The minimalist style sense of the YWCA Berkeley Residences (40 Berkeley St., 617/375-2524, www.ywcaboston.org/berkeley , single $65, double $80, triple $99) makes this hostel seem cool rather than spartan. Friendly staff and ideal location combine to create the best budget option in the city. (Men are welcome as well as women.)
A short walk from Newbury Street, the 463 Beacon Street Guest House (463 Beacon St., 617/536-1302, www.463beacon.com , $79–169) offers a range of rooms in a restored Back Bay  brownstone. While small, the rooms are cheerily decorated with an eye toward period detail. The house also has furnished apartments for longer stays.
You can’t find closer accommodations to Newbury Street shopping than the Newbury Guest House (261 Newbury St., 617/670-6000, www.newburyguesthouse.com , $120–219), which offers simple rooms with white bedspreads and pastel walls, as well as a full breakfast with trademark freshly baked muffins.
The South End  has many charming bed-and-breakfasts in its historic district. One of the best, the Herbst Haus (Appleton St., 617/266-0235, www.herbsthaus.com , $150–225) is located in an 1870s townhouse with two simple but comfortable suites, a parlor with a marble fireplace, and a friendly hostess.
You might be forgiven if you think for a moment you are in Paris during a stay at the Eliot Hotel (370 Commonwealth Ave., 617/267-1607, www.eliothotel.com , $195–335). Everything here is made to conjure up the Continent, including marble bathrooms, French doors in the rooms, plush linens, and a refined, multilingual staff. Even its location on the Commonwealth Mall seems a nod to the Champs Elysées.
When it comes to the Jewel of Newbury (254 Newbury St., 617/536-5523, www.jewelboston.com , $175–295), the name says it all. One-of-a-kind suites blend a personal collection of North African, Indian, and Western antiques to create a sophisticated guesthouse right out of the world of Phineas Fogg. The art deco bar area is a jewel within a jewel.