There’s so much to love about Boston, one of the nation’s oldest cities. Whether you come for the history (the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail and the Old North Church are school-trip favorites that adults also love); cultural institutions (the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are among the best in the country); or the beloved sports teams (a baseball game at Fenway Park should not be missed), the Massachusetts capital has something for every traveler. And with a hotel scene that’s better than ever, readers are spoiled for choice when planning their next trip.
How Voting Works
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Nearly 165,000 T+L readers completed the 2023 survey, an increase of nearly 25 percent over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).
Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:
For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.
What Readers Loved
Many readers praised the top-notch service at Boston hotels. “We were treated extremely well, and the Langham is proper luxury where you feel elevated,” wrote one voter of the No. 6 Langham, Boston. “The small touches are where they shine.” Another reader commented that the Hotel Commonwealth (No. 7) was such a hit with their family that they decided to host their daughter’s wedding there.
Many of the winning hotels also convey a sense of history. For example, the Liberty Hotel, ranked No. 9, earned top marks for its subtle dedication to a theme — the building was formerly the Charles Street Jail, and much of the decor nods to this infamous past, with recurring lock-and-key motifs. The Liberty also received praise for its front-door access to Beacon Hill’s attractions. “This place is just beautiful and an attraction all in itself,” said one reader. “Most hotels are just hotels, even when they’re nice, but this feels like a night at a museum.”
Still, for the second year, the readers ranked The Newbury as their favorite, which recently underwent an update and has once again become the talk of the town. Read on to find out why it’s still so popular.
The Newbury Boston
Sitting at the intersection of two of Boston’s poshest streets, Newbury and Arlington, this storied hotel occupies prime real estate. It originally opened as the world’s first Ritz-Carlton in 1927 and then became a Taj Hotel in 2007. It recently received a total redesign and opened in 2021 as a Highgate property. Many readers appreciated these layers of history. “An amazing transformation of a legacy building,” said one. Another added, “A lovely renovation. Happy it’s back to its former glory!” The hotel’s sophisticated refresh never feels stiff, but rather comfortable and inviting. Some suites even have wood-burning fireplaces, perfect for cozying up on a winter’s day and watching the comings-and-goings in the Boston Public Garden. One thing guests couldn’t get enough of? The Italian food at the hotel’s rooftop Contessa restaurant, part of chef Mario Carbone’s Major Food Group.
The Full List
Reader Score: 97.71
Reader Score: 94.17
3. XV Beacon
Reader Score: 93.04
Reader Score: 89.61
Reader Score: 89.60
Reader Score: 89.50
Reader Score: 89.44
Reader Score: 89.07
Reader Score: 88.51
Reader Score: 88.08