One of the growing number of lodgings clustered along Boston's ever-expanding Harborwalk—a pretty pedestrian path that runs from Charlestown to Dorchester—this Fairmont looks more like a gated community than a chain hotel. The four guest and residence buildings are accessible by water taxi ($10 from Logan Airport); inside, savvy decorators resisted the obvious nautical theme and went for a "manly modern" look. That means lots of polished nickel, maple, and granite,
with sparkling contemporary glass sculpture by artist Nikolas Weinstein. Rooms offer all the good stuff you'd expect at this price point, including marble baths, flat-screen TVs, ergonomic chairs, and high-tech coffeemakers. The Italian restaurant, Aragosta Bar and Bistro, features an open kitchen and an outdoor terrace with views of Boston Harbor. Exhale, an upscale spa, opened a 13,000-square-foot onsite facility in 2011. Highlights include 12 zen-inspired therapy rooms, New England's only Hammam Spa (think Turkish bath), and a templelike Yoga studio.