Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Elegant design and impeccable service in a picturesque neighborhood
Built in a 1903 Beaux Arts building designed by renowned Boston architect William Gibbons Preston, the 63-room, 11-story Fifteen Beacon combines New England elegance with modern design and amenities. The moment you step through the glass doors and into the mahogany-colored lobby, everything melts into a luxurious palette of espresso and cream tones, with scotch and burgundy accents. A marble staircase leads to the second floor, and a bust of Benjamin Franklin stares down at you from the front desk. Contemporary art hangs from the walls, including a large canvas by Jules Olitski, and beautiful antique cage elevators sit behind sleek glass doors.
The hotel is owned and managed by Paul Roiff, a Boston real estate developer who, with no prior hotel experience, opened Fifteen Beacon on New Year's Eve in 1999 and immediately established it as one of the city's top luxury boutique hotels (along with Back Bay's Eliot Hotel). Exquisite attention to detail and constant touchups keep it on countless best-of-Boston lists.
Fifteen Beacon is a go-to for executives, dignitaries, celebrities, and anyone who loves intimate luxury: It's classy and modern, old-fashioned but daring, with excellent service and a great respect for privacy. If it's in your price range, Fifteen Beacon is without a doubt one of the best choices in Boston -- whether you come for business, a romantic getaway, or shopping and sightseeing.
Phenomenal personal service that focuses on the little things
With only seven guest rooms per floor, Fifteen Beacon Hotel is able to offer remarkably intimate service. When owner Paul Roiff conceived of the Fifteen Beacon, he really wanted to make a place where he and his colleagues and friends could stay and feel at home. That meant eliminating hassles and rewarding guests with little extras at every turn. There's fresh fruit on every floor, for instance. The majority of the hotel's clientele are return customers, and the staff make a point to get to know their guests well, often interacting like old friends. If you're planning on returning to the hotel, they'll have your room already set up with your desired drinks, exercise equipment, a dog bed, CDs, newspaper preference, or anything else you request. They're even happy to rearrange the furniture to a guest's liking. Chocolate covered strawberries are a common welcome gift.
Steps from the state capitol, at the top of Boston Common in Beacon Hill
Fifteen Beacon is one of the few hotels in Beacon Hill, a quiet area with hidden gardens and dozens of antique shops. It's a bit less tourist-focused than much of Boston, even though the nearby Acorn Street claims to be the most photographed street in America, and 84 Beacon Street, formerly known as the Bull & Finch Pub, was the inspiration for the show Cheers. The state capitol is steps from the hotel, as is the Boston Common and the Granary Burial Ground, where the likes of Paul Revere, Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Mother Goose were laid to rest. The blocks surrounding the hotel are lined with bars, Irish pubs, and restaurants that characterize much of Boston's food scene -- steakhouses and seafood joints. As for going to other parts of Boston, the hotel's house Lexus will take you to most places in town. There's a charge for valet parking. Allow 20 minutes for the drive to the airport.
The modern rooms are sophisticated and loaded with amenities.
The spacious Standard Rooms are cozy, with a soothing neutral color palette and masculine detail. As with the hotel's service, there are thoughtful touches everywhere: switches next to the bed allow you to easily turn the gas fireplace and stereo on and off; a chrome dial by the door for requesting service or privacy (rather than a do-not-disturb sign); and safes with outlets in them for charging locked-up phones and computers.
Up-to-date electronics include an iHome alarm clock, a 42-inch flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a surround-sound stereo with digital satellite radio and a 5-CD changer (there's a 500-CD library downstairs). The minibar is stocked with top-shelf liquor and a Nespresso machine is available upon request. There's free Wi-Fi in the rooms, but connection can be finicky.
White Italian marble bathrooms include lighted vanity mirrors, heated towel racks, and TVs built into the mirror. The bathtub/shower combos feature rainforest showerheads but their half fold-out doors could bother some guests. Toiletries and a selection of bath salts are available, along with Frette bathrobes.
Two minor gripes: One, while the four-poster canopy beds are lovely (and comfortable, with Canopy Perfect Sleeper Sweet Dream Mattresses and Frette 400-threadcount linens), they're only queen-size; you have to upgrade two room levels for a king bed. Two, the Standard Rooms don't have particularly nice views. Upgrading to a 475-square-foot Studio Room will get you a view of historic Beacon Street. That said, the extra space in the room itself is a nice compensation (standard rooms here are 325 square feet; by comparison, the Eliot Hotel, a boutique in Back Bay, has standard rooms at 200 to 250 square feet).
Small gym, and a beautiful rooftop patio and garden
The main features of the hotel really are the service, the design, and the ultra-comfortable rooms. Beyond that, there's a rooftop patio that offers panoramic views of the city, but it's only open during warm months; the well-maintained area has red-cushioned lounge chairs and a table with chairs surrounded by potted plants and flowers. There's also an in-house gym, but it's extremely small. The hotel sells day passes to the Boston Sports Club across the street or the nearby Sports Club/LA. There's no pool and the hot tub is not always available for use. Fresh fruit, like apples and oranges, are set out on every floor.
A sophisticated scene more geared toward romance and business than families
The hotel is a fabulously romantic place, an ideal spot for a couple to get away for the weekend; it's not really geared towards bringing the family. However, connecting rooms are available, which is a plus for families. The restaurant, Mooo, which has a lively nightlife scene, lacks a kids' menu. Both cribs and rollaway beds cost extra.
The hotel happily welcomes well-behaved dogs with an optional pet fee, 100 percent of which is donated to the MSPCA Angell Memorial hospital. Pooches are provided with homemade dog biscuits, dog beds, and water during turndown service. Dog sitting and walking can be arranged through the concierge, as dogs are not allowed to be left unattended in the rooms
Mooo, a modern steakhouse -- and 24-hour room service
The on-site restaurant, Mooo offers (you guessed it) classic steakhouse dishes with modern twists by Chef Jamie Mammano. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and guests can have all options as room service; it's not cheap, but if you're looking to splurge you won't be disappointed. If you head downstairs to the restaurant, it's an elegant, sleek space with earth-tone seating and large monochrome photos of cows. There's a private dining area, the Wine Cellar, where the hotel can arrange parties and events in a room lined with bottles of wine. But if you want to venture outward, there are countless food options within easy walking distance. Breakfast isn't included with the price of a room.
A 63-room upscale hotel with exquisite service and sleek decor in the residential Beacon Hill, Fifteen Beacon (or XV Beacon) offers a luxury boutique experience. The building, built in 1903, blends historic New England elegance with modern, minimalist design and high-tech amenities. Rooms are spacious, with stylishly masculine decor, and include gas fireplaces. Expert concierges, free chauffeur services in a Lexus, and the location at the top of Boston Common make this hotel a great fit for discerning business or leisure travelers.