Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

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rjbraun
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Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

Upcoming long weekend visit and having a hard time identifying a decent lodging option. Three nights, 2 people (couple), no car.

Initial plan was to stay in Cambridge, where our friend is at Harvard. But all the options I've found just don't seem so great. We don't have a strict budget but something like ~$350 / night seems a reasonable upper bound, though we would be willing to pay more if it seemed worth it. But after reading the TripAdvisor (TA) reviews for, say, The Charles Hotel, I fear that we may feel we didn't get great value for our money if we were to stay there. Ditto for Harvard Square Hotel (though not sure we want to be quite that central), Sheraton Commander, among others I've looked into.

Wouldn't rule out staying in Boston and just being near a public transit stop, as we certainly don't plan to spend all of our time in Cambridge. That said, we already stayed downtown a prior visit. Also, I visited Cambridge a few times many years ago to stay with a sibling residing in Cambridge and for nostalgic reasons would prefer to be in Cambridge this time (in addition to having a friend there now).

Currently have a refundable reservation at Courtyard Boston Cambridge. Was pretty satisfied with this option until I realized that there may not be much of a neighborhood in the area. TA "walkability index" of 79 vs. 90+ for some of the more central Cambridge hotels I saw. But at least there's supposed to be a TJ's and I think a Whole Foods nearby, so that would be convenient for picking up breakfast and snacks for the room. Was told ~1 mile to Harvard Square and 15 minute walk to the Central Square T stop. Booked with Marriott points so it's "free", which I guess makes it a bit harder to justify spending several hundred dollars for a hotel room that might only be a slight uptick in quality and location, especially if it's not even clear that will be the case.

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... cambridge/

Appreciate any suggestions from people familiar with the area, especially location of Courtyard Boston Cambridge at 777 Memorial Drive, or who may have hotel recommendations based on prior experience.

Thank you!
wilked
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by wilked »

I work down the street from 777 Memorial

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11836087

$1000 for 3 nights, available for Labor Day Weekend. Great location, looks like a nice place
fru-gal
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by fru-gal »

It's been decades since I lived near Harvard Square, but it's hard to believe there aren't good hotels near there now. 777 Memorial was out in the boonies.

Update: not sure why you don't like the Sheraton Commander. Decor seems interesting/appropriate for the area, 4 star reviews, good location.
Last edited by fru-gal on Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
WildBill
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by WildBill »

Howdy

Hotels in Cambridge are expensive. You have identified some decent ones.

We go to Cambridge a lot and now use Air BnB mostly.

Have a look. Lots of good choices.

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid
Winston19
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by Winston19 »

This time of year may be particularly expensive with kids coming back to college and parents getting hotel rooms.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Just heard a rave review for citizenM hotel at Boston North Station. Small but first class rooms. No idea about anything else, but it’s supposed to be affordable.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by mrmass »

bluebolt
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by bluebolt »

Royal Sonesta & Marlowe in Kendall Square are convenient to both Harvard Sq. & downtown.
Liberty Hotel is also on the red line and convenient to downtown & Cambridge.
HereToLearn
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by HereToLearn »

I love Liberty, but it can be quite expensive. I have also stayed at Le Meridien in Cambridge, but the rooms were tiny and I thought the hotel was underwhelming.

Are you willing to take a chance with Hotel Tonight? Not sure how it works for three night stays.
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rjbraun
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

wilked wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:56 am I work down the street from 777 Memorial

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11836087

$1000 for 3 nights, available for Labor Day Weekend. Great location, looks like a nice place
Thanks for the link.

What's the neighborhood around 777 Memorial like? My sense is that there's not a lot in the way of restaurants or coffee shops in the immediate area, but perhaps I'm wrong. Even so, if the area along the river is nice but restaurants are a bit of a longer walk that could still work.
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rjbraun
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

fru-gal wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:05 am It's been decades since I lived near Harvard Square, but it's hard to believe there aren't good hotels near there now. 777 Memorial was out in the boonies.

