The Modern Brahmin

The stylish, spacious, 60-room XV Beacon (15 Beacon St.; 617/670-1500;; 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;; doubles from $549) brings contemporary flair to its historic location along the Freedom Trail.

Back Bay Bargain

The genteel Eliot Hotel (370 Commonwealth Ave.;; 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.

Great Value

On a quiet corner near Harvard Square, The Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St., Cambridge; 617/864-1200;; 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).

By Hillary Geronemus and Michael Endelman