6 Great Hotels to Book in Boston

These accommodations have long been a part of Boston’s storied history.

The Newbury

The Newbury was once the first Ritz-Carlton in the United States.

Photo by Nikolas Koenig

Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Here, history buffs trace the nation’s past through such sites as the Paul Revere House, the Freedom Trail, the Old State House, and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Many of the best hotels in Boston have their own past lives, too, having started out as a notable post office or a notorious jail, and they give guests a unique experience of another era during their stay. Read on for six hotels in Boston that pair history with standout hospitality.

The Newbury

Previously the Taj Boston (originally built to be the first-ever Ritz-Carlton in the United States), the Newbury reopened midpandemic after a two-year renovation with a new look. Titled after the street it resides on, the hotel faces Boston’s tree-shaded Public Garden and offers 286 modern guest rooms decorated with rich wood and marble details. Nearly a third of the accommodations are suites, and some have wood-burning fireplaces.

Right off the lobby, the wood-paneled Street Bar has oversize leather sofas and classic cocktails, like a Manhattan and a Sidecar. It’s also steeped in history: The likes of Frank Sinatra and Winston Churchill are said to have visited the dimly lit space. These days, the rooftop trattoria, Contessa, is arguably the bigger draw, even for those who aren’t staying at the Newbury. Reservations are hard to score, in part because of the superlative views of the Back Bay and the traditional northern Italian fare, like classic veal Milanese and spicy lobster capellini.


The Whitney building has been around for more than 100 years.

Photo by James Baigrie

The Whitney

Named after the prominent industrialist who once owned the site, The Whitney started out in 1908 as housing for nurses who worked at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood. Today, the quintessentially Boston brick building is a boutique hotel. The 65 guest rooms, with their navy and white rooms (referencing the city flag) and subway tile bathrooms, all feature tall windows with views of the Charles River, the longest river in the state.

Guests are offered a glass of champagne while they check in. A staff member will also give guests a map passkey for discounts at some of the best bars, restaurants, and shops nearby. While the neighborhood is walkable, the Whitney has a fleet of courtesy bicycles, should you want to cover extra ground. The Massachusetts State House and Museum of African American History are a half-mile bike ride away, and the three-mile-long Esplanade Park that hugs the Charles River starts just outside the hotel’s doors.

Hotel Commonwealth, found steps from Fenway Park, shared the history of the oldest baseball stadium in the nation in many of its suites.

Hotel Commonwealth, found steps from Fenway Park, shared the history of the oldest baseball stadium in the nation in many of its suites.

Courtesy of Hotel Commonwealth

Hotel Commonwealth

Boston is nothing if not a sports town. And for those keen on catching a game at the venerable Fenway Park, the oldest Major League Baseball ballpark still in use in the country, there are few spots better than Hotel Commonwealth. Only a two-minute walk from the stadium, the hotel is composed of 245 guest rooms and suites; many have floor-to-ceiling windows and a separate living room area, and some look directly into the park.

Baseball fans looking to splurge should consider booking the Fenway Park Suite, a 700-square-foot room (with a park-facing balcony) that was curated in partnership with the Boston Red Sox. The living room features unique memorabilia, including part of Fenway’s Green Monster scoreboard (originally given to Johnny Pesky when he retired), a coffee table signed by legendary Red Sox players, real Fenway seats on the balcony, and little bags of authentic Fenway pitching mound dirt.

The Revolution's art-filled lobby nods to the city's history.

The Revolution’s art-filled lobby nods to the city’s history.

Courtesy of The Revolution

The Revolution

Opened in 1866 as one of the first YWCAs in the United States, the Revolution has been transformed into a contemporary, budget-friendly hotel that honors Boston’s past. The building is a historical landmark so the walls couldn’t be altered, which means many of the 177 guest rooms are fairly compact. Some share a dorm-style single-person bathroom in the hallway, while others have a small in-room bathroom. But what the rooms lack in size they make up for in clever design details like under-bed storage and compact kitchen spaces.

The Revolution’s art-filled communal spaces are where the hotel really shines. Throughout the hotel are murals depicting pop-art versions of historical Bostonians, ranging from George Washington to Malcom X, by local street artist Tristan Eaton. The whimsical Innovation Tower, a three-story installation by the Boston-based Individuals Collective, references significant inventions from the region, like flamingo lawn ornaments and typewriters. And the brass mailboxes in the lobby, salvaged from when the building was a YWCA, hint at the fact that the first post office in the nation was in Boston.

The Langham Boston was once the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston—that history is still shown in the bank's official seal in Grana

The Langham Boston was once the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston—that history is still shown in the bank’s official seal in Grana, the on-site Italian restaurant.

Courtesy of Langham Boston

The Langham, Boston

  • Neighborhood: Financial District
  • Book now

This 101-year-old building in the Financial District spent its first 59 years as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. In 2003, the Hong Kong–based Langham Hospitality Group reopened the landmark building as a well-appointed hotel. The building still has its original brass Federal Reserve seal embedded in the marble floor of the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Grana. In the lobby, the banker’s box drawers line one of the walls, while the custom-designed carpets are inspired by the leaf motif found on dollar bills.

The 312 guest rooms, renovated in 2021, have a modern residential feel, with a blue and tan color scheme meant to evoke the shores of New England. Sprawling marble bathrooms have rain showers, while a wooden armoire hides a well-stocked mini bar. On the first floor of the hotel, visit the Fed, a moodily lit 1920s-style cocktail bar with a vault of rare spirits from around the world.

For 120 years, the building that

For 120 years, the building that now houses The Liberty housed Boston’s most notorious criminals.

Courtesy of The Liberty

The Liberty

A stay at the Liberty might be the only time you brag about spending a night in the slammer (or, at least, a former one). Erected in 1851, this Beacon Hill hotel was originally the Charles Street Jail, which was shuttered in 1973 after more than a century housing Boston’s most notorious lawbreakers. In 2001, Maryland-based Lasalle Hotel Properties purchased the building with the intent of turning it into a hotel, a project that wasn’t completed until 2007. The 298 guest rooms and suites are decorated with framed keys from the original cells and embroidered throw pillows that resemble tally marks. Six restaurants and bars all follow the jailbird theme. In Clink, a seafood restaurant serving oysters, swordfish, and other local catches, tables are separated by prison cell doors. Catwalk, a cocktail bar on the original jail catwalk, has a menu of casual bar snacks like free-range chicken wings and burgers.

Bailey Berg is the associate travel news editor at AFAR, where she covers breaking news, trends, tips, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. When not interviewing sources or writing articles, she can be found exploring art galleries, visiting craft breweries, hiking with her dogs, and planning her next adventure (at present, she’s been to 75+ countries and hopes to spend time in every one someday).
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