Boston is a mecca for tourists and business travelers, so there are quite a few lodging options that reflect the history of the city yet feature modern amenities fit for visiting families. Unfortunately, Boston is an expensive city, and you will pay the price for luxury.
KidTripster Tip: Because Boston hotels are so expensive, make sure to scour their online websites for deals. Also, you may consider staying in an outer suburb and utilizing public transportation to explore the city.
1/Boston Marriott Long Wharf
296 State St., Harbor
Staying here feels like staying on a luxury yacht in the Boston Harbor. The boat horns will beckon your little ones to look out the windows of the Boston Marriott Long Wharf for fantastic views of the sparkling water. A swim in the heated pool surrounded by terraces that overlook the bustling ports will give them plenty to do, and porters will hop directly to your room to top off your first night’s stay with cold milk and warm cookies. The concierge is available to direct your sightseeing adventures and can offer tickets to the New England Aquarium and Boston Children’s Museum. Additional Marriott locations: Boston Marriott Copley Place and Boston Renaissance Marriott Waterfront. Starts at $538/night.
215 Charles St., Beacon Hill
Lock your kids in luxury at The Liberty Hotel in Beacon Hill. Once a jail for some of Boston’s most serious offenders, this newly-renovated gem preserves its prison past while unlocking lavish details that resonate with current guests. You’ll have direct access to the Charles River Esplanade for playground hopping and outdoor concerts at the “Hatch Shell.” Take note, Mom might also be able to squeeze in a free yoga class in the fitness center on Saturday. Starts at $519/night.
3/The Charles Hotel
1 Bennett St., Cambridge
A smaller hotel, this stay is fit for folks that want to discover Cambridge before tackling Boston. Don’t be fooled by its boutique size; the rooms at The Charles Hotel are spacious with an artsy vibe. My kids didn’t notice another thing after they discovered the TV in the bathroom mirror. The adjacent Wellbridge Athletic Club offers access to a rooftop pool with children’s pool hours, and The World’s Only Curious George Store is only a few blocks away for storytime and shopping. Starts at $449/night.
KidTripster Tip: The Hotel hosts a seasonal market in Charles Square featuring specialty produce (and pastries!) from New England farmers.
500 Commonwealth Ave., Kenmore Square
Get a big hug from Terry the Bear when you check in at Hotel Commonwealth (or hide, if your kids hate mascots and take the gift bag to go). Either way, the genuine and kind staff at this hotel near Fenway Park makes all your fears disappear along with providing complimentary WiFi, a full-service concierge, and local car service (on weekdays only). Signature suites are available for your stay, including the Fenway Park Suite with a balcony view of the ballpark. Starts at $417/night.
5/Sheraton Boston Hotel
39 Dalton St., Back Bay
This hotel features a skyway to shopping and dining and more shopping at The Shops at Prudential Center and Copley Place. With coffee shops close by in all directions, the Sheraton Boston Hotel is a great place to start your tour of the city. The indoor pool (with a retractable roof for summer) is heated and stays open until 11 p.m. (My kids are prone to late vacation bedtimes.) For early risers (my kids are, unfortunately, prone to early rising, as well), the fitness center opens at 5 a.m. and overlooks the classic Boston brownstones in the Back Bay neighborhood. Starts at $468/night.
6/The Langham Boston
250 Franklin St., Waterfront
Your pennies are being put to good use for a stay in this luxury hotel, formerly the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The Langham Boston lured us in with its famous Chocolate Bar (an all-you-can-eat buffet of chocolate delights) in Café Fleuri every Saturday from September through June. But the Bar is only one of the hotel’s fine features; the other is the heated indoor pool. Starts at $458/night.
7/Omni Parker House Hotel
60 School St., Downtown
Let your kids learn American history overnight in the Freedom Trail Family Suite at the historic Omni Parker House Hotel. The suite features a separate sleeping nook for the little ones, complete with bunk beds, colonial costumes, and a large map of the landmarks along the Freedom Trail. Take the gold elevators down to the lobby that has hosted legends like Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Babe Ruth, and John F. Kennedy. The Omni Sensational Kids program offers fun-filled backpacks to kids upon check-in, along with a cookie and milk service on the first night. Need more convincing? Parker’s Restaurant in the hotel is the birthplace of Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls. Yum! Starts at $359/night.
15 Arlington St., Downtown
See the Swan Boats (along with tulips, ducklings, and street performers) from your window when you stay at Taj Boston. Step out your door and into the Boston Public Garden. Take a stroll on Newbury Street to shop at some of Boston’s finest stores or catch a show in the nearby theater district. The Kids@Taj program offers a play passport and welcome bag upon arrival, along with a turndown service and 24-hour room service with a children’s menu. Starts at $531/night.
KidTripster Tip: Put your pinkies up and take your fancy youngsters for an elegant afternoon tea (or hot chocolate) at The French Room in the Taj. They will love the harpist and haute treats!
9/DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore & CoCo Key Boston Water Park
50 Ferncroft Rd., Danvers, MA
If the Freedom Trail is flanked with ice, and your little ones need to unwind indoors, take them 20 minutes north to splash and stay at the DoubleTree Boston North Shore. Book a family room with two toddler beds (and two TVs) and buy tickets to CoCo Key Boston Water Park for an 85-degree adventure that includes a lazy river, water slides, poolside pizza, and a KeyQuest Arcade. Look forward to warm cookies upon arrival and a goody bag for little guests. Coffee coupled with a breakfast buffet and another goody bag for kids from Tradewinds Restaurant should have you smiling like it’s summer again in no time. Starts at $179/night.
155 Portland St., Downtown
The Onyx Hotel is steps away from some of the finest Italian food in the North End. Plus, it’s the perfect place to crash after cheering for the Celtics or Bruins at TD Garden. A Kimpton property, this hotel caters to families and pets with its Kimpton Kids program featuring welcome gifts, an optional goldfish roommate, a kids’ happy hour, and more. Have no fear, the hotel hosts an evening wine hour every night at 5 p.m. for parents, too. Other boutique Kimpton properties in Boston include the Nine Zero Hotel downtown and Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge. Starts at $359/night.
BONUS 11/Loews Boston
154 Berkeley St, Back Bay
Loews loves kids in Boston, and it shows. Its signature program caters to kids and teens who can relax with an activity book, music download card, video game or DVD. At Loews Boston, a lending closet offers kids the opportunity to borrow books, games, and movies during their stay. Another lending closet for parents houses necessities like night lights or car seats. The hotel provides childproofing kits for kids under four and will help arrange babysitting for a parent’s night out. Plus, it’s in the building that used to serve as the Boston Police Headquarters. That might persuade your little ones to get some shut eye…or else. Starts at $429/night.
Carla Corban Kath lives in Boston with her husband and two daughters. She grew up fighting the humidity in Mississippi and has had flat hair ever since. The only thing that makes her hair stand up is spiders...and a day with no sugar.
This writer received some complimentary stays for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions expressed are solely her own.