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The Charlesmark Hotel

By: Kellie K. Speed

If you haven't heard of the Charlesmark Hotel, you're probably not alone.  The understated elegance and European flair of this boutique hotel located across from the Boston Public Library is truly one of the city's hidden jewels.  Opened in 2002, the 33-room hotel offers the most reasonable rates in town from $129 a night and up, nearly 15-25% less than some of the city's major hotels.

The five-foot diameter clock located in the main lobby is from the south of France.  Silver and gold comforters priced at $900 each top the beds.  Once a private residence, the six-story contemporary hotel now hosts portraits from local artists that line the hallways, imported Italian marble and tile bathrooms, imported Belgium brushed silver sconce flight fixtures, Swedish bathroom fixtures and custom-made furniture to reflect a modern feeling. 

Each room offers earth tones to create a soft look and is equipped with all the modern conveniences, including cordless phones, data ports and even surround sound wired bathrooms.  Located at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, this hotel will soon become one of the city's hot spots.

What some of the rooms lack in size, they make up for in expansive city views.  The Charlesmark offers computer high speed Internet access in the lobby, continental breakfast complete with coffee, tea, muffins, pastries, bagels and fruit, a CD and VHS library, in-room refrigerator and satellite television.  Because this is a boutique hotel, don't expect room service as there is no on-site restaurant but some great properties like Abe & Louie's, Atlantic Fish Company and Pizzeria Uno's are just a few steps down Boylston Street.

The property, which was built in 1886 as a private residence and converted to offices in 1922, was transformed into the Charlesmark by renowned designer Dennis Duffy, who worked on one of the Red Sox' main men, Manny Ramirez' penthouse at the Ritz Carlton.  Today, the hotel provides the luxury, comfort and functionality of a major Boston hotel without the steep price tag.

Before opening the Charlesmark, co-owner Mark Hagopian alongside his father, Nubar, operated the downtown properties Newbury Guest House and Harborside Inn.  Mark later worked as director of development with the owner of the luxury boutique hotel XV Beacon.  Today, Hagopian and Charles Hajjar oversee guest requests and provides first-rate service at his new property. 

This small hotel offers the same amenities as their neighboring competitors but without the steep price tag.  For example, the rooms come fully equipped with DirecTV satellite receivers with more than 200 channels of movie, television and music, CDs and VHS players and cordless speaker phones.  Thirteen rooms have a queen size bed with pullout twin sofa and 20 offer a full-size bed with large leather reading chair.

The stylish shops of Newbury Street, the Prudential Center shopping plaza and Copley Place surround the Charlesmark.  The Freedom Trail in Boston Common, the Public Garden and Faneuil Hall are just a few minutes away. 

The Charlesmark Hotel
655 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

Phone: 617-247-1212

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Kellie Speed - Click to enlarge

Kellie K. Speed is a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahnersí Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air Approach.

Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is planning a trip to Tahiti.

Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.

If you would like to email Kellie any suggestions or comments, please do so at


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