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“Stay elsewhere unless you are a contemporary art fanatic interested in being rip” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston

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Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   40 Edwin Land Blvd, Cambridge, MA 02142   |  
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Ranked #6 of 17 hotels in Cambridge
Boston
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Stay elsewhere unless you are a contemporary art fanatic interested in being rip”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2008

We decided to stay in a four star hotel for three days of our week long Christmas vacation in the Boston area. Only stay here If you are into contemporary art, being charged for absolutely everything from $5.50 bottled water in room, to unreal rates in the hotel restaurants ($107 dining for two - nothing special). The hotel shuttle doesn't allow luggage, and has very limited, fairly useless points that it stops at. The rooms were clean, but unimpressive for a four star hotel. This was much less of a "four star" experience than we have had at many three star hotels. Honestly this building should be turned into an art gallery/museum and it would be much more fitting.
Highly recommend the Doubletree in Cambridge, and Comfort Inn and Suites near the airport. Of the three hotels, the Comfort Inn and Suites was the best value at $90/night with 24 hour airport complimentary shuttle, but Doubletree had best views and more upper class everything.
We LOVED Boston, the people were wonderful, the public transport is easy to use and safe (we bought the 7-day "Charlie Card") which was the best $15 we spent all week). Just don't stay at Royal Sonesta. Trust me, I know, I have travelled extensively all over the world, and stayed in hundreds of hotels including all over America and Europe, etc.

Happy Travels

  • Liked — We didn't find anything about the hotel to be acceptable for four star ratings, except the art.
  • Disliked — The prices and charges for EVERYTHING, internet, crazy prices for meals, gratuity included in almost all meal receipts.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2008

Stayed here in December and had a nice stay. I was traveling for business and my husband came along for a few days of R&R. The first room we had was in the east tower and there was no bathtub so we asked to be moved to a room with a tub. We were moved to the west tower and liked it much better. It seemed more updated and renovated. The room was small but very nice and worked for us. Lots of windows. We also saw another room which was bigger, but was similar to our decor.

Good pool and work out area. We did not eat at the restuarants because they were pricey and the menus did not appeal to us. The hotel is across the street from an indoor mall which is where we had some meals. There is a Cheesecake Factory, and California Pizza Kitchen as well as mall food court. There is an Au Bon Pain for breakfast.

There is a shuttle van that stops at the major tourist stops daily and I also used this to get to my office in Cambridge. Very nice option.

Staff was friendly and the place was clean. Would stay again.

  • Liked — Location is close to shopping.
  • Disliked — Not near anything else besides the mall.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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London, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2008

Great location, opposite shopping centre and close to all the sights, room was great modern and good size, absolutely loved it, i would definately go back here. This hotel made the holiday great.

  • Liked — room, location
  • Disliked — loved it
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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west hartford,ct.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2008

The staff was very friendly and courteous. They upgraded our room to a riverview because it was my sister's birthday and they weren't sold out. Very nice touch! The room was lovely with wonderful bedding. The view was exquisite-looking right at the Science Museum and boats docked. The walking trail is convenient and we were able to grab dinner and breakfast at the Cheesecake Factory right across the street,. We went to hear jazz for an $8 cab fare. We would definitely stay there again if we could catch another deal ( a AAA getaway package for $159). Looking forward to going back !

  • Liked — The room was lovely and the staff was very friendly.
  • Disliked — charge for internet use
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Valencia, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2008

I had stayed at this Royal Sonesta previously in 2004 and 2005 for business. I so enjoyed my stay at that time, that I returned during a recent business trip.

The hotel is in a great location and is very beautiful. Most of the staff was courteous, but not exceptional.

This hotel is not conducive for the serious business traveler. The business center is lacking. My main complaint with the hotel was the rude conceirge. The conceirge was unwilling to address my concerns, but instead rushed me along. I had to go to a Kinkos to finish my business. The encounter with the conceirge soured my entire 4 day stay at the hotel.

Although beautiful, I do have a choice in hotels and I will no longer stay at this location.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — rude staff
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
251 helpful votes 251 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2008

The Royal Sonesta Boston is in fact located across the Charles River from Boston, in the city of Cambridge. Although their Web site claims the hotel is “just 3 miles from Logan Airport” that has to be as the crow flies at best, as the cab ride is clearly much farther; it’s expensive in relation to the stated mileage, too—I paid about $28 with tip—largely because of the toll for the Sumner Tunnel.

