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“So many positive surprises!”

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Irving House at Harvard
Ranked #3 of 19 Cambridge B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“So many positive surprises!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2012

If you're looking for lodging near Harvard Square, it's hard to imagine a better choice than Irving House. We expected a charming B&B at a reasonable price, and they certainly delivered that. Positive surprises beyond the usual included: wide variety of healthy home-made breakfast choices, delicious coffee, snacks all day (until 10pm) including fruit and great cookies, free off-street parking, extra room heater upon request and plenty of extra blankets, fantastic location convenient for walking to Harvard Square or driving elsewhere (without having to contend with Harvard Sq), interesting people doing short-term or longer-term visits to Harvard... Free wifi, with reasonable speed. Books that you are encouraged to take away with you. Wall St Journal, Boston Globe, and New York Times. We will definitely be back and will send all our friends here.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank audace11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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261 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    14
    11
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
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English first
VA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2012

I stayed in The Irving House in Decermber as a few friends were staying there too. It was a good value for the location, but my room was a bit small, (a twin up against the wall) and had to share a bathroom which I am not a big fan of. But this was the only room that was available. The bigger rooms with the private baths were very nice. And the location is great with a 10-15 minute walk to Harvard Square. The breakfast was yummy and had a great variety. It reminded me of the European B&B's.

I would definitely stay here again. But would prefer a room with my own bath.

Room Tip: If you need space, choose the double or bigger rooms. The twin was fine for one night but could be...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank L1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

The Irving House really embodies the definition of hospitality and home-from-home. It was such a joy to stay there.
Highlights included:
- I stayed here for business but during my birthday. When Rachel, the manager, found out that it was my birthday, she gave me a room discount, a gift bag with local goodies in it, and giftcards to local shops and restaurants.
- The food! It's all locally sourced. When I arrived, I was welcomed to the kitchen for pie, tea, and hot apple cider. Breakfast is also a feast of local delicacies, including multiple kinds of eggs, jams, cheeses, fruits (dried + fresh), and veggies (olives and tomatoes). And there's afternoon/evening snacks, also locally baked, (cookies, cakes, savory pastries). Divine!
Also: The value for money is unbeatable. I opted for a single room w/shared bath for 70 dollars per night. It was never a problem to find a bathroom, which were always clean and well supplied. It's a delightful touch to have books - to take away - dotted around the house and its rooms. And the artwork and prints are beautiful.
Do, DO, stay there!
To Rachel, Leah, and all the staff - THANK YOU for a delightful visit to Cambridge.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank am9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orford, QC
Level Contributor
89 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

The irving house is a clean affordable place to stay, without pretention. The old house is well maintain and the staff is very helpfull. You wont be having breakfast made by the owners, its not that sort of B&B, it is probably more an Inn then a B&B.

No fancy Breakfast, but we did not felt the need to get breakfast elsewhere, we were very satisfied with the choices offered.

The location is excellent (we used the subway), the room was very comfortable, and everything there is clean.

There are four floors and there are no elevator, but that was not a problem at all. And when you reserve they make sure you are aware.

Room Tip: We had a room with its own bathroom.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hussard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2011

This was our first visit to Irving House and we were booked for 5 nights. We agree with many of the positive comments about this inn: location, parking though very tight, wi-fi, cleanliness, friendly staff, guest refrigerator, and breakfasts (which were o.k. but not outstanding.)

Our primary complaint was the heating. We stayed in room 403, and noticed the warmth in the room the afternoon we arrived. It was then that we realized that there was no thermostat in the room to regulate the heat. We immediately opened the one window that faced another apartment building (with windows opposite ours…privacy?) across the alley. Later during that night, the room seemed to get even hotter. There was no air circulating into our room from the alley window. We have no idea what the temp was in the room. However, we were both perspiring. I changed out of my cotton nightgown and put on one of my husband’s t-shirts. We threw off the comforter and just kept the sheet. It was still very uncomfortable in the room…even though it was in the 20’s or 30’s outside! The heat duct along the floor was too hot to even touch. I had some paper and plastic bags that I had pushed up against it and realized that they could have been a fire hazard with such heat.

