completed, the Custom House, with its distinctive tower and colorful clockface, was the default “establishing shot” if you needed a visual shorthand to say “live from Boston.” Not surprisingly, the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse is highly rated among Marriott timeshare members and non-members alike for the opportunity to experience Boston from the belly of this historical beast—or the top: The legendary 26th-floor clocktower observation area boasts thrilling views of Bunker Hill and the Old North Church.
The Verb Hotel
The Verb has a vibe. An errant foul ball away from Fenway Park, the guest rooms at this converted motor lodge all feature turntables, while the lobby is lined with a lending library of 1,700 LPs that families can enjoy while gazing out on the courtyard and pool (swimmable 365 days a year). And with the recent addition of Backstage at the Verb—10 retro luxury trailers lining the back lot of the property—the hotel has created a VIP experience allowing guests to literally live like their heroes, even if it’s just for one day (or the Weekend).
Courtyard by Marriott Boston Downtown/North Station
This is exactly the type of hotel about which Bostonians make “that face” when their out-of-town friends rave about their experience: “You mean that new one, down by the Garden?” It’s perfectly situated for a visiting family that wants to catch a Celts game, walk the Freedom Trail, or hit Faneuil Hall and Bunker Hill. You know, the kinds of things that people want to do when they visit our insanely historical, imminently walkable city while staying at a hotel that kids and parents will love in equal measure.
West End, marriott.com.
It wasn’t so long ago that the Seaport Hotel was a lonely outpost waiting for the city to grow up around it. Well, Boston’s Seaport District has now fully evolved into a neighborhood complete with bustling waterfront bars, restaurants, and public parks. And that makes its namesake hotel the spot where groups of all ages like to experience Boston by foot, bike, or boat and enjoy harbor views from a promenade that until the 2000s was still being criminally underutilized while literally being criminally utilized.
Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport
Every spa promises to pamper clients from head-to-toe, but Breve Spa at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport approaches this commitment from a fresh (albeit ancient) angle. In addition to the six varieties of facials and six massage options that receive high marks from visitors and locals alike, Breve offers a 60-minute sound immersion experience: When struck against a bowl, a colorful collection of tuning forks creates vibrations designed to relax the mind and body. Once you’ve achieved spiritual ascendance, you can move to the in-house salon for a kickass blowout.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston
Given that the Mandarin Oriental is synonymous globally with luxury and service, it’s no surprise that the Boston outpost’s stunning 16,000-square-foot temple to wellness (deemed by one Tripadvisor reviewer “the most relaxing spa I’ve ever visited”) comes equipped with 11 private treatment rooms, a crystal steam room, and a “vitality pool.” What is more surprising—and amusing, given its proximity to the Boylston Street Apple Store—is that the spa now offers a “Millennial Posture Therapy” treatment specifically designed “to help alleviate symptoms and address posture issues brought on by the heavy use of electronic devices.” Millennials, be forewarned: Devices must be turned off during this treatment.
Back Bay, mandarinoriental.com.
We’d forgive you if you confused the Spa InterContinental’s treatment menu with the specialty-cocktail menu at the hotel’s RumBa or VodkaBa. Boasting services that incorporate natural aromatherapy, the spa’s creative team offers: a sea-salt-and-sunflower honey-butter body treatment, a honey-agave massage, and a “Raspberry Fizz” mani-pedi that includes an exfoliating sugar scrub made with vodka and raspberry. “The gym and spa were wonderful,” commented one reviewer. “Clean with everything you could imagine.” Well done, InterCon! We are drunk with anticipation.
The Eliot Hotel
If you had to pick a block that best illustrates the romance of Boston, you could do worse than the one where the Eliot Hotel overlooks Frederick Law Olmsted’s statuary-studded Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Add to that a special “Come Away With Me” package featuring a one-bedroom suite, breakfast at the onsite eatery (which just so happens to be top restaurant Uni), and a bottle of champagne, and it’s clear why Tripadvisor reviewers swoon over this intimate getaway housed in a neo-classical Georgian building.
Back Bay, eliothotel.com.
