The Best Boston Hotels and Guest Suites for Your Marathon Trip

Like any major city, there are a million places to stay in Boston, and it can be time-consuming to narrow down your options or find that one gem that all the locals know about.

That's why we tasked our Boston Ambassadors with recommending lodging based on their own experiences, proximity to starting line, the overall ambiance of the hotel, the neighborhood it's in, and the amenities.

With each recommendation, we include "Distance to the Finish Line," which is in Copley Square in downtown Boston. We did this instead of "Distance to Starting Line" because the Boston Marathon starts 26 miles out of the city in Hopkinton, MA. As RacerTrips Ambassador Andrew says, "Hopkinton is a small town. I'm sure there are some nice places to stay, but it is 26.2 miles from Boston. Getting into The Expo and enjoying Boston will be a major pain in the neck and waste of time from traveling. Stay in or near Boston. The BAA provides transportation to the starting line in Hopkinton."

With the Boston Marathon being one of the most highly coveted and renowned races in the world, hotels book quickly. We recommend doing yourself a favor and booking early. Some of our Ambassadors recommend booking in September just before registration opens.


(** Quick Note: We only write about hotels, lodging and accommodations that have been recommended by Racertrips™ Ambassadors. However, Racertrips LLC is a Booking.com affiliate and may earn commission on qualifying reservations.)

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Best Boston Hotels Overall

Racertrips Ambassador Michael says the best place to stay in Boston is the Eliot Hotel in Back Bay. Located at the corner of Massachusetts and Commonwealth Avenues, this boutique hotel is situated inside of one Back Bay's classic brownstones, which will give you a quintessentially Boston experience. Additionally, the hotel is located along the final mile of the Boston Marathon, making it a popular destination for runners and spectators alike.

The rooms at The Eliot Suite Hotel are cozy, warm and inviting, and the staff always puts hospitality first. Michael loves that the location makes it a great jumping off point to all of the major attractions of the city, such as Boston Common, Public Garden, Charles River Esplanade, Harvard Square and MIT, and shopping on Newbury Street. Easy access to Boston's best attractions combined with proximity to the Boston Marathon finish line makes the Eliot Hotel the best place to stay in the city.

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The Fairmont Copley Plaza has been part of marathon history since it opened in 1912. Located just a block from the finish line and half a mile from the Boston Athletic Association's (B.A.A.) expo and shuttle buses to the starting line, you'll be in the heart of the marathon buzz. According to Racertrips Ambassador Whitney, this historic hotel has you covered post-marathon with in-room massages and the OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, a hotel restaurant so good it's become a local favorite.

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Racertrips™ Ambassador Dawn is sure that you will love the Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Watertown. A short few miles outside of Boston, this is a five-star hotel that is more like a mini apartment with a full-size kitchen. This gives you a chance to save money on eating out. It's very close to all the malls, and downtown Boston is a bus ride away. It's very clean, and the price is great for runners. You can get a few people together and still have enough room to move around when you're in the room.

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The Bostonian is a favorite of Racertrips Ambassador Kristen. She says it offers a comfortable stay in the heart of Boston, and many of the rooms include views of the city and fireplaces. Kristen also likes that it's a short, 1-minute walk to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

For anyone who's driving to the marathon, the hotel also has valet parking.

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The lovely Godfrey Hotel is close to everything: a block from Boston Commons, the Boston Opera, even Escape the Room Boston! Racertrips Ambassador Brianna loves that you’re on the narrow part of the peninsula, so you can walk about 10 blocks in either direction and be on the water!

The staff is extremely accommodating, and while the rooms are small, they're also chic and very comfortable. From the building’s facade to the lobby, restaurant, hallways and rooms, everything is dripping with elegance.

Included with your daily "Urban Fee" is premium wireless internet, a fitness center, guided running tours, bicycle use (even helmets and locks), and in-room Starbucks.

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Best Hotels Near the Starting (or Finish) Line

The beautiful Boston Marriott Copley Place is close to the finish line—where all the action happens! Racertrips Ambassador Dawn likes that it's super clean and very close to a number of great attractions, such as Newbury Street, Copley Place Mall and the Shops at Prudential Center. Meanwhile, nearby sporting venues make it easy to cheer on favorite teams at Fenway Park or TD Bank Garden or watch an awesome race like the Boston Half Marathon, 5k or Boston Marathon. "This is my favorite place!"