Update: not sure why you don't like the Sheraton Commander. Decor seems interesting/appropriate for the area, 4 star reviews, good location.
Some of the TA reviews suggest that the Commander rooms can have a tired look. The pictures kind of feel that way, too, but admittedly maybe it's more the design / style of the hotel furnishings. For $500 / night (including tax) I guess I'm hoping for better, though on reevaluating the Sheraton just now I guess I am not ruling it out. That said, was surprised that for that room price a mini-fridge doesn't automatically come with the room.
Dantes
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by Dantes »

mrmass wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:46 am Brand new. Very walkable.

http://www.theportersquarehotel.com/rooms-en.html
This is a great location, very close to the Porter Square redline, one stop from Harvard Square, one stop from Davis Square. The "cheap" room here are small and oddly shaped, which was fine for my purposes. The hotel restaurant was excellent but expensive.
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ivyhedge
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by ivyhedge »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:17 am Just heard a rave review for citizenM hotel at Boston North Station. Small but first class rooms. No idea about anything else, but it’s supposed to be affordable.
TT, the family could be a (near) beta tester!

Kidding aside, citizenM is in an active construction zone with lots of (soon-to-be enjoyed) promise. Traffic in the surrounding spots is terrible, with daily closures, temporary blockages, and reroutings.

Source: me, cycling around it daily. :P
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ivyhedge
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by ivyhedge »

rjbraun wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:03 pm
fru-gal wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:05 am It's been decades since I lived near Harvard Square, but it's hard to believe there aren't good hotels near there now. 777 Memorial was out in the boonies.

Update: not sure why you don't like the Sheraton Commander. Decor seems interesting/appropriate for the area, 4 star reviews, good location.
Some of the TA reviews suggest that the Commander rooms can have a tired look. The pictures kind of feel that way, too, but admittedly maybe it's more the design / style of the hotel furnishings. For $500 / night (including tax) I guess I'm hoping for better, though on reevaluating the Sheraton just now I guess I am not ruling it out. That said, was surprised that for that room price a mini-fridge doesn't automatically come with the room.
I don't think the hotel has been fully renovated for some time. Friends stayed there for two nights last year and requested a room change due to what they called a "dingy" setting. The second room was considerably nicer, said they...
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dboeger1
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by dboeger1 »

Back when I was in Cambridge, visiting family would usually stay well outside the area. I don't remember the name of the town, but looking at a map, it was over West by Concord, Wayland, etc. They would just rent a car and drive to Cambridge every day. The daily price of a car and hotel was significantly cheaper that way than staying in the immediate vicinity, and that way they had a car so they could get around more easily. If you have someone willing to drive and don't mind getting up early to beat the traffic, I would definitely consider it, as you'll likely get a much better value that way.

The hotels in that area are unfortunately quite expensive, especially on busy weekends, so unless you can find a cheaper AirBnB, you're probably not going to get an amazing value. Uber was still in early operations back when I was there, so if it was even available, I didn't know about it or hear of others using it. If you're really opposed to staying farther away and driving, there might be a reasonable middle ground where you can Uber in from and save money.

Best of luck to you on your trip!
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ivyhedge
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by ivyhedge »

rjbraun wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:01 pm
wilked wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:56 am I work down the street from 777 Memorial

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11836087

$1000 for 3 nights, available for Labor Day Weekend. Great location, looks like a nice place
Thanks for the link.

What's the neighborhood around 777 Memorial like? My sense is that there's not a lot in the way of restaurants or coffee shops in the immediate area, but perhaps I'm wrong. Even so, if the area along the river is nice but restaurants are a bit of a longer walk that could still work.
There's nothing remarkable about 777: it's near a TJ's and a 'Bux (and a Microcenter in case you need a laptop bag (!) )...Some of the riverwalk in that area has been rebuilt recently. It's okay. Not too many paces from the historic, lighted "Shell" sign (not to be confused with the more historic, larger, brighter, Citgo sign).
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wilked
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by wilked »

rjbraun wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:01 pm
wilked wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:56 am I work down the street from 777 Memorial

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11836087

$1000 for 3 nights, available for Labor Day Weekend. Great location, looks like a nice place
Thanks for the link.

