Ames, Boston, Massachusetts $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
It's no surprise that the clubby Ames hotel—where even the elevator has its own playlist—quickly became a hip local hangout following its 2009 opening. Occupying the 19th-century Ames Building, which is ideally located near Faneuil Hall, the hotel has style built in: The largely white-on-white guest rooms show off the landmark's fine bones, including high arched windows. A little local color (decorative plates hung on the wall depict a map of Boston), metallic accents (silver side tables), and the softening effect of faux fur throws relieve the arctic blizzard palette; big marble walk-in showers (though no tubs in many of the 114 rooms) are an added bonus. Room service, typical of the efficient (if sometimes short-staffed) service overall, delivers your requisite Boston lobster-salad sandwich in the stated time, and the 24-hour fitness center is well equipped. On the weekends, the twentysomething crowd that spills out into the lobby and the street from the ground-floor Woodward restaurant and its adjacent bar can force the hotel's guests to run a boozy gauntlet. And the lack of sufficient sound-proofing in the guest rooms means that the club kids, along with the traffic noise, may keep you up. But if you'd rather party than retire early, the Ames delivers a rousing local scene.—Raphael Kadushin
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:A city landmark since 1889, the Ames Building, which sits in the shadow of Boston's monolithic Government Center, now houses a sleek 114-room hotel within its 14 stories. The Rockwell Group's thoughtful redesign maintains the loveliest of the original elements, including the striking entrance archway and intricate mosaic tiling, and judiciously incorporates modern elements elsewhere, such gleaming silver fixtures and green leather-upholstered walls in the elevator. Rooms are on the petite side but feel bigger thanks to the only slightly clinical white-on-white aesthetic. The bathrooms, by contrast, are luxurious, with matte gray tile, cute apothecary-style soaps, and deep soaking tubs. The location, near tourist favorites like Faneuil Hall and the North End, is ideal for sightseeing but a little removed from the South End dining scene and downtown bars. Luckily, the in-house restaurant, Woodward, is one of the city's hippest. The two-story space has a faux-speakeasy feel, with bookshelves filled with artfully collected knickknacks. Bartenders in Prohibition-era vests and waxed mustaches serve classic cocktails, and the crowd-pleasing menu hits plenty of high notes, including a rich duck-confit flatbread.2010 Hot List
Which room to book: The one-bedroom apartment, on the ninth floor, has beautiful city views through an arched window, plus a huge living room and dining room. Or, for something a bit more modest but still luxurious, the one-bedroom suite is twice the size of a standard room.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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