We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A romantic Valentine's Weekend” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Charles Hotel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Save
You added Charles Hotel to your Saves list
Charles Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence 2014
upstate NY
1 review
“A romantic Valentine's Weekend”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2010

We have been staying at the Charles whenever we visit Boston for a number of years. They never disappoint. This year we took part in the Valentine's 101 package as one of the winners of the How We Met contest. When we arrived at the Charles the woman at the registration desk was very welcoming and, along with our key, gave us some wonderful champagne. We enjoyed it immediately when we arrived in our beautiful room as we admired the view of the river. (The artwork and the huge pillows are especially nice.) We then headed out to explore (read “shop”) Harvard Square. When we returned to our room there was another bigger bottle of champagne waiting for us and some wonderful cookies and chocolate desserts. We enjoyed them immensely as well as the breakfast the next morning which included what my husband declared to be the best corn beef hash he ever had. This past weekend was one of the most romantic times we have ever had at the Charles Hotel.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, E-Marketing Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, March 29, 2010
Congratulations again on your winning "How We Met" Story!

We're so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed another romantic weekend with us at The Charles Hotel. It means so much to us to know that we hold a special place in your memories.

Thank you for sharing your experience. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles for many more romantic weekends.

Please feel free to contact me directly at estefan@charleshotel.com before your next visit.

Thank you,
~Elizabeth Stefan
E-Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

611 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    294
    197
    63
    34
    23
See reviews for
157
107
57
224
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 (105)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
PGH, PA
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2010

My husband had a conference in Cambridge and the host of the event put us up at this hotel--which included paying for the hotel. We gave our credit/debit card for incidentals but the hotel "accidentally" put a hold on our card for over a thousand dollars which put our account in the red and left me on the phone with our bank for two days trying to clear up the issue which put a huge damper on our trip. What did we get from the hotel for our troubles? NOTHING! I spent two days of my vacation fixing their mistake and couldn't use my card in the process. Needless to say--we won't be recommending this hotel to friends and family.

Word to the wise--check your bank account when staying at this hotel to make sure they don't make the same costly "mistake"...

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, E-Marketing Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, February 9, 2010
Thank you for sharing your experience with us on Tripadvisor. We’re truly sorry to hear that our service did not meet your expectations and that we may have done anything to take away from your visit to Boston.

We do appreciate your bringing it to our attention, as we want to do everything possible to remedy the situation and ensure that another guest does not share your experience.

It is our policy when a guest checks in to authorize their credit (or debit) card for the room charges and incidental charges (room service, movies, etc). We authorize $100/day for the incidental charges. If you weren’t responsible for your room charges because of the conference you were attending, then your card should have only been authorized for the $100/day incidental charge. If the room charges were added to your card, then that was an error on our part and we apologize. In any case, we should have been more clear in explaining our debit card policy when you checked in. It can be very frustrating because once an authorization is placed on a debit card, there is nothing we can do to reverse it. It has to be done by the bank.

We would love to speak with you about your experience. We strive to provide each guest with the best experience possible and want to do the same for you.

Please feel free to email me directly at estefan@charleshotel.com and I will put you in contact with our General Manager.

Thank you,
~Elizabeth Stefan
E-Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2010

room service food was great. loved the central location next to a subway stop.

Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2009

I am an avid user of TripAdvisor, and the Website and its reviews have never never previously steered me wrong. I will continue to use TripAdvisor since it's a terrific site that has led me to many high quality hotels around the world (for example, the Prince Park Tower in Tokyo is a hidden gem), however, the stay I am just now completing at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge was such an unmitigated disaster that I had to write in. The experience was so bad it bordered on amusing.

We arrived on Thanksgiving Day to visit my sister and niece who live in Cambridge just a few minutes from Harvard Square. Our experience with the Charles was immediately unique. My brother-in-law pulled into the hotel driveway to drop us off and no one came over to help (I was traveling with my wife and toddler son). We were in a rush to sit down for Thanksgiving (this is about 3 pm) so my father (who also flew in for the family gathering but stayed with my sister) and I grabbed a luggage cart, loaded our own bags (and there were many since we were traveling with our son) and a hotel staff member actually stood by and watched us through most of the process. When we entered the lobby, one of the bags began to tumble off the cart, but the hotel staff member at the entrance made no move to help us. I actually had to yell at him, 'hey buddy, could we get a little help here' and then he reluctantly came over to assist us. He maybe was annoyed that we took the cart ourselves, but what else were we supposed to do when no one would help us?

Later that night my wife called to order more towels (if you travel with a toddler you know how you can go through towels quickly) and we're still waiting for the towels to arrive two days later. We were ready to chalk up the disastrous check-in and the non-responsive towel order to the hotel being under-staffed on the holiday, but our problems continued.

After spending Friday sight-seeing, when we came back to the room we were surprised to see neither of our garbage cans had been emptied. This was more than a little disconcerting since there were dirty diapers in one of them. We also had no towels left since the previous night's order had gone unfulfilled. That evening, my wife ordered extra towels, as well as some cutlery and extra glasses so my family and I could share some dessert and fruit while watching TV. There was no response at all from the hotel staff for 45 minutes at which point someone showed up at our door with a single fork, knife and spoon wrapped in a napkin. The crazy part is we had actually specified 8-10 sets of silveware, it was so ridiculous I thought I was on candid camera for a moment. Then, seperately, the towels arrived, and, again, despite our specifying 10 sets of towels, they brought us two hand towels!! Again, it was almost laughable. As for the drinking glasses, my wife had to speak to several people. Bottom-line, it took us two hours to get the towels, glasses, and cutlery, and of course my relatives were long gone by the time we actually had them. We had also shelled out a good $15 in tips since every single item (and in this case I mean 'single' literarily, were brought up by different people).

