I am coming into town for the weekend from Ottawa, Canada, and I was wondering if any locals could share suggestions on the best hotels to stay in town. Ideally downtown would be preferable, with some restaurant suggestions and perhaps anything to see or do during my visit.
If you want to be really close to campus and pretty close to downtown, the TownePlace is a good one.
Some favorite restaurants of mine are Bardenay, The Fork, 10 Barrel, The Reef, Barbacoa, Cafe Vicino, the list goes on depending on what kind of food you like, price range, etc. - there are some really great choices here in Boise. Boise Fry Company is a worth stopping as almost a touristy destination. If you have a car, driving up into the foothills (toward Bogus Basin or Idaho City) is really scenic and worth the half hour or so trip. Tablerock (the hill, not the Brewpub) is even closer and also a very nice view. These are my two cents from a relatively recent transplant.
The Hampton Inn is a little closer to "downtown" and therefore a little further from campus but a nice hotel if you want to be closer to bars/restaurants and don't have a car.
All the restaurants Leif mentioned are great. Two others I might add are Bleubird for lunch and the Dish for lunch or dinner. Oh and Bar Gernika on the Basque block.
If I was coming in for graduation, I'd want to stay at the Grove Hotel across from Basque Block. It's probably a mile from campus and is in the middle of all things downtown. Just my 2 cents.
The Courtyard Boise Downtown is within walking (and viewing) distance from campus and the Taco Bell arena. The RAM Brewery is right across the street from the hotel. It's not in the heart of downtown, but close.
If you want to stay in the heart of downtown, I would also recommend the Grove Hotel. It's within walking distance of EVERYTHING downtown and within walking distance from campus. It would be a longer walk to Taco Bell Arena from the Grove than the Courtyard, but still doable.
If it were me, I'd stay at the Grove Hotel. If you don't want to walk to campus, you can catch a cab for pretty cheap.