The Sonesta especially attracts customers from academia, medicine, think tanks, and the like, so you will often be in the august company of intellectuals and researchers there. It hosts small conferences, and/or houses participants attending events at Harvard, MIT, NBER, and similar institutions. Nonetheless it’s not easy walking distance from these great institutions, and you should generally be prepared to take a cab (and to pay cash). It is, however, very close to the New England Aquarium and there’s a modest shopping mall across the street with a Macy’s and other decent stores. There is also an excellent paved running/walking path along the river, right outside the back door, where the hotel lays out orange wedges, water, and towels for exercisers. Yay!

The Sonesta definitely has its charms, and definitely it needs some renovations. It’s clean, and safe, and the atmosphere and service are nice. On my October 2008 stay I had a room that faced the river and the city, and the view would have been gorgeous had the weather been better. The room was decent-sized, with a very big closet, but it was awkwardly laid out, with the TV on a dresser that backed against a wall adjacent to the head of the bed, so it was impossible to enjoy TV from the bed unless I lay crosswise. That was not nice. However, the TV was a big flat screen with a reasonably large selection of stations, WGBH (Boston’s renowned public television station) chief among them. The furniture is “hotel modern generic” and noticeably dinged up.

Lighting was good in the room, and especially in the bath. There were the usual coffee maker (stuffed on the lower shelf of one of the bedside tables, with neither pot nor packets of coffee or tea), iron, board, a good clock radio with an easy-to-set alarm, and all kinds of NOT free internet connections. There was no easy chair to make TV-watching more comfortable, but there were a desk and two ergonomic task chairs. There was a safe in the closet, and a mini-bar that I didn’t open. On top of the dresser with the TV, next to the ice bucket, were two bottles of Poland Spring water marked $5.50 each. I recommend the tap water.

The bathroom was small and outdated with a counter top mounted mid-thigh high (and I’m not all that tall). There were lots of big, absorbent towels and the hot water came up right away. However, in the morning, when demand for water was high, the shower temperature and pressure fluctuated; the water got excessively hot a couple of times. The hairdryer was fine, as were the soap and little scented shampoo and lotion.

That night the weather was cold and blustery and the heater couldn’t get the temperature anywhere near a comfortable level even with the thermostat set high; when I called, an engineer arrived within minutes with a space heater in hand. The issue was that the hotel had not yet turned on the central boilers, caught unprepared for unseasonable weather. The guy was very apologetic and courteous, and the solution he brought was effective.

I ate the buffet breakfast at the ArtBar. There are no hot choices, but a beautiful selection of rustic breads, truly excellent gruyere-type cheese, fresh fruit, unsweetened yogurt, pecan pieces to sprinkle in it, dry cereals, chunky lox with the usual accoutrements, bagels and sweet rolls, juices, and coffee. The cost is $15.95, $16.75 with tax. Keeping in mind, however, that the wait staff just seats you, and brings juice and coffee, and you serve yourself the rest (as many refills as you wish), the 15% gratuity automatically calculated on top of the $16.75 included in the total seemed excessive. I did not try Dante, the Sonesta’s more formal restaurant. Dinner tip: Make reservations at Henrietta’s Table at the Charles Hotel. Our meal and service there were exceptional, and very reasonable.

The public spaces at the Sonesta are furnished in a cool mid-century modern style. The hotel has a modern art collection that, while adding an element of fun, will not thrill all tastes (nor will it offend). There are graphic and sculptural pieces in the lobby and on the walls of the sleeping floors. There’s a business center with three or four computers; the concierge will print your boarding pass for free, otherwise it’s $5 for 20 minutes. Also in that space is a little conference table that might come in handy.

  • Liked — Geeky fellow travelers
  • Disliked — Bad layout of sleeping room, dated, cramped bathroom, major issues with heating & hot water
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Princeton, NJ
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2008

Royal Sonesta was a fine hotel...great location (across from the mall & and 10 minute walk to the subway)...nice rooms...friendly staff...and on river across from downtown Boston.

With all of that said - the Royal Sonesta is generally overpriced for what they offer. I was offered similar rates as those that belonged to the Copley Marriott & Westin hotels. For the same price - I would have easily chosen those two over the Sonesta. However - I decided to do Priceline as everything seemed to be very expensive for the weekend. And that is how we received the Sonesta (at a huge discount).

Dont get me wrong - we thoroughly enjoyed the hotel. It was quiet, comfortable and had no problems whatsoever. Valet and front desk were very helpful. Just for the price that they normally ask - I would rather be downtown than here. If you get the right price though - its a fantastic stay.

  • Stayed October 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston

Address: 40 Edwin Land Blvd, Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Cambridge
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#4 Family Hotel in Cambridge
#6 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#6 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spectacular views surround you at the luxurious Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston. Set on the Cambridge side of the Charles River, this distinctive, modern hotel features original contemporary art and exceptional service. 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
Royal Sonesta Boston

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