We stayed here at the end of June 2011 as a conference we were attending was being held here. This is a really smart hotel with all the amenities (and room rates to match). It's located right on the Charles river in Cambridge (not central Boston, as the hotel name might imply) and it's near to Lechmere T-station on the green line.
What we liked:
+ The rooms were in a good state of repair and tastefully decorated.
+ The amenities (spa, pool etc.).
+ Guests at the hotel can enjoy a free tourist boat ride from the harbour just behind the hotel (normal price ~$14). It lasts about an hour and is quite informative.
+ The food options at the hotel are good but a bit pricey. There are a good selection of eateries just across the road, including a P. F. Chang's and a Cheesecake Factory. There's also a large mall there with a Starbucks and an Au Bon Pain.
+ Wi-Fi is free but only at a basic level (i.e. not really suitable for YouTube or large downloads). You can pay to get a faster service.
+ On the whole, the staff was very professional and attentive.
What we weren't so keen on:
- When using the hotel's website, you are clearly given the option to choose either a king bed or two queen beds. We chose the latter but, when we were checking in, were told the booking was made for a king room. I showed the receptionist my print-out and, after a short wait for the manager's permission, she gave us a room with two beds. Clearly the website doesn't function as it should so I strongly recommend you bring a printout of your booking confirmation.
- The website also does not offer the facility to enter the names of all the room occupants (just the person making the booking). This led to problems for my other colleagues who arrived three hours apart. The hotel eventually let the first person check in after calling the person who'd actually made the booking. I recommend adding your roomie's name in the requests box just in case.
- We were unable to flush the toilet in our room so I called maintenance at about 11 a.m. Upon returning at about 7 p.m. I found that nothing had been done; however, after a second call it was eventually sorted.
- The interconnecting door was not sufficiently insulated and we could hear everything going on in the next room (and I daresay they could hear us).
- Background music is played throughout the public areas of the hotel. This somehow managed to interfere with the audio equipment being used at the conference. This was extremely disruptive to the presentations and, apparently, it was not possible to turn it off so nothing was done (this is rubbish in my opinion). Additionally, one evening there was a party in the hotel's outdoor bar. The music of this could be clearly heard throughout the presentations. Why have an outdoor party when you know there's a conference on, which provides a great source of revenue?
The minor problems aside, this is a very pleasant hotel with many excellent amenities. I would certainly recommend it for leisure but I'd probably think twice before organising a conference there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Spectacular views surround you at the luxurious Royal Sonesta Boston. Set on the Cambridge side of the Charles River, this distinctive, modern hotel features original contemporary art, exceptional service, and one of the city's best pools. Its ideal location puts you minutes from the best of Boston, with shopping, museums and historic sites all nearby. Known as one of the city's best luxury hotels, all of its 400 well-appointed guest rooms overlook the Charles River, Cambridge or Boston's stunning skyline. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sonesta Hotel Cambridge
- Cambridge Sonesta Hotel
- Sonesta Cambridge