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The Best Places to Stay in Boston for First Time Visitors

The Best Places to Stay in Boston for First Time Visitors

Boston is a city that wears its history on its sleeve, where cobblestone streets meet cutting-edge innovation. It’s a place where you can sip chowder in a centuries-old tavern, then catch a game at Fenway, where the ghosts of revolutionaries linger in the crisp New England air. This isn’t just any city; it’s a living museum of America’s birth, yet it pulses with a modern, rebellious spirit. From the hallowed halls of Harvard to the vibrant stalls of Quincy Market, Boston is a place that doesn’t just tell its story—it demands you live it. To ease your burden, here are the best places to stay in Boston for your first visit.

Best Places to Stay in Boston for First-Time Visitors

Back Bay
Why Stay Here: Iconic architecture, upscale shopping on Newbury Street, and cultural attractions like the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church.
Highlights: Prudential Center, Copley Square, Skywalk Observatory.

Beacon Hill
Why Stay Here: Historic charm with cobblestone streets, Federal-style row houses, and close proximity to Boston Common and the Massachusetts State House.
Highlights: Charles Street boutiques, the Boston Athenaeum, picturesque streets like Acorn Street.

Downtown/Financial District
Why Stay Here: Central location with easy access to major historical sites along the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, and the waterfront.
Highlights: Quincy Market, New England Aquarium, Boston Harborwalk.

South End
Why Stay Here: Beautiful Victorian brownstones, diverse dining options, and a vibrant arts scene.
Highlights: Boston Center for the Arts, SoWa Open Market, various trendy restaurants and cafes.

Seaport District
Why Stay Here: Modern, revitalized area with waterfront views, trendy restaurants, and contemporary attractions.
Highlights: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, upscale dining and nightlife.

where to stay in Boston for first timers

Areas to Avoid in Boston

Roxbury
Why Avoid: While Roxbury has been undergoing revitalization, it still experiences higher crime rates compared to other parts of Boston. It’s important to research specific areas if you plan to visit.

Dorchester
Why Avoid: Similar to Roxbury, Dorchester is a large and diverse neighborhood with some sections that have higher crime rates. If staying here, make sure to choose well-reviewed accommodations and be aware of your surroundings.

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The Best Hotels in Back Bay

Back Bay, Boston, where Victorian brownstones meet luxury boutiques and vibrant nightlife. This neighborhood’s tree-lined streets and historic charm offer a quintessential Boston experience. Whether you’re sipping coffee on Newbury Street or exploring the Boston Public Library, Back Bay stands out as one of the best places to stay in Boston.

The Eliot Hotel

Address: 370 Commonwealth Avenue, Back Bay, Boston, MA 02215, United States

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The Eliot Hotel offers unmatched hospitality and luxury in the heart of Boston. The staff excels in kindness and service, assisting guests beyond expectations. Rooms are spotless, elegantly furnished, and offer stunning views of Back Bay. Guests enjoy unparalleled comfort with exquisite bedding.

The hotel’s restaurant, Uni, serves world-class izakaya cuisine with innovative flavors and presentation. The Eliot Hotel’s pristine building and grounds make it a top choice for travelers, ensuring a memorable and luxurious stay in Boston.

The Newbury Boston

Address: 1 Newbury Street, Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116, United States

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The Newbury Boston epitomizes elegance and exceptional service. The dedicated staff ensures every guest enjoys an unforgettable stay, consistently delivering remarkable attention to detail. Rooms are luxurious, featuring fireplaces and plush Frette linens, providing unparalleled comfort.

The hotel’s world-class room service offers delectable meals, and its prime location allows for convenient shopping and scenic park views. With an environment of genuine hospitality and top-tier amenities, The Newbury Boston stands as a premier choice for an extraordinary stay in the city.

Raffles Boston

Address: 40 Trinity Place, Back Bay, Boston, 2116, United States

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Raffles Boston offers top-notch rooms and exceptional service, ensuring a memorable stay. Breakfast at the Long Bar is delightful, with efficient service even during busy evenings. The attentive butler service, exemplified by Michael, adds a personal touch.

