9 Boutique Hotels in College Towns
Between orientation and graduation, parents spend a lot of time visiting their college kids. These boutique hotels are close to schools and universities, and many offer luxurious rooms, courtesy shuttle service, discounts or other amenities. Warning: your student may desert his dorm when you're in town.
The Roxy Hotel, New York, N.Y.
The Roxy, between SoHo and Tribeca, is a jumping off point for St. John’s University campuses, New York Law School and more. It’s also close to chic shops, art galleries, wine bars and exclusive restaurants and clubs. Let your student bunk with you in a premium room, where you can enjoy Marshall Bluetooth speakers and Teac turntables, complete with a set of vinyl records chosen by the in-house DJ/Music Director. Complimentary bikes are available, if you want to scoot around.
Hotel Commonwealth, Boston, Massachusetts
This hotel likes to say it’s just a “long fly ball” from Boston’s Fenway Park. It’s also near Northeastern University, Simmons College, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Emerson College and Boston University, among others.
Signature suites include the Fenway Park Suite (after all, this is the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox) and Terrier Suite (for the Boston U. Terriers). Great dining and shopping are close by, in Kenmore Square.
The Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia
Book a room at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, in the heart of historic Savannah, and you'll be near various SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) venues around town. Renovated and reopened in 2005 by Savannah art collector Richard Kessler, this boutique hotel has a AAA-Four Diamond rating and Southern charm. Take your own class while you’re here, and create a gourmet dish in the hotel’s state-of-the-art kitchen, or just browse original works of art in the on-site Grand Bohemian Gallery.
21c Museum Hotel, Lexington, Kentucky
Just a half mile from the University of Kentucky campus, 21c Museum Hotel opened in February 2016. It’s a combination 88-room property, contemporary art museum, restaurant and cultural center, all located in Lexington’s historic, 103-year-old First National Bank Building.
Its Game Day Package includes free valet parking and two beers and snacks at the onsite restaurant, Lockbox, where multiple TVs let you keep an eye on the score. You’ll also get a ceramic blue penguin, the hotel’s mascot, to take home--or give to your student to snazz up her dorm.
Ivy Court Inn & Suites, South Bend, Indiana
Ivy Court sits on the southeast corner of the University of Notre Dame campus, and you can't get much closer to your student's school than that. From the inn, you can see the football stadium, the library (with its so-called "Touchdown Jesus" mural) and the basilica. Rent a bike and grab a campus map for a self-guided tour, or walk to a variety of surrounding restaurants and shops; you don’t need a car. Enjoy the ACC Lounge and daily made-from-scratch breakfast, included in the price of your room. In the fall, football fans tailgate around the hotel, which hosts a pre-game radio broadcast on Saturday mornings.
Hotel Deca, Seattle, Washington
This art-deco inspired property, which is a Noble House hotel, has a dedicated web page for parents visiting their kids at the University of Washington. If you follow the Husky games, ask for the “Extend the Party” package, which allows you to come early or stay late for home games. It also gives you a bigger discount, the longer you stay, and includes a welcome amenity. All UW guests and parents can request the “UW Visitor Rate", which provides a 20 percent discount off the hotel’s best available rate. If you’re a UW grad, ask for the UW Alumni Association rate. It offers a discount and contributes $5 to the Association. Hotel Deca is in the University district, just two blocks from campus.
Hotel Providence, Providence, R.I.
Providence is a true college town, home to Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence College, Rhode Island College and Johnson & Wales University. Ask for the College Parent VIP Program; you can join for up to four years to receive complimentary suite upgrades, double Stash Hotel reward points, two complimentary drinks per stay, discounts at certain downtown businesses and a welcome amenity. Best of all, it guarantees you’ll get a room on every parent weekend and graduation weekend. The hotel features an arts and literature theme, with suites named after New England authors, and it’s in the heart of the art and theater district.
One Aldwych, London, England
This contemporary hotel sits in the heart of Covent Garden, so during your free time, you can enjoy fine dining, world-class art galleries and museums, elegant shops, the Royal Opera House and much more. Reserve a two-bedroom suite, and get a free child’s bedroom for your student’s younger siblings. Don't miss the chlorine-free swimming pool, which boasts mood lighting and underwater music.
Dinah’s Garden Hotel, Palo Alto, California
Stanford University is just three miles from Dinah’s Garden Hotel, built in 1957 and furnished with re-purposed pieces collected from Asia, Africa and India. The hotel has a residential, boutique feel, thanks to its tropical gardens, heated swimming pool, and two koi-filled lagoons. It’s near downtown Palo Alto and Google headquarters, and as you’d expect, you’ll have high-speed internet/Wi-Fi access to contact your student while you're visiting this Silicon Valley property.