I have stayed at this hotel frequently in the past six months. I would love to keep this place my little secret home from home, but it really deserves to be shouted from the rooftops.
The location is perfect, regardless of your interests. This truly is the heart of the action in Boston: for business, you can travel downtown by cab or by metro in just a few minutes, and once your work day is done, the last place you want to be is in the business district where everything shuts down at night, when all of the fun stuff is in the Back Bay area around the hotel.
There is complimentary (real) high speed internet available via wifi: the speed or price of internet access is usually one of my key complaints about hotels (you either get zero speed and zero price or high speed for a high price), so this is very much appreciated.
In bad weather, you can simply cross the street to the Prudential and Copley Malls, where you can stroll indoors around all of the high end fashion stores and, if the weather is nice, Newbury Street is around the corner, with more boutique shopping and cafes where you can sit and people-watch: this is the place where everyone comes to show themselves off in Boston.
Some of the most popular tourist landmarks of Boston, such as the Hancock Tower, Copley Square, and the beautiful Boston Public Library as well as the huge Church of Christ, Scientist water display and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Boston Pops) building are around the block, and the Boston Common and the beautiful Back Bay residential district are just a few minutes walk away. The Duck Tours (boats that drive around the city and then go on the Charles River which gives great views of the city) depart from one block away. That is in front of the Shaws Supermarket which is open 24 hours and makes for a convenient place to buy supplies (e.g., if you want to avoid the traditional $6 bottle of water in the room).
If the weather is nice, I highly recommend walking down Newbury to Boston Common, then through the Common to the left (where you will find the famous Cheers Bar on Beacon Street), and then come back up Commonwealth Avenue to Mass Ave, and then back down Newbury Street again; it's a beautiful part of the city... the hotel puts a daily memo in your room with local events and a weather forecast that is usually accurate, so you can plan your days activities.
If you want a really long walk or a jog/run, you can go up to Mass Ave bridge on Commonwealth to Mass Ave, then go across the Mass Ave bridge (as seen at the start of the movie "21") to MIT and then follow Memorial around to the Longfellow Bridge and back around through Charles Street and through the Common to Commonwealth again. The fitness center is equipped with free weights and running and cycling equipment if you get stuck in doors.
The Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Common and most major landmarks of Boston are only a few minutes away whether the valet service arranges a limo or cab service or if you prefer to go around the corner to the underground metro network (the "T") and take a couple of stops. Cabs run only a few bucks from here to just about anywhere (if you want to visit Harvard, it will cost you about $15 and you can be there in ten minutes taking Storrow Drive). The T costs $2 anywhere you go on the subway network, and you can get multi-passes called the Charlie Card that make it easier to jump on and off (you have to take the green line to the red line to go to Harvard, so it can take you 40 minutes or more).
If you arrange with at least a few hours notice, the staff can also get car service to pick you up or drop you off at the airport: pick up from the airport is more expensive, costing about 60 with tip, compared to about 30 by cab, but to the airport costs only 40, so almost the same as a cab.
Boston, like Manhattan (or London), is not a car-friendly city: you're better off leaving it at home and taking a cab. However, if you drive in, you can valet your car at the hotel for about the same price as parking it yourself (not cheap at about $40).
The food in the hotel restaurant Xhale is excellent, but I recommend going straight to the hotel bar, Minibar, where the food is also fantastic (the Kobe Mini Burgers are spectacular). Minibar is the hottest bar in town right now, the scene to be seen, particularly when the weather is nice and the terrace is open, and every time I go there the bar is buzzing with well dressed revelers and local celebrities keeping the place busy, even late into the night on the weekends. Both Minibar and Saint, the nightclub in the basement, always have a line outside, but you can skip that as a hotel guest.
The decor in the hotel is plush and modern, with a tasteful mix of soft toned wallpaper and dark wood furniture in the rooms. This is an old building and the stair case is particularly beautiful. I have read some complaints about the bathrooms, and I have had mixed luck there: some bathrooms are huge, and every bathroom has a bath-shower so they're not that bad, but sometimes they can feel almost comically small compared to the generous proportions of the bedrooms, which are very big by comparison to many hotels: you can request a big bathroom in your reservation... I had better luck with Deluxe class room, if that helps. There are also enormous two bedroom suites: I managed to throw a reception for friends and associates before going to an event, which worked out extremely well.
I also saw some complaints about the noise, so be aware that this is a city hotel: you can get rooms away from the bar and club at weekends if you prefer, but in general at night the area is really not very busy with traffic and I never had any problem sleeping, but if you are planning to sleep in during the day, be aware that this area is a hive of activity (see above).
The greatest asset of this hotel, however, is definitely the staff, who have such an amazing attitude and are always ready and willing to go the extra mile to make sure you feel like royalty every time you visit. I have seen the General Manager personally at the front desk late in the evenings to welcome guests and make sure that everything is running smoothly, and the whole operation runs like clockwork. It is one of the most pleasant and genuine staff atmospheres I have ever encountered (I have been travelling around the world constantly for the last ten years and have stayed in some lovely places, so I don't say that lightly: this is the first hotel that has ever moved me enough to want to write a positive hotel review).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcoming travelers since 1891, Copley Square Hotel is an iconic boutique hotel with a blend of historic charm and contemporary urban luxury. Nestled in Boston's historic Back Bay, our downtown Boston hotel offers an individualized, intuitive experience. Elegantly designed rooms boast the comforts of home with the indulgence of relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Copley Square
- Copley Square Boston