24-hour room service: The Colonnade Hotel, Boston, US

A grand city stay with star quality

With its Seventies concrete façade, you could mistake it for a car park. But look again, because The Colonnade fancies itself as one of the smartest hotels in Boston. It calls itself a boutique hotel but the interior is too grand to fit the description. The lobby is all high ceilings, chandeliers, mahogany-clad walls and outsized sofas. The flower arrangements would fill the average living room.

Built almost 40 years ago by Boston businessman Bertram Druker, The Colonnade is now owned by his son Ronald. Over the years it has attracted some starry guests, among them Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine and, more recently, Matt Damon. But the hotel is not resting on its laurels. The appearance of a Mandarin Oriental just a block away, a new W hotel in the Theatre District and a Morgans Hotel in North End, has prompted it to up its game – two years ago it underwent a $20m overhaul that included renovation of the rooms, restaurant and reception area.

Best of all is the addition of a rooftop pool complete with cocktail bar. This glorious spot hosts live music throughout the summer.

And the food? Well, here's the bad news. The art deco-inspired French brasserie, Jo, is apparently award-winning but the food is more Café Rouge than Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons. I ordered smoked salmon, potatoes and horseradish, which arrived as a slither of chewy salmon buried under a mountain of crisps and topped off with a flavourless glob of cream. Discerning diners needn't go hungry, however, as there are plenty of excellent restaurants a short cab ride away.


The hotel is in Boston's chic Back Bay neighbourhood, famed for its expensive housing and designer clothes shops. Just over the road is the Prudential Centre complex, comprising a shopping mall and a cloud-skimming office building that has a public observatory on the top floor from where you can see Boston's harbour islands. Many landmarks are within walking distance of The Colonnade, though there's a subway station, Prudential, a couple of minutes away if you are going further afield.


Where the rooms were once adorned with swirling carpets and brass fittings, they are now dressed in rich browns, calming ecrus and crisp whites. On the bedside table, you'll find an iPod dock, oversize lamp and a digital radio. Marble-veneered bathrooms give the illusion of space.

With The Colonnade's new fixtures and fittings has come an environmental conscience, too: old windows have been replaced with energy-efficient floor-to-ceiling panes from which you can gaze at the Boston rooftops or, if you're on the lower levels, at the shoppers in the stores across the road.

The Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, US (001 617 424 7000; colonnadehotel.com ).

Rooms 4 stars
Value 3 stars
Service 4 stars

Standard rooms start at $259 (£158) per night, including breakfast.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own