Keene is a small city tucked away in a quiet corner of New Hampshire, but right in the heart of New England. It makes up the Monadnock Region along with Cheshire County and is home to two reputed liberal arts colleges. The city is a cultural hub of music, theater, and art. You’ll often find award-winning performers and national touring companies performing here. As such, there are quite a few hotels in Keene, New Hampshire. However, you won’t find the big, luxury brands here. Instead, you’ll find beautiful vacation homes and B&Bs which are as good as any of the top hotels around.
Keene is in close proximity to Massachusetts and Vermont. Some of the best things to do in Vermont are just about a 30-minute drive from Keene. If you’re visiting Keene in the winter, you may want to check out the best ski resorts in Vermont some of which are less than two hours away.
Where to Stay in Keene, NH
Manicured streets and historic homes make up most of this classic New England town and staying in one of the historic homes is an experience in itself. Downtown is where you’ll find plenty of restaurants and shops. It’s a good place to base yourself if you want to be close to the action along the photogenic Main Street.
However, since Keene does not have many big attractions to bring in the tourists, you won’t find too many hotels in town. A good idea would be to stay in hotels near Keene, New Hampshire, that are located in the nearby towns. Chesterfield and Swanzey are about 15-20 minutes’ drive from here. You’ll find quite a few good accommodations in these towns too.
Holiday Inn Express
One of the best options for those looking for affordable hotels in Keene, New Hampshire is the Holiday Inn Express. The hotel appeals to business and leisure travelers due to its central location and fantastic amenities. At this location, you’re close to a large number of corporations and businesses and many top attractions.
Guest rooms are considerably spacious at 290 square feet and equipped with a number of modern conveniences. A Serta Presidential mattress with Simply Smart triple-sheeted bedding makes the beds nice and comfortable. Private bathrooms feature bathtubs and a separate vanity area.
You can look forward to a full breakfast that is included in the rate as well as complimentary coffee in the lobby. Other perks at the hotel include a heated indoor pool and a well-equipped fitness center.
Days Inn by Wyndham
The dog-friendly Days Inn is another good option for hotels in Keene, New Hampshire. For one thing, it’s pretty good value for money with the in-house amenities such as a 24-hour reception desk and fitness center. Not far from the hotel you’ll find the Colonial theater where you can catch a live show or watch a classic film. Mount Monadnock State Park is an easy drive from here too.
Welcoming guest rooms in shades of blue and cream have a homely feel. They come with standard amenities such as a flat-screen TV and Coffee/Tea Maker plus free WiFi. Guests can also enjoy a free breakfast, included in the rate. It’s a good place to stop by for those on the road as there’s also free parking and parking for RVs.
Colonial Keene House
If you’re traveling with a group, a good idea would be to ditch the regular hotels in Keene, New Hampshire, and book a vacation home. The Colonial Keene Home has stories to tell with a history that goes back to 1880. It’s a bit secluded on seven acres of lush property, which makes it a good space for a get together with the extended family as 18 guests can sleep comfortably here. The property puts you close to ski resorts, hiking trails, and historical attractions.
Beautiful hardwood flooring and large windows characterize this gorgeous home. Though the property underwent a recent renovation, it has retained much of its old-world charm. You’ll find eight comfortable bedrooms with different sleeping arrangements, that range from King and Queen beds to twin beds.
A fully equipped kitchen with four ovens ensures that you won’t have to leave the property if you want to grab something to eat. Head to the outdoor pool for a refreshing dip or unwind with a drink on the furnished patio.
Riverside Hotel, Ascend Collection
Since hotels in Keene, New Hampshire are in short supply, a good idea would be to base yourself in a town nearby. It’s about a 20-minute drive from the Riverside Hotel in West Chesterfield to Keene, but the picturesque location is worth the drive. Off I-91 on the banks of the Connecticut River, the hotel is well placed for outdoor activities like hiking and swimming or skiing. The hotel has its own boat dock from where you can float down the scenic river. Other attractions nearby include the 18th-century colonial Historic Deerfield village.
The charming boutique hotel has a warm, welcoming vibe that spills over into the guest rooms. Wood flooring, comfy beds, and scenic views of the river are what you can look forward to from your room. Some rooms have an attached private balcony while suites come with a kitchen and 2-person whirlpool in the bathroom.
The hotel has a well-equipped fitness center but you won’t find onsite dining options here. However, the nearest restaurant is within walking distance of the hotel.
The Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House
It’s a little over a 10-minute drive to Keene from the Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House in West Swanzey. There are plenty of outdoor activities in the vicinity as well as covered bridges, restaurants, antique shops, and auction houses. The covered bridges are some of the top attractions in Vermont, which borders the area.
The historic inn traces its roots to 1792 and its past is evident in the décor of the rooms with classic wallpaper and antiques. Five beautifully decorated guest rooms are on the top floor. These comfortable rooms reflect the old world charm of the hotel with antique furniture and other period touches. Rooms are namesakes of the covered bridges that the area is so famous for. In-room perks also include complimentary chocolates and toiletries. Every morning guests get treated to a bountiful breakfast.
Chesterfield is a good alternative if you’re looking for hotels near Keene, New Hampshire as you’ll find many welcoming B&Bs and inns near. The Chesterfield Inn is one such charming property with its rambling views of the Connecticut River Valley. It’s just three miles from the river and the Vermont border.
