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Hotel Commonwealth 4.0

Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Five-minute walk to Fenway Park and the Charles River
  • Adjacent to Green Line T station and Kenmore Square
  • Modern, upscale rooms and tastefully themed Signature Suites
  • All rooms include large flat-screen TVs and high-end bath products
  • Two popular restaurants, Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar
  • A chic cocktail lounge, The Hawthorne, and 24-hour room service
  • Modern fitness center with a good selection of machines
  • In-room spa service (for a fee)
  • Pet-friendly and provides bowls and beds (for a fee)
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • No free breakfast
  • Pricey valet parking, even for Boston
  • Tiny business center

Bottom Line

Hotel Commonwealth’s proximity to Fenway Park, Kenmore Square, and the T’s Green Line make it an ideal spot for exploring Boston. After a renovation and expansion in 2014 and 2015, the hotel’s look and feel successfully blend classic and contemporary design. The 245 rooms in every category are modern, and many offer excellent downtown views. While it lacks a pool and dedicated spa, numerous other features -- including a chic cocktail lounge, two upscale restaurants, extensive event space, and themed Signature Suites -- set the property apart from the city’s many other upscale hotels. Guests looking for a more historic alternative may wish to consider the nearby The Lenox Hotel.

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Scene

Upscale hotel featuring a handsome blend of modern and classic styles

The eclectic lobby seamlessly blends several different prints to create a cool, contemporary space

Built in 2002, the four-pearl Hotel Commonwealth is among the city’s largest boutique-inspired hotels. It's exterior has a French-colonial look, with flat gabled roofs and protruding windows. There was extensive renovation during 2014 and 2015 throughout the entire property, which added nearly 100 guest rooms and 7,500 square feet of meeting space, and also brought a fresher look to the older guest rooms and the common areas. The decor is now an eclectic mix of contemporary furnishings that riff on classic design elements (check out that exaggerated houndstooth carpeting in the hallways!). Bold chevron-stripe carpets, plush modern furniture, and a monochromatic gray-on-gray color scheme throughout the hotel create a sense of quiet, reserved sophistication. With its central location near the city’s most popular attractions, the on-site cocktail lounge, and two gourmet restaurants attract, this hotel attracts upmarket travelers, locals, and businesspeople.

Location

Prime Kenmore Square location within a short walk of Fenway Park

Map of Hotel Commonwealth

Hotel Commonwealth is located square in the middle of Boston, immediately off the Mass Pike and adjacent to the T's Green Line in Kenmore Square. The city’s most popular attractions -- including Fenway Park, Hynes Convention Center, and the Charles River -- are all within a five-minute walk of the hotel. Additionally, three of Boston’s major universities: Boston University, Berklee College of Music, and Northeastern University are all within a 10- to 15-minute walk.

Taxis are easily accessible outside the lobby, and much of the city is walkable from the hotel. Newbury Street, lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as the quaint Back Bay neighborhood are both 10 minutes from the hotel on foot. Boston Common and downtown are a 15-minute ride on the T, while South Station -- the city’s main transportation hub for Amtrak, the commuter rail, and local and regional buses -- is 20 minutes away by T. Logan International Airport is roughly 35 minutes away by public transportation, and less than 15 minutes by cab or car. Valet parking is available, though surprisingly expensive, even by Boston standards. A number of nearby garages offer more affordable self-parking options.

Rooms

Spacious rooms with classic-contemporary style and great downtown views in some

The spacious Junior Suite features contemporary, high-end decor touches-- such as a padded headboard--and whimsical touches like clashing patterns

Like the eclectic lobby, the decor in each of the hotel’s 10 room categories -- including the furniture, artwork, and materials -- is a blend of contemporary and traditional with a touch of whimsy. Every room is outfitted with modern furniture and a wall-to-wall gray-and-white motif, with sparse, subtle touches of color. The collective look and feel is plush, cozy, and inviting. Even amid the downtown action, rooms offer considerable soundproofing and receive little street noise.

The three entry-level room categories -- Commonwealth, Fenway, and Kenmore -- are all sizable, especially by Boston standards, with floor plans between 370 and 515 square feet (34 to 48 square meters). The list of noteworthy amenities includes mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, Serta pillow-top beds with Italian linens, and free Wi-Fi. All rooms offer private bathrooms that are crisp, clean, and generously sized. Stark white tubs, showers, and wash basins tie in well with creamy marble countertops and marble tile flooring. Polished chrome fixtures round out the look while premium Malin + Goetz bath amenities are a nice high-end touch.

Suites are downright large for Boston, with between 515 and 550 square feet of floor space (48 to 51 square meters). Amenities in suites include all of the above, plus views of Kenmore Square and Commonwealth Avenue. Extended Stay Suites also offer a kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator.

The hotel also offers five Signature Suites, each with an individual, locally-inspired theme. The vintage industrial design of The Terrier Suite features a distinct nod to nearby Boston University with school color accents and framed photos of well-known alumni. The Baseball Suite pays homage to Fenway Park with a bespoke baseball theme, including signed memorabilia, a DVD library with 40 classic baseball movies, and a 50-inch plasma TV on which to watch them.

Features

A chic cocktail lounge, two popular restaurants, and modern fitness center

On-sit dining options include the popular Island Creek Oyster Bar, which serves a good selection of oysters and New England seafood

Features at Hotel Commonwealth are upscale and convenient. While breakfast is not provided free of charge, two popular restaurants and a sleek cocktail lounge provide ample dining options. Eastern Standard offers all-day dining, including a late-night menu and 24-hour room service. The restaurant is well-liked by locals and serves gourmet, locally-inspired dishes alongside an excellent cocktail menu. Island Creek Oyster Bar is open for brunch on Sundays and dinner every day of the week. The eatery is similarly well-known and well-reviewed for its selection of oysters and other New England seafood. The Hawthorne bar features a creative classic cocktail menu in a bright and vibrant atmosphere. All three dining outlets are reservable for private meetings and events, and the hotel offers an additional 12,500 square feet of dedicated function space.

The modest (though clean and modern) fitness center is a bit small given the size of the hotel, but far nicer than many hotel fitness rooms, with a good selection of cardio and weight machines. However, the business center seems like an afterthought, with just a single workstation and printer tucked into a corner of the lobby. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.

Hotel Commonwealth openly touts its dog-friendly policy, with each room allowed one dog for a one-time fee. The fee includes free use of dog bowls and an in-room pet bed. For an additional charge, the hotel also provides pet sitting, grooming, massage, and walking services.

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Things You Should Know About Hotel Commonwealth

Address

500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, United States

Phone

(617) 933-5000

Also Known As

  • Commonwealth Hotel Boston

Room Types

  • Commonwealth Room
  • Fenway Room
  • Kenmore Room
  • Presidential Suite

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