Best Boston Tourism Tips

At the Eliot Hotel Boston,
Brahmin Goes Boutique

Where it is: Back Bay

The Eliot Hotel Boston (not, as I'm compulsively tempted to misspell it, the Elliot Hotel Boston) combines tradition and history with modern boutique style. I happen to be partial to boutique hotels with super modern lines and design, but that approach can make it difficult to convey a connection to a particular place.

One of the remarkable things about the Eliot Hotel is the balance it strikes between modern design and blue blood history. It's eye candy rooted in tradition.

A corner of the foyer at the Eliot Hotel Boston A corner of the foyer at the Eliot Hotel Boston

The Eliot's design approach probably has a lot to do with the fact that it was originally built as housing for Harvard professors. A tip off to its lineage is the presence of Harvard Club, right next door on Commonwealth Avenue. A benefit of that lineage is that the hotel is comprised almost entirely of suites: out of 95 guest rooms, 79 of them are suites (explaining why it's sometimes referred to as the Eliot Suite Hotel Boston).

The sitting area in a suite at the Eliot Hotel Boston The sitting area in a suite at the Eliot Hotel Boston

The suites are elegant and comfortable, with sitting areas that can usually comfortably seat six to eight people and plush, beautiful beds you won't want to get out of.

The Eliot's prime location (at the intersection of two of Boston's most important streets: Commonwealth Ave and Massachusetts Ave) makes it a sort of ground zero for visitors who want easy walking distance to top Boston destinations:

  • the Commonwealth Promenade, one of Boston's loveliest walks and definitely home to its most exclusive real estate, is right outside your door;
  • Newbury Street boutiques and shops are one block away;
  • Hynes Convention Center is two blocks further than Newbury Street;
  • Fenway Park is a 15-minute walk down the road;
  • MIT (and the city of Cambridge) is literally just a walk over the Harvard Bridge.

Best of all, there's no downside to being in the heart of the action: the guest room windows are triple-paned. When they're closed, you can hear a pin drop inside.

More famously, the Eliot is home to two of the finest restaurants in the city, Uni, a sashimi bar, and Clio, a French fusion restaurant.

Clio's delicious, other-worldly food and artful presentation (it is rare your food looks so beautiful you almost feel it's a shame to eat it) make any meal there a special memory. And sitting at Uni's cozy bar downing piece after mouth-watering piece of exotic sushi is the closest you will get in Back Bay to sitting in a Tokyo sushi bar.

A bed at the Eliot Hotel Boston A bed at the Eliot Hotel Boston

The Eliot has all the amenities you expect in a luxury boutique hotel. Bonded child care and pet care (dog-walking) are available, as is in-room massage. All types of people stay at the Eliot, but because of its location, restaurants, and room arrangements, the Eliot is a favorite with business travelers.

Wireless internet, often $20-$25 per day at other hotels, is $5 per day at the Eliot. For jocks, complimentary passes are provided to the sleek, thoroughly-stocked Boston Sports Club across the street.

The Eliot Hotel
370 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, Massachusetts 02215; 617-267-1607

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