Staying in this hotel was a good reminder to me that things that might be minor annoyances in a moderately priced hotel can seem extremely irritating at an expensive hotel.
I stayed at the Charles while visiting Tufts University and other colleges in the Cambridge area with my daughter. The hotel is expensive but the location was perfect, so I decided to splurge. The Charles offers a (very small) discount to Tufts visitors, so I submitted a request for a double room through Tufts’ website. I received an email back from the Charles stating that they did have a room available at the discounted rate, so I confirmed by email that I wanted to reserve.
When I arrived at the hotel, I was given a room with a single king bed rather than the double room I had requested. I called down to the front desk, thinking there had been a mistake, only to be told that no double rooms were available, the hotel had very few double rooms and all had been booked long ago “because of the squash tournament,” and that my reservation was for a king room. So, apparently, even though I requested a double room, I was booked for a king with no disclosure of this fact. Not cool. I love my daughter dearly, but she is a restless sleeper, and for $309 a night, I really wanted my own bed! I asked for a rollaway bed but, no, this too was impossible because of the squash tournament. It was clear from the employee’s condescending tone that he thought I should have known about the squash tournament and how it would affect my stay. He kept asking if I wanted “extra bedding” but I don’t know what use extra bedding would be without a bed to put it on. Maybe the idea was that I should make a little nest of bedding for my kid?
Anyway, when I returned to the room that night, I was happy to find that a rollaway bed had actually arrived. So then all was well. The room was lovely, the location was great because we were able to leave our car in the hotel garage and walk all around the heart of Cambridge, and my teen was enthralled by the mirror-TV. I appreciated the free wifi. Every employee I spoke with was very pleasant, other than the guy who thought I was an idiot for not knowing that I couldn’t have a double room because of a squash tournament. I would have liked a coffee maker in the room. Coffee was set up in the lobby but the pot was empty. No big deal, I went out to Peets and got a good cup of coffee. But still, a minor annoyance that seems more irritating when you’re paying $309 plus tax.
Overall, this was a very nice hotel but I thought they were a bit shady about the reservation, and I was definitely put off by the condescending tone of that one employee. Really, a simple “sorry for the mix-up, and we’ll try to get you a rollaway bed” would have been more appropriate. I would probably stay here again, but not if it was a situation where it was important to me to have a particular room configuration.
- 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