Sitting on 10 acres of land, the inn is a tastefully decorated space with beautiful interiors. It’s no wonder that it is a proud member of the Distinctive Inns of New England. Guest rooms are spread across the Main Inn building, the Cottage, and the adjacent Johanna Wetherby Building. The rooms exude style and warmth with their plush chairs, gas fireplaces, bright wallpaper, and carpeted floors. They’re all outfitted with modern conveniences and have plenty of natural light in. Rooms in the main building have exposed beams.
While a sumptuous breakfast is included in the rate, there’s a good onsite restaurant for dinner. You can enjoy fresh, imaginative food paired with excellent wines and dessert here. Take an evening stroll around the landscaped surroundings or enjoy the gardens during the day.
Evolve Vacation Grand Estate
Another expansive property to stay at in Keene is the Grand Estate, managed by Evolve Vacation Homes. Main Street is just 2 miles away so it puts you pretty close to all the action. You’ll also find many scenic hiking trails nearby and a choice of restaurants.
The 8-bedroom mansion has a luxurious vibe, both inside and outside. Interiors are characterized by hardwood floors, an indoor fireplace, and bay windows which allow in plenty of natural light. You’ll find a courtyard with a patio area plus a balcony and fenced yard. A fully equipped kitchen makes this a convenient option for families with kids. There’s also a huge parking space that can accommodate up to 10 vehicles.
Best Western Plus
One of the best hotels in Keene, New Hampshire, for an extended stay, is the Best Western Plus with its great service and amenities. It’s a reasonably priced hotel so for someone looking for an affordable stay in Keene, this is a great option. Besides its proximity to many businesses and companies, it also places you just seven miles from Granite Gorge Ski Area.
Rooms here are bright and spacious with amenities that you would expect from the Best Western brand. This full hotel has some excellent facilities outside the rooms too, beginning with a complimentary full breakfast. There’s an onsite restaurant Waxy Oçonnor’s, and an Irish pub open for lunch and dinner. You’ll also find a heated indoor pool, a fitness center, and meeting and banquet facilities.
Courtyard Keene Downtown
The only LEED-certified hotel in Keene is the Courtyard Keene Downtown. It’s one of the newest hotels in Keene, New Hampshire that puts you steps away from the charming Main Street. It’s also minutes away from Keene State College, Franklin Pierce, and Antioch University. Business travelers will also find the location convenient as it provides easy access to many local businesses.
The stylish, red façade stands out in the area. On entering, you’ll find a sleek lobby area and comfortable guest rooms. They’re spacious with a retro touch, plush bedding, and modern conveniences to ensure you’ll be well-rested. Rooms and suites are spread out over five floors, making this one of the largest hotels in Keene, New Hampshire.
An indoor swimming pool and fitness center are ideal for those who like to stay active. You won’t find an onsite restaurant here but there’s an onsite bar and a Starbucks Coffee Shop. With over 2,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, the Courtyard is quite popular with business travelers.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
Fairfield Inn & Suites, formerly the Lane Hotel, is another excellent Marriott property in the heart of downtown Keene. If you’re looking for a convenient downtown location, this is one of the best hotels in Keene, New Hampshire to base yourself. The hotel overlooks Main Street which means that you’re just steps away from great dining and shopping.
The historic, century-old building stands out with its red brick exterior. You’ll find tastefully decorated, spacious rooms and suites within the building, some with exposed brick walls. The contemporary guest rooms come with a good range of amenities for your comfort.
Every morning, free continental breakfast is available for guests. For your other meals, you’re spoilt for choice with a large number of dining options in the vicinity. A small fitness center is the only other onsite facility.
Elm City Carriage Barn
Like most alternative hotels in Keene, New Hampshire, the Elm City Carriage Barn is a beautifully restored historic property. It sits right across Keene State College so if you’re visiting your child at college it’s an excellent base. A short walk from the property will bring you to the Red Fern Arts Center, while Mount Monadnock is just twenty minutes away.
The home has beautifully landscaped gardens and cozy interiors. There are only four rooms at the property, each uniquely designed to incorporate the history of the property. The rooms feel bright with floral linen and light, patterned wallpaper. A continental breakfast with fresh coffee, juice, cereal, and baked goods is made available for guests every morning.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Keene, NH:
- Machina Kitchen & Bar – Enjoy farm-to-table fare at this restaurant cum cocktail bar, art gallery, and live music venue. You can enjoy trendy small plates here or the Test Kitchen Dinner, a monthly Tuesday night affair.
- The Pub Restaurant – Keene’s oldest family restaurant opened in 1969 and has been serving up affordable, American favorites ever since. It also has a full bar that offers beers, wines, and cocktails.
- Elm City Brewing Company – Keene’s first brewery opened in 1995 and has since grown in popularity for its hand-crafted beers and delectable, local cuisine.
Recommended Activities In Keene, NH:
- The Colonial Theater – Opened in 1924 in the heart of the city, this is a good place to catch a live performance or watch an award-winning film.
- Hannah Grimes Marketplace – One of the best places to grab a great souvenir or a meaningful gift is at this store. Housed in a historic building that was once home to Hannah Grimes, a local entrepreneur, you’ll find beautiful crafts and products made by local artisans.
- Redfern Arts Center – Located at Keene State College, this performing arts center is another great place to enjoy live music or theater performance.