Harvard Square Hotel Cambridge
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Historical Traveler Reviews Harvard Square Hotel Cambridge
Dorm Room with a Good Location
Stayed at the HSS last week. Very basic, clean and relatively quiet. No services to speak of...not even free internet access in the one PC lodged in the uncomfortable lobby. Also, parking at $30 a day was a bit steep ( although cheaper than at the other two garages around the block which I comparison shopped). Just think freshman dorm room, without all of the other amenities now offered at most universities. Best thing going for it was the location. It's right in Harvard Square, within walking distance to shops, Harvard, restaurants and news stands..as well as a nice jogging loop on the Charles. If you need to be in Harvard Square and don't want to spring big bucks for The Charles, it is perfect for your needs ( as it was for mine). However, nothing to write home about.
Awesome location, reservation messed up
This hotel is very close to the Cambridge stop on the T, and also very close to fun shops, bookstores, Harvard and more. My one complaint was that, when I checked in aftetr 10 p.m., the room I had reserved (two double beds) has supposedly been the victim of a leak and the only room left had just a queen bed. The price was reduced by $10 but I was not pleased at all. The air conditioner was so loud (and had a note saying it was going to be repaired), that I turned it off so I could sleep. In the morning, my friend and I were able to leave our baggage there while we spent the day exploring the city. That was very helpful. Good experience except for the screwup.
Much better than many online reviews said
I reserved a room here because it was one of the only places in Boston with a rate under $100 a night, but was made nervous by several bad internet reviews. They were not true! The rooms here have been re-done, so that may have made the difference.
The room quality is equal to a mid-level hotel of the Ramada or Radisson sort, packed with amenities like in room coffee, shampoo, hand lotion, hair dryer, iron and board, etc. One review compared it to Motel 6. Not so!
One review said there was no air conditioner. Crazy! The air conditioning on the 90 degree day I was there was great.
The location can't be beat, right in the middle of Harvard Square. Sure, the lobby is small, but who hangs out in the lobby? Also, hallways are still a bit industrial looking, with pipes running down the ceiling, but who hangs out in hallways? (And you shouldn't if you do!)
If you're looking for a really good value, see if they have any vacancies. I gather they're often fully booked.
Good basic hotel for exploring Boston/Cambridge area
I stayed here on a short vacation. (About 3-4 days)
The rooms are basic, but spacious and clean, and all appliances worked properly. (You get a refrigerator and microwave, and that's a plus in my book). I faintly recall some sort of Internet access thing-a-ma-jig in the lobby, but I didn't use it.
I don't recall there being a restaurant in this hotel, and quite frankly, I wouldn't care if there were one. Just outside, you have the wonderful neighborhood of Cambridge, with lots of stores and restaurants, and also Harvard University. Had enough of that? Catch the "T" (right next door) to Downtown Boston or Back Bay....
Only problem: the hotel could get full around the beginning/end of school terms or other special events.
I'd stay here again.
No Bells and whistles but can't beat the location!
I stayed at the HSH over the 4th of July weekend. There's so much to do around the area, at best I stayed at the room for 5 hours just to catch some shut eye. What kind of service do you really need anyway? I brought my mother to visit my son who attends Harvard and is working there over the summer. She has no complaint about the hotel. I registered at the front desk when I checked in and that was the last I've seen any of the hotel staff. You get your bill under the door, you leave and that's it. You do everything else outside of the hotel. They don't even have a coffee shop in the hotel when I was there even though there was a button in the elevator showing "coffe shop."
The room was clean and cool. The water was burning hot. The refrigerator came in quite handy for storing water and snacks.
I've tried making a reservation with HSH many times. They were always over booked unless you are willing to pay a premium. Over night parking is $25 with the hotel and it's good until 1:00 pm. If you're familiar with the area and if you're there over a weekend, you can actually park on the street because you don't have to pay on most of the meters on Sunday. As matter of fact, the municipal parking is right underneath the hotel which allows two hour meter parkings everday except Sunday which is free. If you're lucky enough to get a space there, you can park all night for free then feed the meter in morning unless it's Sunday. There are other parking facilities which will cost $15 for day parking. Parking violation summons for the City of Cambridge is $15. You do the math. Just don't get towed. Don't kid yourself. This hotel is really not cheap. It's just reasonably priced compared to other centrally located Boston/Cambridge hotels.
