Generally, hotels in Boston come with big-city prize tags, running at least $200 a night and up. But your Beantown stay doesn't have to bust the budget, if you time your visit right and sleuth out economy lodgings, like guesthouses, suites and smaller hotels. Special lodging packages that may include parking, free extra nights and tickets to popular attractions, also help save money.
Timing is Everything
You'll pay top dollar for even the lowliest of places during Harvard University, Boston University, MIT and Northeastern University graduation weekends in late May and early June. Avoid this time, if you can. Other busy times include the Boston Harborfest, held during the 4th of July week each year, and fall foliage season, particularly the first two weeks of October and over the fall Columbus Day holiday weekend. Summer is busier than winter and hotels can be pricier. That said, you can get good weekend deals year-round at hotels that typically cater to business travelers, like the Hilton Boston Financial District and the Le Meridian across the Charles River.
Consider sharing a large suite at one of Boston's economy all-suite properties. The 15-story Doubletree Guest Suites Boston sits along the Charles River, overlooking the city skyline. It's just outside the heart of the city, and the hotel offers a free shuttle service to major attractions. Two-room suites are decorated in contemporary taupes and creamy whites with dark wood furnishings and flat-screen TVs. The separate living room has a pull-out couch. Other money-saving amenities include free parking and free Wi-Fi. There's also an indoor pool, fitness center, and restaurant and lounge. The Best Western Roundhouse Suites are housed in an 1800s natural gas reservoir. The unique round building was used to store gas for Boston's street lamps. Today, it's an economical option for lodging in the city. Two-room suites sleep up to six and kids under 17 are free when traveling with their parents. Rooms are painted with bright whites with green and gold accents. You can save on the hotel's free parking and complimentary shuttle service to attractions.
Budget Hotels and Guest Houses
Lodging bargains are plentiful at some of Boston's modest hotels and guest houses. The antique-filled 463 Beacon Street Guest House in Back Bay, three blocks from Newbury Street and in a residential neighborhood, has 20 rooms. Most rooms are small and simply furnished; 17 have private baths and some have kitchenettes. Hardwood floors exist throughout the brownstone building, as well as guest laundry facilities and free Wi-Fi. John Jeffries House, located in an early 1900s building across from Massachusetts General Hospital, is a four-story inn, with some of the best rates in the city. Guests can relax in the Federal-style parlor, where coffee and tea are served. Period reproductions and artwork are found throughout the 46-room hotel, along with original wood paneling and moldings. Rooms come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from small, one-room efficiencies to multi-room suites, and they are decorated with handsome, dark wood furnishings and traditional upholstered pieces. Most have kitchenettes with refrigerators, stoves and microwaves.
Many Boston hotels offer a variety of packages to help cut costs. The Onyx, a contemporary boutique hotel with bold colors and whimsical design, not only has nightly complimentary cocktail receptions, but offers a variety of packages that may include free parking, a big plus in the city where parking can run up to $40 a day or more. The historic 1855 Omni Parker Hotel, with period antiques, original carved wood paneling and moldings, and lavish furnishings, has a variety of packages that bundle lodging with museum and theater tickets, guided tours, free breakfast and other amenities.
For bare-bones lodging, consider one of Boston's youth hostels. Bright purple paint brightens the walls of the Hosteling International Boston property, located near the Museum of Fine Arts. The facility offers 10 six-person dormitory-style rooms with shared baths. Linens are provided and guests can use the full kitchen or relax in the TV room. The Hosteling International Fenway, open from June to mid-August only, has low-cost dormitory style rooms, as well as private rooms for one to three people. Its location near Fenway Park draws baseball fans.
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