What's the neighborhood around 777 Memorial like? My sense is that there's not a lot in the way of restaurants or coffee shops in the immediate area, but perhaps I'm wrong. Even so, if the area along the river is nice but restaurants are a bit of a longer walk that could still work.
Not much going on directly there. The area is called Cambridgeport, mostly residential. You can walk from there to Central Sq or Harvard Sq, both of which are lively with lots to do. And of course the train station (T) can take you anywhere from there.

It is very safe though and easily walkable. One easy way to get around to keep in mind is the bike share (blue bike). I have a yearly membership to it myself and it works well, lots of stations
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

Dantes wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:20 pm
mrmass wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:46 am Brand new. Very walkable.

http://www.theportersquarehotel.com/rooms-en.html
This is a great location, very close to the Porter Square redline, one stop from Harvard Square, one stop from Davis Square. The "cheap" room here are small and oddly shaped, which was fine for my purposes. The hotel restaurant was excellent but expensive.
Thank you both for the input.

I actually found the hotel yesterday when I was searching, but it seemed that all of the rooms only came with two twin beds. But you prompted me to take a closer look today, and now I see that Porter Square Hotel offers rooms with queen beds .. just not for the dates I need.

I went ahead and booked a "deluxe twin" room, as this was the only room type left and, at that, not many left, anyway.

So, for now we have rooms at Porter Square and Courtyard Boston Cambridge (777 Memorial). Will review these two options with my partner tonight, but still appreciative of any additional input BHs may have to offer.

Thanks to all for the helpful feedback, so far!
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by eddot98 »

You seem to be Marriott folks and you said that you didn’t need to be actually in Cambridge, so why not consider the various Marriott properties right around Copley Square? Great location right on the Green Line, lots of shopping, lots of restaurants, and an Eataly in the Prudential Center. We have stayed lots of times at the Copley Marriott and a couple times at the Westin at Copley. Both are fine.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by JupiterJones »

We were in Boston a couple months back. After looking at the hotels and what you got for the price, we wound up trying an Air B&B for the first time. It was great! While I did find places that were cheaper than the hotels in the same area, we wound up leveraging things the other way and going with a hotel-like price point but getting way more room (and a kitchen, and a back deck).

Seems like you've already made your reservation, and you might not be looking for an Air B&B sort of thing, but thought I'd toss the idea out there anyway.
Stay on target...
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by friar1610 »

I am in Boston as we speak at the Wyndam Beacon Hill. (The definition of Beacon Hill has expanded somewhat, apparently.) $331 with a price my wife found on-line (at the hotel's web site). At the intersection of Cambridge St and Blossom St. A couple of blocks from the aforementioned Liberty. About 2 blocks to the Charles/MGH Red line T stop. Tonight we will walk 15 minutes to the theatre district for a play. Tomorrow AM I will walk 5-ish minutes to MGH/ME&E for an appointment. Very convenient.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by fru-gal »

dboeger1 wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:29 pm Back when I was in Cambridge, visiting family would usually stay well outside the area. I don't remember the name of the town, but looking at a map, it was over West by Concord, Wayland, etc. They would just rent a car and drive to Cambridge every day. The daily price of a car and hotel was significantly cheaper that way than staying in the immediate vicinity, and that way they had a car so they could get around more easily. If you have someone willing to drive and don't mind getting up early to beat the traffic, I would definitely consider it, as you'll likely get a much better value that way
Where are they planning to park? You couldn't pay me to drive in Boston.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by TomatoTomahto »

fru-gal wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:04 pm
dboeger1 wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:29 pm Back when I was in Cambridge, visiting family would usually stay well outside the area. I don't remember the name of the town, but looking at a map, it was over West by Concord, Wayland, etc. They would just rent a car and drive to Cambridge every day. The daily price of a car and hotel was significantly cheaper that way than staying in the immediate vicinity, and that way they had a car so they could get around more easily. If you have someone willing to drive and don't mind getting up early to beat the traffic, I would definitely consider it, as you'll likely get a much better value that way
Where are they planning to park? You couldn't pay me to drive in Boston.
I recently moved to the area, and had heard about the MassHoles. To be honest, the drivers were more aggressive and bad in NJ.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
dboeger1
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by dboeger1 »

