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“Convenient location, but not the luxury stay we expected” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Charles Hotel

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Charles Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 17 hotels in Cambridge
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
“Convenient location, but not the luxury stay we expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed for the MLK weekend to relax and spend some time near Harvard. The room was spacious - an Executive Deluxe King Bedroom with comfortable bed. Space is clean and has the modern feel with low ceilings. The location is very convenient and walking distance to anywhere near Harvard. We liked the gym and Corbu Spa - gym is spacious with pool. The spa is small, but the staff is very good and rates reasonable. The breakfast at Henrietta's table is excellent, but Sunday is very crowded and expect slow service after 10am. Here's where I think the hotel falls short of the luxury experience we paid. The front desk is not very friendly and I felt rushed everytime I interacted with them. They also don't use your name very often. I did not feel that the employees were completely engaged there and happy to serve guests. The parking at the hotel is very expensive at $36 self park and $38 valet. The ambiance of the hotel felt more like a business travel hotel, and less of a place to enjoy a couples or family time off. For what we paid, we expected better service overall.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a TV inside the bathroom mirror. Its makes for a very pleasant experience.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your recent stay with us this past weekend. I apologize for the unfriendly and rushed feeling you received from the front desk and will be addressing this issue with our Front Office Director. However, I am happy that you otherwise enjoyed your stay and appreciate your kind words regarding your guestroom, our location, the Wellbridge Athletic Club and Corbu Spa. I am also pleased to hear you enjoyed your time spent dining at Henrietta's Table. If I can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Charles Hotel sometime soon.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
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MA
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Stayed at the Charles Hotel because we were in the area for a show. Had eaten at Henrietta's Table a few times but never stayed at the hotel. The location is great. An easy walk to the shops and restaurants of Harvard Square. The hotel has a feeling of old charm but with some modern amenities. For one thing, a tv in the bathroom mirror. Also, every light had a dimmer. I thought that was great. Plenty of plugs for your phone etc.

Room was a good size with a desk and extra chair. We ordered room service and the room service table easily fit in the room. Room was clean and the bed very comfortable. Wasn't noisy at all either, barely heard anyone.

Due to bad weather we ordered room service. Food was just ok, but service was great. Prices seemed reasonable too.

We got a great rate for this Saturday night in January but it does get pretty expensive during peak season. Would I pay peak season prices to stay here? Probably not, but during off season it is a great deal.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Thank you for your kind words regarding your stay with us recently at the Charles Hotel! I am always happy to hear when our guests not only have positive feedback regarding their time in the hotel but outside in the surrounding area of Harvard Square as well. I am glad your guestroom was very accommodating to your needs and appreciate your kind words regarding the services you received. If i can assist you further, please feel free to contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com.

Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Charles in the future!

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwalk, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We just stayed at The Charles & thought it was one of the best in the Boston area as well as the best in Cambridge. The location is ideal right in Harvard Square. The rooms have been dine so thoughtfully for travelers & are beautiful. The entire staff was delightful & always willing to help.
We would highly recommend the Charles.
Mickey & Joe Geller

Room Tip: Most every room is lovely
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay with us at the Charles Hotel this past weekend. I am happy to hear you enjoyed your stay as well as our location. I also appreciate your kind words regarding your interactions with our staff. If I can assist you further, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Charles Hotel sometime soon!

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Babylon, New York, United States
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Stayed for the 1st time at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge Ma. Lovely hotel and the room I shared with my grandson was fine, nicely furnished and clean. Since we were going to attend a concert at the Regattabar in the hotel, it made sense to stay there.
We had breakfast in the hotel's Henrietta's Table restaurant. Organic foods,& a very nice selection for breakfast. Also have items on sale ( jellies, muffins, etc).
The hotel is situated a few blocks from the "T" (subway), and Harvard Square. As the day of the concert was pouring rain, we went to Hardvard's Museum of Natural History. Well worth the trip, a small fee to enter, cheaper for seniors/students. We spent at least 2 hours there, and it was enjoyable.
The hotel also had an ice rink outside, but, you need to bring your own skates. But, a good idea in the winter.
We found the staff friendly and helpful. One of the most unusual (in the bathroom) things was a tv inside the mirror. If you pushed the remote attached to the mirror, a tv screen appeared and offered the news of the day. It kind of freaked us out at first, with questions in our heads...could anyone see us thru the mirror. Of course, not, but it did take a while to get use to it being there.

Room Tip: No coffee makers in the room. They have free coffee/tea in lobby from 5am on. No safety handles in...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Thank you for your kind words regarding your recent stay at The Charles Hotel. I am very pleased to hear you enjoyed your first stay with us including, but not limited to, The Regattabar, Henrietta's Table, local area attractions and the amenities we offer. If there is anything further I can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles sometime soon!

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edina, Minnesota, United States
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My husband and I go to the Charles often. We have two children at Harvard. It is the nicest property in Cambridge and has a great workout facility. It's a great location right in the heart of Cambridge. The staff is really nice. The casual restaurant Henrietta's is really good food and nice setting. Sometimes the hostess has an attitude but hey , it's Cambridge.
The rooms are nice but boring. And they should be updated soon.
I do think they take advantage of the college parents charging 3x their normal rate for graduation. That's the reward one gets for being loyal all four years. It's a nice hotel but overpriced when compared to the Westin in Copley for example. Rooms are nicer and better lit. Lighting at the Charles is horrible. And bathroom space average . But it is the place I would stay when visiting Cambridge !

