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Historical Traveler Reviews Carruth House Boston
Great deal for the budget minded traveler
Carruth House is a cross between a hostel and a B and B, so it's not for everyone, but anyone deciding to bunk there will have a memorable time. The owner is in the process of returning the place to its original 1890s condition and still has a lot of items on her punch list, but all in all it's a great value and very convenient. Budget minded travelers take note!
Mother Daughter Weekend
My college age daughter and I had a long weekend at the Carruth House, which we enjoyed immensely. The place is funky and fun and features an amazing wood-paneled billiard room, reminiscent of the life the original owners might have led. We enjoyed the laid-back ambiance as well as the company of the multitalented proprietress/owner. We also enjoyed meeting the other guests (graduate students from Germany and an older French Canadian couple) at the generous breakfast buffet.
Not Guest Ready at ALL!
We booked our stay for three nights based on the few recent, but still good reviews found on trip advisor. The following review is one that we wish we had seen prior to wasting our time.
My wife and I were vacationing across the North East US staying only in B&B's. The Carruth house was number 3 out of 6 on our stay (as far as the chronology) and we were concerned for more than just our comfort during our stay.
Some examples of the property's "qualities" can be found below:
- Listed as two blocks from "T" station, but that is only as the bird flies. It is really more like a 15 minute walk (not bad unless you have bags) and is uphill going to the house.
-Rates on the site were not current (we found out when booking), actual rates were $15-30 higher than site.
-Likely an "illegal" B&B as there are no credit cards accepted, unless you consider PAYPAL an option. There is also no sign in front of the property, nor a listing on 411. The PAYPAL or cash only option seriously limits your ability for a refund.
-Property is listed only as "rennovating the stairwell" on the site, but in reality the WHOLE place is seriously in neglect and under rennovation. The foundation is being lifted, and until then, none of the plaster cracks, broken floors, cracked tiles, or other issues can be repaired (see pics).
-In short, the property is not guest ready yet. I'm sure it will be fine when complete, but I am not interested in paying to live in a construction zone while on vacation. Also, let me make this clear...it's not just under construction..it's also very neglected and in decay to boot!
-The location is semi-safe and has some shady characters around at night on the way to the mass transit station, not too bad, but I wouldn't encourage walking alone if you want to feel safe.
-The "inn keeper" is barely more than a nice eccentric woman who lives there with her blind and deaf dog and seems to be charging people to stay in her home as she repairs it, with a final goal to sell it.
-The breakfast was a cold breakfast, adequate with fruit and some delicious pastry (bought) but the timing was never the same. She basically puts it out when she gets to it. Sometimes it is out by 9am, other times it's 9:30 and so on.
-There was nothing for late nght arrivals...no ice, water, coffee etc.
-The upstairs shower was drafty due to louvers that don't close, and it was also uncomfortable to use as there were two shower curtains. One normal curtain to keep the water in the shower, and another on the opposite side to keep the water from further damagin the exposed wall that was missing more than half of its' tile (see pics).
-The entire house was cluttered (see pics) and it seemed as if she was just a pack rat of sorts (see pics). The armoire in our suite was stuffed with items that seemd to be swept from the floor and simply chucked in there (carnival tickets, playing card boxes, twine, random paper, a shoe, etc.) and this was where we had expected to store our clothes for our stay.
In closing, if we had known then what we know now, we would have booked elsewhere, and now that you know what we have seen, we encourage you to do just that. If not for PAYPAL, we would be expecting a refund exclusively based on the construction and the extent of the damage.
As a message to the "inn keeper", we feel you place may be fine for you to live in during construction, but you should not collect money from people to do the same without clearly and completely informing them first. Simply taking a guest's money and giving tham a key does not make you an inn keeper. May we suggest you visit other B&B's and see maybe what can be learned by watching them?
Carruth House is not for everyone, nor is it meant to be. I am the host of a private home guesthouse, not a manager of an inn or hotel, and am blessed in being able to share my home and my beautiful neighborhood with people from all over the world. My mission is two-fold: first, to provide to value-minded and independent travelers comfortable beds, cozy rooms, wonderful breakfasts, and, most important of all, genuine hospitality at the lowest rates in the City of Boston (where the average room rate is over US$275/night); and second, to restore and preserve (with limited resources) an extraordinary property of historic significance after decades of abuse and neglect.
I have always made the nature of Carruth House abundantly clear to inquiring travelers. In all my replies to inquiries (including that of the reviewer), I write the following:
"I ask everyone who's interested in booking if they have been to a private home B&B before... Coming to Carruth House really is like visiting family (perhaps an eccentric aunt!) and not at all like going to an inn or resort. This is my home and can occasionally be a little topsy-turvy! ...While the guest rooms are (mostly) finished, we are still a "work in progress" with projects and improvements going on all the time! ...This may sound as if I'm trying to discourage you, but I'd rather have you delighted instead of disappointed when you arrive - it makes for a much nicer stay!"
My honesty and openness about the character of Carruth House allows a potential guest to make an informed decision. It has worked very well thus far, evidenced by my other reviews here and at HostelWorld. The reviewer ignored that information and chose inappropriately for his expectations. In terms that the reviewer (who is a chef-consultant) might better understand, would a person dining out really expect to get the same ingredients, preparation, and presentation at restaurant charging $8.50 for an entree as one charging $25 for the same entree?
