No. 284 Guest House in Boston is an Alternative - and Super-Chic - Option to a Luxury Hotel
When I travel, I tend to stay with friends or family, but when I do stay in hotels, I make it a central part of the trip - I never think of hotels as a “who cares, I’m just going to be sleeping here” last-minute addition to a vacation. For me, the hotel is the vacation! It’s the launchpad of my entire stay, a place to start the day, to return to pre-dinner, to luxuriate in bed at night in a big bathrobe, to finally wash my hair, to do a mud mask…just to relax and not focus on being a good houseguest or working on my own house.
I’ll spend hours finding a hotel, researching, reading reviews, deliberating, looking for promo codes, checking geotagged photos on the ‘gram…in other words, it’s a big deal. I’m basically always looking for the perfect storm of chic aesthetic, beautiful location, luxury, walkability, photographability, and yeah, of course the basics - cleanliness, safety, can I afford it without taking out a loan.
No. 284, a 23-room guest house in Boston’s Back Bay, is literally the bull-eye in a Venn diagram of all those things. Not for nothing, No. 284 is one of the highest rated hotels in Boston - it consistently gets near perfect scores across all the booking sites: 9.8/10 on Hotels.com , 9.6/10 on Booking.com, a perfect 5/5 on Trip Advisor (!!), and another perfect score on Yelp - 5/5. That said, No. 284 doesn’t bill itself as a hotel, and the term “guest house” is truly fitting; staying at No. 284 is a true staycation experience - Think: Staying in a luxury Airbnb in a fancy Boston brownstone, but with turndown service and amenities.
It’s situated on Commonwealth Avenue - # 284, to be exact, plum in the middle of the fancy end of the miles-long avenue by the Commons, where many of the brownstones still house single-family mansions instead of maze-like student apartments like a few miles up the road on Comm Ave where I used to live when I went to Boston University.
Art is a central component of No. 284 — nearly every room boasts pricey modern art, so you can casually enjoy coffee next to a Damien Hirst in one of the common rooms, and sleep soundly within earshot of a few Warhols in the penthouse suite - aptly named the Warhol room.
The Warhol Room
Sleep under a skylight in this beautiful penthouse suite complete with its own deck, where you can relax with a drink and a book and check out views of city life in Back Bay. The weather was great for being outside when I was here, but I bet this would be an awesome writer’s retreat on a snowy day…
It was a rather small space for a penthouse - I mean, this is the part of Boston where the buildings are old and elegant, but there were so many nooks and areas to spread out, write, read, snack, and whatever else you’d do in a room named after Andy Warhol. I loved how the designers made this space feel like a whole world unto itself with a desk near the foot of the bed and cozy armchairs with coffee table books by the windows for when you want to “get out of bed,” but aren’t quite ready for physical activity just yet.
The Common Areas
Grab an complimentary espresso from the machine and settle in with a paper or a beautiful coffee table book in the common living room. Yes, you’ll be within a stones through of Newbury Street, the Commons, and Fenway Park but you will probably not want to leave No. 284! There were a couple other guests milling in and out on the Sunday morning I was there, but everyone I encountered smiled politely and said good morning, but was more into enjoying quiet time, privacy, and caffeine - exactly what you’d expect in a luxurious guest house.
Final verdict: BOOK YOURSELF A STAY HERE! Plan lots of walks. Plan cocktail hours at bars around Back Bay (Saltie Girl is a great one for awesome, outside-the-box drinks) and plan for delivery pizza in bed. Enjoy this guest house as a pivotal part of your vacation, or staycation, in Boston.