Just got an e-mail from my brother looking for hotel suggestions in Cambridge, which reminded me that I have this overdue review of a hidden gem in Harvard Square...
First, the good things:
--The place is very close to Harvard and Harvard Square (in particular the Science Center and Harvard Yard). In fact, it's just two blocks away. You can't beat the location.
--The room was very neat, well kept, and pretty large.
--The price was fairly reasonable for the area. I paid $180 or so, and I believe that was one of the more expensive rooms. I think the "bottom of the barrel" price in Harvard Square for a hotel room nowadays is just around $100, which probably gets you a free mugging and bed bug infestation. Kidding. Sort of.
--The owner was very friendly and was able to accommodate me within two days when my plans changed and I needed a place to stay in Cambridge.
--Free parking (though I did get the last spot in the lot) in Cambridge, which is kind of a big deal.
--Breakfast was good, and not sit-down, which I liked because I could grab and go. Bonus points for the hard boiled eggs. I've never seen that at a B&B. The cherry flavored danish was also delicious.
Next, the "constructive criticism":
--The high speed internet code was approximately 30 characters long, which was very hard to type into my tiny phone keypad, etc. I'm only kind of joking that this is a con. It really wasn't a big deal, but it was kind of annoying. I would think they could shorten it significantly without risk that people outside would hack into it.
--Another reviewer mentioned this, but there really do need to be more electrical outlets in the room. Even just a couple of extra power strips would do. I had to unplug the lamp just to charge my cell phone, and it wasn't easy to get to because it was under the bedside table.
(You'll notice that the above two things aren't even really that big of a deal. That's because this place was pretty great overall.)
Some advice if you'll be visiting A Friendly Inn:
--Try to get a room on the second or third floor if you can. I had a room on the first floor and the foot traffic by the front door was a bit loud. The A/C wall unit did help with the noise, though. This was the last room available (as I mentioned, I made the reservation two days before), so it's understandable, but I probably would not want this room again.
--Get here as early after check-in as you can if you're planning on parking. I arrived at 3:15 p.m. and got the last spot. The lot was also full the next evening when I left. Parking in Cambridge is very difficult because you need a resident sticker, unless you plan on finding a (rare) pay lot or paying at a meter.
Bottom line, if you're in Cambridge, and particularly if you're trying to stay very close to Harvard Square, this is a very good place. It is "no frills" as another reviewer mentioned, but for me, it got the job done at the last minute, at a reasonable price, in a great location. And yeah, it isn't the Charles Hotel, but what is? :)
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- Also Known As:
- a Friendly Inn At Harvard Square Hotel Cambridge