Eccentric, $ (From $99)
One wouldn't expect Allston, Boston's hippest neighborhood, to be right across the river from Cambridge, with its Harvard Ivy Leaguers, post-grad millennials, and middle-class families. But surprisingly, this is where Harvard Business School sits alongside the city’s best ethnic restaurants, vintage dive bars, and intimate rock clubs where well-known indie rock bands booked their first gigs — all within a one-mile radius. The latest addition to the cobblestone streets is Studio Allston, an eye-catching boutique hotel with vibrant murals, outdoor fireplaces, in-room arcade games, and a popular outdoor Cuban bar that serves fresh mojitos. Shaking up the tired old college hotel scene, Allston offers a hip, laid-back retreat from Boston's prestige at a wallet-friendly rate of $99 per night. Save your pennies for that Ivy League tuition.
At a Glance
The Vibe: A laid-back youthful counterpoint to colonial Boston.
Standout Detail: The technicolor floor-to-ceiling murals in the lobby, courtyard, and guest rooms, are all custom painted by young American artists.
This Place Is Perfect For: Prospective students who want a feel for their Ivy League college town, millennial post-grads, and groups of friends who love a good dive bar and underground music scene.
Rooms: 117 bright guest rooms are spacious including ten one-bedroom King suites, all uniquely designed with colorful floor-to-ceiling murals and artwork commissioned by over 22 American artists. Large windows let in natural light, and monochromatic interiors with mid-century furniture offer a welcome contrast to the pop art rooms. iHome docking stations, smart streaming TVs, foosball tables and a full-service wet bar in select suites.
On Site: On warm summer days, the large outdoor patio is popular among the work-hard-play-hard crowd of Harvard Business School. A secluded tropical space with outdoor fireplaces, lawn games, colorful seating, and strong rum cocktails.
Food + Drink: Hotel restaurant Casa Caña pays tribute to Allston's hispanic neighborhood with a mixed menu of Central, South America, and Cuban cuisine. The sharing-style menu features empanadas, and dishes including moqueca, a spicy Brazilian stew with cod, mussels, and shrimp. Large windows overlook the outdoor patio and mural walls, a great place to retreat to after dinner or watch the sunset with a drink in hand.
What to Do Nearby
With a population made of students, post-grad millennials, and middle-class families, you wouldn't expect Allston to be a must-visit destination for anyone outside of those brackets. But surprisingly, the Boston neighborhood is home to Boston's best Cuban and South American restaurants, indie rock clubs, and vintage dive bars, all within a mile radius. Silhouette Lounge has all the appeals of the neighborhood dive: dated signage, rusty darts, bathroom graffiti, old-fashioned juke box, and most importantly, cheap pitchers of beer. MGMT, Hot Chip, and other big names started at Great Scott, before moving on to sold-out arena shows. The venue has no backstage, which makes it ideal to corner your favorite artist and buy them a post-show beer. Day or night, Twin Donuts is an Allston must-do for cheap, tasty donuts. They open at 4am, so expect a mixed crowd of early risers, and night owls trickling out from the dive bars.