The lunch experience at Raffles Boston stands out, combining culinary excellence with a sophisticated ambiance. Guests enjoy a diverse menu of expertly crafted dishes in a luxurious setting with panoramic views. From the elegant decor to the impeccable service, Raffles Boston provides a refined and indulgent escape.

Mandarin Oriental, Boston

Address: 776 Boylston Street, Back Bay, Boston, MA 02199, United States

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Mandarin Oriental, Boston offers a first-rate experience with excellent staff, decor, and food. Guests feel welcomed and pampered, enjoying little extras like tea on arrival and turndown service with exquisite chocolates. The hotel’s prime location makes it ideal for exploring Boston.

Rooms are the largest in the city, featuring amazing mattresses for ultimate comfort. Despite being in a busy neighborhood, the hotel provides a quiet escape. Guests have access to spa amenities, a fully equipped gym, and Ramsey’s Kitchen. Mandarin Oriental, Boston is your luxurious home away from home.

The Colonnade Hotel

Address: 120 Huntington Avenue, Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116, United States

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The Colonnade Hotel, a favorite in Boston, offers exceptional staff and service, creating special memories for guests. The highlight is the Rooftop Pool, perfect for hot summer days, complemented by unique touches like bathroom ducks. Rooms are comfortable with excellent city views. The location is prime, in a beautiful area. Standout staff members like Norman and Kim provide cordial and helpful service, while Aurora ensures a smooth check-in and checkout. Highly recommended for any occasion, The Colonnade promises a memorable stay.

The best hotels in Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill, Boston: where cobblestone streets meet gas-lit lanterns and Federal-style rowhouses whisper tales of old. This iconic neighborhood, with its quaint charm and historic allure, is a must-visit. For first-time visitors, Beacon Hill stands as one of the best areas to stay in Boston, offering a quintessentially timeless experience.

The Whitney Hotel Boston

Address: 170 Charles Street, Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02114, United States

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The Whitney Hotel Boston is a beautifully renovated boutique hotel offering spacious, modern, and comfortable rooms. The exceptional staff, including Joyce, Rosella, and Daryna, go above and beyond to ensure guest comfort, attending to every detail. Located on charming Charles Street, the hotel provides easy access to shops, cafes, restaurants, and scenic runs along the Esplanade. Guests enjoy the lovely courtyard, complimentary refreshments, and delicious breakfast at Peregrine. With its small gym, valet service, and attentive touches like evening illumination and classical music, The Whitney feels like a home away from home.

Beacon Hill Hotel

Address: 25 Charles Street, Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02114, United States

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Beacon Hill Hotel offers a cozy and charming stay in one of Boston’s most quaint areas. The staff, particularly Diego and Austin, are friendly and attentive, ensuring a delightful experience. Diego provides excellent wine recommendations and accommodates food allergies with care.

The bar is lively and fun, perfect for a pre-show drink. Rooms, though small, are sweet, quiet, and comfortable. The hotel’s design evokes a humble Kit Kemp style. With its prime location and exceptional service, Beacon Hill Hotel is highly recommended.

94 Charles Street by Thatch

Address: 94 Charles Street, Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02118, United States

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94 Charles Street by Thatch offers the perfect location in a gorgeous building on charming Charles Street. The well-equipped studio rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable, ideal for both short and extended stays. Guests appreciate the proximity to quaint boutiques, bars, and grocery stores, making it easy to explore and cook meals.

The responsive and helpful staff, reachable via text, ensure a smooth experience, even accommodating unexpected date changes. With its central location and excellent amenities, it’s highly recommended for a memorable Boston stay.

Downtown Beacon Hill, Convenient, Comfy Studio #1

Address: Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02114, United States

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where to stay in Boston for your first-time visit

Downtown Beacon Hill, Convenient, Comfy Studio #1 boasts an ideal location in one of Boston’s best neighborhoods. The single-room studio features a comfortable bed, small desk, chair, and armoire, maximizing the space with clean lines.

While the kitchen lacks a tea kettle, it is well-equipped with essential pots and pans for easy meal preparation. The safe and quiet neighborhood offers numerous dining options and is close to Boston Commons. With prompt, friendly, and professional staff, this studio is perfect for both leisure and business stays. Highly recommended for its convenience and comfort.

Charming & Stylish Studio on Beacon Hill #15

Address: Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02114, United States

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Charming & Stylish Studio on Beacon Hill #15 offers great value for money in a prime location. Situated in a pleasant, walkable area close to Common Park and a metro station, this clean and well-equipped room is ideal for short stays.

The kitchen features a fridge, stove, microwave, coffee maker, and all necessary utensils, making it suitable for extended visits. While the Saturday price may be steep, the overall experience is perfect for travelers or locals staying for a week or less. Highly recommended for its comfort and convenience.

The best hotels in Downtown/Financial District

Boston’s Financial District: a blend of sleek skyscrapers and hidden gems. Amid the bustling energy of commerce, you’ll find historic pubs, cutting-edge restaurants, and a vibrant waterfront. For first-time visitors, the Financial District is one of the best places to stay in Boston, offering a dynamic mix of past and present.

Hyatt Regency Boston 

Address: 1 Avenue de Lafayette, Theatre District, Boston, MA 02111, United States

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Hyatt Regency Boston ensures an amazing stay with its clean, well-appointed rooms and exceptional service. Celebrating an anniversary and Mother’s Day? The staff goes above and beyond to make it special, especially kind to families and toddlers.

Located near Boston Common and Chinatown, it offers easy city navigation. Guests enjoy citrus-infused water stations, a fantastic breakfast service, and a welcoming atmosphere. With large, beautiful rooms and standout staff like Charlie, this centrally located hotel is highly recommended for both short and extended stays.

The Godfrey Hotel Boston

Address: 505 Washington Street, Theatre District, Boston, MA 02111, United States

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The Godfrey Hotel Boston exceeds expectations with its blend of affordability and quality. Guests enjoy well-furnished rooms with quality linens, bath products, and complimentary snacks. The hotel’s prime location offers easy access to public transportation and dining options. Guests appreciate the free drink at the lobby bar, friendly staff, and helpful services like luggage storage.

The attached coffee shop and fantastic connected restaurant enhance the experience. Clean, modern rooms and attentive staff, including Terrell at the bar and Arban at the front door, ensure a delightful stay. Highly recommended for excellent value and service.

Club Quarters Hotel Faneuil Hall, Boston

Address: 161 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA 02110, United States

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Club Quarters Hotel Faneuil Hall, Boston boasts an unbeatable location, within walking distance to Boston’s top attractions, including the Freedom Trail and the aquarium. Guests appreciate the friendly and helpful staff, with special mention of Juberto’s attentive service. The hotel offers easy check-in and check-out, clean rooms with comfortable beds and spacious bathrooms, and unique perks like free water bottles.

The attached restaurant/pub serves delicious food, and the lobby provides 24/7 tea and coffee. Convenient parking and a safe, quiet environment make it an ideal choice for exploring Boston. Highly recommended for its excellent location and amenities.

The Langham, Boston

Address: 250 Franklin Street, Financial District, Boston, MA 02110, United States

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The Langham, Boston offers a truly 5-star experience, perfect for those attending shows at the nearby Shubert Theatre. Guests enjoy spacious, beautifully appointed rooms with 12-foot ceilings, comfortable beds, and well-lit bathrooms. The executive king room with club lounge access provides a peaceful retreat with delicious food and drinks, especially the daily soups. The helpful and friendly staff ensure a seamless check-in and stay. Despite the valet being pricey, the location feels safe and convenient, just a short walk to the T Downtown Crossing Station. Highly recommended for its luxury, comfort, and exceptional service.

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston

Address: 10 Avery Street, Theatre District, Boston, MA 02111, United States

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where to stay in Boston for your first-time visit

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston offers an extraordinary stay with exceptional service and luxurious amenities. Guests are warmly welcomed by attentive staff, particularly Alberto, who ensures a seamless check-in and a stress-free experience. Ideal for a family getaway, the hotel provides thoughtful touches like welcome gifts for children.

