Want to sleep in Boston’s very first skyscraper? Originally constructed in 1893, the 13-story Ames Building was, for many years, the tallest building in the city. Renowned architect David Rockwell helped reconceive the building as the high-end Ames Hotel in 2009, preserving much of the original detailing. Celebrities ranging from Madonna to Shaquille O’Neal have since stayed in the luxury hotel.
The rooms at the Ames feel more like opulent city apartments, with modernist furniture and eclectic details like feather chandeliers and gold-sequined pillows. The property’s historic roots are reflected in the 13-foot ceilings and Romanesque, floor-to-ceiling arched windows. Other classic elements include decorative marble fireplaces, oak wood floors, and reclaimed-granite vanities in the bathrooms. Centrally located in downtown Boston, the Ames provides easy foot access to many of the city’s best-known attractions.
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The downtown area is home to many of the city’s historic sites, including the Paul Revere House, Granary Burying Ground, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and Old North Church. Follow the Freedom Trail to see them all in a day’s time. For a more bucolic afternoon, take a leisurely walk through the Boston Common and Public Garden, part of the Frederick Law Olmsted–designed Emerald Necklace. Among the classic dining options nearby are Marliave and the landmark Union Oyster House. JM Curley and Silvertone are both great spots for evening socializing.
Need to Know
Rooms: 114 rooms, 40 suites. From $389. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:King St. Tavern is a full-service bar and restaurant with plush leather seating, a prix-fixe menu, and live entertainment six nights a week. Spa and gym details:The 24-hour fitness center was upgraded in 2014 and now features state-of-the-art Matrix, Cybex, and True elliptical machines and treadmills, each with their own television, plus Cybex weight machines and free weights. Complimentary bikes are available in the warmer months.
Who's it for: Business travelers and visitors wanting an opulent setting in a prime location. Our favorite rooms: The Loft suite features incredible views of the city and a spacious open layout. The Apartment is a truly one-of-a-kind offering, with separate living and dining areas and a polished-chrome four-poster bed. Special feature: Request a room with a “Sexy Shower,” and you'll find yourself enclosed by just a single panel of glass, and with a rain shower function.