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SLEEPING AROUND | CHRISTOPHER MUTHER

Bed hopping in Boston’s newest, hottest hotels

The lobby at the Moxy Hotel in the Theater District.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

It’s midnight on a Monday, and I want to hear a bedtime story.

This doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request, particularly when I’m staying at a hotel with a phone that has a “Press here for bedtime stories” button. I pressed, and instead of a story, I heard an error message. I pressed the button again, same error message. It’s a cute idea, but if this Fisher-Price-looking phone at the Moxy Hotel can’t spit out the promised story, I will inevitably go to bed cranky. In other words, sweet dreams are not made of this.

When you spend a week sleeping around in some of Boston’s newest hotels, you have to expect a few hiccups. I lugged my suitcase to four new city hotels last month to give them a test run. The Cambria, the Moxy, the Whitney, and the Four Seasons One Dalton (the second Four Seasons to open in Boston) all arrived in 2019. Last year I also reviewed newcomers citizenM at North Station and the Encore Boston Harbor hotel, so I didn’t feel the need to darken their revolving doors again. I also previously reviewed recent arrivals the Revolution Hotel and the Row at Assembly Square, which had received national accolades.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Boston is in the midst of an unprecedented hotel boom. More than 2,700 additional hotel rooms will be added by next year, with an additional 5,600 rooms either approved or in the planning phases, according to Pinnacle Advisory Group.

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Before we get to the good stuff, here’s the usual disclaimer: None of the hotels knew that a Globe travel writer was on the premises, and there were no discounts or freebies. I paid the going rate at each hotel I visited. Published room rates vary wildly throughout the year. Because I was staying in the dead of winter, many of the rates I paid were below published prices.

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A room at the Moxy Boston in the Theater District.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

The Moxy Boston Downtown

Pros: Lively atmosphere. Cons: Micro rooms are better for short-term stays.

The lowdown: The Moxy is Marriott’s leap into the micro hotel market and is Boston’s third such hotel (other micros are citizenM and Yotel). Large common areas balance out the tiny rooms. You can hang out in the bar, linger around and play games, or futz about on your phone or laptop in the big lobby. Unlike other micro hotels in Boston, rooms at the Moxy feel more traditional and are less about bells and beeps and more about minimalism and efficient use of space.

The experience: It’s a bit of a millennial playground here. When you walk in there’s a delivery truck that’s been converted into a photo booth. There are multiple vignettes begging to posted on social media — just add influencers and click. When you check in you’re handed a ticket for the house cocktail, which featured dragonberry rum and black cherry puree. My room felt larger than other micro hotels I’ve stayed in, and there was actually a full-size bathroom. There’s no closet, just a few hangers and lots of pegs on the wall. Each floor has a communal ironing area, but there’s also a steamer in the room. The bed was was comfortable and the room, which sports a lot of exposed concrete, was quiet.

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This telephone refused to tell bedtime stories at the Moxy. Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

Coffee maker in room: No.

Pet friendly: Yes, with a fee of $50 per stay.

Room service: No.

Gym: Yes, it’s small but well-equipped.

Minibar/refrigerator: No.

Breakfast included: No.

Parking: Valet parking is available for $58 per day.

Published room rate: Rooms range from $199-$299.

What I paid: $181

240 Tremont St., 617-793-4200.

A room at the Whitney Hotel in Beacon Hill. Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

The Whitney Boston

Pros: Perhaps the most charming new hotel in Boston. Cons: Postage-stamp-size gym.

The lowdown: This former 1909 nurses’ dormitory withered for years as a slightly run-down hostel until it was snapped up and given a new life as a 65-room boutique hotel with a modern Italian restaurant, called Peregrine, in the lobby. Unlike many hotel restaurants, Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri (the team behind Juliet in Somerville) have built a neighborhood dining destination. A new building was constructed in what was once an adjoining parking lot which houses the lobby, restaurant, and some rooms. If you stay here, make sure your room is in the old nurses’ dormitory.

A detail of decor in a room at the Whitney Hotel in Boston.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

The experience: Of all the Boston hotels I’ve visited over the past three years, the Whitney is by far my favorite. Every picture, plate, and throw blanket appears to be thoughtfully curated. It feels like a Boston hotel without walloping you over the head with cliché Boston references. It’s an ideal meld of modern and classic. My room felt as if it was part of a Beacon Hill home, albeit a very well-designed home. As you may have gathered, I was in love. Because rates were winter low, I spent slightly more for a river view room and watched the sunset behind the Charles. The staff was attentive and the vibe in the lobby bar was lively. Each floor has something called the Whit Pantry which has free cookies and soda water.