Rooms are beautiful and comfortable, and the on-site dining is a treat, especially the Boston cream cheesecake. Located near Boston Common, T Station, Theatre District, and Beacon Hill, this hotel is perfect for exploring the city. Highly recommended for a memorable and delightful stay.

The best hotels in South End

Welcome to South End, Boston, a vibrant neighborhood brimming with history, culture, and an irresistible culinary scene. This is one of the best places to stay in Boston, where Victorian brownstones meet trendy cafes, and art galleries blend seamlessly with soulful jazz clubs. It’s the heart of the city’s eclectic charm.

Staypineapple, A Delightful Hotel, South End

Address: 26 Chandler Street, South End, Boston, MA 02116, United States

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Staypineapple, A Delightful Hotel, South End, offers an exceptional experience with stellar service and a fun, quirky theme throughout. The cozy, comfortable rooms feature European-style comforters, funky bathrobes, and in-room Chromecast. Located conveniently for walking to convention areas, this hotel makes exploring Boston a breeze. The Trophy Room bar serves great food and drinks, while the friendly staff, from check-in to housekeeping, ensure a warm welcome. Guests love the quiet neighborhood, nearby park, and thoughtful amenities like the coffee machine. Highly recommended for a memorable stay in Boston.

Residence Inn Boston Downtown/South End

Address: 2001 Washington Street, South End, Boston, 02119, United States

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where to stay in Boston for your first-time visit

Residence Inn Boston Downtown/South End is a favorite among guests, especially those visiting Northeastern University. Located a short walk from campus, the hotel offers spacious, well-maintained rooms ideal for families. The staff, including Manager Paul and General Manager Megan, are praised for their exceptional service. Security is a priority with 24/7 personnel and keycard access.

Guests appreciate amenities like a full-size refrigerator and a hearty breakfast, even during busy times. While parking is limited, the hotel’s convenient location and welcoming atmosphere make it feel like a home away from home. Highly recommended for extended stays and university visits.

The Revolution Hotel

Address: 40 Berkeley Street, South End, Boston, MA 02116, United States

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The Revolution Hotel offers a unique, budget-friendly stay with shared bathrooms that are always clean and private. Located conveniently for exploring Boston by foot, the hotel features well-equipped amenities like a gym, coworking area, and water dispensers.

Guests appreciate the charming decor, comfortable beds, and helpful staff. Though the rooms are snug, they provide a cozy retreat with beautiful city views. Despite occasional noise from other guests, the overall experience is highly positive. Perfect for travelers seeking a central location and great value without compromising on comfort. Highly recommended for a unique Boston stay!

Stylish Downtown Studio in the SouthEnd, C.Ave #24

Address: South End, Boston, MA 02116, United States

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Stylish Downtown Studio in the South End, C.Ave #24, offers a convenient and comfortable stay. Located just a 15-minute walk from the Public Garden and main tourist spots, it provides easy access to Boston’s attractions. The neighborhood is safe and well-equipped with amenities.

The studio is compact but well-appointed, featuring everything you need for a pleasant stay. The bathroom is conveniently located just steps from the room. Ideal for travelers looking for a centrally located, hassle-free accommodation.

Stylish Downtown Studio in the Boston, C.Ave #34

Address: South End, Boston, MA 02116, United States

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Stylish Downtown Studio in the South End, C.Ave #24, offers an ideal location close to Boston’s center yet retains a calm, quiet atmosphere. The charming neighborhood is safe, featuring nearby dining options like Charlie’s Diner and Petit Robert French Restaurant, and convenient Metro access. The studio is clean and well-maintained, with a nice bathroom. Guests appreciate the reasonable price and the responsive staff. This studio is perfect for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat with easy access to Boston’s main attractions.

The best hotels in Seaport District

The Seaport District, Boston—where old-world charm meets modern vibrancy. Picture this: waterfront views, cutting-edge architecture, and a culinary scene that’ll make your taste buds dance. From sleek high-rises to historic wharves, it’s no wonder the Seaport ranks among the best places to stay in Boston. Dive in and savor the experience.

