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“Some issues, some attitude, but overall a good stay” 4 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 18 Hotels in Cambridge
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Some issues, some attitude, but overall a good stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2010

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.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
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589 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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east northport
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2010

Came to visit my daughter who is a student @ Harvard. Had a lovely time. The Hotel may be a little $$$ but I feel that it is worth it. The location and the fact that the appreciate eco-friendly patrons is what I find most appealing. The parking garage is under the Hotel.

Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
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ejstefan, Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 12, 2011
Dear Annette1015,

We're so happy to hear that you were able to stay with us during a recent stay to visit your daughter! Thank you for sharing your experience on Tripadvisor.

I invite you to visit our website before your next visit to Cambridge, as we offer several seasonal promotions.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles!
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any additional information.

Thanks!
~Elizabeth Stefan
E-Marketing Manager
estefan@charleshotel.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2010

Stayed at the Charles for 3 nights. Great location - overlooking Harvard Square, easy access to all the stores and restaurants on the Square. The rooms are very nice and have a homely feel to them. The TV on the mirror in the bathroom is really cool, the hotel staff is very friendly too.

The view of the square from the top floor is very nice. Some celebrities stay in the suite there, walked into Tommy Lee Jones while I was there. Apparently, he is a Harvard alum and was roommates with Al Gore while in college! The fancy cadillac shuttle is also very convenient to get to nearby locations in Cambridge.

Expensive, and does not get you Starwood points - but worth staying there if you have already hit platinum for the year, and no longer care to get status points.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2010

II really enjoyed my stay here. The rooms were very clean and everything looked very new and modern. My favorite part was that the bathroom had a mirror tv. There was also free wi-fi. I got back to the hotel late one night and was looking for a place to eat, so I checked out the bar in the hotel. I was happy to find that you could still order from the bar menu until 11pm.

The location is perfect because it is right in the middle of everything and there are a lot of great restaurants in short walking distance.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 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
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San Francisco
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2010

If you have a chance to stay at the Charles, grab it. I travel extensively, and it is always one of my favorite places to stay in the entire country.Great service, and truly great rooms without being opverdone or fussy. The hotel that comes closest to feeling like being at home.

  • Stayed November 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ejstefan, Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, January 12, 2011
MillionMileGent,

Thank you for sharing your Charles Hotel experience on Tripadvisor. We are thrilled to be your home away from home!

We look forward to welcoming you back to Harvard Square in the New Year.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any additional information.

Thanks again,
~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.
Bordentown, NJ
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2010

Its a few blocks from the nearest T-line, but it is walkable. It is even easier to drive to...just a hop and skip off of I-90 at exit 19. The hotel has modern elegance, is located immediately next to Harvard's Kennedy School, two blocks from the Coop, and is about the same distance from all of Harvard Square's local best eateries. But the two best are in The Charles itself (Henrietta's Table and the Rialto), and Legal Seafoods is in the same complex. Dogs can stay here with their people as well. A great fitness center and pool facility is also attached.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LosAngeles
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2010

I booked 20 rooms plus the Presidential suite for our recruiting event at Harvard. Food was great, service was excellent and the guestrooms very comfortable. I love the TVs in the mirror of the bathrooms. Rates are high because there are very few hotels in Cambridge. Bar in the lobby is a lot of fun and the perfect spot to go after a day of work.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
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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 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#7 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 
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Also Known As:
Charles Hotel Cambridge

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