The Charles Hotel
What We Love
- Fantastic Cambridge location right on Harvard Square
- Large rooms with views of Cambridge or the river
- Henrietta's Table has a popular Sunday brunch spread
- Rialto is one of Cambridge's best Italian restaurants
What To Know
- The hotel is in Cambridge, not Boston; most tourist attractions are across the river
- Reservations are recommended for the restaurant, and brunch at Henrietta's Table is a crowded affair
- A skating rink in winter keeps guests moving when it's cold out
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The Charles Hotel is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and quintessentially Cambridge. Located in the heart of Harvard Square, this 295-room hotel combines sophisticated urbanity (TVs embedded in the bathroom mirrors) with downhome New England touches, from Shaker furniture to checkered quilts. Over the years the Charles has played host to everyone from Bill Clinton to Bill Cosby, as well as countless professorial types from the world of academia. The scholarly vibe is set right at the start: The hotel has an extensive borrowing library right under the lobby’s grand staircase. Upstairs, the guestrooms pair modern amenities with a traditional look; they come with flat-screen TVs and homey New England touches, as well as views of Harvard Square, Cambridge or Boston. Enjoy a meal at the much celebrated Rialto restaurant (we liked the mussels in saffron lobster broth with garlic crostini), check out the hotel’s impressive art collection or nurse your nightcap at Noir. Come morning, the hotel’s country-kitchen-inspired Henrietta’s Table serves breakfast classics such as poached eggs, hash browns, rye toast and applewood smoked bacon.
In the Area
A 10-minute T ride from downtown Boston, and home to Harvard and MIT (two stops away on the Red Line), Cambridge has cultivated a world class arts and culture scene to satisfy its intellectual residents. Catch an imaginative production of a classic play at the American Repertory Theatre, known as the ART. Nearby, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology holds more than a million artifacts from the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia. Afterward, treat yourself to a hearty meal and a pint at one of the neighborhood’s many gastropubs, such as Russell House Tavern or Grafton Street Pub & Grill. Jogging along the Charles River and visiting the charming Harvard Book Store (which has its own printing press inside) are favorite activities for locals.
How to Get There
We stayed at the Charles Hotel for a few nights while visiting relatives and loved its convenient location, ambiance, free wifi, and flat screen TV with numerous channels. Our room’s king-sized bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom facilities complete with bathtub, large bath towels, and plenty of counter space. The staff was attentive, friendly and efficient as well. There is little to find fault with at The Charles unless it would be the upscale prices. We’ll be back!
When I have the privilege of staying here it always feels like coming home. The property is beautiful and the staff, many who have been here for years, are friendly and responsive to special requests.
This property is a great location however, the beds need to be updated. If you are going to charge $500 a night at least have a comfortable bed. Every room I've ever stayed in the bed was way too hard.