Aloft Boston Seaport District

Address: 401-403 D Street, Boston, MA 02210, United States

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 the best places to stay in Boston for first-time visitors

Aloft Boston Seaport District offers excellent value with clean, functional, and up-to-date facilities. Enjoy flexible checkout at 12:00 pm, friendly and helpful staff, and a modernized elevator system ensuring quick and efficient service. Rooms are spacious and spotless with stunning Boston views.

The hotel’s location provides easy access to the airport and downtown. Though breakfast is available for purchase, the friendly valet service, particularly Yacouty, adds a welcoming touch. Ideal for both short stays and longer visits, this hotel is highly recommended.

Element Boston Seaport District

Address: 391-395 D Street, Boston, MA 02210, United States

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Element Boston Seaport District stands out due to its exceptional staff, making it feel like a home away from home. The hotel is praised for its clean and well-maintained facilities, including a daily-used fitness center and varied breakfast options. Staff members like Jessica A, Nicole, Amolian, Ernst, Hyrije H, Heback, Xing, Sandra, and Stevenson are highlighted for their friendly and efficient service.

The sustainability theme is well-appreciated, and the location offers convenient access to the airport and city exploration. Guests particularly enjoy the 24/7 availability of coffee and tea and the professional and humorous service from Adanna at the front desk. Highly recommended for its value, service, and amenities.

The Westin Boston Seaport District

Address: 425 Summer Street, Waterfront, Boston, MA 02210, United States 

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 the best places to stay in Boston for first-time visitors

The Westin Boston Seaport District is a beautiful hotel that offers a serene atmosphere despite being in the city. Guests appreciate the clean rooms, lovely pool, and convenient in-house Starbucks. While the staff interaction could be improved, the overall service is kind and accommodating.

The hotel features a spacious venue with a good-sized weight room, pool, in-building restaurant, and a sit-down breakfast area with delicious food. Notably, Kenny, a server at the breakfast buffet, is praised for his attentiveness and excellent service. The location is walkable to various attractions, making it a highly recommended stay for both work and leisure.

Hyatt Place Boston/Seaport District

 the best places to stay in Boston for first-time visitors

Address: 295 Northern Avenue, Waterfront, Boston, 02210, United States

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The Hyatt Place Boston/Seaport District offers a wonderful stay experience in Boston. Guests appreciate the easy access to transportation, comfortable rooms, and delicious complimentary breakfast with many options. The stunning rooftop lounge provides a perfect spot to unwind in the evenings. The exceptional service, notably from Mr. Michael Lanzo, enhances the overall stay experience.

The hotel’s amenities, including a gym, laundry room, and essential shop, cater to guests’ needs. The gluten-free breakfast options are especially appreciated, catering to specific dietary requirements. The hotel’s convenient location near the Boston Convention Center and airport bus stop adds to its appeal. Overall, guests have had an amazing stay and commend the staff for their hospitality.

Hampton Inn Boston Seaport District

Address: 670 Summer Street, Waterfront, Boston, MA 2210, United States

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 the best places to stay in Boston for first-time visitors

The Hampton Inn Boston Seaport District offers a fantastic stay experience with its spectacular views, great service, and clean, spacious rooms. Guests appreciate the attentive service provided by staff members such as Carmen and Yari, who ensure a pleasant stay. The lobby features draft beer, and the breakfast, though not gourmet, offers a variety of options with a focus on healthy choices like baked, not fried, foods.

The hotel’s proximity to the cruise terminal, airport, and various restaurants and bars makes it a convenient choice for travelers. Guests enjoy the cleanliness and beauty of the hotel, as well as the safety of the surrounding area. The breakfast service staff, particularly Memsura, receives praise for their friendliness and helpfulness. Overall, the Hampton Inn is highly recommended for a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Boston.

Citystified

There you have it. Hope you find our guide to the best places to stay in Boston for first-time visitors, from historic neighborhoods to cool districts helpful. Find your perfect Boston base with our guide.

XoXo,

Jona of backpackingwithabook.com

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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