In closing, please note that Carruth House is a registered business in the City of Boston and has always operated as such.
First B&B Experience
The Carruth House was our first but not our last B&B experience. The house was being renovated but we still felt very comfortable, and cozy there. Our room was nice and the AC kept it cool even though it was on the top floor. The living room with TV and pool table provided a great place to relax and the balcony a great place to enjoy breakfast. The house is very close to the T stop and made it so easy to get into town and see all the sites. All this and it was still competitively priced with the hostels. This will not be my last stay at a B&B and the next time I go to Boston I will be staying at the Carruth House.
Great place, great value
We stayed here for 5 days and had a great visit.
It is small B&B - maybe 5 or 6 rooms, each very tastefully decorated and VERY comfortable beds. Bathrooms can be private or shared. Heidi, the owner and manager provides a very warm welcome and can help with any local information. A fruit and pastry breakfast on the deck is a lovely way to spend a summer morning.
The location is in a quiet street with plenty of parking. The Ashmont T station is only a couple of blocks away.
I would highly recommend this to a couple looking for a break with a few days to look around Boston!! This is a nice and economical alternative to a big hotel. Tip top!
A lovely place to stay
Carruth House made our stay better. How relaxing was this old house. First, Heidi, the host, is really kind. The architecture was very impressive. We strongly recommand you this place for a romantic trip in Boston.
Experience life in Boston!
The Carruth house was a great experience. It's in process of renovation but the rooms that are completed are clean, comfortable and very relaxing. Loved the common areas with all the amenities of home. Also very easy access from the T-line.
Carruth House with character
This is a great place to stay if you want to take a break from the city and sightseeing of an evening and live in proper neighbourhood for a time. The owner, Heidi is very friendly and helpful. We were in and out quite a lot - always there for the lovely breakfast but had one good night relaxing in the Great Room (amazing) playing pool and listening to good collection of music then settling down to one of the latest dvds. There are good restaurants locally but the ride downtown is only 10mins away so there are lots of options.
The place has a lot of character, there are still improvements going on but it was very clean and comfortable. Loads of guidebooks and info available for Boston and surrounding areas and wireless/broadband access.
I would definitely recommend this place and will be going back!
The warmest of welcomes at Carruth House
I stayed at Carruth House in April this year and felt that I had discovered 'real America'.
Heidi, the proprietor, is a lovely lady and by the time I left we were firm friends. The accomodation is at its Colonial best with a four poster feather bed and art deco decoration creating a mood which matches the house. If you are looking for a run of the mill hotel, this is not for you, the feeling of being embraced by the family was what made the trip for me.
Travel into central Boston was so easy on the 'T' and extremely cheap by British standards.
There are some really nice restaurants within walking distance of Carruth house so dining in the evening was no problem. For those who are tired after a hard day sightseeing the large, wood panelled room with comfy sofas and huge TV screen (if you want it) or CD system made a restful place to while away a couple of hours.
There is also a sun deck in the back garden where it is nice to eat breakfast on sunny mornings, and the breakfast was great. For those who have cars, parking is easy.
I will go back as soon as I can, what more can I say?
TripAdvisor Reviews Carruth House Boston
Travel Blogs from Boston
... This walk was $US15 each. Next stop was Boston. We have find that near large cities the camping grounds are a fair distance out of the city. We stayed in Littleton which is about 25 miles out of the city and the camping area was beautiful - you would have thought we were miles out of civilisation. The park was completely forested, and as usual had the fire-pit and outdoor table. We enjoyed socialising with our various neighbours. We had planned on taking the train into the city, ...
... Iced water" just draws a blank look (our first language challenge).
We swapped museums for churches and graveyards. We were some of the few purists who did the whole Boston bit of the trail in blazing sun but persisted and crossed Charlestown Bridge in sweltering heat and humidity to Chalestown and the Bunker Hill memorial.
Highlights were the Kings Chapel which had a "Governor's Pew" ...
... to the airport. We made the short drive under Boston harbor to the airport, cleaned everything out of the minivan and turned in the keys. We had traveled 1,104 miles since we picked it up a week ago. We took the airport shuttle to the water taxi docks and hailed a boat. The water taxi transported us across Boston Harbor to a dock adjacent to the Boston Tea Party Museum. The Boston Tea Party Museum is an interactive, high tech multimedia presentation about the Boston Tea ...
... concerned about the hectic pace of life, the overwhelming choices of what to see/do (I’m a list maker when we go into these new places and when we don’t do all on my list, it kinda bugs me..alot!) and the touristy madness of it all. I considered the "we are here so we should do this"factor….not because we want to do this but because we should. In the end, we decided there will be other trips, we don’t feel this is our last time to come ...
... watched a Hawks game online while in Boston too, which was a real bonus.
The weekend was great. On Saturday Manda and Doug took us to a free festival that was happening in Boston Common, and we saw Los Lobos among other bands. Relaxing in the grass, listening to music with the four of us – it could have been Meredith or Golden Plains! Afterwards we walked the Freedom Trail, saw Paul Revere’s tombstone, got famous Boston ...