Best Boston Tourism Tips

At the Fairmont Hotel
Boston in Grand Style

Where it is: Back Bay

Why should you stay at the Fairmont Hotel Boston? Among many other good reasons, because you never know when the ambassador is going to call you for drinks... Alert, attentive service is a major part of any luxury hotel experience, but setting is where the Fairmont Hotel Boston, aka the Fairmont Copley Plaza, sets itself apart from its peers.

All of Boston's luxury hotels have beautiful guest rooms and public spaces, but only Boston's Fairmont delivers iconic grandeur in a distinctly Bostonian sense. Designed to befit the steady stream of foreign dignitaries, royalty, and US presidents that have stayed here since its opening in 1922, it has some of the most dazzling rooms in the city.


A Signature Room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel A Signature Room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel

Sitting on directly on Copley Square (and providing instant access to the Copley Square Farmers' Market) and flanked by the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church, the Fairmont's the guest rooms are elegant, beautifully-appointed jewel boxes… and the beds are heaven!

This is historic Boston: if you want to experience what it would be like to live in a classic Back Bay townhouse, the Fairmont's architecture and interiors will show you. But the public rooms – including the sought-after ball rooms booked eons in advance for wedding celebrations – are unlike anything else in the city.


Fairmont Hotel Boston walkway to Reception
Fairmont Hotel Boston walkway to Reception

My favorite example: the Oak Bar, whose 20-foot-high gilded, coffered ceilings and wall-to-wall oak paneling transport you to a British Officer's club circa WWI. Relaxing with a drink there is a transforming experience: the vast, sumptuous room feels like a sealed-off, private world, and one rooted in privilege and tradition.

Despite my own tastes generally running more modern and deprived, I love gathering at the Oak Bar. Even if you don't have something specific to celebrate, just laughing and knocking back a few in that soaring space feels like an occasion in itself. (Be forewarned: this is a Boston Institution, with the capital "I", and it's got the dress code to prove it.)


The Oak Bar at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel The Oak Bar at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel

But don't think the Fairmont's all starched collars and polished brass. The Fairmont (you might also hear it called the Copley Plaza Hotel Boston or the Fairmont Copley Hotel Boston) nicely balances its regal, rarefied design with warm, polished, we-thought-you-might-need-this service ... as well as more informal comforts.

Case in point: the beloved Catie Copley, the Fairmont's popular "canine ambassador." Guests of the hotel can make appointments to take her for a walk, a relaxing tonic if you're away from your pooch or live pooch-less but love dogs. Or you can just give her a gentle scratch behind the ears as you pass her in the hotel. Or you can watch in amusement as your kids (or someone else's) thrill in rubbing her belly.

Free internet access - that wily, elusive beast - is available for members of the the Fairmont's President's Club, which is free to join.

The Fairmont Copley Plaza
138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116; 617-267-7668
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