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“Very relaxing and pleasant place to stay”

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Irving House at Harvard
Ranked #4 of 21 Cambridge B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 23, 2014

This was the first time we stayed at a B & B and I was slightly apprehensive. They were all beyond terrific. The staff was all very very friendly. I would recommend this place to anyone gladly. THEY WERE GREAT.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Bruce W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us! I will let my staff know that you were pleased. They always like encouragement to continue their good work. We hope to see you again when your travels bring you back to Cambridge!

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133 - 139 of 287 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2014 via mobile

Coming here has been like going to stay with family. It is furnished like an old Cambridge home with lots of character. It is clean/well run with an excellent breakfast! Rooms can be a bit stuffy but windows open easily. I will stay here again!

Stayed: July 2014
2  Thank Ilana D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Thank you for your very nice review! I will share this with my staff to let them know and to keep up the good work!
While our smaller rooms can be close, we encourage people to open the windows as needed and adjust air conditioning vents over the doors as need too!
We look forward to seeing you on a future visit.

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Reviewed July 14, 2014

I recently stayed at Irving House for two weeks after reading rave reviews about the guest house on this website. I chose to stay at Irving House instead of Sheraton Commander, because Irving House received better reviews on Tripadvisor than Sheraton and the rates are also slightly cheaper.

The pros:

Excellent location! If you want to be in Cambridge or Boston, this place is a short walk to the Harvard Yard, which has easy access to the T and cabs. It is located in a very scenic, quiet and most importantly, safe neighborhood. I stayed there with my five-year-old daughter, so safety was my number one priority. I also lived in Boston for seven years before moving to another state. So I was already familiar with the city and knew that Irving House was in a good neighborhood of Cambridge.

The breakfasts are great. They have wide selection of organic tea and coffee, different cereals, eggs, breads and other stuff. They even have snacks available until 11 pm.

The rooms are cute and clean and all the rooms have an interesting selection of books to read. Each room also has plenty of extra blankets and pillows.

The cons:

The biggest problem was the steep stairs! It is an old building; a four-storied house converted into a guest house. Although I was on the second floor, I found it hard to go up and down with my little girl several times a day to get water, to go to the breakfast room, laundry etc. But that's something people need to keep in mind. If you are very accustomed to elevators or have little kids or back issues maybe this is not the best place for you.

The other problem was the heat/AC issue. The room was either too cold or too hot. If I kept the vent in my room open - it would get cold at night; and if I closed it, it was too stuffy. Because it's an old house, it probably doesn't have the temperature control settings in each room that we are so used to these days.

Lastly, this is a suggestion : it would be nice to have friendlier staff at the front desk. Staff members who actually look up from their desks when guests walk in and out; also smile and answer questions patiently and politely. After all, we are all paying guests, who choose to stay there instead of other places in the city because we want to have a good experience. I have to say most of the young staff members are friendly and helpful, but there is one or two, who could improve their customer service skills if they want to work in this business :) Being efficient is definitely a good quality but for a front desk person the most important quality is actually, being friendly and the readiness or willingness to help.

I had a bit of an issue with one of the staff members, who later apologized after I had a talk with the Assistant Manager. Both of them, I graciously admit, helped me by breaking the guest house policy and letting me change my travel plans. And I was able to check out on a really short notice. I sincerely appreciated that! I respect rules and contracts, but appreciate it more when somebody politely explains to me my options. Though the Assistant Manager was accommodating to my needs, I found her very defensive of her staff. The guests really don't have time to hear excuses of how stressed out or overworked the staff members are - we just want prompt, friendly service! :)

Maybe the staff members can get some kind of customer service training. That would certainly improve the overall service quality of the guest house.

Apart from these minor issues, we had a very pleasant stay and I would definitely recommend this place to others. Hopefully, in future, Irving House will be an even more popular place to stay than it is now.

Thank you.

Room Tip: Ask them about the size of the room and try to get as much detail as possible. I booked a room with...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Lavina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael S, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. When I looked into the details of your visit, I noted that you stayed with us on your birthday and partook of our Birthday Special! We hope you enjoyed the little goodies and the discount for that night.

The situation at the front desk was difficult because a car was blocking the driveway for some time, preventing others from entering or leaving the lot. The driver did not identify himself and therefore could not be reached as the problems arose. This is a real consideration in a small urban parking area. Your experience with their handling of a very stressful situation is regrettable. I wish I could prevent these problems from occurring, and usually we are able to do so---it just takes everyone being considerate of others…

We are pleased to see that you mostly did enjoy your stay. We hope to see you again some time!

