I traveled to Mass. this past weekend with a group of high school debaters to attend a large debate tournament hosted by a certain college in the northeast, located on the Charles River. Because this trip was organized late in the cycle, the hotels close to Harvard Square were solidly booked or beastly expensive. Or both.
I found the Winthrop Arms via google, and after several conversations with David Goll, the owner, we booked five rooms for four nights--me and 12 smart teenagers.
Our welcome at the Arms could not have been warmer. David made sure that everyone was taken care of, and was instantly responsive to concerns. Twelve debaters poses a challenge to a small hotel's internet, but David worked both on Friday and Saturday to make sure we had what we needed. We were able to make a room change for two of our guys without a problem.
The rooms are clean and well-made. The hotel is older but far from decrepit; the rough spots were minor and did not interfere at all with comfort.
The food in the restaurant is terrific--the Seafood Cakes are mostly seafood, with little breading, and they have yummy fried clams.
I would return to this hotel personally at the drop of a hat. The only hesitation I'd have with a group is the small size of the hotel and, for our debate team, the distance to Harvard. But the Winthrop Arms is my go-to place for affordable and convenient places near Boston.