WHAT & WHERE If location, location, location is king, then Downtown Boston’s Nine Zero Hotel is as majestic as they come: it’s just a few minutes’ walk to Boston Common and the Public Gardens, the chi-chi boutiques of Tremont Street, the charming Charles Street – and, handily, Park Street subway station, for zipping over to Cambridge and Somerville.
If your bank account allows it, book a skyline room, whose vistas include the gleaming, gold dome of Massachusetts State House and also the twinkling high-rise, Prudential Tower, at the top of which fancy cocktails and bird’s-eye panoramas, await.
Contemporary comforts make for a relaxing stopover at the four-star Nine Zero, its muted colour scheme given va-va voom with pops of lime upholstery in the lobby and snazzy blue headboard-lighting in (spacious) rooms (tip: the switch is on the side of the bed-stand; this writer was searching for what felt like forever). Rooms from $172.
NICE TOUCH Expect to see the lobby rammed between 5pm and 6pm, for “wine o’clock” – a free vino reception for guests – while the upstairs Highball Bar boasts tasty snacks, ales, cocktails and retro board games.
DOWNTIME De-stress with a workout in the fitness centre; jog along the Charles River; or have a spa treatment in the comfort of your own room –if, that is, you can possibly tear yourself away from the guestroom bathrobe that wouldn’t look out of place in Joan Collins’ boudoir, with its natty animal print collar. In Boston Common, skate the Frog Pond in winter and, in summer, play Spot the Bench where Matt Damon and Robin Williams had their tête-á-tête in Good Will Hunting (clue: it is usually peppered with tributes to the late Williams). (90 Tremont Street, +1 617 772 5800; ninezero.com)
NEARBY Make time to visit Gibson House Museum (below), where an upscale, single-family residence, completed in 1860, is a fascinating time capsule. Original furniture and fixtures fill each room, as if the Gibsons have just nipped out for their daily constitutional in the Public Gardens. (137 Beacon Street, +1 617 267 6338; thegibsonhouse.org).
Afterwards, lollop over to nearby JM Curley – just look for the top hat signage – for a small-but-expert selection of craft beers, burgers and comforting sharing plates, among them zesty, fried pickles with creole mayo, duck poutine, charcuterie and cheese boards. (21 Temple Place, +1 617 338 5333; jmcurleyboston.com)