We are not complainers, and that can sometimes be to our disadvantage. It was not until the 3rd night, after reading the guest book on the desk, that we realized that something could be done about the heat if we called the front desk. So…at 2:00 a.m. we did so. There may have been some improvement but not much. The next day we learned of the “zones” that are set up within the building. I was told that someone else had complained of being too cold. Don’t know if that person was in our zone or not. So, if everyone in your zone is in agreement with the temperature, everyone is happy.

Since my husband was also suffering from a cold and neither of us was getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep a night, we decided that I would move into another room…room 406. This room was still warm but less hot than 403…maybe it was in another zone. Also, since it was a corner room, it had two windows for better air circulation. Even after requesting to have the heat turned down, both rooms continued to be hot, even though it was now in the 20’s outside and we both slept with the windows wide open.

Cleanliness, quiet, and a good night’s sleep are our primary requirements for the accommodations we expect to receive when staying anywhere in the world. We would really like to say that we would return to Irving House in the future. But how will it be in the summer? I can’t imagine how unpleasant that would be!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DDLEE_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RachaelSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this review, December 30, 2011
I am sorry to hear that your stay was made so difficult by the heating system! There are only 5 zones for the house, and evidently some times when this is insufficient to provide comfort to each room as the guests wish. We are continuing to investigate a retrofitted system that will allow better control, and will also better monitor the thermostat for each zone. It should never go over 68, and is usually set at 66. I thank you for the reminder to keep looking into heating system improvements and monitoring.
We note that, according to both this review and your written comments to us, you seem to have otherwise enjoyed your stay.
We wish for you a fine new year...
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, Connecticut
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2011

I've stayed at Irving House many many times over the past five years. I keep coming back because it is comfortable, the staff are great warm friendly people, it's far cheaper than any other place in that area, it offers a wonderful breakfast spread, offstreet parking is included, and the location is perfect. There's a lunch shop (Darwin's) just around the corner, a market two blocks away (Broadway Market), a neighborhood pharmacy just past Darwin's, and a great Spanish restaurant (Dali) is only a 5 minute walk. Plus Harvard Yard and Harvard Square are just a 10 minute walk the other way.
This time I had surgery in the Boston area and stayed at Irving House for 3 days to recover before driving 3 hours to my home. They gave me a room with a bath (108) on the first floor and I was completely comfortable there.
Single rooms with shared baths are less expensive. Some of them are small but they are well furnished so they don't feel claustrophobic. The place is always spotless.
Additional amenities include refrigerator and freezer space for guests, laundry facilities (available only after 10AM), books in every room, and snacks available in the breakfast rooms afternoons and evenings: cookies, fruit, coffee cakes, and coffee/tea/hot chocolate. There's also a nice living room with some comfortable chairs and a computer for guests to use (free WiFi is also available).

Room Tip: If you're getting a single with shared bath, some of them are slightly bigger so ask for one of...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Muiggs46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2011

We spent 4 great days here. The staff was super friendly and helpful, the room huge and comfortable. Breakfast amazing!!! Hot drinks and sweets all afternoon. The family room fit 2 adults and 2 teens. We will be back!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bbilderback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Irving House at Harvard

Property: Irving House at Harvard
Address: 24 Irving St, Cambridge, MA 02138-3007
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Cambridge
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Irving House at Harvard 3*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Irving House is a quaint bed and breakfast in Cambridge offering uniquely cozy accommodations and a variety of amenities for our guests to enjoy. Built as a two-family house in the 1890s, Irving House was converted to a bed and breakfast in the 1920s with 44 unique guest rooms in a variety of sizes. There are many room types to accommodate the ranging needs of our guests, from individual travelers to families. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Irving House At Harvard Hotel Cambridge

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