Boston's South Station is never a dull place. One of three train stations in the city, this is the busiest. It is where trains arrive from all over the country, bringing in crowds of business travelers, students and tourists. The iconic South Station is not off the beaten track; it's right in the city's financial district, so there are any number of hotels close by. A handful of hotels are close to the station and show off the best of Boston -- its history, charms, small scale and waterfront.
The Langham Hotel, across from South Station and overlooking the gardens of Post Office Square, is an ornate, Renaissance-style luxury hotel at the edge of the financial district. The building, which is a national historic landmark, is made of granite and limestone and was formerly the home of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. It has the solid, distinguished look that reflects its history. The Langham's Cafe Fleuri, full of bright floral decor, enormous windows and haute cuisine, is a visual delight. It's a stark contract to the imposing, handsome bar and supper club called Bond, which is serious and dark-paneled, with enormous chandeliers.
Club Quarters Boston
Club Quarters aims for the business traveler who might stay overnight or might be in Boston for a month. Aside from hotel rooms, Club Quarters offers studios with kitchens and full hotel services. The hotel restricts entry, giving the feel of a private pied-a-terre more than a hotel. Guests note the privacy, quiet and feeling of safety. The hotel offers free high-speed Internet, free use of a computer and printer, and a lounge with complimentary coffee, newspapers and magazines. There's a fitness room, and Club Quarters will even store garments for you between visits. Club Quarters in Boston is two blocks from Faneuil Hall and Post Office Square and a short walk from the North End and South Station. The building also houses the British-themed Elephant & Castle restaurant and pub, which has a list of more than 100 beers.
The Liberty Hotel is not within walking distance of the train station, but it's only a short taxi ride away. The hotel's Beacon Hill location and infamous past as the Charles Street Jail have made it a destination for the young professional after-work crowd, who jostle for attention at the Alibi, the hotel's popular bar, and dine amid the iron cell doors at Clink. The lobby is a large space surrounded by a catwalk and is the most vivid -- and rather sobering -- reminder of what this building used to be. The hotel rooms themselves are modern, upscale and sophisticated, with fabulous skyline views. The hotel has only been open since 2007.
Marriott Renaissance Waterfront
The Marriott Renaissance Waterfront is a large hotel, with big views, expansive spaces (such as a 10,000-square foot-ballroom), an indoor pool, lap pool and modern, up-to-date facilities. The views out to the Channel Islands are impressive, and this hotel, brightened by neon displays, is in the middle of dining heaven thanks to its seaport location. The Barking Crab, Sel de la Terre and Morton's Steakhouse are all neighbors.
- boston sunset image by Alessandro Lai from Fotolia.com