White Elephant Inn - Downtown!

Boat - Entire home/apt · Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110, United States
Your host, SleepAfloat
9 Reviews
Response rate: 94%
Response time: within a few hours

The Space

The White Elephant Floating Inn is a one-of-a-kind wooden houseboat lovingly built from scratch on a steel hull by a single person over a period of about five years. It features beautifully finished wood paneled walls, exposed wood beams and inlaid hardwood floors.

The main stateroom features a custom-built king size platform bed with headboard, two large closets and hexagonal stained-glass windows.Extra guests can be accommodated by a queen size sleep sofa and an inflatable Aerobed located in the main salon. In addition we have just built two more private staterooms upstairs with a queen bed in one,and a full bed and two twin beds in the other. Separating these two rooms is the additional bathroom on the second level of the boat.

Unlike your typical boat, both bathrooms have residential size stand up showers, and the downstairs bathroom bathroom includes a brass sink sunk in a slab of redwood! The kitchen includes a full-size fridge, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee maker and plenty of dishes, glassware, cutlery and pots and pans.


Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Boston,this boat is just steps away from the New England Aquarium, Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall, the North End, Boston Garden, a large outdoor neighborhood swimming pool, a free tennis court, a public ice skating rink, and countless other things to see and do. Parking is also available for $25/day cash at the marina.

The Experience

We provide all linens and towels so there is no need to worry about laundry plus an iron, ironing board, hairdryer, plus bathroom products such as soaps, shampoos, and lotions. We even include condiments and coffee for your enjoyment. Cable and WiFi are included free with the rental and the houseboat is fully air-conditioned and heated for your comfort in any season. All this for less than the price of the smallest rooms at any of the nearby downtown waterfront hotels!

The boat is in a protected part of the marina, but there can be some occasional movement during the day when boats pass by. At night the waters are very calm and some guests even find that a bit of gentle swaying relaxes them and makes for a very restful sleep.After a long day of touring the city there is nothing better than relaxing on your own private sun deck with a cold drink in hand, listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean as you enjoy the fantastic view of Boston's city skyline! So come join us and float all your cares away on a SleepAfloat Constellation Cottage!

Room type: Entire home/apt
Accommodates: 10
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Beds: 6
Extra people: $25 / night after 2 guests
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Cleaning Fee: $189
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Cancellation: Strict
Pet Owner: Dog(s) and Cat(s)

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • What a fantastic stay!! My colleagues and I stayed at the White Elephant Inn during a conference at the BCEC in Boston as a way to save money on our nonprofit budget--it worked out beautifully! The layout is a little unconventional for a business trip (some rooms you need to walk through to get to other rooms) but all in all, it was an extremely comfortable and unique way to relax before/after conference hours--the deck was stunning and the kitchen had everything we needed. WiFi worked most of the time and hot water wasn't too bad (saw it mentioned in other posts). The rocking was gentle most of the time, but could get a little rougher depending on the barges going by or any rough weather--noone got seasick though. As a former Bostonian, the location was unbeatable--easy walking access to downtown and a quick T ride or UberX ride away from any meetings. Plus, the site manager, John, was available 24/7 and helped answer any questions quickly and with enthusiasm. Finally, two of our colleagues hopped right off the boat and into a Water Taxi right to Logan airport at the end of the trip--amazing send off! We'll definitely consider a houseboat for the next conference.

    June 2014
  • We thoroughly enjoyed (email hidden) in Boston that was a little off-the-beaten-path. The White Elephant, in fact, was not really on any path, but it was still close to everything we needed access to, including the North End, Downtown, and the T. Inside it was very spacious and comfortable, with large windows and enough space to comfortably sleep 6-10 people. Two of the beds were in fact a little short someone taller than 6'1", but lying diagonally solved that issue. We all slept soundly and the boat hardly swayed during our stay. It was nice to have a kitchen and a large table during our stay to enjoy meals as well. John gave us the lowdown during our stay, and he was very helpful.

    June 2014
  • Pros - This inn was in the perfect spot downtown for us. We were able walk everywhere and save a ton of money on cabs. Faneuil Hall Marketplace/Quincy Market was a 5 minute walk. The aquarium was a little farther down and the convention center was about a 20 to 25 minute walk as well. There is SO much to do and see downtown, and a lot of it is within a 30 minute walking radius of the boat.
    The boat itself was cozy and comfortable. The master bed was very good quality and I had no trouble sleeping which I was surprised since this was my first time sleeping on a boat. The amenities were great other than two of them which I will discuss later. The boat had everything we needed. Stove/refrigerator /TV w/satellite (not that we used it much). Speaking of fridge, there is a REALLY nice grocery store a block away called, "The Golden Goose". They had everything we needed there as well, including alcohol. One evening we all bought steaks and grilled them on the deck of the ship.

