Boston Harbor Hotel

Boston Harbor Hotel

At very few urban hotels can a visitor arrive by boat. Take the water taxi from Logan Airport to Boston Harbor Hotel, however, and you put your flight behind en route to the private dock of one of the best locations in the city. Within walking distance are Faneuil Hall, the Aquarium, the Italian North End and the new Boston Public Market. But at this luxury gem, one of the nation’s best, the prime location is just the tip of a stellar experience.

Even if you prefer a five-minute cab ride, The Boston Harbor Hotel has been one of the finest—and most overlooked—luxury properties in the Northeast for years. Boston Harbor is the city’s only independent Forbes 5-Star, and as such, it always tries harder. It could not be rated any higher, yet owners just undertook a comprehensive renovation anyway that remade all 230 rooms and suites (starting at $589). The smallest layout, a “Harbor Superior,” provides exquisite waterfront views and a  generous use of space that extends to the bathrooms, with their huge walk-in showers. The restaurants were remodeled, the large spa and health club updated and one of the most user-friendly in-room technology systems in the hospitality industry installed. Yet the premium is still on human interaction. After your first visit, everyone remembers your name and it always feels like coming home.

Something fun always seems to be going on at Boston Harbor Hotel. In summer, outdoor movies are played on the waterfront terrace, while a historic schooner offers dinner cruises and private charters. In winter, the Sea Grill restaurant takes on an après ski motif with a fire pit, s’mores and fondue. A pop-up high-end whiskey bar also makes frequent appearances. From January through March, the 4-Star fine dining Meritage restaurant hosts the nation’s longest running wine festival. The  Boston Wine Festival is a 10-week series of intimate special gatherings, nearly three dozen, mostly sit-down, winemaker-hosted, multicourse pairing dinners featuring an all-star lineup including luminaries such as Opus One and Trimbach. When the festival is not in town, oenophile guests can still enjoy the 1,400 labels and wine-centric menu approach of longtime Chef Daniel Bruce.

Boston Harbor Hotel is like peeling an especially fragrant onion, with layers of little touches that add up to a memorable stay. The hotel is dog friendly, a chauffeured house car is available and the bathrooms feature bespoke toiletries. Even the postcards in guest room desks are custom made by local artists—all as part of a truly one-of-a-kind experience.