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Coffee maker in room: Yes.

Pet friendly: The hotel allows two pets up to 50 pounds for an additional fee of $125 per stay.

Room Service: Yes

Gym: Yes, but it’s ridiculously small. If you need to exercise, go for a run along the Charles instead or borrow one of the hotel’s bikes.

Minibar/refrigerator: There are spirits and treats in the room for sale, but no refrigerator in the room. Head to the Whit Pantry for ice.

Breakfast included: No.

Parking: Valet is $56 per night.

Published rates: Rooms starting at $400 a night.

What I paid: $267

170 Charles St., 617-367-1866.

The Charles Suite at the Four Seasons One Dalton in Boston.Christian Horan Photography

The Four Seasons One Dalton

Pros: A world-class entry to Boston’s luxury hotel scene. Cons: Ouch, the price.

The lowdown: Located in the third tallest building in Boston, the Four Seasons One Dalton has little in common with its sister property near Boston Common. Whereas Boston’s original Four Seasons is like your wealthy Brahmin uncle who prefers to sip scotch by a piano near the fireplace, One Dalton is the flashy, jet-setting, playboy nephew who finally has access to his trust fund and isn’t afraid to spend it on the finer things.

The experience: The first time I toured the property last year, I thought it felt a bit generic. It seemed like a luxury hotel that could be plopped in any city. During my stay last month, I came away with a different opinion. It’s a hotel like no other in Boston, and that’s a good thing. There’s a demographic that craves this level of modern posh. In fact, I saw most of them swilling sake in Zuma, an izakaya-style Japanese restaurant on the second floor of the hotel. There are floor-to-ceiling windows in each of the 215 rooms that offer tremendous views across the city (my room was on an upper floor). The room was modern and airy, but didn’t feel stark. The materials used throughout the hotel are exquisite. There is an entire floor devoted to fitness with a pool, spa, and massive gym with impressive views.

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Before my stay, I received a call warning me that there would be construction happening outside the hotel, and was given the option to cancel if I wanted. This was accompanied by many apologies. It was a thoughtful touch.

The lobby of the Four Seasons One Dalton in Boston.Christian Horan Photography

Coffee maker in room: Yes.

Pet friendly: Yes, no additional fee.

Room service: Yes.

Gym: Sprawling and modern with sensational views. There’s even granola bars and Gatorade for the taking.

Minibar/refrigerator: There’s a minibar, but a can of Diet Coke will set you back $7.

Breakfast included: No.

Parking: Valet is $60 per night.

Published room rate: If you have to ask ... just kidding. Starting from $600 a night for a deluxe room, and from $1,500 for a night for an executive suite.

What I paid: $547.

1 Dalton St., 617-377-4888.

Six West Restaurant & Bar in the Cambria Hotel in South Boston. Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

The Cambria Hotel Boston, Downtown-South Boston

Pros: Steps from the Red Line and a much-needed addition to Southie. Cons: It’s a long walk to downtown attractions.

The lowdown: It seems as if it took the Cambria a long time to open (it’s walking distance to my house, so I watched the progress carefully), but it was worth the wait. The lobby is beautiful and Six West Restaurant & Bar is a great spot for an evening cocktail. The hotel and its trappings would feel equally at home in downtown Boston as it does in South Boston. I suspect when the rooftop bar opens this spring that Southie millennials will be on it like seagulls on a dumpster. This is a fitting addition to South Boston, where multimillion dollar condos are more the rule than the exception.

The experience: Hotel staff in general are a polite bunch. But the women working check-in at the Cambria weren’t just pleasant, they were fun. What a difference a bit of personality makes in setting the stage for a stay. Because winter rates were dirt cheap I opted to stay in a suite for about $20 more than a standard room. It was a massive space, and a bit austere with just a few chairs in the living room area. The bedroom felt much cozier. It’s a solid property, but might be a challenge for tourists who could be misled by the inclusion of the word “Downtown” in the hotel’s name.

Chairs in an austere suite at the Cambria Hotel in South Boston.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

Coffee maker in room: Yes. There’s also a Starbucks directly across the street.

Pet friendly: Not pet friendly.

Room service: Yes.

Gym: Yes, and it’s quite spacious.

Minibar/refrigerator: There’s a mini fridge in the room.

Breakfast included: No.

Parking: Valet is $50 per day.

Published room rate: $159 to $599 per night.

What I paid: $207.

6 West Broadway, 617-752-6681.


Christopher Muther can be reached at christopher.muther@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.