A new South End hotel is filled with Boston history, and bunk beds

"Our intention is to honor the revolutionary spirit of Boston by creating something really new for the city."

A room at The Revolution Hotel in Boston.
A quad room at the Revolution Hotel in Boston. –The Revolution Hotel

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A boutique hotel dedicated to celebrating Boston’s rich and innovative history opened Wednesday in the South End.

The Revolution Hotel, housed inside a former YWCA, includes 163 compact rooms, Boston-inspired art, and a 2,500-square-foot co-working space called Conspire. A restaurant will be added in 2019, said Kate Buska, vice president of brand development and communications for Provenance Hotels, the Portland, Ore.-based hotel and hospitality management company behind the hotel.

“Our intention is to honor the revolutionary spirit of Boston by creating something really new for the city,” Buska said.

A mural at The Revolution Hotel. —The Revolution Hotel
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The hotel is loaded with Boston-inspired artwork and information, according to Buska. Notable Boston dates are part of the design of a bar top inside Conspire that was crafted from the wood of a Boston elm tree dating back to the 1880s. The design includes, for example, when same-sex marriage was legalized in the state and when Facebook was invented in a Harvard dorm room. A group of local artists called the Individuals Collective created a multifaceted, innovation-focused sculpture for the hotel.

“They collected all these objects that had been physically invented in Boston and then they turned them into art,” Buska said. “They put them in this column as a sculpture. It’s this really cool, visual piece of art.”

People and objects that are important to Boston are also part of a massive lobby mural created by California-born street artist Tristan Eaton. The work features John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Polaroid camera, and more, Buska said.

“It’s this collage of imagery, and the more you stare at it, the more you get out of it,” she said.

Artist Tristan Eaton working on the mural in the lobby of The Revolution Hotel ahead of the hotel’s opening. —The Revolution Hotel

Conspire, the co-working space, is “where future innovators, people who are doing things big and small, can be part of the community we’re building here,” Buska said. Folks can plug in at the bar, collaborate at a long, communal table, or meet in smaller groups in cozy booths, she said. The room is complimentary for guests and available to community members with a membership or for $20 a day.

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Guests staying at the hotel can book a room with a king bed and private bathroom, or a triple or quad with bunk beds and shared private bathrooms. Despite the bunk beds and shared bathrooms, the rooms are in fact private — not shared with unknown travelers as in a hostel, Buska said.  

A room at the Revolution Hotel. —The Revolution Hotel

“Our guest rooms are small. Intentionally, they are compact,” said Buska, who considers them a good choice for groups of friends traveling together.

“Maybe you live in New York or D.C. and are just coming for the weekend for a game or a concert and you’re not intending to spend a lot of time in your room,” Buska said. “We’re the perfect place.”

Rates start at $150 per night.

Update: The hotel has changed the number of hotel rooms from 164 to 163. 

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