    Cons - The internet and water heaters. The internet just didn't work. Mostly because Sleepafloat has numerous boats at this wharf and they share an internet connection. The router wasn't on our boat but a couple boats down. The problem was signal strength. We didn't have internet the entire trip, even after calling maintenance to fix it.
    The hot water was laughable. It lasted maybe 5 minutes and for a boat that holds 10 people that's pretty ridiculous. I have seen other comments about this in the other reviews and am surprised that they haven't fixed this. There are two showers and there SEEMED to be two different water heaters, BUT neither of them were working well.
    But like I said, the overall experience of this boat was a great one. What makes this such a great deal is the amount of people that can fit in it, and the location. Location location location.

    After a 5 night stay, I would recommend anybody staying in downtown Boston to give this a try.

    April 2014
  • Wir waren für drei Nächte, eine Gruppe von 6 Erwachsenen (2 Paare und 2 Einzelpersonen) im April 2014 im White Elephant.

    Negativ bewerten muss ich die Unmöglichkeit der Internet-Nutzung, das WLAN-Signal war einfach zu schwach. Ebenso ein Minus war die Verfügbarkeit von Warmwasser beim Duschen, zwei Personen konnten warm duschen, dann war die Kapazität der Warmwasserboiler bereits erschöpft.

    Positiv ist jedoch alles andere, das Boot ist gemütlich, sehr sauber, gut ausgestattet von zusätzlichen Bettdecken bis zur Küchenausstattung. Die Heizmöglichkeiten funktionieren sehr gut. Die Lage ist perfekt für Stadterkundungen, alles ist gut zu Fuß erreichbar. Es ist ruhig, wir haben alle gut geschlafen, an das leichte Schaukeln eines Bootes, was sich nun ja nicht ganz vermeiden lässt, gewöhnt man sich schnell, auch Leute die leicht seekrank werden, kommen damit gut zurecht. Für 6 Personen ist der Platz absolut ausreichend, die beiden Schlafkojen sind ein wenig kurz, Menschen über 1,60 m könnten damit ein Problem haben.

    Ich würde das White Elephnat jederzeit wieder buchen. Die Terrasse mit der Möglichkeit zum Grillen muss im Sommer traumhaft sein.

    April 2014
  • Only stayed 3 nights (Jan 1st to 4th 2014) and there was a blizzard which closed most things down! These were exceptional circumstances for sure, but highlighted the uneven heating on the boat: upstairs (2 huge double beds + bathroom) was toasty but downstairs remained cool. Also, if you take the downstairs bedroom, be aware that if it's choppy(we were there in a blizzard), the sounds of water lapping and ropes straining will keep you awake - it's LOUD!!! That said, I thought the boat was lovely: beds were really comfortable and the four of us could fit on the sofa no problem. Everything was done over the internet with instructions on how to obtain keys from lockboxes, one for the boat and one for the gate to the jetty - I personally like to deal with people face to face and all we had was a number to contact if any problems arose. Once again, I'd like to reiterate that these things didn't spoil our stay - the location was great- a short walk to a good choice of bars and restaurants (the Barking Crab was amazing), shops and the Quincy Market as well as the trolley bus. It was the 14 inches of snow that restricted us in Boston....!

    January 2014
  • Best.Stay.Ever

    November 2013
  • We had a great time! We were attending seminars all week but it was great to come back to the boat and relax, or head into Boston. The boat was right in the heart of the North End and we could walk to many bars and restaurants. JJ was helpful and met us at the boat to help us settle in. We all highly recommend staying at the White Elephant, the boat and JJ were the best and made our trip memorable. You'll love it!

    November 2012
  • Nine of us piled onto the White Elephant to spend a weekend in Boston for a friends wedding. We had so much fun! It was wonderful to wake up on the water and SO much more fun than a hotel. The boat accommodated 9 comfortably (we are an intimate crew of old friends). We had a great time cooking together and BBQing on the roof deck, walking around Charlestown, and spending time on the boat. All the neighbors in the harbor were super friendly. We definitely recommend a visit, and hope to be back!

    September 2012
  • we loed the white elephant butt there was a few minor problems one major....we had problems with the power going out . luckily i was familiar with electric issues I had to go out to the transformer on the boat dock at least 3 times a day to reset the breaker...in a downpour one day,,,very frustrating,,,,the boat had a couple leaks but due to the heavy rain it was understandablle,,,we went out one day we knew we locked the door came back it was wide open lap top and cameras exposed,no one in sight,,,I hope ryan figures out electrical problems for next guest ....and his cleaning or maintanance crew is more carefule next time...I would stay there again if these issues where cleared up ....master bed room was very couzy ,,,and loved the view,,,

    April 2011
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I am the listing agent for SleepAfloat, a houseboat rental company. Headquartered in Boston, we also have locations in Key West, Hollywood, FL, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Future expansion sites include NYC, Miami, New Orleans, and Chicago. Staying aboard a houseboat is a great way to see the city. We would love to show you why we are the overnight accommodations that rock!
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