fru-gal wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:04 pm
dboeger1 wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:29 pm Back when I was in Cambridge, visiting family would usually stay well outside the area. I don't remember the name of the town, but looking at a map, it was over West by Concord, Wayland, etc. They would just rent a car and drive to Cambridge every day. The daily price of a car and hotel was significantly cheaper that way than staying in the immediate vicinity, and that way they had a car so they could get around more easily. If you have someone willing to drive and don't mind getting up early to beat the traffic, I would definitely consider it, as you'll likely get a much better value that way
Where are they planning to park? You couldn't pay me to drive in Boston.
Admittedly, I left back in 2013, so I don't know how much busier it has gotten since then. That being said, if you can save $100 a night by staying farther out, and then consider the cost of public transportation for 3+ people, it's likely to end up cheaper paying for public parking. Also, it's been my experience in most cities that there is free parking to be had if you know where (and when) to look. There are sites and apps that help with that now, such as Spot Angels. I haven't checked, so Boston may very well be the exception, but Boston isn't THAT big. I'd be surprised if there weren't at least some residential areas, grocery store parking lots, etc., where one could park for free during the day. The only American city I know of that might have absolutely no free parking is NYC, and it's not only the most dense but is also an island, so it's fairly unique in that respect.

For what it's worth, if you're young and healthy and don't mind walking, Boston and the surrounding areas are very walkable. I used to walk across the bridge from Cambridge to Boston and walk all over the city. I'd get Italian food in the North End, hang out in Boston Commons, buy guitar stuff in the Guitar Center on the way to Fenway Park, etc. A friend and I would walk much farther distances than many of our classmates because we found that by the time you got to a T station, paid for tickets, waited for a train, got off, and walked to your destination, it often wasn't worth the time and money compared to walking there directly. I still remember being pretty furious when we tagged along with some classmates to a coffee shop in Boston. We took the train despite it being within my usual walking distance, but I was fine with that since I know not everyone wants to walk and I counted the cost as fun money for the sake of being with friends. Then on the way back, the people leading our group got off the train one stop early. My friend and I were just kind of in relaxed follower mode, not really trying to take charge or figure out where we were going, so we just assumed we were getting off to go somewhere else. We eventually realized we had gotten off at the wrong place when the group leaders asked everyone to buy another ticket to get back on the same train. I was kind of pissed, but I didn't make a big deal of it because mistakes happen, and I was happy to be hanging out with people. However, we waited about 20 minutes for the next train, only to get off 1 stop later, which would have taken us all of 5 minutes to walk for free. That's when I started fuming. I had bought 3 train tickets and spent several hours when all was said and done to get an overpriced cup of coffee, which we could have gotten on campus for a fraction of the cost in time and money. My friend was the same. I think I saw his jaw practically hit the floor when we got off the train again. The whole group must have spent something like $300 on that coffee trip alone.

Moral of the story: walking saves you money and is good exercise ;)
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by donaldfair71 »

We always stay at the Hotel Indigo, situated right next to the Riverside stop on the Green line. Sticker price is kind of high at times, but we always have success using Priceline and getting it as an Express deal. Other times it's really inexpensive. A haul to Cambridge and the city but it's easy and inexpensive relative to just other options we've found.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by teamDE »

mrmass wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:46 am Brand new. Very walkable.

http://www.theportersquarehotel.com/rooms-en.html
I was going to recommend this one as well. I work near by and we recommend it to visiting business folks. It's right in Porter Square which is basically right next to Davis Square which is a fun/hipster place to hang out. (I used to live in Davis before i moved the burbs). It's right near a Redline T station so you have easy access to Harvard Square. You could walk to Harvard Sq as well, can't be more than a mile.