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The best place to stay for the Boston Marathon is near the finish line because the race begins 26 miles outside the city. One option near the finish line is Westin Copley Place. This hotel is located near the Prudential Center, which has plenty of retail and grocery shopping to meet any last minute pre-race needs. Additionally, the Westin offers a 24-hour fitness studio and the RunWESTIN™ program, which offers guided group runs to guests. The hotel is also a very short walk from the Boston Marathon finish line. Racertrips Ambassador Michael says, "Convenience, amenities and location make this the best place to stay near the finish line."

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Right in Copley Square, where triumphant runners finish their race, is the beautiful Copley Square Hotel. Aside from the attraction of being able to walk from the finish line straight into your room for a relaxing shower, this boutique hotel offers a nightly complimentary wine hour and is close to great Boston attractions like Fenway Park and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Racertrips Ambassador Brianna is most excited about the wine hour.

Each room and the building itself are beautiful and richly decorated, and the staff is famously helpful with early arrivals, storing luggage, etc. They must know their clientele love exercise because they also offer free granola bars, running maps and a fitness center.

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Racertrips Ambassador Kristen recommends Hyatt Place Marlborough/Apex Center due to the many great features to help you get your race morning started right! First, it's 15 minutes away from the starting line. There's also an indoor pool, 24/7 gym access and free wifi. If you happen to be traveling with Fido or Fifi, it's also pet-friendly.

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Racertrips Ambassador Whitney again highlights the benefits of staying closer to the starting line in Natick. The Crowne Plaza Boston-Natick has historically offered free shuttles to the starting line. Call to confirm availability.

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While staying near the finish line is easiest in Boston, many people like to be near the action at the starting line. Racertrips Ambassador Whitney explains, "The Boston Marathon starts in Hopkinton, MA, a small suburb approximately—you guessed it—26.2 miles west of Boston. There are no hotels in Hopkinton, but if you book early, you may be lucky enough to find an Airbnb within walking distance. Staying at a hotel with a starting line shuttle or close to the B.A.A. bus pick up will ensure easy access to the start on race day."

The Hampton Inn in Natick has historically offered free shuttles to the starting line. Please call to confirm the shuttles.

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Best Non-Traditional Hotels

If you're looking for a unique and eclectic lodging experience while visiting Boston, Racertrips Ambassador Michael knows that the Verb Hotel is the way to go. The Verb, located in a recently renovated and upgraded Howard Johnson, pays homage to the rock-and-roll music scene of the surrounding area. Guests have access to a vinyl record library where they can check out records to play in their rooms on the vintage record players, which are provided in every room.

In addition to funky vibes, the Verb Hotel offers complimentary passes to the Boston Sports Club, where guests can enjoy fitness equipment, a sauna and a steam room.

Lastly, the Verb is situated near some of Boston's best restaurants, including its own onsite restaurant Hojoko. This Japanese tavern serves sushi, ramen, beer and burgers. There is often live music, making it a great option for a night out that isn't too far from your hotel room. Staying at the Verb will give you a one-of-a-kind experience that you won't forget!

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Racertrips Ambassador Dawn gives this hotel 5 stars! "Boston Harbor Hotel is the place you stay if you are a runner and money is not an issue," she says. "It is close to everything, and the view is amazing. They have everything you want and more!"

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Airbnb is a great way to get bang for your buck as well as the convenience of a kitchen and built-in friends (hosts). Racertrips Ambassador Kristen recommends checking out this great spot or others like it. There are comfortable places you can stay 2 miles from the starting line or right downtown!

Best Hotels for the Budget

The beautiful Boston Marriott Copley Place is super clean and very close to a number of great attractions, such as Newbury Street, Copley Place Mall, and the Shops at Prudential Center. Meanwhile, nearby sporting venues make it easy to cheer on favorite teams at Fenway Park or TD Bank Garden or watch an awesome race like Boston Half Marathon, 5k, or Boston Marathon. This is Racertrips Ambassador Dawn's favorite place!

