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Where to Stay in Boston

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This post is about how to choose where to stay in Boston.

With dozens of Boston hotels to choose from, you may be feeling overwhelmed.

If this comment posted on our Boston Travel Tips Facebook Group sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place!

Help Choosing a Boston Hotel


How We’ve Organized Our Recommendations

Our hotel recommendations are broken down by neighborhood.

First, we explain each neighborhood and cover what makes it special.

Secondly, we’ll list out hotels using two price ranges, *Average Price (between $200 and $400) and *Higher End (anything above $400).  

The reason we’ve broken it down this way is because Boston is one of the most, if not the most, expensive cities when it comes to hotel pricing. 

It’s rare to find a well-reviewed budget-hotel below $200 in these neighborhoods and rates don’t change much throughout the seasons. 

When to Book a Hotel in Boston

That’s not to say you can’t find better pricing but it may take some work and flexibility on dates.

Thirdly, we list the sights and attractions within walking distance to that neighborhood 

Finally, we make recommendations for some of the best hotels for a quiet stay, for a free delicious breakfast, and for an amazing rooftop.

*Note that we do not include Boston occupancy tax of 6.5% or the 2.75% convention tax or any resort fees that may be added to your stay by the hotel. 


Why Trust Our Advice?

Why should you rely on our information? Because we speak with tourists every day during our walking tours.

Boston Walking Tours

They tell us what they like and don’t like about their accommodations around the city. Some rave and some rant.

We listen and then share what they tell us with our readers.

We learn even more from the hundreds of detailed comments and recommendations from visitors on our Facebook group which has thousands of members and is growing every day!

Boston Travel Tips

The comments are filled with up-to-date hotel recommendations with detailed information from actual hotel guests.


Best Places To Stay In Boston City For Families

Note that these are the factors folks have told us matter to them when looking for a place to stay with kids in Boston:

  • You will want to stay in a hotel that is close to subway lines so little legs don't get tired out quickly.
  • You will want a hotel that does not attract rowdy people who like to make noise.
  • And you’ll want to be close to attractions that keep kids entertained, be it a museum, a swimming pool, or something else.

Our recommendations come from other travelers who have said that the hotels we have listed below have kept their kids entertained and comfortable.

Note: most of the hotels our guests have listed fall in the Higher End category of hotels.

That’s not to say you can’t find hotels in the Average Price range that your children would be perfectly happy in, but these are the ones that tend to provide activities aimed directly at kids.


Where to Stay by Area in Boston

Below are some of the best hotels to stay in Boston selected from popular neighborhoods.

We even included hotels in Cambridge as it’s just across the river and easy to access.

Note that Boston often comes in at the #1 most expensive city to stay in in the country, so it’s hard to find deals.


Back Bay 

The Back Bay neighborhood is close to so much of what folks come to Boston to see: Fenway Park, Boston Common, shopping, food, theater, and more. 

It’s full of historic brownstones and grassy green spaces, as well as skyscrapers. This is a great spot to stay for first time visitors to the city.

Photo by: Ajay Suresh

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Higher End

For Families

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our Beacon Hill CrimeCambridge & Harvard, and Boston Ghost tours.


Downtown

This is the central business district of Boston but also home to loads of restaurants, tourist attractions, and shopping. 

It also includes Historic Downtown Boston, which has some of Boston’s most well known attractions. It is truly the heart of the city!

Downtown, Boston, MA, USA
Photo by: bynyalcin

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Higher End

For Families

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our Freedom TrailRum, Riots, Writers and Revolution, and North End Little Italy tours.


North End

A small area by Boston Harbor, North End is one of Boston’s oldest residential neighborhoods.

It was the gateway to Boston for many immigrants. At times it was home to Irish, Portuguese, Russian and Polish Jews, and Italians. 

Today it is called “Little Italy” by some due to the Italian shops and restaurants that dot its streets. 

Boston North End
Photo by: Ingfbruno

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Depending on the dates, sometimes the Battery Wharf Hotel or the Canopy by Canopy by Hilton Boston may have prices in this range.

Higher End

For Families

  • There were no hotels recommended for children/families in this neighborhood.

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our North End Little Italy Tour, Freedom TrailRum, Riots, Writers and Revolution tours.


West End

This mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood was once, like the North End, home to immigrants at the end of the 19th century. 

Sadly much of its historical charm was lost to urban renewal destruction in the 1950s. 

Today it has, or is close to, some of the most well known attractions in Boston, including a number of museums.

Photo by: Sbacle 

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Luxury

For Families

  • There were no hotels recommended for children/families in this neighborhood.

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our North End Little Italy Tour, Freedom TrailRum, Riots, Writers and Revolution tours.


South End

South End is another one of the most attractive neighborhoods in Boston, especially since it has seen a recent economic revitalization. 

It’s known for its Victorian houses and its beautiful parks. It’s also where you want to go if food is the reason for your trip; some of Boston’s top chefs have restaurants here.

2011 SouthEnd Boston
Photo by: Jorge Cancela

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Higher End

For Families

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our Beacon Hill CrimeRum, Riots, Writers and Revolution, and Boston Ghost tours.


Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is known for its postcard perfect neighborhoods, brick sidewalks, cobblestone streets, and gaslit lamps. 

It’s truly one of the most charming areas in the city.

Boston, Beacon Hill
Photo by: Ian Howard

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Higher End

For Families

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our Beacon Hill CrimeRum, Riots, Writers and Revolution, and Boston Ghost tours.


Charlestown/Bunker Hill

Charlestown is often listed as one of the best neighborhoods in Boston because of its charm.  

It’s an historic (think colonial-style architecture, cobblestone and gas lights) neighborhood existing just across the river from the bustle of the big city.  

It’s where young professionals and families choose to live thanks to its rating as one of most desirable places to live in Massachusetts.

Charlestown Harbou, Massachusetts
Photo by: Alan Hunt

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Higher End

  • There were no higher end hotels recommended for this neighborhood.

For Families

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our North End Little Italy Tour, Freedom TrailRum, Riots, Writers and Revolution tours.


South Boston Waterfront/Seaport

One of the hottest neighborhoods is the Seaport District. 

What was once blighted dockland is now stunningly restored and full of glass-front high-rises, art, restaurants, green spaces, and tourist attractions. 

You can also take tourist cruises out on the water, play games at the famous Lawn on D, and snap some gorgeous pictures at Fan Pier.

Twilight in the Seaport District, March 2019
Photo by: Sergey Galyonkin

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Higher End

For Families

Attractions Within Walking Distance

  • The Institute of Contemporary Aat
  • Boston Fire Museum
  • Fan Pier
  • Leader Bank Pavilion
  • One Seaport
  • Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
  • Boston’s Children’s Museum

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our Little ItalyRum, Riots, Writers and Revolution, and Boston Ghost tours.


Cambridge

Cambridge, just minutes from North End Boston, is home to Harvard and MIT. 

It’s a city that’s been ranked as one of the best places in the country to live, due to its walkability, nightlife, and cultural offerings. 

The hotels can be slightly cheaper here than in downtown Boston, and the T, bus and train make them easy to reach.

Sunrise over Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photo by: Eric Kilby

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Luxury

For Families

Attractions Within Walking Distance

Check out our pay-what-you-like Boston tours including our Cambridge and Harvard tour


Logan Airport

If staying close to the airport is convenient or necessary, then no worries. Downtown Boston can be reached quickly by water taxi or the T. 

Some rooms on this side of Boston Harbour may even give you a great view of the city, and the hotel is likely to be less expensive than downtown.

Boston Logan International
Photo by: Fletcher

Recommended Hotels

Average Price

Luxury

For Families


Boston Hotels with Special Features

Choosing a hotel is more than just picking a location. The amenities hotels have to offer are important considerations.

Boston skyline from Longfellow Bridge September 2017 panorama
Photo by: King of Hearts

Below are recommended hotels that meet some of the most frequent features people seek when deciding where to stay in Boston.

Where To Stay In Boston For Peace And Quiet

Where To Stay In Boston For A Free (And Good!) Breakfast

Where To Stay In Boston With An Amazing Rooftops


Tips for Choosing a Hotel in Boston

  • Make a list of the Boston Attractions you want to visit then plot them on a map. This way you can see what neighborhoods you plan to spend most of your time in and choose a hotel in that area.
  • Pick a hotel near a “T” (subway) station. Don’t add extra walking time to your day of Boston exploration. 
  • Look out for resort fees. A resort fee is an additional fee per day added on top of your room rate. Resort fees can be high, so before booking, check to see if the hotel charges one. 
  • If you are traveling in a big group (over four people), make sure that the hotel offers rooms that can accommodate your entire group. Otherwise, you may have to book two rooms. In that case, remember to request that the rooms be next to each other, or even adjoining rooms.
  • You can save money on weekend rates if you stay at a hotel that caters to business people. During the week, they charge a premium for people who are in tow for work. On weekends capacity is low and prices may be lower to fill rooms.
  • Look into booking your hotel through a website like Hotels.com. See why we like Hotels.com below.

Benefits of Using Hotels.com

Of all the online hotel booking companies, our pick is Hotels.com to find the best places to stay in Boston.

Here’s what we like about them:

  • Free cancellations! Most rooms allow you to cancel, without any penalty, even up until the day of your arrival. You get the full refund! 
  • The price you see is the price you pay. Do look to see if local tax is excluded - some cities have high local hotel taxes - so you will want to make sure you see the total price before booking.
  • Their loyalty program, Genius, is great! After you book a certain number of hotel stays, you get discounts on hotel prices, free breakfasts, and other perks. It is free to create an account.
  • Hotels.com’s app is awesome. This user-friendly app has your confirmation information, so no need to print anything. Manage your booking through the app. You can even chat with your booked hotel through the app.
  • They have a price match guarantee. If you do find a cheaper rate, Hotels.com will match it. Though you will need to show proof of the lower price you found elsewhere.
  • Over 93 Million Reviews! Unbiased reviews help you decide what hotel is good for you.

 

About The Author

Brian Burgess

Brian was born in Cambridge and has been living in the Boston area all his life. He is a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus. He has been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoys sharing his knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on his tours, but with everyone he meets.
Updated: September 7th, 2022
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