Edit: i see you booked a room here. Good. You don't want to stay at the Courtyard on Mem Ave, that's not a great location.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by teamDE »

dboeger1 wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:51 pm
fru-gal wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:04 pm
dboeger1 wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:29 pm Back when I was in Cambridge, visiting family would usually stay well outside the area. I don't remember the name of the town, but looking at a map, it was over West by Concord, Wayland, etc. They would just rent a car and drive to Cambridge every day. The daily price of a car and hotel was significantly cheaper that way than staying in the immediate vicinity, and that way they had a car so they could get around more easily. If you have someone willing to drive and don't mind getting up early to beat the traffic, I would definitely consider it, as you'll likely get a much better value that way
Where are they planning to park? You couldn't pay me to drive in Boston.
Admittedly, I left back in 2013, so I don't know how much busier it has gotten since then. That being said, if you can save $100 a night by staying farther out, and then consider the cost of public transportation for 3+ people, it's likely to end up cheaper paying for public parking. Also, it's been my experience in most cities that there is free parking to be had if you know where (and when) to look. There are sites and apps that help with that now, such as Spot Angels. I haven't checked, so Boston may very well be the exception, but Boston isn't THAT big. I'd be surprised if there weren't at least some residential areas, grocery store parking lots, etc., where one could park for free during the day. The only American city I know of that might have absolutely no free parking is NYC, and it's not only the most dense but is also an island, so it's fairly unique in that respect.

For what it's worth, if you're young and healthy and don't mind walking, Boston and the surrounding areas are very walkable. I used to walk across the bridge from Cambridge to Boston and walk all over the city. I'd get Italian food in the North End, hang out in Boston Commons, buy guitar stuff in the Guitar Center on the way to Fenway Park, etc. A friend and I would walk much farther distances than many of our classmates because we found that by the time you got to a T station, paid for tickets, waited for a train, got off, and walked to your destination, it often wasn't worth the time and money compared to walking there directly. I still remember being pretty furious when we tagged along with some classmates to a coffee shop in Boston. We took the train despite it being within my usual walking distance, but I was fine with that since I know not everyone wants to walk and I counted the cost as fun money for the sake of being with friends. Then on the way back, the people leading our group got off the train one stop early. My friend and I were just kind of in relaxed follower mode, not really trying to take charge or figure out where we were going, so we just assumed we were getting off to go somewhere else. We eventually realized we had gotten off at the wrong place when the group leaders asked everyone to buy another ticket to get back on the same train. I was kind of pissed, but I didn't make a big deal of it because mistakes happen, and I was happy to be hanging out with people. However, we waited about 20 minutes for the next train, only to get off 1 stop later, which would have taken us all of 5 minutes to walk for free. That's when I started fuming. I had bought 3 train tickets and spent several hours when all was said and done to get an overpriced cup of coffee, which we could have gotten on campus for a fraction of the cost in time and money. My friend was the same. I think I saw his jaw practically hit the floor when we got off the train again. The whole group must have spent something like $300 on that coffee trip alone.

Moral of the story: walking saves you money and is good exercise ;)
It's true, i often take visiting friends/family on a tour walking from Fenway all the way to the North End. No problem on a nice day.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by fasteddie911 »

I'd consider staying near Prudential or the Hynes convention center, there's a Hilton and Sheraton there. From there you can hop on the #1 bus on Mass ave. to Cambridge thru MIT to Harvard, and the area is well located within the city. You could stay closer towards Copley as well where there's more options, near the green line, and pretty central to a lot of parts of the city, but getting to Harvard may take slightly longer. Or Consider Kendall Square where there's a marriott. Or Charles/MGH or around Park St., both of which are in great central areas for walking and easy to get to Harvard via T. I wouldn't stay at 777 memorial, that's pretty isolated and porter square is a little out of the way, there's some stuff to do there but you'll commute to Harvard and even further to Boston.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by tadamsmar »

I had to go to Harvard to give a presentation at a symposium. It was easy to find an Airbnb or VBRO only a couple of blocks away from that campus environs where there are lots of restaurants.
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rjbraun
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

HereToLearn wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:06 pm I love Liberty, but it can be quite expensive. I have also stayed at Le Meridien in Cambridge, but the rooms were tiny and I thought the hotel was underwhelming.