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"The best place to stay on a budget won't take you outside of Boston," says Racertrips Ambassador Michael. Found Hotel is a budget hotel located adjacent to the Boston Common in the Theatre District. Located in what was originally the Sumner Hotel built in 1877, the hotel is one of the longest continuously operating hotels in the Greater Boston Area. Found Hotel has a variety of lodging options that include private and shared rooms, twin beds and queen beds. Given its location and proximity to the Boston Common and Public Garden, the hotel offers unbeatable prices.

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If you're looking for a prime location on a budget, check out the Midtown Hotel. "An easy walk from the finish line, this no-frills hotel is one of the least expensive finds in downtown Boston," says Racertrips Ambassador Whitney. It's centrally located between Fenway Park, Boston's trendy South End neighborhood and the finish line. And with parking for just $29 a day (an absolute steal in Boston), you can't get more bang for your buck than the Midtown.

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The Holiday Inn Express Boston-Milford is affordable, has complimentary breakfast, wifi, and coffee and tea in the room. Racertrips Ambassador Kristen gives it a hearty recommendation.

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RacerTrips Ambassador Andrew raves, "This was a shocker to me, Royal Sonesta Boston in Cambridge at $199 per night. I double checked my dates and for Marathon weekend they say $199/night. This hotel is close to Boston the food is good and they have outside seating. This may or may not be something you want on Marathon weekend. I would book early as I'm sure they sell out quickly."

All rooms at the Royal Sonesta Boston have king-sized beds. This hotel is close to Kendall Square, and you can walk across the Longfellow bridge into Boston and to catch your bus on Marathon Monday.

In addition to the great view of the city there are several nice bars and restaurants in the area and it's easy to get to Boston.

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Best Luxury Hotel Accommodations

If you're hoping to sleep in as long as possible on race day, Racertrips Ambassador Whitney recommends staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. Located just 0.2 miles from the B.A.A. shuttle buses on race morning, you'll arrive at the starting line well rested and with fresh legs. The Four Seasons is known for spoiling runners with everything from pre-race goodie bags to special meal accommodations to group yoga. With a luxury spa, rooms overlooking Boston Public Garden and location in the heart of Boston, splurging on the Four Seasons is well worth it.

RacerTrips Ambassador Andrew chimes in about the Four Seasons, "This is a 5 star hotel, what else do you have to say?"

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In the prettiest part of downtown, just a few blocks from Boston Common and from the waterfront, aquarium and more, you can find the luxurious but reasonably priced Ames Boston Hotel. With elegant touches like oak hardwood floors, marble showers and claw-foot tubs, you’ll feel like you’re the high society of old Boston. "The views are spectacular and the staff are great," reports Racertrips Ambassador Brianna.

Runners will appreciate a 24-hour fitness center for stretching and weights and a tasty restaurant for hearty breakfasts.

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If you're looking for a unique and eclectic lodging experience while visiting Boston, Racertrips Ambassador Dawn doesn't think you can do better than the Verb Hotel. The Verb, located in a recently renovated and upgraded Howard Johnson, pays homage to the rock-and-roll music scene of the surrounding area. Guests have access to a vinyl record library where they can check out records to play in their rooms on the vintage record players, which are provided in every room.

In addition to funky vibes, the Verb Hotel offers complimentary passes to the Boston Sports Club, where guests can enjoy fitness equipment, a sauna and a steam room.

Lastly, the Verb is situated near some of Boston's best restaurants, including its own onsite restaurant Hojoko. This Japanese tavern serves sushi, ramen, beer and burgers. There is often live music, making it a great option for a night out that isn't too far from your hotel room. Staying at the Verb will give you a one-of-a-kind experience that you won't forget!

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The Fairmont Copley Plaza has been part of marathon history since it opened in 1912. Racertrips Ambassador Kristen loves that it's located just a block from the finish line and half a mile from the Boston Athletic Association's (B.A.A.) expo and shuttle buses to the starting line. At the Fairmont Copley Plaza, you'll be in the heart of the marathon buzz. This historic hotel has you covered post-marathon with in-room massages and OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, a hotel restaurant so good it's become a local favorite.

