Historic Hotels in Boston

The best backdrop for any visit to the storied American city of Boston is one of the city’s historic hotels
The best backdrop for any visit to the storied American city of Boston is one of the city’s historic hotels | Courtesy of the Lenox Hotel / Expedia
Photo of Frances J Folsom
24 November 2020

Boston‘s backstory is a riveting tale of Puritans fleeing England and persecution, of European influences and American democracy. Check in and drift back in time at one of these magnificent historic establishments around the city, from the Back Bay neighbourhood to Cambridge.

The Eliot Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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Eliot Hotel
Courtesy of the Eliot Hotel / Expedia
With uniformed doormen and a sumptuous marble lobby, this neo-French-Empire beauty radiates historic sophistication – with a prestigious Back Bay location to boot. It has had crowds clamoring to stay ever since it opened in 1925. There are 95 guest rooms and suites, affording iconic city views, including the State Capitol dome. Settle into your elegant space, resplendent in Italian marble and toile fabrics.
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Fairmont Copley Plaza

Hotel
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Fairmont Copley Plaza
Courtesy of Fairmont Copley Plaza / Expedia
A landmark of the Back Bay neighborhood, Boston’s Fairmont inhabits a magnificent Beaux-Arts building that has dominated Copley Square since 1912. Behind the French and Venetian Renaissance-styled facade, the 383 rooms and suites are surprisingly modern, with clean, sleek lines, crisp white fabrics and attractive blue tones. You can stream from your phone and tablet to your room’s TV, but don’t miss the stunning neighborhood, well worth a wander.
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The Kendall Hotel

Hotel, Boutique Hotel
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The Kendall Hotel
Courtesy of the Kendall Hotel / Expedia
Stay where Cambridge meets Boston – this is a sweet, historic boutique hotel rich in period charm. It occupies what was once the Fire Department’s Engine 7 Station in Cambridge – hence the property’s late 19th-century red-brick good looks. The 74 guest rooms and four suites flaunt jazzy blue-and-white patterned bedspreads – a very stylish touch. For long stays, the Luxury Suite has a complete kitchen. Settle in and switch off, with a nice bottle of Napa Valley red.
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The College Club of Boston

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
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The College Club of Boston
Courtesy of the College Club of Boston / Hotels.com
In a Victorian brownstone mansion on Commonwealth Avenue is the College Club of Boston. Inside, along with tea rooms and parlors, you will find the Club’s Bed and Breakfast. With fireplaces and rugs on elegant bare floorboards, the 11 rooms were designed by different decorators: no two are the same. Each is named after a college attended by members: Smith, Wellesley, Radcliffe, Oberlin and so on. Bathrooms are shared – one on each of the three floors.
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The Lenox Hotel

Hotel
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The Lenox Hotel
Courtesy of the Lenox Hotel / Expedia
At the corner of Exeter and Boylston Streets is this 19th-century bastion of Back Bay. With the Lenox as your address, you’re mere steps away from Copley Square, the Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Because it was built in 1900, rooms do err slightly on the small side, but you have to love a place that welcomes you with wood-burning fireplaces and vintage crystal chandeliers. And that extravagant exterior cornicing is just made for Instagram posts.
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  • Omni Parker House

    Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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    Boston Omni Parker House Hotel
    Courtesy of Boston Omni Parker House Hotel / Expedia
    Dating from 1855, the Omni Parker House has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating hotel in America. Parker House rolls were created here, as was the Boston cream pie. Do not leave Boston without tasting a slice of this decadent yellow cake, layered with vanilla pudding and covered with dark Swiss chocolate. Guest rooms are chi-chi and well carpeted, with good lighting, high beds and soft couches, but don’t check in expecting oodles of space.
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    Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House Boston

    Hotel
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    Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House Boston
    Courtesy of Marriott Vacation Club Pulse at Custom House Boston / Expedia
    Bring the kids to this family-oriented hotel, with its splendid neck-craning facade, created inside Boston’s historic Custom House Tower from circa 1837. The suites come with one king bedroom, sofa beds and kitchenettes. The 20th floor is given over to family fun, with games rooms, children’s activity centers and a movie theater. For stunning views, head to the 26th-floor observation deck, step out and peer down through the railings.
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    Loews Boston Hotel

    Hotel
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    Loews Boston Hotel
    Courtesy of Loews Boston Hotel / Expedia
    Before you check in, gaze up and admire this grande dame: you’re staying in a 1920s limestone building that once served as the headquarters of the Boston Police Department. It’s a decidedly elegant boutique hotel of larger-than-standard rooms and suites, with living rooms and kitchenettes. And it enjoys a prime location in the Back Bay, with easy access to Copley Square, the upscale shops on Newbury Street, the Public Garden and Boston Common.
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    These recommendations were updated on November 24, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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