Are you willing to take a chance with Hotel Tonight? Not sure how it works for three night stays.
Liberty sounded interesting, but some negative TA reviews concern me, particularly for the price point and fully recognizing that almost any business will get the occasional poor review.

Yeah, that was my concern with Le Meridien, so nice to have the confirmation.

Was not familiar with Hotel Tonight. Don't think it makes sense for this trip, though it was interesting to see what they had available for my dates.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

wilked wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:56 am I work down the street from 777 Memorial

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11836087

$1000 for 3 nights, available for Labor Day Weekend. Great location, looks like a nice place
JupiterJones wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:00 pm We were in Boston a couple months back. After looking at the hotels and what you got for the price, we wound up trying an Air B&B for the first time. It was great! While I did find places that were cheaper than the hotels in the same area, we wound up leveraging things the other way and going with a hotel-like price point but getting way more room (and a kitchen, and a back deck).

Seems like you've already made your reservation, and you might not be looking for an Air B&B sort of thing, but thought I'd toss the idea out there anyway.
tadamsmar wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:15 am I had to go to Harvard to give a presentation at a symposium. It was easy to find an Airbnb or VBRO only a couple of blocks away from that campus environs where there are lots of restaurants.
Like JupiterJones, we've never used Airbnb or similar when we travel. I took a look at the Cambridge offerings and nothing really looked tempting. They all look like you're renting someone's place for a few days, which I guess you may be.

wilked's Airbnb link looked the best (thank you), but even then I think we'd prefer a hotel or nice B&B. Considering Gryphon House at 9 Bay State Rd, near Kenmore Square, but not sure the location would be ideal for us.

For now, I've switched the Courtyard Boston Cambridge reservation to Residence Inn Marriott Boston Cambridge, 120 Broadway - Kendall Square, so stay would still be on points.

Still have Porter Square Hotel, but I'm inclined to cancel it: while closer to Harvard than the Residence Inn, it's farther to MIT and Boston. Plus, the room type isn't ideal for us.
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

fasteddie911 wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:08 am I'd consider staying near Prudential or the Hynes convention center, there's a Hilton and Sheraton there. From there you can hop on the #1 bus on Mass ave. to Cambridge thru MIT to Harvard, and the area is well located within the city. You could stay closer towards Copley as well where there's more options, near the green line, and pretty central to a lot of parts of the city, but getting to Harvard may take slightly longer. Or Consider Kendall Square where there's a marriott. Or Charles/MGH or around Park St., both of which are in great central areas for walking and easy to get to Harvard via T. I wouldn't stay at 777 memorial, that's pretty isolated and porter square is a little out of the way, there's some stuff to do there but you'll commute to Harvard and even further to Boston.
Thank you. I switched Courtyard 777 Memorial to Residence Inn near Kendall Square. We're not exclusively focused on Harvard, so I agree that Porter Square might not be ideal. We definitely want to spend time at MIT and also probably Boston, to some extent.
Natsdoc
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by Natsdoc »

We lived in Central Square/Cambridgeport up until 2 years ago. I haven’t stayed at these places but can comment on location! The Courtyard at 777 Memorial location is fine but a bit out of the way from Harvard or Central Square, there is a Starbucks in the shopping plaza with TJ and Whole Foods but not much else.
If the price isn’t much difference would definitely stay in Kendall Square. There are tons of restaurants and much easier to get to both Boston and Harvard Square. Have fun!
criticalmass
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by criticalmass »

dboeger1 wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:51 pmI'd be surprised if there weren't at least some residential areas, grocery store parking lots, etc., where one could park for free during the day.
Bad advice to leave a car at a supermarket or other retail in Boston or Cambridge and leave the premises. You’ll discover the tow yards are in really inconvenient areas with big unfriendly dogs and are quite expensive. You’ll also discover how the spotters operate.

Parking in a designated residential area without a residential permit for that specific neighborhood is also expensive, except on Sundays and certain holidays. Beware signs can be confusing and appear conflicting.
wilked
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by wilked »

Parking in Boston is terrible.

That said, if you have to try using SpotHero. You can usually find a cheap lot that way.

