Boston—long considered a small big city or a big small town—is undeniably in the midst of a major hotel boom, thanks to an increase in convention centers and millennial tourists. Eight new hotels have opened in greater Boston since the beginning of 2015 and several others renovated, with at least 40 new properties slated to rise over the next few years. Whether it’s for professional purposes or a lavish getaway, we’ve highlighted four hotels among the newbies that cater to a specific kind of traveling soul.
Where else in the world can you stay at a jail-turned-luxury hotel? The cleverly named Liberty Hotel, which opened in 2007 in the former Charles Street Jail and just completed renovations, lets you do just that. As soon as you enter the lobby—with its soaring atrium, original brick walls, large oculus windows, and catwalks—you can imagine what it must have looked like as a jail. But instead of being strip searched upon check-in, you’re handed a glass of champagne. Now a member of the Starwood Luxury Collection, the property just unveiled an $11 million renovation of its guestrooms, many of which have fantastic views of downtown Boston and the Charles River. The hotel boasts two excellent restaurants, Clink and Scampo, and a lounge Alibi, in the jail’s former drunk tank, where you can sip cocktails under the gaze of celebrity mug shots. Just don’t do anything that’ll actually get you arrested. From $399
The Envoy, which opened last summer, feels squarely planted in the Seaport, aka the Innovation District. The city has made a big push to develop this former no man’s land on the harbor, and the neighborhood will see other developments in the years to come, including more shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Drawing inspiration from the design and tech firms trickling into the area, the Envoy features plenty of amenities that will excite tech-savvy travelers—from the virtual pool table in the lobby that doubles as a giant iPad to Netflix streaming in the rooms. The hotel is in a brand-new glass-and-steel building, filled with warm colors and textures that make the rooms welcoming and original artworks delivering a creative edge. From $499
Just this past February, The Godfrey opened its doors as one of the places ushering in a new era at Downtown Crossing, Boston’s business district. The somewhat gritty area is seeing renewed interest as high-rise condos are coming in, and with that a demand for better dining and drinking options. The Godfrey sits smack in the middle of the hubbub on Washington Street, housed in two landmarked turn-of-the-century buildings joined together. The bright-white lobby is thoroughly modern, and a futuristic hallway is a stark contrast to the preserved elevator bank and staircase with a neo-Gothic vaulted ceiling. Rooms are clean and simple, with patterned headboards and Rubik’s cubes adding a bit of character. From $269
Conveniently located near Copley Place, the Boston Park Plaza is currently in the final phases of a $100 million renovation. The massive 1927 property has almost finished transforming its 1,000 rooms (no small feat), but the real triumph is the expansive, high-ceilinged lobby that feels bright and airy. During the renovation, Parker-Torres design firm uncovered original gilded reliefs hidden away for decades and turned them into a focal point above the bar. The whole space brilliantly melds historic details with modern design elements, like geometric chandeliers and striking birdcage chairs. From $179