The Modern Brahmin
The stylish, spacious, 60-room XV Beacon (15 Beacon St.; 617/670-1500; xvbeacon.com; doubles from $575) has bold interiors that play off the hotel’s 1903 Beaux Arts edifice on Beacon Hill.
The Youthful Upstart
Now run by the Kimpton Group, Nine Zero (90 Tremont St.; 617/772-5800; ninezero.com; doubles from $549) brings contemporary flair to its historic location along the Freedom Trail.
Back Bay Bargain
The genteel Eliot Hotel (370 Commonwealth Ave.; eliothotel.com; 617/267-1607; doubles from $325) has an old-world elegance that belies its affordable price, as well as two exceptional restaurants, Clio and Uni.
On a quiet corner near Harvard Square, The Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St., Cambridge; 617/864-1200; charleshotel.com; doubles from $299) hews to a traditional New England look, with Shaker-inspired furniture and geometric quilts. But it also has a top-tier jazz club (Regattabar) and a celebrated restaurant (Rialto).