The Charles Hotel

, Cambridge, United States
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The Charles Hotel

, Cambridge
4 star

Rooms: 337

1 Bennett Street - Cambridge - Massachusetts - 02138 - United States Hotel Website | 617 864 1200
241 Traveller

Reviews - The Charles Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Charles Hotel

Extremely disappointing; AWFUL service

from alondongirl
Having been told that this was the best hotel in Cambridge, I went along with high expectations.
I entered my room to discover a used towel hanging behind the bathroom door. I could overlook this but what really got to me was the sub par service. It was raining very hard one day and there was only one umbrella in the room. My boyfriend took it out so I asked the front desk for an extra umbrella. They told me that there were no extra umbrellas in the hotel. How can such a big hotel have NO extra umbrellas? To make things worse, they weren't even apologetic.
Also, there was no turndown service at night and the housekeeping did a terrible job at cleaning up the room every day - I am not even that messy.
For the price they charge and the reputation they have, I definitely expected much better. I will not return again.

only steps from Harvard Sq.

from A TripAdvisor Member
Staying at the Charles is a good way to make your visit to Boston special. You are only a few subway stops from all the sights of Boston but lucky enough to be close to Harvard Square, famous intellectual mecca with coffeehouses, restaurants, and funky shops galore. Cambridge features some of the area's best bookstores, movies, and other entertainment. Even a walk to the Charles River and just sitting on its grassy banks will be a delight. The Charles Hotel is casually elegant without being stuffy. The giant breakfasts are scrumptious. This is not a hotel for a bargain-hunter, but you'll get what you paid for.


from A TripAdvisor Member
The Charles Hotel is perfectly located in Harvard Square, a great location for business at Harvard and MIT and easily accessible by MBTA subway and bus services. It is also only 10 minutes from downtown Boston. Although the hotel does not offer a shuttle service from the airport, The Charles Hotel is only 15 minutes from Logan Airport and only a $40 taxi ride. I was in Cambridge on business, but my wife and 2 kids came along. We booked a great package called “The Kidding Around at The Charles Hotel”, the package offered great kid bath products, milk and cookies at turndown and many other great surprises. We had a delicious breakfast at the hotels’ restaurant Henrietta’s Table, which offered an array of fresh fruit and an extraordinary choice of homemade baked goods, not to mention the delectable Sunday Brunch. The service was phenomenal, the rooms were spectacular and I would recommend The Charles Hotel for any type of traveling in the Cambridge or Boston area.

Cheery Charles

from A TripAdvisor Member
Well located for business at Harvard or MIT and convenient to the I-90, the Charles also affords river views with calm and cleanliness. Although we arrived very late in the evening, the reception was welcoming and efficient.

Our room, a king-size non-smoking with views over Harvard and the river, was $229/night, a solid value given the level of service and comfort. The bathroom was clean and well-equipped, with plenty of towels.

Staff in the fitness center were extremely helpful and courteous. The changing rooms were spotless, and although the pool was a bit too warm for lap swimming, it was well maintained and clean.

Henrietta's offered an exceptional breakfast for a hotel restaurant; with abundant fresh fruits and homemade baked goods, it will appeal to those wanting something healthier and more wholesome than the standard buffet of greasy bacon and curdled eggs one often encounters for breakfast on business travel. Service was exceptional: efficient, friendly and non-intrusive, it made for a nice start to the day.

Over priced for very little

from tripsing
I stayed at the Charles Hotel 2 times in July and once in August '05. ( Our family has stayed here quite a few times in the past as well).
The cheapest room in July was $209.00. Parking was 30.00 for overnight and the service was without a smile & a bit of grumpiness. The staff tends to be snooty and it takes time for someone offer one recognition. Since I checked in as a single woman the first 2 times, and then with my daughters the second time, I realized we were not given the same treatment as the single men. Even though I was first at the reception desk, they paid much more attention to the men (1st) who arrived after me. The extra bed is $20.00 plus tax. The swiming pool has special hours for children so don't expect to be able to take your children swimming at any hour. The pool was extrodinarily dirty with unspeakable particles floating in the water. I was quite surprised at the lack of attention of the staff. Children are not welcomed and the staff was unfriendly. Our children are not young and are well behaved with plenty of travel experience. We changed hotels to another Cambridge hotel which was priced at half the cost with many more amenities and accomodationg staff, where the rooms were larger, cleaner, and the amenities plentiful. Most important the staff welcomed us and treated us with respect at the other hotel. Although I was not expecting "special treatment" at The Charles Hotel, I was expecting some attention to the basic accomodations.

