Set along the working wharves of Boston Harbor, near the must-visit Institute of Contemporary Art, the Renaissance plays to a watery theme. In the modern lobby, blue-and-green glass orbs complement a suspended glass lighting fixture and spiral staircase created to look like a nautilus shell. The building is flooded with light, and most guest rooms have water views. It all adds up to a clean, cool ambience, completely different from the dark woods and colonial style you
might encounter at the city's older hotels. The pool is a lap pool, not designed for lingering. If that feels a bit no-nonsense, that's just fine with the spot's business clientele, who love the proximity to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The mood changes on weekends, when package deals lure weekenders and family travelers. At 606 Congress, the hotel's restaurant, executive chef Richard Garcia sources local, in-season ingredients for a menu of modern farm cuisine.