With a sweep of perfectly preserved period architecture, Boston is a boon for canny hoteliers who have found imaginative ways to refurbish classic silhouettes

As a destination, Boston combines the best of many worlds: a picturesque location by the Charles River, a lively social scene thanks largely to its storied academic community, plenty of retail diversions funded by well-heeled locals, and a patrician sweep of perfectly preserved period architecture. The latter, in particular, is a boon for canny hoteliers who have found imaginative ways to refurbish classic silhouettes into modern lodgings.

The Envoy - Boston
70 Sleeper Street, MA 02210; Tel: 1.617 338 3030; theenvoyhotel.com, Photography: Jason Wessel
(Image credit: Jason Wessel)

The Envoy

It’s sometimes easy to forget Boston’s proximity to the water, an oversight The Envoy sets out to correct with a location in Seaport that’s within easy reach of the waterfront, Fish Pier and the Institute of Contemporary Art. The 136 rooms by Group One Partners are dressed in yellow, and wedded to views of the downtown Boston or the water, alongside a lobby chandelier made of recycled materials, ocean-themed murals and, for sheer entertainment value, a billiards table fitted with interactive screens that doubles as a touchscreen workstation.

Finegold Alexander Architects’, Godfrey Hotel

505 Washington Street, MA 02111; Tel: 1.617 804 2000; godfreyhotelboston.com

(Image credit: TBC)

The Godfrey Hotel Boston

Finegold Alexander Architects’ triumph for the Godfrey Hotel was to artfully join the neoclassical and gothic revival styles of the Blake and Amory building in the Downtown Crossing neighbourhood into a unified whole. The completely restored terracotta façade leads into an interior designed by The Gettys Group as a blend of restored elevator banks and original cast iron banisters alongside Cerused oak panels and textured metal. The 242 rooms, accessed via a dramatic 16ft high portal on the ground floor, are dressed in Frette linen, customised carpets and a neutral palette.

The Liberty Hotel

215 Charles Street, MA 02141; Tel: 1.617 224 4000; libertyhotel.com

(Image credit: TBC)

The Liberty Hotel

The irony or, at least, tongue-in-cheek humour of the hotel’s moniker quickly becomes apparent when it’s revealed it was built in 1851 as The Charles Street Jail. Indeed, the puns are strung through the 280-room hotel with the Yard serving as a private courtyard, the Clink as the in-house restaurant and the Alibi bar refurbished from the former drunk-tank. Eighteen guest rooms are housed in the original jail though the design team of Cambridge Seven Associates, Bill Rooney and Champalimaud have been careful not to be too literal in their inspiration, opting instead for subtlety by way of herringbone patterned walls, large soaking tubs, and hardwood floors. The best rooms in the house look over the Charles River.

XV Beacon sits in a fin de siècle Beaux Arts

15 Beacon Street, MA 02108; Tel: 1.617 670 1500; xvbeacon.com

(Image credit: TBC)

XV Beacon

Named after its street name and number and its Beacon Hill neighbourhood, the 63-room XV Beacon sits in a fin de siècle Beaux Arts pile built in 1903 by local architect William Gibbons Preston, its restored interiors a soigné combination of marble staircase, mahogany paneling, customized gas fireplaces, and Frette linens. The hotel’s diversions include Mooo (whose name handily telegraphs a menu based on grass-fed ribeye and Wagyu A5 sirloin), turndown water for canine guests, and a double-vaulted ceilinged wine cellar built on the granite foundation of the 1722 Edward Bromfield mansion that once stood on this site.

The Boxer, Bullfinch hotel was reimagined by local studio J.Brice Design

107 Merrimac Street, MA 02114; Tel: 1.617 624 0202; theboxerboston.com

(Image credit: TBC)

The Boxer

In 2012, the West End neighbourhood’s Bullfinch hotel was reimagined by local studio J.Brice Design as a boutique property that blends an industrial vibe with a quiet New England patina. The 80-rooms, in particular, reference the hotel’s setting in Boston’s landmark Flatiron Building with deep slate blue walls, tufted bed and Calcutta marble in the bathrooms. Downstairs, in-house restaurant Finch’s antique gas-lights and wooden communal tables come with cocktails and a menu of New England standards.

The Verb located in Fenway

1271 Boylston Street, MA 02215; Tel: 1.617 566 4500; theverbhotel.com 

(Image credit: TBC)

The Verb

Appropriately for a hotel located in Fenway, The Verb’s MO is music, the 93 rooms and public spaces suffused with a 60s and 70s mood that’s heavy with memorabilia and musically themed design features – not the least record players and Marshall Bluetooth speakers, guitars and over 500 records that can be borrowed from the lobby, zebra robes and a book collection curated around a rock and roll theme. The outdoor heated pool is set in a courtyard framed by colourful Mondrian-like windows, though more serious exercise can be accessed on a complimentary basis at the nearby Boston Sports Club.

Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.