There are no good long term street parking options. There used to be but that all got eaten up by bike lanes and increased meters / residential zones. There are a couple tricks but not worth it to explain / jump through the hoops
stumblebum
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by stumblebum »

since no car something to be aware of:
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/08/12/ ... -proposal/
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rjbraun
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

stumblebum wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:09 am since no car something to be aware of:
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/08/12/ ... -proposal/
Many thanks! Was not aware of this and really appreciate the heads-up. Very good to know beforehand.
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Orbuculum Nongata
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

We stayed at the Cambridge Doubletree on the river last March. Soldier’s parkway I believe. Full service hotel with decent amenities. Was not within walking distance to anywhere but had a free shuttle service to Harvard, downtown and back bay as well. Under $150/night. Combined with Uber and the train we easily accessed many parts of the city quite easily. Would recommend this hotel based on price, quality and accessibility.
I think I can > I believe I can > I did
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rjbraun
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by rjbraun »

Presintense wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 pm We stayed at the Cambridge Doubletree on the river last March. Soldier’s parkway I believe. Full service hotel with decent amenities. Was not within walking distance to anywhere but had a free shuttle service to Harvard, downtown and back bay as well. Under $150/night. Combined with Uber and the train we easily accessed many parts of the city quite easily. Would recommend this hotel based on price, quality and accessibility.
Sounds like you got a great rate! The rates I see for October all seem to be over $300 (and quite a bit more, at times). For my specific travel dates only higher-class rooms were available (with commensurately higher prices).

My trip falls in high season, no doubt :annoyed Anyway, for this visit we will want to be within walking distance of places, but will keep the Doubletree in mind for future travel. Thanks
dboeger1
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by dboeger1 »

wilked wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:09 am Parking in Boston is terrible.

That said, if you have to try using SpotHero. You can usually find a cheap lot that way.

There are no good long term street parking options. There used to be but that all got eaten up by bike lanes and increased meters / residential zones. There are a couple tricks but not worth it to explain / jump through the hoops
Interesting, I had not realized it had gotten that much more difficult. Like I said, I haven't been there since 2013. It was crazy then too, but I remember my family still managed to find enough parking throughout the daytime that we didn't really have to worry about it too much. I was unfamiliar with the residential zone permits. That sounds like a nightmare.
malabargold
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by malabargold »

We go to Cambridge frequently.

The Irving House is a very nice B&B almost contiguous
with Harvard Yard.
-International clientele and big and varied breakfast
with a wide variety of room choices
(just up the block from Julia Child’s old house)
-caveat: no A/C


Hotel Veritas is close, but cramped and expensive.

Marlowe not recommended- out of the way, not very nice
not immediate to mass transit

Harvard Club is in Back Bay, but open to general public
(discount rates for members) - old with high ceilings and retrofitted AC
yolli71
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by yolli71 »

Not to hijack this thread, but does anyone have any suggestions on a family-friendly, yet somewhat nice, place to stay in Boston for a family of 4 during the winter? We're planning a short trip to Boston from Dec. 27 to Dec. 30 to see a Celtics game. While there, we also plan on going to a kid-friendly show, perhaps the Blue Man Group at Charles Playhouse (unless people have other suggestions). We don't necessarily have to stay next door to either venue...just something close enough to easily Uber.

Since it's in the winter time, we're not concerned about pools or seeing lots of things outside. We just want to stay in an area that has lots of restaurants or things to do nearby so it's convenient to walk to. Also, any hotel that has a nice bar/lobby area (but not stuffy like a cigar lounge) where our kids could also hang out and watch their iPads while my wife and I enjoy a cocktail would be great. I'm guessing our options might be somewhat limited with a 9 and 7 year old.
wilked
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by wilked »

yolli71 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:12 pm Not to hijack this thread, but does anyone have any suggestions on a family-friendly, yet somewhat nice, place to stay in Boston for a family of 4 during the winter? We're planning a short trip to Boston from Dec. 27 to Dec. 30 to see a Celtics game. While there, we also plan on going to a kid-friendly show, perhaps the Blue Man Group at Charles Playhouse (unless people have other suggestions). We don't necessarily have to stay next door to either venue...just something close enough to easily Uber.

