Kimpton Marlowe Hotel
What We Love
- It’s the perfect place for parents to shack up while their kids spend the night in the dorms at MIT
- Views of the Charles River from floor-to-ceiling windows
- Free bike and kayak rentals, morning coffee and nightly wine happy hours (from 5 - 6 p.m.)
What To Know
- Not in Boston proper; across the Charles River in Cambridge
- East Cambridge location is near MIT but still a trek from Harvard
- Connected to the CambridgeSide Galleria shopping mall
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The vibe at this Cambridge boutique hotel provides a modern take on affluent, Old World Boston. The decor draws on the city’s maritime and academic heritage, with a whimsical nautical theme accented by Harvard crimson. Decked out in merlot and lemon hues, with leopard and chain-link patterns, the decor feels playful and inviting.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms are decent size for a city hotel, and should you need to attend to business, the work area is actually comfortable, with soft leather chairs and fast WiFi. Boston skyline views are another asset, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. Although the decor is modern, Boston’s early American heritage is not forgotten — just check out the lamps with mini–bust sculptures of Revolutionary War heroes.
The on-site Bambara restaurant is a neighborhood favorite that offers seasonal New American fare such as pan-seared scallops with English pea risotto, housemade pancetta and sherry gastrique, or pot roast with herbed potato dumplings, pearl onions and carrots. Work it off in the 24/7 fitness center, or take advantage of the hotel’s free bikes and kayaks.
In the Area
Located in East Cambridge, right across the Charles River from downtown Boston, this Kimpton property is next door to MIT and a string of tech companies spawned by the school’s wunderkind graduates. Head over to the Museum of Fine Arts to view its encyclopedic collection, then take a stroll along busy and historic Newbury Street, which is lined with boutiques and open-air cafés. Stop for a bite at Savenor’s, a neighborhood gem since 1939 that stocks an excellent selection of produce and meats, or nibble your way through the cobblestone streets of the Italian North End or Chinatown on a delicious market tour with knowledgeable local guides. For eclectic jazz in the city’s coolest venue, hit the Beehive in the South End. The upstairs restaurant shows silent films.
How to Get There
The Kimpton Marlowe is reasonably priced and in a good location to take the T to the North End. It is near the Lechmere station on the green line, two stops away from the North End. We did not walk around the area where the hotel was located, except to go to the T station, as we spent more time in other areas. The hotel is across from the Museum of Science parking garage. Pros: the staff are very friendly and helpful. Self-parking is $30 in a covered garage (shared with CambridgeSide Mall). The hotel has an elevator that goes directly to the garage. On check-out day, the parking continued until 3pm, so we did not have to leave right away. Cons: bed was very hard, towels scruffy and the shower pressure was just okay. We also could not turn the temperature down past 65, and while this may not seem like a big deal in winter, the room was too hot for sleeping. None of this made our stay particularly difficult, and we managed, but I think I was expecting it to be luxurious based on what I had read. I was also not a huge fan of the daily fee of $25 (printing, $10 food credit, polaroid cameras), but given the reasonable rate we had on the room, it was not a big deal to us. We ate breakfast in Bambara's, the hotel restaurant, and it was very good, but cost $44 with tip, for two omelets and coffee. All in all, a good, solid choice, but definitely not a luxury choice. As always, location is key, so it depends on where you are planning to visit while in Boston.
I stay at the Marlowe at least twice a year when I go to Cambridge on business. It's always a pleasant experience. The only complaint I had this last time (Oct. 31, 2019) was that the room service lunch menu was not current. I tried ordering several things that were listed on the menu and they told me they didn't have it during the lunch hour although they were listed on the lunch menu on the TV. Other than that, the ambiance, staff, rooms, etc is always superb.
I have business in Boston and Cambridge once a year and this is convenient for using as a "home" base. It is clean, more cost effective than most hotels in the area and there is decent food (and drink) available if I'm not out with clients. I can also have clients meet me there.