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Modern and stylish, the Clarendon Square Inn (198 W. Brookline St., map) is a seven-room B&B housed in a gracefully renovated 1860s-built Sound End Victorian townhouse, with a boast-worthy 24-hour rooftop Jacuzzi and garden terrace. Well-appointed rooms start around $138 in the dead of winter, but soar to $325 in summer, although you can often score better rates with a two- or three-night minimum (rates include breakfast).
You can’t really beat the downtown location of the 190-room Nine Zero (90 Tremont St., map), right across from the Boston Common, one of the country’s oldest city parks. Most rooms have a contemporary masculine feel, and range between $179-$399 in low season. Request an outward-facing room on a higher floor for a good view.
Sister to gorgeous Beacon Hill boutique hotel XV Beacon (rooms from $365), the suite-only Inn at St. Botolph (99 St. Botolph St., map), in historic Back Bay, feels more like your own apartment than a hotel room. Stylish suites (starting around $189 for a studio in low season) include kitchenettes, sunny bay windows, private keyless entrances, and housekeeping on request only; just be prepared to park your own car, carry your own bags, and create your own “room service.”
Along the Charles River in Cambridge, the 400-room Royal Sonesta Hotel (40 Edwin Land Blvd., map) is a good bargain in a location providing easy access to both Boston and Cambridge (there is a nearby T stop, though a car or taxi would be best here). The hotel itself is a bit sterile, but there’s a great indoor-outdoor pool, two acclaimed riverfront restaurants, and spectacular skyline and river views, if you pay for them. Riverfront paths provide an extra bonus for walkers/joggers/bikers (the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path passes here; see How to Burn It Off). Rooms start around $239. Just across the street and with a bit more verve is the nautically themed, family- and pet-friendly Hotel Marlowe (25 Edwin H Land Blvd., map). To encourage use of the nearby Charles River, free bike and kayak rentals are offered. Its spacious, whimsically decorated rooms (think leopard-print carpets) start around $199; save money by paying in advance online.
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