What qualifies a hotel as one of the best in Boston? Well, we know that for some the best hotel is the most luxurious, while for others it's the one that offers, say, the most for kids, or the most bang for the buck. So this list breaks things down by category. Check out Travel Channel and Oyster.com's hotels that are truly the best of the best for Boston.
Best Luxury Hotel: Four Seasons Boston
Amazing service, a park-front location, a great health club with a beautiful pool, an iconic restaurant, and 273 luxurious and spacious rooms combine to make this the top luxury property in Boston. If there's a flaw here, it's the guestroom bathrooms, which aren't as amazing as those at, say, the Mandarin -- but they're slated for upgrades. Meanwhile, the service is the best in the city, with a staff that pays attention to every detail and isn't just responsive but proactively helpful. (One small but characteristic example: We were handed a bottle of water as we stepped off the treadmill and then informed that robes and slippers are available in the locker room.) And there is no more perfect location in Boston than this one overlooking the city's beautiful and iconic Public Garden.
Best Value Hotel: Courtyard Boston Tremont Hotel
Marriott International, Inc.
This 315-room hotel has a great location a mere block from the Boston Common and impressed us by making the most out of their small standard rooms (a smart layout, an extendable desk). Free extras like Internet access, rollaway beds, coffee, and free food for kids help keep travel expenses down -- and make us wish more hotels did the same.
Best Kid-Friendly Hotel: Marriott's Boston Vacation Club Custom House
It's housed in a historic 1847 building, but like most Marriott Vacation Club properties, all of the guest rooms are huge 1-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and pullout couches. The location is another plus: The New England Aquarium, whale-watching boats, an IMAX theater, and over a hundred shops at Faneuil Hall are just across the street. And the in-house features and services include an arcade, staff-led historic walking tours or T-shirt-making workshops, free access to the pool at Marriott Long Wharf across the street, free laundry machines (and detergent!), and freshly baked cookies in the lobby. Cribs and rollaway beds are both free.
Most Romantic Hotel: Fifteen Beacon
This luxury hotel surrounded by hidden gardens, antique shops, and the gorgeous brick Federal-style homes of Beacon Hill, is the perfect choice for couples looking to heat things up on a cold New England night. Every spacious but cozy room has a gas fireplace. And the phenomenal, highly personalized service includes an evening turndown that transforms the rooms into soothing relaxation dens -- dim lights, a crackling fire, and soft classical music.
Best Boutique Hotel: The Eliot Hotel
Originally built in 1925 as a home for semiretired Harvard professors, this stately, Parisian-style boutique still shares a wall with the next-door Harvard Club and flaunts a kind of Boston Brahmin hauteur. But this is not a hotel trapped in the past. Rather, it's a successful study on how to marry the romance of an older hotel with the best of the 21st century -- chandeliers and French toile next to iHomes, flat-screen TVs, and touch-screens that allow you to order room service without picking up the phone. Dining options include both an award-winning French restaurant and a high-end sushi bar.