Over the past 40-plus years, this venerated Back Bay hotel has hosted all manner of visiting stars, from Ronald Reagan to Frank Sinatra. The present owner, Ronald Druker, is a third-generation hotelier; his father, Bertram Druker, originally built the Colonnade in 1971, and the familial attention to detail shows in the personal feel of the space and the friendliness of the staff.
A $20 million renovation in 2009 morphed the hotel into an edgier space; today the 285-room hotel offers gorgeously contemporary rooms (think modern art), floor-to-ceiling windows with unparalleled skyline views, and an overall high-end condo feel. In 2014, the hotel also renovated its rooftop pool—the only one in the city—to add a 12-seat bar, bamboo flooring, and luxury private cabanas. In the warmer months, guests and locals alike can take morning rooftop yoga classes.
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The Colonnade puts you in ideal proximity to the city’s best shopping and dining. Just two blocks away is Newbury Street with its iconic art galleries and high-end boutiques (Valentino, Armani). Immediately opposite the hotel are the Shops at Prudential Center, which house 75 stores and restaurants, including Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. Head to the South End and you’ll have your choice of trendy dining spots from the city’s most celebrated chefs, including B&G Oyster from Barbara Lynch, Coppa from Jamie Bissonnette, and Myers & Chang from Joanne Chang.
Need to Know
Rooms: 276 rooms, 9 suites. From $399. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:The boisterous, 190-seat Brasserie JO, Boston’s first authentic French brasserie, offers classic Gallic cuisine (duck à l’orange, moules marinière) served alongside ample martinis and Alsatian beers. The restaurant’s winter garden dining room provides a sunny reprieve from the cold; in the summer months, the rooftop pool bar serves specialty cocktails and bar snacks. Spa and gym details: The high-end fitness center, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the South End, includes Precor equipment and free weights.
Who's it for: Urbane visitors who want to ditch their cars for the duration of their stay. Our favorite rooms: Book one of the South Side rooms, which overlook the charming South End brownstones. Special privilege: The “Duck Adoption” Program means you get to bathe with the official Colonnade rubber ducky (and it’s yours to keep).