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“Reasonable for the price but avoid the Charles Suite”

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Prospect Place Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #2 of 20 Cambridge B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Reasonable for the price but avoid the Charles Suite”
Reviewed September 25, 2011

Well, this place gets a lot of very positive reviews here, but I'm sorry to say that did not match our own experience staying at Prospect Place last week.

The hosts were helpful enough, but seemed very edgy and distracted. In fairness, they had to leave for an early flight on the second morning of our stay, so perhaps they were preoccupied with personal matters. The woman who took care of the place while they were away was very friendly and helpful when we were checking out, however.

The room - the "Charles Suite" - turned out to be in the basement next to the laundry room. The suite consisted of the bedroom, bathroom and a booklined windowless sitting room with TV, but there was no door on the sitting room and the bedroom doorlock did not work, so it did not feel particularly private or secure.

The bathroom plumbing was poorly fitted in places - some alarming clunks and rattles as loose fittings shifted about - although it looked clean enough. The bathroom has a second frosted glass door (locked) straight into the laundry room, so you might feel a bit self-conscious if you were using the bathroom while somebody is doing the laundry.

The bedroom was reasonably clean (a few minor cobwebs and dust around the edges) but poorly ventilated. There was one small window just below the ceiling, but this did not give much light, so the whole suite felt rather gloomy and depressing, an effect enhanced by the unfortunate choice of a muddy beige colour scheme. We slept OK as it was pretty quiet, but it was not the kind of place you wanted to hang around while you were conscious.

Breakfast in the rather gloomy dining room on the first morning felt like a Harold Pinter play - I guess the chemistry between our host and fellow guests just wasn't working too well that day. When my wife declined the offer of French toast, there was no attempt to offer an alternative as our host disappeared back to the kitchen. I know a small B&B cannot offer a wide breakfast menu, but a simple offer of plain toast would have been an easy gesture to make. The next morning our hosts had left breakfast laid out in advance, as they had to get an early flight, but we had already decided to skip another Pinteresque experience and go for breakfast elsewhere.

So despite all the excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, our own impression of Prospect Place was rather mixed, a rather gloomy and edgy experience no doubt influenced by our unfortunate choice to book the Stygian basement suite. I hope this is not typical of how other guests experience this B&B, as I have plenty of sympathy for the hard work involved in running a small business like this, but I also hope an honest account of our experience may help others to make the appropriate choice for their own needs when booking accommodation in Cambridge.

Room Tip: Avoid the basement suite
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
prospectpl, Owner at Prospect Place Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, September 28, 2011
We're very sorry that this guest did not find Prospect Place to their liking although they did not give any real indication of such while they were here. Surely each guest brings their own perspective and preferences with them and that's why these reviews can be helpful. As is apparent from so many other reviews, most guests love the Charles Suite for its spaciousness, quietness, king bed, and high-end bathroom and wall finishes. We've yet to stay in another bed and breakfast or inn in our own travels with a bathroom on the level of the Charles Suite, no matter how expensive.

We're certainly surprised to hear the dining room referred to as gloomy with its six large windows, elegant ceiling and lively original antique wallpaper. Prospect Place is largely centered around eclectic antiques and an atmosphere that is conducive to the original ambiance of a Victorian home, yet in the 21st century with more modern and upscale bathrooms. Therefore, we're stunned to hear it described in such depressing terms - which is probably more indicative of the poor fit between this particular guest and inn. There is little that is hotel-like in this very individual and more intimate bed and breakfast inn, but much that you just won't find elsewhere if you're looking for a more unique experience. It is also worth noting that in antique properties, each room or suite will have individual qualities with regard to location, size, light and amenities. We have tried to make these room distinctions as clear as possible on our new website, but welcome any additional questions if anything still seems unclear.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2011

Great location. Wonderful host. Very good breakfasts!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ttravels150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2011

We did a lot of research before our family trip to Boston. There were other possibilities but none looked suitable for our family of four. Then we found Eric and Prospect Place B & B. We hadn't thought of staying in Cambridge initially but in the end it turned out to be a better location for getting around by subway (2 blocks away), and picking up the rental car for our excursion into western Mass. (3 blocks away). There is also a Whole Foods directly across the street.
Over the phone Eric was very helpful in finding us just the right rooms for us (our teenage kids don't share a bed anymore). He couldn't have been more accommodating. We had to do a bit of moving around the last night but it went seamlessly.
We stayed in the Madelaine room (ensuite bathroom and shower) and our kids stayed in the Emma one night and then the Florentine room) All had comfortable beds, were quiet, and had air conditioning that worked. There is also free wifi with a pretty strong signal.