Room Tip: Ask for a view
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your recent stay at the Charles Hotel. I appreciate your kind words regarding the surrounding area as well as Henrietta's Table and the Wellbridge Athletic Club. I also am thankful for your suggestions on how we can improve and I will take these areas into consideration. If I can assist you further, please feel free to contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Charles Hotel sometime soon!

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

I have stayed at the Charles 4 or 5 times over the past 10 years. I find the hotel to be very comfortable and quiet, the staff are helpful, and the location is great. It also has a fine restaurant, a top flight jazz club, and access to a very nice fitness club. I have stayed at a number of other places in Cambridge when traveling for business, but the Charles is my first choice.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Thank you for your rewarding words regarding your stays at the Charles Hotel. I am glad you were able to take advantage of all the surrounding area has to offer in addition to the Regattabar and Wellbridge Athletic Club. Your kind comments about our staff are greatly appreciated and will not go unnoticed. If I can assist you further, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Charles Hotel in the future.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Spent 3 nights in slow "between classes" period. Got 9th floor, interior courtyard facing updated room - quiet, even though was across from laundry and had a dog and baby next door. Interior arrangement of rooms and halls gives a lot of shielding from elevator and hall traffic noise.

Room in good condition w/newish coarse-woven, low maintenance, rug and furniture and bathroom in excellent/good condition. Had comp wi-fi in all rooms which was excellent. Nice king bed w/good sheets.

As the normal breakfast restaurant was being refloored, the high-end dining room was used which resulted in $20 +/- $2 for hot/cold buffet only, w/o tip. Food was good, but not great. Ate all other meals in the many, many restaurants very close (< 100 yards) nearby.

Parking is expensive ($36 for 12 hrs), even compared to other garages nearby, but it is under the hotel so is very convenient, well-lighted and safe.

The in-room "electronics" were not state-of-the-art; even getting a message on the phone was a challenge. There was no iPad in the room, which some places provide now, nor concierge info screen. The Inn @ Penn, for example, has all of these.

They have apparently taken an Eco approach as their forte, IMHO, to the extreme. The room heater/air conditioner always kept the same temperature, a cool 69.6, no matter what you set on the control. (There is one thin blanket in the closet.) The toilet paper was so thin that it required using many sheets, which is false eco(nomy). The hot water was only warm, and the water flow restrictors in the shower and sink were severe. This seemed to cross the line between Eco friendly and finding an excuse to cut all costs to the bone.

There was no coffee/tea maker in room, which is IAW Cambridge fire code, but there was also no way to even get a cup of coffee or tea, except for room service. Nor was there even a coffee/tea stand in the lobby, or anywhere. Even to get water hot enough to make tea required room service @ a cost of $1.50 + $3.00 Svc chg + 18% tip. This was typical of the stay.

There are better hotels in Cambridge than the Charles, which seems to be resting on its location and reputation.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the interior courtyard and higher up, away from the bar are much quieter.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your recent stay at the Charles Hotel. I appreciate your kind words regarding your accommodations. Please accept my apologies for any inconveniences brought upon you due to the offered electronics, pricing, thermostat and water flow. I will share these concerns with the appropriate team members. I appreciate your suggestion regarding coffee makers in the room and will take it under advisement. However, I do want to be sure that you are aware of our complimentary coffee provided for guests. We serve coffee in our lobby every morning from 5:30 until 7:00. As of 7AM, the complimentary coffee is available at the Host’s desk in Henrietta’s Table until 11 AM. I will also place a note in your guest profile requesting a coffee maker in your room (based on availability) during your future stays with us. If I can assist you further, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Charles Hotel in the future.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Charles Hotel

Address: 1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#3 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#4 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#9 Family Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Charles Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just minutes from downtown Boston and a variety of world-class attractions, The Charles is a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and a proud member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts.Reflecting the eclecticism that is Cambridge, The Charles Hotel is a modern interpretation of New England hospitality with a thriving jazz club, the Regattabar, two signature restaurants, ice-skating rink (winter months only), state of the art conference facilities, Corbu Spa & Salon, and a central location in the heart of Harvard Square.The Hotel is home to Henrietta’s Table, featuring “fresh and honest” home cooking, and Rialto, recognized by one of the best restaurants in America by Gourmet, Food & Wine and Esquire. Noir, the hotel’s chic, cozy bar, serves classic cocktails mixed to perfection and sultry signature drinks. Since its opening in 1985, The Regattabar has established itself as the leading jazz and world music club in Boston and the New England area. Corbu Spa & Salon is named after famed architect and designer, Le Corbusier and offers a harmonious escape from the stresses of urban life. A French influenced menu offers seasonal treatments with locally sourced ingredients. Open daily.Catering to internationally renowned business leaders, government officials, entertainment executives and leisure travelers alike, it’s no wonder that the New England Travel Guide has designated The Charles as the best hotel to “stay put in” when visiting Boston. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Charles Hotel Cambridge

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