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The Eliot Hotel 4.0

Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Around the corner from the upscale Newbury Street shopping stretch
  • Rooms come with French toile decor, soundproof windows, and flat-screen TVs
  • Japanese restaurant with Tsukiji Market sashimi, by James Beard Award winner Ken Oringer
  • Free nightly turndowns and daily passes to Boston Sports Club, just around the corner
  • Superlative service; the genuinely cordial staff is available 24 hours a day
  • 24-hour room service (but menu is limited)
  • No charge for pets
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout 

Cons

  • Suites are big, but rooms are smallish
  • No on-site pool, spa, or fitness center (though guests get free access to nearby BSC)
  • Restaurant doesn't serve lunch
  • Pricey valet parking
  • Four spread-out armchairs make up the total lobby seating

Bottom Line

Just steps from from charming Newbury Street, this classy and historic boutique hotel housed in an elegant Neo-Georgian corner building offers mostly huge suites with (smallish) marble bathroom and an excellent Japanese restaurant overseen by a James Beard Award-winning chef. Guests here enjoy other nice extras as well, like free welcome chocolate cookies and nightly turndowns. Though the Eliot offers free passes to an around-the-corner Boston Sports Club -- a nicer gym option than competitor Fifteen Beacon's -- it can't beat Fifteen Beacon's long list of luxury amenities, including in-room gas fireplaces and free Lexus hotel car service. But you can stay at the Eliot for considerably less -- and the tradeoff may be worth it.

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Scene

Posh boutique hotel with classic Neo-Georgian architecture and a tony Back Bay address

The lobby of this posh boutique hotel incorporates Neo-Georgian architecture and historic decor elements like marble columns, gold accents, and chandeliers

As the last of the Back Bay hotels to line this posh stretch of Commonwealth Avenue, the 95-room Eliot Hotel peddles in a certain old-money Boston grandeur. Originally built in 1925, the hotel was named after Charles Eliot, Harvard University's president from 1869-1909 (and cousin of Nobel Prize-winning poet T.S. Eliot), and the stately structure still shares a wall with the next-door Harvard Club. Guests will feel like they've entered an old elegant Parisian hotel as they usher past the wrought-iron gate, into the dramatic high-ceilinged lobby with marble columns and gold accents, and on to the front desk -- where brass room keys can still be found sitting in an old-fashioned key cubbyhole cabinet. A charming old Otis wood elevator with brass accents carries guests up to their rooms and suites (the hotel is almost all suites). And at night, guests will be be joined by the rest of Boston for dinner at UNI, a Japanese restaurant and sashimi bar overseen by James-Beard-Award-winning chef Ken Oringer. While the Eliot eschews the sleek contemporary decor for chandeliers and French toile, this is not a hotel trapped in the past. If anything, it's a successful study on how to marry the romance of an older hotel with the modernity of the 21st century. 

Location

On the corner of Massachusetts and Commonwealth avenues, an intersection that's busy, yet beautiful with classic residential buildings and around the corner from upscale Newbury Street shopping

Map of The Eliot Hotel

The Eliot Hotel is located in the middle of the city in Back Bay, on a quaint, tree-lined street close to the Berklee College of Music and around the corner from Newbury Street. Back Bay is an upscale commercial and residential area where skyscrapers tower above centuries-old churches and expensive brownstone homes. 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. The area is filled with midrange and upscale restaurants, many of them chains, and the South End, a more lively bohemian area with trendy bars and eateries, is a quick 10-minute walk away.

  • Two-minute walk to the Hynes Convention stop on the T (Boston's subway system)
  • Nine-minute walk to the Hynes Convention Center
  • 13-minute walk to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox
  • 15-minute walk to Copley Square, Back Bay's picturesque town square
  • Six-minute drive to Boston Common, the city's 52-acre public park and start of the Freedom Trail, a two-and-a-half mile path that passes through 16 historic landmarks
  • 11-minute drive to Harvard Square in Cambridge
  • 12-minute drive to Faneuil Hall, a historic marketplace dating back to the 1700s and a modern-day mall
  • 15-minute drive to Logan International Airport

Rooms

Elegant suites with comfortable beds -- but small marble baths

The Two Double Room heavily uses French toile print meant to evoke a plush European style

Decorated in a plush European style, the 79 suites and 16 guest rooms here feature a heavy use of French toile print (window treatments, bed skirts, boxy semi-canopies, arm chairs, tablecloths). Deluxe Guestrooms run 200 to 250 square feet (smaller than average for standard rooms in Boston) and come with a single queen or two doubles. Most of the hotel's rooms, however, are suites, with one or two bedrooms. One-bedroom suites are large, at 420 to 480 square feet, with a queen, a king, or two doubles, plus a living room (separated by French doors) with an additional flat-screen TV and a queen-size sleeper sofa. Fourteen of the suites connect to Deluxe Guestrooms to become 650-square-foot, two-bedroom suites with two bathrooms (sleeps six).

All rooms are decked out with insulated windows that actually open, iHome clock radios, minibars, and flat-screen TVs with free HBO and HD channels; there are pay-per-view movies and kids' programming like Disney Channel on demand. Comfortable beds feature Serta mattresses topped with down duvets, large goose down pillows, and thick Anichini cotton throws. The elegant (but small) marble bathrooms come with fragrant Essential Elements toiletries and thick monogrammed terry bathrobes. Some bathrooms feature renovated walk-in showers. Room rates include free overnight shoeshines, digital newspaper access, and Wi-Fi. Cribs are free, too, but there are no rollaways; suites have sleeper sofas.

Features

Free passes to neighborhood Boston Sports Club, an acclaimed Japanese restaurant with creative entrees and traditional sushi and sashimi, and truly attentive service

Guests have access to nearby Boston Sports Club

This tiny boutique may not have room for features like a huge gym, but it partially makes up for it with a free daily pass to nearby Boston Sports Club. Behind the lobby is the small, free business center (one PC computer, one printer).

James Beard Award-winning chef Ken Oringer helms UNI, Eliot Hotel's Japanese restaurant and sashimi bar. UNI serves breakfast (classic American and continental) daily and dinner nightly. It's not open for lunch, but midday meals are available via 24-hour room service. For dinner, UNI excels at Japanese cuisine with inventive Korean, Thai, and Malay inflections and classically prepared sushi and sashimi from Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Market. A late-night ramen menu is available on weekends.

There is no separate concierge, but someone will assist you with anything you need -- reservations, directions, babysitting services -- 24 hours a day. Porters and doormen rush to open doors, hold open elevators, and carry luggage up to rooms. Chocolate cookies are delivered to the room after check-in, and nightly turndowns include chocolates and shades drawn. Valet parking is pricey, but about average for Boston. There is no charge and no required deposits for pets of any size at the Eliot. There aren't any extra pet amenities included, though the hotel will arrange pet-sitting services. 

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Things You Should Know About The Eliot Hotel

Address

370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02215, United States

Phone

(617) 267-1607

Also Known As

  • Eliot Hotel
  • Eliot Hotel Boston

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Two Bedroom Suite

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