Cheap Chic

An historic Beacon Hill address where you can stay

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bed-and-breakfast inn with some of the amenities of a hotel, the John Jeffries is named for the man who founded the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, which once used it as a nurses’ dormitory and still owns it. It’s popular with visitors to Harvard, European travelers, and guests of functions held at the very trendy, very expensive Liberty Hotel nearby, which was converted from a jail. But it’s much, much cheaper than other hotels in this part of town, and all 46 rooms have efficiency kitchens. Decorations are basic, old-fashioned, generally Victorian, and comfortable, with a private garden alongside, a rare luxury in this densely populated, historic neighborhood of red brick.

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So unfashionable was dowdy Brahmin Boston once considered that the poet Anne Sexton parodied it in her description in the poem “Speaking Bitterness” of “an elderly lady who is full of spleen, who humps around greater Boston in a God-awful hat.”

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