Great Location

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Charles and found the beds and pillows comfortable, the accomodations simple but clean, the halls in need of a bit more vacuuming, and the shower hot and pleasant. We found a deal for under $200 a night and that provided good value. The location was perfect for exploring Cambridge and Harvard but would be less than ideal for someone more interedted in Boston sightseeing.There is a reasonably pleasant shopping district with restaurants just outside the hotel. Service was efficient and flawless, concierge was friendly and not at all snooty. We'd stay again if we were paying less than $200 a night, but we would not pay $400.


from Cortez55403
Stayed at the Charles last weekend. Loved it and will definitely stay there again.

Location in Harvard Square is the best. Walking distance to the business and University sites in this part of Cambridge. Great street scenes, shopping and tourism within 5 blocks.

Restaurants, Rialto and Henrietta's Table, are outstanding. Both were constantly filled. Rialto is upscale but relaxed Mediterranean style. Henrietta's Table is a New England kitchen -- top of the line breakfasts and brunch in vibrant, popular atmosphere. Tourists and locals combine in lively ambiance.

Haven't tried the jazz club yet. Looks terrific. Fitness facility next door is excellent.

We toured the hotel's art collection using the guide to art provided by the concierge. Thoughtful blend of American (collectible quilts) and contemporary paintings, several of which were created for this hotel. Much more interesting and sophisticated than could be expected.

Rooms are fine, though nothing special. Sort of a minimalist style, either Shaker-inspired or just plain.

Value? We paid $235 for a room with 2 double beds (3 people) with a view of the Charles River. Excellent value.

We will stay at the Charles on our every visit to Harvard Square.

Not worth it

from A TripAdvisor Member
I've traveled to Cambridge multiple times over the past several years and have stayed at many hotels in the area. My impression (and the impression of several other people I've talked to) is that this hotel is nice but nothing special. $400+ a night is a lot to pay for "nothing special"! On my most recent visit I also found the staff to be rather snooty and unhelpful. For the price they charge, I would expect the service to be a bit more gracious. Although my company's Boston offices are conveniently located nearby, I will definitely stay somewhere else the next time I travel to Cambridge.

Simply the best

from A TripAdvisor Member
Having visited the USA quite a few times this was my first stay in Boston.
I can't praise to highly the staff of The Charles Hotel, nothing was to much trouble for them.
Should I ever return to Boston I shall most certainly stop there again.

On another note, the Clam Chowder in the USA is to die for, oh boy I could kill for a bowl right now.

Comfortable and convenient

from SkyeTraveler
I stayed in this hotel for two nights, on a research trip to Harvard. If you have business at Harvard, this hotel can't be beat. Its location is perfect for the Yard, Kennedy School, and Business School. It's also extremely comfortable. The decor is not designer-chic; it's more spare and clean, with the luxury coming from the wonderful down duvets and pillows.

Lots of business people use this hotel, but so do visiting academics, and there are usually plenty of locals having Sunday brunch or a drink in the bar. So although it's large and often busy, it has a local, distinctly Cambridge feel about it.

I appreciated having so much within the hotel itself, especially on a cold, rainy December evening when I didn't feel like going out. There are several good options. The Rialto is a well-respected local restaurant, but my favorite was the less formal Henrietta's Table, where you can go for a full meal or just a bowl of soup. There's also a bar (Noir) and across the courtyard, a jazz bar. Of course, Harvard Square is full of restaurants and bars, too, most of them moderately priced.

The Charles was great to go back to after a long day at the archives! It was the hotel equivalent of very, very good comfort food.

Top Local Tips for Cambridge

Very close to Red Line Five minute walk from Red Line station at Harvard Square. Easy to get here from Logan Airport on the T.


Other names for The Charles Hotel

  • charles hotel cambridge
  • Address: 1 Bennett Street - Cambridge - Massachusetts - 02138 - United States
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