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Best Hotels for Families

The Row Hotel in Somerville, MA offers family-friendly accommodations with easy access to Boston. Rooms are equipped with a pullout couch, and cribs are available upon request. When the kids get tired of the hotel pool, walk next door to Legoland (RacerTrip Ambassador Andrew's favorite feature!), the movie theater or Lucky Strike Bowling, or you can rent bikes to check out the surrounding area.

Racertrips Ambassador Whitney notes that the adults in your group will appreciate the outlet shopping and 20+ restaurants located just outside the hotel door. Check out Caffe Nero for coffee and Earls for dinner. The Row is next door to the Assembly "T" station in the hippest new neighborhood of Somerville-Assembly Row. On race morning, you can take the Orange Line from here to the Chinatown stop. From there, you'll walk 0.3 to the B.A.A. shuttles. Spectators can ride to Back Bay Station for a short walk to the finish line. Alternately, a ride share should set you back about $15.

 

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Racertrips Ambassador Brianna doesn't think you can do much better than the Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Cambridge if you’re looking to bring kiddos along to the marathon. This hotel offers some great ways to save money if the whole fam is there: a kitchenette with fridge, microwave and dishwasher; free breakfast; and a nightly happy hour with fun kids foods like chicken tenders. The rooms are also quite large (good for playing) and there’s an indoor pool! You can also enjoy no fee-grocery delivery and coin laundry. Seriously, what more could you need?

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The Courtyard Boston-Milford is about a 9-minute drive from the starting area and affordable for families. In-room amenities include free high-speed wifi, microwave and a small refrigerator, which Racertrips Ambassador Kristen knows can make a big difference.

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The Royal Sonesta Boston checked all of RacerTrip Ambassador's boxes for a great hotel. With views of the city, close proximity to Kendall Square, the Museum of Science (steps away!), and several nice bars and restaurants, it's not problem that it's not right downtown. It's still a breeze to get into Boston for fun day trips.

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The Royal Sonesta Boston checked all of RacerTrip Ambassador's boxes for a great hotel. With views of the city, close proximity to Kendall Square, the Museum of Science (steps away!), and several nice bars and restaurants, it's not problem that it's not right downtown. It's still a breeze to get into Boston for fun day trips.

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Best Neighborhood Accommodations

Irving House is a charming B&B located a short walk to the Harvard Square "T" station for easy access to downtown Boston, just across the Charles River from Cambridge. Racertrips™ Ambassador Kristen gives it two thumbs up.

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From the AC Hotel you can walk to Wellington Station (T) and get into Boston easily. This is a newer hotel with a pool, and there are restaurants in walking distance. Booking April 19 to April 23 would cost about $1,200 for a room w/ 2 queen beds. I recommend this hotel because it is convenient to get into Boston, is affordable and there are a few restaurants nearby and a bar in Pizzeria Regina!

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If you want to stay outside of Boston but have an easy trip to The Boston Common on Marathon Monday, Hyatt Place Boston/Medford is for you. Renovated about 5 years ago, this cozy place has a pool and is within walking distance o several restaurants in Medford Sq. They have a shuttle that will take you to Wellington.

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Meet our Boston Ambassadors

Dawn Shea
In 2008, Dawn was told back she would never run again as a result of a form of spine disease. After hard work and tears, she ran her first half marathon in 2015 and hasn't stopped since.
Michael Parello
Mike is a Boston-based runner, writer and essayist, as well as a public health advocate. He began running when he moved to Boston for college in 2011. Since then, he has competed dozens of events.
Whitney DeSena
An avid runner in high school, Whitney gave up running for most of her 20s. She returned to running last year, completing 3 half marathons as well as a variety of shorter races. After years of spectating, she's gearing up to run the Boston Marathon as a charity runner in 2019.
Kristen Millar
Kristen has run 11 half marathons and one full marathon in Cape Cod, MA. She's training for Fool's Dual in Gloucester, MA, which is 5K & half marathon back-to-back.
Brianna Austin
Brianna has been running since middle school and is working ever closer to her first marathon. While she loves Boston, she is back now, jogging around her native Denver.
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