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Reviewed July 11, 2014

Our experience with the manager has been excellent. She went the extra mile to make sure that our move from Turner House to Irving House and back went very smoothly. We had a short stay in Irving House during the middle of our extended stay at Turner House because we did not know about the accommodations at Turner House and Irving House until the last minute. The manager would even come out from behind the front desk to greet us and make sure we had everything we needed to be happy. Also, we have enjoyed the global diversity of the staff and guests. There is a friendliness and sense of civility here not often found elsewhere, even in the 5-star hotels where we have stayed in the US and abroad. The breakfast was delicious. GeorgiaMarie66's review of the breakfast does the breakfast buffet justice. We were thrilled to see that they were offering our favorite organic yogurt and milk brand, Stonyfield. The fresh fruit, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, etc., each morning was also a treat with the yogurt. We slept so peacefully. There's no loud music or TVs blaring or people partying all night in the next room. The beds were very comfortable. Irving House and Turner House have definitely been a peaceful haven for us. We look forward to future stays here! Very well run hotel.

Room Tip: Our corner room was very sunny.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank A D S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael S, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded July 21, 2014

What a lovely review! Thank you. As always, I will be sure all of the staff see this review too. It is very important to know where we can and must improve, but it is always wonderful to hear where we are doing well.
We hope to see you when you come back to Cambridge!

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Reviewed July 9, 2014

I encountered some good ol' East Coast abrasive behavior from many, but not at the Irving House.
It is a great accommodation in a great location. Take bad reviews with an understanding that some of the guests believe they deserve special treatment, and when they do not get it they cry out in pain.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael S, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded July 11, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review! While we do get some unhappy guests, we try very hard to accommodate all sorts of travelers in the most friendly ways we can. I am pleased you found our guesthouse a good place to stay.

We look forward to seeing you again if your travels bring you back to Our Fair City!

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Reviewed July 8, 2014

I travel to Cambridge four times every month and have stayed at Kendall hotel or Eliot hotel most of the time , they are wonderful and friendly . This time since they are fully booked I ended up stayed at this Irving House , never expected ended in a nightmare dealing with this Armenian ( or Russian who knows where she came from) .

No wonder this place has a bad reputation, how could they possibly let such a rude , discriminative woman to be in charge at all? The breakfast was cheap, the room is too tiny for $ 265 per night. At 86 degree outside the room almost has no air conditioning( very tiny little air comes off from the ceiling and that is all! )

Stay away from this place if you have other choices.

Stayed: July 2014
2  Thank LingSXM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael S, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded July 9, 2014

Dear Ms Ling
I am sorry you had a bad experience with us. In looking into the details of your stay, I discovered some issues regarding your reservation that were not straightforward at all. Our request for a valid credit card to secure the extended reservation remained unmet.
For the record, the room rate was $235.
My assistant manager was doing the best she could under the circumstances.

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Reviewed June 30, 2014

With the scarcity of accommodations within walking distance of Harvard Square, it is good to know that Irving House provides a pleasant and comfortable stay. I had reserved a room with a queen bed and private bath that I hoped would match the photo on their website. It did, but those particular rooms still vary in size, so if you want the bigger room with plenty of windows and space, you will need to ask for it (I had room 207). The room was quiet, and I could not hear any traffic noise from nearby Cambridge Avenue. The guesthouse has two front side patios / porches where you can sit and relax if you want. The breakfasts were delicious! Local and organic cheeses, tomatoes, olives, raw carrots, organic hardboiled eggs, dried fruit, varied nuts, yogurt, warm baked spinach and cheese popovers, broccoli tartlets, bagels, spreads, and on and on. Even during the day and evenings you can help yourself to organic coffee, milk, tea, ice water, fresh and dried fruit, and spinach filled little pastries! After conducting business at Harvard University, it was nice to come back to a lobby that felt like it was your living room - very homey with a touch of worldly sophistication, and also with plenty of magazine and books to read. And the restaurants for dinner were not far away - possibly a good 15 to 20 minute walk to the best in Harvard Square. Red House restaurant serves great raw oysters and fantastic appetizers!

Room Tip: Higher floors are probably better but you will need to climb stairs. I had carry on luggage and I wa...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank GeorgiaMarie66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael S, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded July 7, 2014

Thank you for your very kind and detailed review. We so appreciate it when guests take the time to post a review and give helpful information from their own experience.
We are pleased you enjoyed your stay and we hope to see you again if your travels bring you back to Cambridge!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Irving House at Harvard

Address: 24 Irving Street, 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 #4 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Cambridge
Price Range: $104 - $378 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Irving House at Harvard 3*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Irving House is a large 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 hotel use in the 1920s with 44 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. We encourage booking directly on our site, not through third parties. In this way, we can offer you better options for your stay. Bookings that come through a 'book now' button cost us high commissions! Be a savvy traveler and go to our site to book for best availability and rates. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Irving House At Harvard Hotel Cambridge

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