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“Best option for those attending HKS” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Charles Hotel

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Charles Hotel
Ranked #3 of 20 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
206 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Best option for those attending HKS”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2014

I attended a leadership course in Harvard Kennedy School of Government and i was given a room in the dorms (15 minutes walk from HKS campus). I decided to pay for my own and stay in the Charles, right across the street from campus. It was the best decision i took on this trip.

The hotel is excellent. Staff is very attentive and courteous. The rooms is very well equipped and had a built-in TV in the bathroom mirror (which was super cool) and it overlook Harvard Square where you have loads of dining and shopping options.

Great place to stay if you are attending HKS, as it is literally, the building next door.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SamDubster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sdevenne, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Thank you for your kind words regarding your recent stay at The Charles Hotel. I am happy to hear you enjoyed every aspect of your stay as well as your interactions with our staff. It will be my pleasure to share your comments with the team.

If I can assist you further, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles sometime soon.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,442 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Doha
Level Contributor
83 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2014

The staff is professional and helpful, and welcoming. There are a host of restaurants near. By all means try Legal Seafood for steamers and lobster or frilled fish. Shun Henrietta's kitchen - the food is yucky, the coffee and the bill are bitter. We will be returning here when next we are in Cambridge. The staff maintains high standards.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Guide_to_Great_Meals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sdevenne, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences regarding your recent visit to The Charles Hotel. I appreciate your feedback and am sorry that your time spent dining with us did not live up to your expectations.

If I can assist you further, please do not hesitate to contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to The Charles in the future.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver Spring, MD
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2014

The Charles Hotel is well-located in Harvard Square. The staff was very helpful and pleasant, and the rooms were very comfortable. The surprising thing was the decor, which used both classic Colonial-style furniture and updated versions in a very modern way so that nothing felt too cute or quaint. This is a hotel that is a real class act.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lawrence C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sdevenne, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to reach out. I am happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and appreciate your kind words regarding our decor.

If I can assist you in any way, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles sometime soon.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herndon, Virginia
Level Contributor
312 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2014

Nice hotel, friendly staff, well maintained. Well appointed rooms with mini-bar. Walking distance of quite a few nice restaurants. Windows open, which is nice touch in Boston most of the year. Their use of computers is in the dark ages though, and there were several mistakes in the reservation, repeated the next day at checkout. And they want you to FAX things to them, rather than email. Wi-fi is free, but is a real pain to use and I stopped and went back to using LTE by phone. Every time your phone or tablet times out and goes to sleep, when you go to use the wi-fi again you have to re-login even when everything is set to auto on the device (I don't have this problem anywhere else) and only a few minutes have elapsed. All-in-all, great hotel for sleeping or dining, but not quite up to speed on modern systems for communications.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dcshoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sdevenne, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience regarding your recent visit to The Charles Hotel. If I can assist you further, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles in the future.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aarhus, Denmark
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2014 via mobile

Excellent location for visiting Harvard. Very helpful staff at reception and concierge. Fitness and pool both good standard. Good restaurants: Rialto, Henrietta's kitchen and Legal Seafood within hotel. Will be returning for next Harvard meeting.

Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank RejseReview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sdevenne, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your kind words regarding your recent visit to The Charles Hotel. I am happy to hear you enjoyed every aspect of your stay including your time spent dining with us and your guestroom amenities.

If I can assist you in any way, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Charles sometime soon.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2014

Very much enjoyed my first stay at the Charles. Everyone from the front desk, restaurants (Noir and Henrietta's) and doormen were quite friendly. I often encounter snobby service at upscale hotels, but that wasn't the case here. I was upgraded to a Cambridge Suite (thru Platinum Card/Fine Hotels and Resorts) and thus had a great view and plenty of space. Bed was very comfortable (which was great because I was exhausted) and tv in mirror was a nice touch (though I confess I completely ignored it once I got past its novelty). Took advantage of the mini business center on the floor (nice not to have to go down to the lobby) and the free long distance calls (don't believe I've ever stayed at a hotel with that amenity). Went to Henrietta's for breakfast and lunch and greatly enjoyed both meals. I suspect this will be my first of many stays at the Charles, as I've already booked a second stay for the Summer.

Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Allison177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sdevenne, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for sharing your kind words regarding your recent visit to The Charles Hotel. I am happy to hear you enjoyed your stay, we look forward to welcoming you back this summer. If I can assist you in any way, please contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
82 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014

We stayed at the Charles the first two nights of a week-long New England family vacation. The hotel wasn't as nice as we'd expected - let alone what we'd consider luxurious - but it was still a nice place, and the special deal we got at the time of our reservation coupled with the extremely convenient location made for a very good stay.

Check-in was quick, attentive and friendly. We got some help taking our bags up to our room, which was appreciated because we had so many.

The room itself was not terribly impressive. It was nicely appointed but small - quite a bit smaller than any other place we stayed over the course of our vacation, and small enough that it felt crowded with just the four of us and our bags. The bedding on both beds was stained and spotted, which we wouldn't expect at a hotel in this price range. The carpet and surroundings were likewise stained in places. The walls had a few nicks and the room as a whole was kind of beat-up.

On the plus side, the mattresses and bedding proved to be extraordinarily comfortable, enough so to be noticed by the adults and the kids, who all slept great both nights we were there. The view from our room was beautiful, both by day and night, with much of Harvard before us and Boston's skyline behind it in the distance. The shower head and water pressure in the tub were awesome, making for enjoyable showers. (I hadn't really known there was such a thing.) And the kids predictably got a bang out of the little in-mirror TV in the bathroom.

Speaking of the kids, it's worth noting for parents traveling with younger children that the Charles isn't exactly kid-friendly. Over the nearly 48 hours we were popping in and out of the place, we saw many fellow guests but apart from a couple of teenagers we saw no other children. The swimming pool is open to children only for limited windows of time - sharply limited on weekdays - and we didn't get to use it because those hours coincided with our planned activities elsewhere. We have no problem with the Charles approaching this as it chooses to approach it consistent with its predominant business and adult clientele - it's just worth keeping in mind if you plan to visit with younger children.

Because we spent a lot of our time on and around Harvard's campus, and other places both up and down the red line of the MBTA subway system, the Charles's location was impossible to beat. Still, the value proposition of the stay would have been much different if we'd paid the $300+ per night sticker price that would have applied to our stay if we hadn't been able to snag a special $199 rate. The Charles has a "Travel Tuesday" promotion through which, if you follow them on Twitter or become a Facebook "fan" of theirs, you'll find online offers for discounted rooms available on certain dates, if you book the room on that Tuesday before midnight. There are blackout dates and such and it won't work out for everyone, but this promotion worked very well for us and saved us about $250. Pretty sweet.

All in all, the Charles was the right place for our stay - principally because of its peerless location - and on a similar trip in the future we'd stay again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Baker1997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sdevenne, General Manager at Charles Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences regarding your recent visit to The Charles Hotel, I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay. I also appreciate your suggestions for improvement and will take this into consideration.

If I can assist you further, please do not hesitate to contact me at aattia@charleshotel.com. Thank you again and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to The Charles in the future.

Sincerely,
Alex Attia
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Charles Hotel

Property: Charles Hotel
Address: 1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138-5780
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#6 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#11 Family Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Charles Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 295
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just minutes from downtown Boston and a variety of world-class attractions, The Charles is a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and a proud member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts.Reflecting the eclecticism that is Cambridge, The Charles Hotel is a modern interpretation of New England hospitality with a thriving jazz club, the Regattabar, two signature restaurants, ice-skating rink (winter months only), state of the art conference facilities, Corbu Spa & Salon, and a central location in the heart of Harvard Square.The Hotel is home to Henrietta’s Table, featuring “fresh and honest” home cooking, and Rialto, recognized by one of the best restaurants in America by Gourmet, Food & Wine and Esquire. Noir, the hotel’s chic, cozy bar, serves classic cocktails mixed to perfection and sultry signature drinks. Since its opening in 1985, The Regattabar has established itself as the leading jazz and world music club in Boston and the New England area. Corbu Spa & Salon is named after famed architect and designer, Le Corbusier and offers a harmonious escape from the stresses of urban life. A French influenced menu offers seasonal treatments with locally sourced ingredients. Open daily.Catering to internationally renowned business leaders, government officials, entertainment executives and leisure travelers alike, it’s no wonder that the New England Travel Guide has designated The Charles as the best hotel to “stay put in” when visiting Boston. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Charles Hotel Cambridge

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