Hotels in Boston's Back Bay

by Joy Uyeno

Boston's most affluent neighborhood, Back Bay is steeped in tradition and luxury. It is the city's center for business and leisure, from the upscale boutiques and restaurants of Newbury Street to the manicured grounds of the public gardens. Just as Back Bay blends classic New England elements with contemporary style, several of the area's hotels have lovingly maintained some of the city's oldest buildings while providing travelers with tasteful upscale accommodations for an experience that is uniquely Bostonian.

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Back Bay Hotel

For 70 years, the Italian Renaissance Revival building that houses the Back Bay Hotel was Boston's police headquarters. Today, the space is a luxurious establishment with 225 guest rooms decorated in contemporary classic style that Travel & Leisure magazine calls "traditionally handsome." Every room features plush beds with down pillows, comforters and Frette linens, as well as heated towel racks in the bathrooms and ergonomic work spaces in the main area. Travel & Leisure recommends the hotel's Stanhope Grille for its traditional Irish breakfast, and the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The hotel's Irish bar, Cuffs, serves traditional and infused Irish cuisine and spirits.

The Lenox Hotel

The Lenox Hotel was built in 1900 and has been lovingly updated through the years, with a 2003 renovation that won awards for its historic preservation and design. It is located right in the heart of Back Bay, within walking distance of Newbury Street, the public garden and the Prudential Center. The lobby is grand, with soaring ceilings, crown-tooth molding and marble flooring, while the guest rooms feature traditional furniture and decor. Environmental conservation is one of the top priorities for the Lenox, which was recognized as one of the top five green luxury hotels in America by U.S. News and World Report. The hotel's restaurant, City Table, serves up breakfast and dinner, with an emphasis on organic ingredients. City Bar and Solas offer drinks and cocktails to guests and locals alike.

Copley Square Hotel

The Copley Square Hotel has been central to Boston's most popular attractions since 1891, making it Back Bay's oldest hotel. The chic establishment underwent an $18 million renovation in 2009 and now houses 143 contemporary guest rooms featuring clean-lined furniture and a brown-, cream-and-white color palette. Each morning, guests can take advantage of "Power Hour" from 6 to 7 a.m., when the staff puts out granola bars, jogging maps and fresh towels. Each evening, the hotel hosts Wine Down Hour from 5 to 6 p.m. in the lobby. The Copley Square Hotel is home to Xhale restaurant, the club Saint, and the sleek cocktail lounge Minibar.

Taj Boston

The Taj Boston was originally opened in 1927 as the Ritz-Carlton Boston, after being converted from an apartment building to a hotel. In 2007, Taj Hotels purchased the property and has maintained its elegance. The hotel is located right across from the Boston Public Garden, with some rooms overlooking the manicured green. Its 273 guest rooms are all decorated in muted greens, blues and creams, with fabric wall coverings, marble baths and plush bedding. The Bar is an intimate space with a wood-burning fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto Arlington Street. The Cafe is a fine-dining establishment open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while The Lounge serves afternoon tea and spirits. Guests can also take advantage of the on-site fitness center.

About the Author

Joy Uyeno has been writing about travel, food, fashion, culture and finance since 2005. For three years she wrote a column for the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin" aimed at young and first-time travelers. Her writing has appeared in several local and national publications, including the 2008 anthology "Honolulu Stories." She holds a Master of Arts in writing and publishing from Emerson College.