Last-minute hotels for college move-in day in Boston

Exterior of Taj Boston
Exterior of Taj Boston

Saying good-bye to your college-bound child can be difficult -- and finding a hotel for move-in day in Boston ain't easy, either. Luckily for you, we've done the leg work and found some hotels in Boston that still have rooms available for the city's busiest time of year. And while we can't help you cope with the idea of an empty nest, we certainly hope that deciding on a place to stay for move-in day will make the transition a little easier.

Emerson College move-in day: August 30

Lobby at Taj Boston
Lobby at Taj Boston

Our hotel pick: Taj Boston

  • Sale Price: $251/night (you save 20%)
  • List Price: $313/night
  • Check-in: August 29
  • Check-out: August 31
  • Rating: 4.5 Pearls
  • Location: Back Bay, Boston

Bought from the Ritz-Carlton in 2007, the Taj Boston holds on to the Ritz's elegant look, but also offers some superb perks, like chenille bathrobes and free rides in the house Jaguar. Given its free business center, well-equipped gym, and ideal location bordering the Public Garden and the swank boutiques along Newbury Street, it's an excellent luxury pick.

Other nearby hotels: W Boston, Back Bay Hotel, Hotel 140

Harvard University move-in day: August 26

Lobby at Hotel Marlowe
Lobby at Hotel Marlowe

Our hotel pick: Hotel Marlowe

  • Sale Price: $242/night (you save 10%)
  • List Price: $269/night
  • Check-in: August 25
  • Check-out: August 27
  • Rating: 4 Pearls
  • Location: Cambridge, Boston

With large, playfully furnished rooms, the 236-room Hotel Marlowe is one of Cambridge's most family-friendly hotels. Its neighbor, the Royal Sonesta Hotel, is cheaper and has a pool, but the Marlowe offers a boutiquelike feel at a reasonable price, with personality to spare.

Other nearby hotels: Royal Sonesta Hotel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology move-in day: August 27

Our hotel pick: Royal Sonesta Hotel

Lobby at Royal Sonesta Hotel
Lobby at Royal Sonesta Hotel
  • Average Price: $167/night
  • Check-in: August 26
  • Check-out: August 28
  • Rating: 3.5 Pearls
  • Location: Cambridge, Boston

Though it lacks any Boston flavor -- despite its location on the banks of the Charles River -- the 400-room Royal Sonesta is one of the best deals going in Cambridge. A renowned Italian restaurant, skyline and river views, and comfortable rooms easily make up for the odd design that dresses up an outdated shell with avant-garde art installations.

Other nearby hotels: Hotel Marlowe

Boston University move-in day: August 28

Lobby at Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers
Lobby at Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

Our hotel pick: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers

  • Sale Price: $218/night (you save 10%)
  • List Price: $243/night
  • Check-in: August 27
  • Check-out: August 29
  • Rating: 3 Pearls
  • Location: Back Bay, Boston

Built in 1927, this huge, historic hotel has a grand lobby and a central location near the Boston Common, but its rooms are a bit older and cramped, and its restaurants and amenities are unremarkable. This hotel works well as a crash pad for move-in weekend.

Other nearby hotels: Marriott Boston Copley Place, Back Bay Hotel, The Copley Square Hotel

New England Conservatory of Music move-in day: August 28

Exterior of The Copley Square Hotel
Exterior of The Copley Square Hotel

Our hotel pick: The Copley Square Hotel

  • Sale Price: $294/night (you save 25%)
  • List Price: $392/night
  • Check-in: August 27
  • Check-out: August 29
  • Rating: 3.5 Pearls
  • Location: Back Bay, Boston

After a thorough 2008 renovation, this historic 143-room hotel in Back Bay features cutely decorated (if tiny) rooms, a fun martini bar, free Wi-Fi, and free wine and coffee in the cozy lobby. The fitness center is small and the restaurant doesn't serve lunch. Low prices make it a solid value choice, however, especially for the central Copley Square location.

Other nearby Hotels: Marriott Boston Copley Place, Back Bay Hotel, Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers

Berklee College of Music move-in day: August 29

Exterior of W Boston
Exterior of W Boston

Our hotel pick: W Boston

  • Average Price: $287/night
  • Check-in: August 28
  • Check-out: August 30
  • Rating: 4 Pearls
  • Location: Back Bay, Boston

With large, stylish rooms, a Jean-Georges restaurant, a happening bar, and a Bliss spa on the way, the sleek, 235-room outpost of the trendy brand offers a striking, modern alternative to Boston's historic hotels and traditional chains. Too bad it lacks the unique charms of smaller boutique properties.

Other nearby hotels: Sheraton Boston Hotel, The Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston

Northeastern University: September 2-5

Lobby at Omni Parker House
Lobby at Omni Parker House

Our hotel pick: Omni Parker House

  • Sale Price: $220/night (you save 15%)
  • List Price: $259/night
  • Check-in: September 2
  • Check-out: September 5
  • Rating: 3.5 Pearls
  • Location: Downtown and Waterfront, Boston

Steeped in history, stuffed with ghost lore, and teeming with old-world grandeur, the surprisingly affordable Omni Parker House is the place to stay for a taste of Boston's literary and political past. But manage your expectations when it comes to service and rooms.

Other nearby hotels: Courtyard Boston Tremont Hotel, Millenium Bostonian, Nine Zero Hotel, Four Seasons Boston

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