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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
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
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: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot