New rebranding and decor doesn't honor the hotel's fascinating past.
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 unless requested for a private function. Low prices make it a solid value choice, however, especially for the central Copley Square location.
The second-oldest operating hotel in the country features a contemporary look and tiny standard rooms. But for the prime Copley Square location plus the extra frills -- free Wi-Fi, nightly wine reception -- the price is excellent.
Tradition has been largely cast aside at the 143-room Copley Square in Back Bay, which completed a thorough, $18 million renovation and "rebranding" in 2008. The black-suit-wearing employees who sit behind desks mounted with flat-screen monitors in the lobby aren't receptionists but "intuition experts." And their stations aren't check-in desks -- they are called "intuition pods."
This is all a little strange, given that this is the second-oldest operating hotel in the country, a landmark property that opened in 1891 and has hosted everyone from Babe Ruth to President McKinley. A famous jazz club called Storyville used to be downstairs; Billy Holliday sang there. Today, the space features two rooms that function as either a nightclub or a lounge. Some nights still center around its jazzy past.
That said, it's hard to argue with the hotel's prime location, impressive range of free amenities, and low rates, all of which combine to make this an excellent value choice. Just around the corner from namesake Copley Square and withing walking distance of Fenway Park, the hotel has a prime location in the center of Boston, well within walking distance of Newbury Street, the Hynes Convention Center, and the Boston Common. The hotel makes excellent use of its location, often featuring specials centered around nearby attractions, most notably Fenway Park.
Only the nearby Boston Park Plaza and next-door Courtyard Marriott have rates around the same price -- and they don't offer the cool perks that the Copley Square does. For instance, the intuition experts host a free nightly wine reception in the cozy, warmly lit lobby each evening. In the morning, they stock the lobby with free bottled water and granola bars for early-bird exercisers. Free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available throughout the day. A nightly turndown service furnishes rooms with two bottles of water, a schedule of Boston events, and lunch recommendations (the on-site eatery, Xhale, doesn't serve lunch, except for private arrangements).
At 205 square feet, the rooms are tiny, but the furnishings makes the most of the space. The comfortable beds are topped with 300-thread-count sheets and have iHome music players at their side. Large flat screen TVs featuring are perched atop handsome wood armoires. And if 205 square feet just sounds too small, you can always upgrade to a 260-square-foot Deluxe Room.
While the fitness room, with just a few old machines, won't impress, guests will find better places to pass the time. They can start with the sleek martini lounge, Minibar, just off the lobby; and an attached nightclub.
One of the least expensive hotels near Copley Square
The Copley Square Hotel is located in the middle of the city in Back Bay, an upscale commercial and residential area where skyscrapers tower above centuries-old churches and expensive row houses. It's a popular area for business travelers, as it's the home of the Hynes Convention Center, but it also has some of the city's best shopping, from quaint Newbury Street boutiques to the massive Prudential Center mall. Major attractions like the Public Garden and Boston Common and the start of the Freedom Trail are within a few blocks. Other tourist hot spots, like the North End and Faneuil Hall are 20 to 30 minutes away via public transportation. The area is filled with midrange and upscale restaurants, many of them chains. The South End, a more lively bohemian-flavored area with trendy bars and eateries, is a quick 10-minute walk.
Copley Square Hotel is just down the block from its namesake public square. The hotel is within easy walking distance of Newbury Street, Hynes Convention Center, and Boston Common.
One and a half blocks from Copley Square stop on the T (Boston's subway system)
Three blocks from the shops and cafes of Newbury Street
A 10- to 15-minute drive (2.1 miles) to Faneuil Hall, a historic marketplace and modern day mall
About five blocks (a 15- to 20-minute walk) to the Boston Common park and the start of the [[Freedom Trail], a 2.5-mile path that passes through 16 historic landmarks
A five-minute drive or 20-minute walk (one mile) to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox
A 15-minute drive (two miles) to Harvard Square in Cambridge
A 20-minute drive (3.5 miles) to Logan International Airport
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