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Keene is a wonderful and underrated city in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. Home to Keene State College, Keene has one of the best downtown areas in NH with lots of shops and restaurants, and its location in southwest New Hampshire makes it easily accessible from most of New England.
There are so many cool things to do in Keene, NH! Keene also makes a great base for exploring the Monadnock region, which is known for its outdoor adventures and shopping throughout the countryside.
Base in Keene and you can climb Mount Monadnock, go antiquing in Peterborough, visit the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, hike through Madame Sherri’s Forest, and drive through picture-perfect New England small towns like Jaffrey Center, Fitzwilliam, and Chesterfield.
So where are the best places to stay in Keene NH? We’re glad you asked! Here are our top picks for Keene NH hotels.
The downtown area near Keene State College is filled with charming shops, unique dining, and bed and breakfasts.
While the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Keene Downtown may not capture the local flavor of downtown Keene, it easily has the best amenities for those seeking luxury. We’ll give it the title of one of the best hotels in Keene.
The Monadnock Inn in nearby Jaffrey, NH is deceptively affordable considering its amenities. The historic inn packs a luxurious punch for a fraction of what in-town lodging may cost.
The Holiday Inn Express comes to the rescue in Keene, NH when vacationing with kids. The complimentary breakfast and pool access make this hotel a hit with kids of all ages!
Best Neighborhood in Keene, NH
Downtown Keene is a wonderful, walkable neighborhood home to tons of shops and restaurants and home to the beautiful Keene State College campus. We recommend staying at central Keene NH hotels — think within walking distance of Main Street between Central Square and Route 101.
Best Luxury Hotel in Keene: Fairfield Inn by Marriott Keene Downtown
The Fairfield Inn by Marriott Keene Downtown is in the heart of Keene’s downtown district. You’ll be surrounded by unique shops and dining that skirt the Keene State campus.
The rooms are very sleek with modern, sterile decor that you’d expect from a corporate chain. Travelers can book either a single room or a bi-level loft for a bit more space, which is ideal for an extended stay.
Guests are treated to a grab and go free breakfast each morning, which we love. It also has amenities like a pool and fitness center for those looking to get their heart pumping before exploring the city. They also offer free wi-fi, of course.
More Luxury Hotels in Keene: The Courtyard Keene Downtown is another Marriott property located around the corner from the Fairfield Inn. It has similar finishes and amenities with great walkability as well.
Best B&B in Keene: Carriage Barn Inn
The Carriage Barn (formerly Elm City Carriage Barn) is a historic home that was built in 1810. It’s located in a neighborhood adjacent to the Keene State campus. The inn has only four suites and has recently changed to new ownership. The newest innkeeper, Will, has been earning glowing reviews for his top notch hospitality.
Rooms are clean and orderly, featuring a mix of antique and more modern pieces to achieve a comfortable stay without being over the top fussy.
Each morning, guests are treated to a free hot breakfast buffet with fresh baked goods and hot coffee in the sunny dining room before starting the day. You can also relax on the shaded porch or explore the grounds’ gardens.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Keene: Holiday Inn Express Keene
The Holiday Inn Express Keene is a well-priced option when staying in Keene, NH. It’s located a bit farther from the desirable downtown area near campus, but it’s still in a very nice, safe area surrounded by big-box stores.
The rooms are clean and streamlined with modern amenities, but it’s much what you’d expect a Holiday Inn Express to be anywhere in the country. If you’re looking for local flair, you may want to look elsewhere, but if you’re simply looking for a perfectly “fine” place to stay, this hotel can fit the bill.
The Holiday Inn Express offers free continental breakfast, as well as other conveniences like a pool and small fitness center, free wifi, and free parking. This is also one of the few pet-friendly hotels in Keene.
The Best Western Plus Keene Hotel is another well-placed mid-range option.
Best Budget Hotel near Keene: Monadnock Inn, Jaffrey Center
The Monadnock Inn in Jaffrey, NH is a short drive from Keene but worth it in a magical town that looks like it could be the 19th century. This hotel isn’t particularly walkable, but part of the fun of exploring the area around Mount Monadnock is driving into the surrounding countryside.
Guest rooms are small and furnished with antiques that are piled with cozy quilts. The Monadnock Inn has largely positive reviews, but one guest’s experience did give us pause:
“While the Days Inn Keene is often cited as the top cheap hotel in Keene, our editor Kate got bed bugs after her stay in September 2021. Kate spoke to the hotel when she realized her bites were swelling up and they said they would take care of it. Bedbugs can happen anywhere, even in very nice places. She enjoyed the hotel otherwise and thought the beds were wonderful.”
The onsite Thorndike’s restaurant serves a hearty breakfast to guests as well as more savory fare throughout the day. In addition to luxurious rooms, travelers can also take in a breezy day on the inn’s wraparound porch.
Best Hotel for Families in Keene: Holiday Inn Express Keene
While many lovely, historic inns exist in the Keene area; however, when you’re traveling with small children, you may appreciate the seemingly indestructible nature and comfort of a chain hotel. The Holiday Inn Express Keene, again, is a bit removed from the downtown area.
The hotel rooms are safe and clean for little ones, with room for a pack n’ play crib, if needed. Parents and kids can easily find something to love at the complimentary breakfast as well. Of course, we can’t forget access to the indoor pool! Holiday Inn Express is a hit with families and has notoriously good prices.
Notable Hotels Near Keene
The Monadnock region is a land of wonderful B&Bs in small towns. If you don’t mind staying a bit of a way out of town, there are some wonderful places to stay around here and still be within driving distance of Keene.
The Tartan Fox at the Meadmere in Swanzey, NH resembles an overgrown garden cottage. You may expect a fairy to emerge from the boughs as you approach the front door. It’s filled with details that make it feel like you’ve escaped to the pages of a Tolkien novel. Dining is top notch and the rooms are charming!
The Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House Bed and Breakfast in Swanzey, NH is in a historic home that was built in 1792, making it one of the oldest inns in the country. Each of its four suites is tastefully decorated with lovely antiques and has a private bath.
The Chesterfield Inn, located in Chesterfield, NH is a lovely hotel with updated rooms. Suites include fireplaces for cozy evenings in, and private baths feature sleek, marble countertops. Guests can enjoy a decadent meal at the onsite restaurant or simply enjoy a glass of wine al fresco on their balcony.
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