Lobby bars aren’t just for tourists and stressed-out businessmen anymore—top-shelf drinks and people watching can be found right next to reception. Pull up a seat and check out who’s checking in.
Boston Park Plaza
A $100 million renovation brought a dramatic makeover to the 91-year-old hotel’s lobby, where bright tile floors have replaced oriental rugs and sheer panels divide the once cavernous space into sleek seating areas. The centerpiece is the large granite bar in the lobby restaurant Off the Common, which offers an all-day menu and an extensive list of wines by the glass (including premium pours made possible by an Enomatic preservation system).
50 Park Plaza at Arlington St., Boston, 617-426-2000, bostonparkplaza.com.
The Liberty Hotel
Just over a decade has passed since this former jail was converted into luxury accommodations, but that escalator ride up to the lobby bar never fails to impress. The central rotunda soars 90 feet high and offers a glimpse into the three upper floors, yet the clustered seating arrangements still allow for intimate conversation. Those looking for a more social evening are in luck; nearly nightly entertainment ranges from live jazz to fashion shows.
215 Charles St., Boston, 617-224-4000, libertyhotel.com.
This 31-room boutique hotel boasts what might be the area’s most delightfully low-profile lobby retreat, the Simple Truth Lounge, a hidden gem where your bartender is often the same person checking in guests. Sink into a wingback chair near the fireplace and enjoy cheese and charcuterie with your cocktail—and in the warmer months, sip in the sunshine on the outdoor patio.
One Remington St., Cambridge, 617-520-5000, thehotelveritas.com.
See more from The Great Boston Hotel Boom.