On the positive side, we got what was I guess a good rate, with free Internet, and there were a couple of good staff members, one young man was very alert and helpful when we parked the car, and the hotel operator got me a lint brush Friday morning, but, this hardly compensated for our overall experience which boardered at times on the absurd.

As for the room itself, the carpet was stained in several places, there was what appeared to be dog hair on the couch, and, when the garbage cans weren't emptied, we started to wonder as to the overall room cleanliness.

It's too bad, because we wanted to like this hotel. It's a great location, and since my sister lives within walking distance of Harvard Square it's well suited to our needs. However, our experience was really pretty horrible. We will see how management reacts when I raise these issues with them in the morning and that will determine whether we ever come back or not. Again, I want to believe our experience was anomalous, but, boy, what an anomaly.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, E-Marketing Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, December 16, 2009
Thank you for sharing your experience with us on Tripadvisor. We’re disappointed to hear our service did not meet your expectations during your visit with us this past weekend. We appreciate you bringing it to our attention, as we want to do everything possible on our end to remedy and correct the situation.

The associate you spoke with on Sunday morning shared your information with the manager on duty. The manager left a voicemail on Monday on the cell phone number you left and followed up with an email later that day. We would love to speak with you about your experience. We strive to provide each guest with the best experience possible and want to do the same for you.

Please feel free to email me directly at estefan@charleshotel.com and I will put you in contact with our General Manager.

I hope you enjoyed the rest of your Thanksgiving Holiday with your family. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
~Elizabeth Stefan
E-Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2009

The Charles Hotel was really perfect for us. Our weekend in the Boston area didn't keep us in the Harvard Square area all day so it was in a great location to easily catch the "T" And then, at the end of each day that we were there, it was really terrific to come back to the Charles and be in an area where we could walk around and check out all the different stores and restaurants. The hotel itself is really much busier than I thought it would be... It seems to have figured out how to be part of the community yet provide its guests with a great hotel experience. Henrietta's Basket restaurant is awesome for breakfast and dinner (we weren't there for lunch, but I bet that would be great too). Although Henrietta's Basket is a bit expensive, the meals were excellent, and the wait staff (and their support servers) were very well trained and they all knew their food. The Rialto restaurant was just as busy but we didn't eat there. Our rooms were lovely. Cozy, clean, and comfortable. The TV in the bathroom mirror was great! The view from our room was the inner courtyard with trees garnered in electric blue lights, creating a very festive atmosphere. As we were checking out, the Farmer's Market was just being set up right outside the hotel area... What a great way to bring the 'country mouse' and the 'city mouse' together! The only downside about the hotel was the pool and how limited its availability was for kids (up to the age of 17).

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, E-Marketing Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2009
Dear CK54,

Thank you for sharing your Charles Hotel experience on Tripadvisor. We're thrilled to hear that not only did you enjoy your stay with us, but that you are planning to stay with us again in the future.

It sounds like you had a great weekend exploring all that Cambridge and Boston have to offer. The Farmer's Market is one of our favorite amenities too! It runs on Friday and Sunday's from May to late November. It's such a great way to pick up local and fresh fruits and veggies. Henrietta's Table is a great choice for breakfast (and weekend brunch).

Thank you again for sharing your experience. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles. Please feel free to contact me directly at estefan@charleshotel.com before your next visit to Harvard Square.

~Elizabeth Stefan
E-Marketing Manager
estefan@charleshotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2009

We just completed our fifth stay at The Charles, all within the span of one year. We chose to splurge and stay here the first time we visited Harvard with our daughter, due to its close proximity to campus, and were completely spoiled by the incredibly convenient location and lovely facilities, When planning each subsequent visit to Cambridge (for interview, pre-orientation program, move-in days, musical performances, etc.), we always looked into alternate hotels (only because their rates were much lower!) but we just could not bring ourselves to give up the understated luxury, warmth, friendliness, and convenience of our beloved Charles ... and ended up staying there each time! While we could definitely have saved hundreds of dollars by staying elsewhere, The Charles has become our "home away from home" and we are hooked. We'll be back this weekend! What we love: the pristine cleanliness of the rooms, excellent level of service, fabulous breakfasts at cozy Henrietta's Table, helpful front-desk, valet, and concierge staff, "retro" bicycles to borrow, and location, location, location!! What we don't love: the crazy/high rates!!!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2009

Went for Parents' Day at HLS, and we really enjoyed staying at The Charles Hotel. It's much closer to everything than local maps indicate. Quickest check-in ever, very friendly. If you forgot to bring reading material, there's a library near Reception where you can borrow a book. Had a quick bowl of soup at Henrietta's Table, a local-products, homemade everything-sort of restaurant in the Hotel, and it was great! Would (did) go back for the breads alone. There are literally dozens of places within a very short distance- less than a block-in Harvard Square, where you can get everything from books to beer to ice cream. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, E-Marketing Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, October 16, 2009
Hello!
We're so glad that you were able to join us for Parent's Weekend. It is a really great time in the Square!

Thank you for your glowing review of The Charles Hotel. We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay, our guest library, and meals at Henrietta's Table.

We look forward to welcoming you back for future HLS events. Please feel free to contact me directly before your next visit at estefan@charleshotel.com

Thank you!
~Elizabeth Stefan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Charles Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#3 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#8 Family Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Charles Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 294
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Cheap Tickets, Amex, Hotwire, Priceline, Odigeo, EasyToBook and Tingo so you can book your Charles Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Charles Hotel Cambridge

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Charles Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.