Smart and sophisticated Boston is a great city for romance, and its best hotels roll out the red carpet for couples. You'll find a wide choice of grand and suite hotels in Boston proper (and proper it can be).
One thing that isn't romantic in Boston is driving. Motorists are notorious free spirits and parking is a challenge in both Boston and Cambridge. If you drive and stay at one of the Boston hotels with a parking garage, it's advisable use it and walk or use public or hotel-supplied transportation to your destination. Yet be prepared to pay a high rate for convenient hotel parking.
Best Romantic Boston Hotels
America's four leading hotel companies — Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont and Mandarin Oriental — all maintain Boston properties. And India's luxe Taj group is also represented. They are all expensive, but if you're going to splurge in a city, you can't do better than these hotels. So let's first consider these places to warm a mattress:
- The Four Seasons Hotel Boston represents modern luxury. Although it's a favorite with business travelers, romantic couples appreciate the type of top-level service staff provides.
- The coolly elegant Mandarin Oriental, Boston is located in Back Bay, close to the shops of Newbury Street. It boasts a casual Daniel Boulud restaurant/charcuterie (and since we've never been impressed by the restaurants of Boston, we consider it a safe harbor).
- If you want to experience a contemporary classic hotel, try the Ritz-Carlton, Boston. It is just a half block from the park and half a block from a T station.
- Prefer a more historic setting? The Taj Boston occupies the site of the former Ritz-Carlton hotel, a Boston institution for weddings, formal events, and business travelers since 1927. Park-view suites overlook the Boston Public Garden, where swan boats gracefully sail.
- Even older, the Fairmont Copley Plaza began receiving guests in 1912, and a recent renovation burnished this landmark's patina. Talk to older people, and you may find them getting starry-eyed about this hotel, which contains two romantic Boston landmarks: the elegant Oak Room for dining and the adjacent Oak Bar, a chic spot to sip a martini or make a proposal. It also boasts one of Boston's best raw bars.
- One more, non-affiliated Boston hotels is at the top of its game: Fifteen Beacon.
Couples may also get a kick out of staying in the Liberty Hotel. The former Charles Street Jail, it's now a sexy place with a storied past.
Romantic Cambridge Hotels
To be honest, the best Cambridge hotels don't quite match Boston hotels in caché. But if you want to stay on the other bank of the Charles River, consider:
- Hyatt Regency Cambridge. Ask for a room with an outdoor balcony at this pyramidal-shaped hotel, and you may be awakened to the sounds of a scull team coaxing, "Stroke... stroke... stroke." (Not a bad soundtrack for a romantic getaway!) Zephyr restaurant on the hotel's second floor offers views of the Boston skyline and Charles River. Travelers in the know commend its copious breakfast selections. And at the end of the day, unwind with cocktails in the Zephyr Lounge.
- Hotel Marlowe, a Kimpton Hotel, maintains that brand's reputation for whimsical contemporary design and pet-friendliness.
Farther afield, find all-season hotels and resorts in the Berkshire Mountains or by the Cape Cod seashore, both a nice drive from Boston.
Traveling to Boston
The best way to reach Boston from the East Coast is by Amtrak. If you can't catch the train, consider flying to Boston's Logan Airport.