The Godfrey Hotel Boston
It’s not just out-of-towners who check into this sleek hotel for a romantic weekend rendezvous. It’s also suburban couples looking to reminisce about their past life in the city or celebrate a milestone anniversary in style. As one Tripadvisor guest remarked, “It is so modern and masculine; definitely a perfect pick for ladies to bring their man for a night away!” An elevator ride to the happening in-house restaurant Ruka and a modest walk to countless other dining spots make this a one-stop shop for an extra-special weekend.
Boston Harbor Hotel
The romance of the sea is intrinsic to Boston Harbor Hotel’s name. Perhaps that’s why it’s so popular among visitors looking for an ultra-luxe (and ultra-romantic) waterfront getaway. Along with one of the most iconic hotel façades in the city, it offers access to hand-in-hand walks along the Boston Harborwalk and sunset cruises. The “Romance Getaway” package welcomes couples with gifts of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, and the Rowes Wharf Sea Grille tempts them to remain in the building until it’s time to go home.
Top Amenities for Non-Guests
Ahem…that’s you, Boston people!
The Newbury Boston
More than two years of COVID delays have created unprecedented demand for weddings, and if you’re the urban marrying type, the Newbury is the spot. Countless spaces and configurations make every wedding special, but the two ballrooms overlooking the Public Garden set the standard for hotel venues. Cross the street for wedding photos, dance the night away, and wake up in a suite that you won’t want to leave, even for your honeymoon. And who wants to discuss plans with one of the Newbury’s wedding specialists over dinner at Contessa? We do!
Back Bay, thenewburyboston.com.
Encore Boston Harbor
Working on a variation of the “If you build it, they will come” model, Encore’s WynnBet is a world-class sportsbook built for when it becomes legal to bet on games in Massachusetts. Until the fateful moment when you can finally break up with your bookie, take advantage of the beautiful fleet of free water shuttles from Long Wharf (the ride itself is worth it) to view games on screens so high-res you can see Tom Brady’s filler injection marks.
Igloos and Ice Boxes
The Envoy Hotel
Party pods have popped up in several locales, but the rooftop igloos and ice boxes at the Envoy are undoubtedly the coolest winter warm-up spots in town. Overlooking Boston Harbor, the reservation-only private spaces accommodate groups of up to 10 guests for two hours of al fresco(ish) cocktailing and small plates, sans mittens, all winter long.
For those times when a comfy king bed just isn’t enough.
Fenway Park Suite
One, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 26, 27, 34, 42, and 45 are the retired Red Sox numbers adorning Fenway Park’s outfield, honoring the team’s all-time greats. A mere 507 feet away, these numbers also emblazon the balcony of the Hotel Commonwealth’s Fenway Park Suite, the ultimate accommodation for the Red Sox obsessive in your life. Visible from the Mass. Pike as you drive east (such a Boston detail), the space is adorned with an authentic collection of team ephemera, including the number 6 tile from the Green Monster’s famed manual scoreboard, real Fenway seats (sans fossilized chewing gum), and a wall painted to honor the iconic aforementioned left-field monument.
Kenmore Square, hotelcommonwealth.com.
The Langham, Boston
Want the full Hollywood-executive screening-room experience right here in Boston? The Cinema Suite is at your service. While not technically a guest suite (as depending on your choice of entertainment, you do not sleep there), the space is available for Langham guests to rent in three-hour increments. Program your own private film festival for friends and family, complete with complimentary snacks and drinks (or more substantial catering and stronger beverages should you choose); eight plush, reclining lounge chairs; and, of course, a state-of-the-art 100-inch screen.
Presidential, Cambridge, and Charles Suites
Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street
No gimmickry and no flash, just understated elegance that would make a suitable stand-in for any of the real-estate porn you see on Succession: The Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street’s three specialty suites are appealing in their tastefulness. The Presidential and Cambridge suites have breathtaking views, including from each ultra-modern bathroom, but it’s the Charles Suite that has the definitive amenity: the hotel’s one and only private terrace, from which the city can be seen framed by the neighboring Christian Science Mother Church and its I.M. Pei-designed plaza.
Back Bay, fourseasons.com.
The hotels listed here were among the highest-ranked on Tripadvisor at press time. If a hotel appeared in two categories, we used the next highest-ranked on the list.