Eric was always very helpful with suggestions with regards to directions and eating (try Koreana down the street and Toscanini's a few blocks away on Main St. for great ice cream).
The breakfasts were plentiful and delicious. Scones, fresh bread, granola and yoghurt, and delicious eggs prepared the way you liked them. There is a newspaper in the living room every morning. Antique decor abounds and very tastefully done.
The Central Square T stop is on the red line and really just a quick commute from most stops in Boston. It's one stop from Harvard Square and we walked there in a pleasant 15 minutes.
This is a great place with reasonable rates, an attentive host, excellent breakfast, easy transportation options, and accommodates families.
Highly recommended.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank travelling_with_kids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
prospectpl, Owner at Prospect Place Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, September 28, 2011
We are so glad that our bed and breakfast worked out well for your family and appreciate your staying with us. Although, due to the time of your booking, with several other rooms already taken, you were flexible and split the family over two very different rooms since the suites were not available at that point. So, your review is even more relevant in that your family experienced two very different rooms in many ways and seems to have had a very enjoyable and successful experience here while visiting Cambridge and Boston.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2011

I normally only use B&B's for vacations, but when planning to go alone to a week long training I was amazed by the price of the hotels nearer to Harvard Square. Fortunately I found room at the Prospect - and enough satisfied customers on Trip Advisor to take the plunge. Driving to the inn was easy - a fairly direct route from I-90, and I was pleased to see the Whole Foods across the street for an easy dinner. The Inn itself is everything you hope a B&B will be - not too high on the the "doily" quotient which is fine with me, but wonderful old pieces and in great shape. I appreciated the lack of TV in my room - though was pleased with the easy to manage wi-fi. Eric serves a great breakfast and was very welcoming and accommodating. T was 2 and a half blocks away and over all I would stay here again in a heart beat. Charm, personality and yet all the important things you want like lovely shower, easy to program alarm clock, plugs to juice up phone and firm mattress.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank musicsotan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2011

If you've never stayed in Boston proper before, be prepared for sticker shock when you start hunting a hotel room. $200+ for a chain hotel (Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn) is about the norm. The closer you get to Harvard, MIT and downtown Boston, the higher the rates will be.

Prospect Place offers a nice, convenient, value-oriented alternative to folks looking to stay in Cambridge. The house is well-situated about 2 blocks from the Central "T" station and directly across the street from Whole Foods. The house is clean and tastefully furnished -sort of a Victorian meets shabby chic. I stayed in the Madeline Room which offers a comfortable double bed, desk & chair, overstuffed reading chair and a shower-only en suite bathroom. The sleeping and bathing areas are in an L-shape, but open to one another (meaning no door to shut, but there is a sheer curtain you can pull across the opening). I was by myself, so this didn't bother me. A coat rack serves as a place to hang clothes and two drawers under the sink could serve as a dresser for those needing to put things away. My room did not contain an iron and ironing board, but I'm sure they would have made them available had I asked. They let me keep my stash of Diet Coke in the kitchen fridge. My room was quiet and I didn't hear any noise from other guests, despite the fact I was at the top of the stairs and backed up to the shared hall bath. While the house offers central air conditioning, this particular room on the back of the house has a window unit, so be sure to ask the host for operating instructions (in case it's been a while since you last used one). Breakfast consisted of fresh bread and assorted pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, coffee and tea. Eggs cooked to order were also offered. A parking pass is available, but you do have to park on the street around the corner. My advice is to take the "T" from the airport to the B&B and then rent the car when you actually need it. Eric, the host, was very nice and interesting to chat with. He and his family actually live at the B&B. Be mindful of this. If you plan to arrive at a certain time and your plans change, be courteous and call.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank thkent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana
1 review
Reviewed July 29, 2011

I spent 5 nights during the heat of July. The room was comfortable, shower and amenties were great, and breakfast was varied and tasty. Proprietors were attentive to my needs and schedule, and ensured that, despite the heat (90s all week), I was comfortable during my stay. It's one T stop from Harvard, or a comfortable 20 minute walk. Close to restaurants, the T, etc. Great place--- I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chyounginin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2011

I am a frequent visitor to Boston and am delighted that I discovered the Prospect Place B&B! I had never looked at lodging in Cambridge before, but with a subway stop located just two blocks from the house, getting into Boston was very quick and easy.

The house and guest rooms are lovely, spotlessly clean, and comfortable, decorated with a light touch with tasteful art and antiques throughout. The owner is a working musician, and the Steinway piano in the parlor did not escape my notice! Breakfasts were relaxed with plentiful delicious food and service at the level of a fine dining restaurant, not at all an arrangement where the food is just left out for guests to help themselves to. The fresh fruit salads were a work of art rivaling the rest of the home's furnishings!

We had a busy weekend schedule in Boston and appreciated that the structure of the house enabled us to come and go as we pleased, including a late evening return, without disturbing other guests or the homeowners.

A journal placed in the room for guests to leave comments in revealed that about half of the guests come from outside North America. I'm not at all surprised that the Prospect Place B&B has an international reputation. This was a wonderful alternative to expensive Boston hotels, and it is now on the top of my list of preferred Boston lodging. I will certainly be back!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kinnereth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Prospect Place Bed and Breakfast

Property: Prospect Place Bed and Breakfast
Address: 112 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139-2503
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Cambridge
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An Elegant Victorian Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Cambridge. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Prospect Place b&b
Prospect Place Hotel Cambridge

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