Since it's in the winter time, we're not concerned about pools or seeing lots of things outside. We just want to stay in an area that has lots of restaurants or things to do nearby so it's convenient to walk to. Also, any hotel that has a nice bar/lobby area (but not stuffy like a cigar lounge) where our kids could also hang out and watch their iPads while my wife and I enjoy a cocktail would be great. I'm guessing our options might be somewhat limited with a 9 and 7 year old.
This is what I would recommend

https://abnb.me/zVWwx3yUjZ

2 bedrooms, kitchen, right in Beacon Hill. Looks like a fairly basic place but you shouldn’t need much, most of your time will be exploring
kaudrey
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by kaudrey »

I'm partial to Kimptons. There is the Kimpton Marlowe hotel in Cambridge.
SuperSaver
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by SuperSaver »

I stayed at that Marriott Courtyard back in March. Super-friendly staff. But I was surprised how little was around, and how far from Harvard Square it was. Even the Whole Foods was not a pleasant walk. Granted, it was dark very early afternoon. But the money saved on a good rate was cancelled out by frequent Uber rides.
mnnice
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by mnnice »

We went to Boston/Cambridge almost exactly a year ago. We booked three award nights in Hyatt properties. We stayed at the Cambridge one one night and saw the Harvard and MIT sights and stayed in downtown Boston and did Freedom Walk, North Beach. I found it supremely walkable.

The Cambridge Hyatt was not in a real restaurant intensive neighborhood. We had walked a bunch that day and ordered Indian food and ate it on the outdoor terrace.

Anyway it ended up being about the best value for points redemption that I had run across.
FireHorse
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by FireHorse »

If stays in Newton that would be much less the price than Boston or Cambridge. I ran a map from Newton to Boston Chinatown, its about 21min; and to Harvard square is about 26min. That's doable, especially the hotel price is so much cheaper.
I am thinking of going to Boston in the beginning or mid Oct
wilked
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by wilked »

FireHorse wrote: Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:32 am If stays in Newton that would be much less the price than Boston or Cambridge. I ran a map from Newton to Boston Chinatown, its about 21min; and to Harvard square is about 26min. That's doable, especially the hotel price is so much cheaper.
I am thinking of going to Boston in the beginning or mid Oct
Is this a question?

I wouldn't stay in Newton personally. Nice town, but not all that accessible. Drive time is one thing, but then there's parking, etc. Maybe if it was half the cost I'd consider it.
FireHorse
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by FireHorse »

wilked wrote: Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:35 am
FireHorse wrote: Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:32 am If stays in Newton that would be much less the price than Boston or Cambridge. I ran a map from Newton to Boston Chinatown, its about 21min; and to Harvard square is about 26min. That's doable, especially the hotel price is so much cheaper.
I am thinking of going to Boston in the beginning or mid Oct
Is this a question?

I wouldn't stay in Newton personally. Nice town, but not all that accessible. Drive time is one thing, but then there's parking, etc. Maybe if it was half the cost I'd consider it.
I am looking for confirmation more than anything. Thanks!
Expedia offers $159/night at Indigo Hotel at Newton, parking is $12/night. The map shows it is close to mass turnpike.
There are 4 adults, so would need 2 rooms. Cost adds up quickly
wilked
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Re: Hotel recommendation for Cambridge / Boston

Post by wilked »

Let's say you save $200/night

That location is not walkable to anything of interest, so it's a place to rest your head and regroup.

It depends what you are looking for. Let's say you do that, and then you pack a small backpack, collectively take an Uber into Boston (say $25), hang out in Boston all day, maybe even dinner in Boston/Cambridge. You use the train to get around, and then Uber back to hotel when you're done (another $25). All in you're $150 ahead.

Where it won't work is if you want to go back to the hotel for a little bit during the day, then back into Boston. Parking really is tricky and expensive (say $30 to park). You can do that, but you'll eat into your savings if you do it a couple times a day.

With a group of 4, at least to me, an airbnb is a no brainer. Give me the dates and I can propose a good one.
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