Don't let the bad reviews keep you away!
I almost changed my reservation after reading the bad reviews, but I didn't and I'm so glad! My daughter and I stayed three nights. Staff couldn't have been more pleasant or helpful. Our room was immaculate, though small, but the location is amazing. We left two jackets in the closet and the housekeeping staff sent them Fed Ex the next day. I wouldn't hesitate to sty there again.
Not that bad
We were looking for a place with a good amount to do around the hotel and easy access around the city, and this place fit the bill almost perfectly. The rooms are nothing special here (think a clean motel 6 with a refrigerator), and service had it's moments (the night crew when we checked in was great, but one of the women working the morning shift was pretty surley), but can you really beat a price of $75/night in the heart of Harvard Square?? (thank you hotels.com.) It is one of the best bargains around, you are two steps from the T, and you are really only sleeping in the room at night with everything to do around there. Take advantage of the T, because parking is pricey (as in any city center - $16 daily and $25 overnight). We are going back at christmas and have already rebooked it - and are planning a few nice meals and shows out with all the money we are saving on lodging!
Want surly service? Stay here!
I have never been treated with such contempt and disdain. I am amazed that this hotel manages to stay in business with the level of ineptitude and rudeness that I experienced, even if such service is only found 10 percent of the time. What I saw of the rooms wasn't very impressive either. I walked out after not more than 5 minutes here and the desk staff and the manager proceeded to act like complete a**es and refused to refund my money, despite the fact that I had been on the property for less than 10 minutes. This is truly the worst hotel experience I have ever encountered!
I have stayed with my mother who was visiting me from Japan in September. I was looking forward to giving her a great Boston experience... but it was my mistake to have chosen this hotel. I must say it was one of the worst guest services I have ever received. The front desk people were rude, and answered to my questions in a condescending manner, which made me feel terrible. I wonder if they have received any training or if they were just part-time student employees who wanted fast cash?? I would like to ask the manger.
Last minute change
I go up to Cambridge often for my job and I was really looking forward to staying at this hotel but my plans changed on the day I was supposed to arrive. Very disappointed that they choose to charge me for the night anyway. That's a sure way to lose a future business traveler!
TripAdvisor Reviews Harvard Square Hotel Cambridge
Travel Blogs from Cambridge
... halls and churches surrounding the yard. There is one statue of John Harvard near the entrance of a hall and there is a very long line to get a picture with him.
Very near to Harvard is the Longfellow House, which once housed George Washington. I thought this was pretty interesting. George Washington only lived here for about a year. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a famous poet who ...
... looked extremely embarrassed as he received a standing ovation from the whole crowd but it was nice to see the recognition he received. Figures of the Scholarship Number of Cities/Towns visited; 23 Number of States visited; 11 Number of hospitals visited; 11 Days spent at conference; 5 Number of journeys via aeroplane; 10 (10 721 mileage miles) Number of train journeys; 5 (149 miles-as the crow flies) Number of bus journeys; 46 Maximum temperature; 32 degrees Minimum temperature; -12 ...
... the kids were getting tired though.
Then, as we were close we decided to grab a train to Havard - easy one to get there (it did hurt passing the station for MIT) . A quick walk through the university - funnily enough we were at the science centre; back through some dorms, with Connor playing a soccer version of totem tennis and back on the trains. In the interests of planning ahead ...
... The Center run a similar operation us at MaD (www.mad-uk.org). Programmes for 5-12yr olds and volunteering for 13+. Unlike us try run the after school programme 364 days a year (ours runs in school holiday) and its equates for a large proportion of the income. Like us they accept state welfare vouchers and subsidise places for those who fall out of the scheme but are in need. David explained to me the riverside area of Cambridge ...
... also has amazing views of the whole of Manhatten. After this we went to Prospect Park. Apparently it's not just the names of our towns that they borrow, though admittedly their Prospect Park is much nicer than ours! We also realised that New Yorkers have a lot more friends than us - there were groups of 20-30 people all over the park.
In the evening David introduced us to the best place ever. Three words: pulled, pork, BBQ. Another three words: pay by ...