Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Katrina

Photo credit: Eliot Hotel

Everything you love about Boston is distilled nicely into its Back Bay neighborhood. There’s classic architecture, shopping on Boylston and Newbury streets, the iconic restaurant Legal Seafood—and Fenway is just a short walk away. The best hotels in Boston’s Back Bay are encapsulations of the city’s history, grandeur, and convenience. Here are five that make great launching pads for the Back Bay neighborhood and Boston overall.

Fairmont Copley Plaza (138 St. James Ave.; 617-267-5300)

The 383-room grande-dame Fairmont hotel overlooks Copley Square and is just two blocks from the shops of Newbury Street. “There are few façades in Boston more iconic than the Fairmont, which has stood next to the Boston Public Library since 1912,” says Condé Nast Traveler.“ Still, the hotel has managed to keep the guest rooms updated.” The hotel offers au courant dining— such as the farm-to-table OAK Long Bar + Kitchen—but guests really love the old-school glamour. “This place is fabulous,” says a Google reviewer. “There is furniture from the Titanic that was removed before it sank. There is a Picasso and a Chagall on display in the entry. The restaurant is really grand and the room service is exactly what you’d expect from any Fairmont, an excellent experience.”   >> Book this hotel for less

Mandarin Oriental, Boston (776 Boylston St.; 617-535-8888)

This 148-room, Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel feels nicely grand but also has a lot of built-in convenience. “The Mandarin’s marble-and-limestone exterior provides cool cover for the warmth of its interior space,” notes Travel +Leisure, “with elaborate flower arrangements, warm woods, and surfaces that seem impossibly shiny.” One Google reviewer raves about the location: “The hotel is connected to the Prudential Mall which is a huge plus in the winter when you don’t want to step out in the cold. Newbury Street is just across the street for great dining and shopping options.”   >> Book this hotel for less

The Eliot Hotel (370 Commonwealth Ave.; 617-267-1607)

This 95-room hotel in a neo-Georgian building has French personality— including the restaurant Clio—as well as some classic Boston neighbors. It’s about a half mile from Fenway Park, and just under one mile from the Museum of Fine Arts. “The Eliot is a deeply elegant hotel,” says Condé Nast Traveler. “The vaulted, marble-filled lobby feels like a throwback to another era. The property is opulent without being imposing, and decadent without being impersonal.” That said, you may find more ambience than traditional amenities. “The Eliot combines European charm with new world professionalism,” says a Yelp reviewer. “The room was large and comfortable, and the bed and linens had me sleeping like a baby. I will say I wish there were a gym on site, but the comfort and location make up for the lack of amenities.”   >> Book this hotel for less

Hotel AKA Back Bay (154 Berkeley St.; 877-872-3658)

Located inside the former Boston Police Headquarters, this 225-room hotel gets good marks, but mostly for its convenient location. “Close to the green line, the orange line, and the commuter rail. We walked everywhere with ease,” says one Tripadvisor user. “But I found our room, with a king size bed, to be quite cramped. There was maybe a foot or two between one side of the bed and the wall. “ A Google reviewer agrees but decided the friendly ambience won out. Rooms are small but cozy with nice décor. Bed was very comfortable, and staff was friendly. Overall I had an amazing stay.”   >> Book this hotel for less

The Lenox Hotel (61 Exeter St., 617-536-5300)

This 11-story hotel in a 1900 Beaux Arts building mixes old-school pomp with modern décor. “Boston’s ‘original boutique hotel’ was once the city’s tallest building,” says Travel+Leisure. “Its stature doesn’t earn it much attention these days, but its award-winning green living and eco-sustainability practices do.” Those perks include pump-style toiletries and filtered water in the room. “The room was so comfortable, fabulous linens and mattresses,” says a Tripadvisor user. “The bathroom was cozy, but makes sense in this older building—and I wouldn’t trade all that charm for a double vanity!”   >> Book this hotel for less