A haven of style and brio A review of The Inn at Harvard

Stayed in the Inn at Harvard for two nights in June 2004. Arrived late (around 1.30 a.m.) the first evening and the night staff booked me into the hotel and guided me to my room within ten minutes of my arrival. The impressive service was a hallmark of my stay. On entering the room I noticed two large bottles of mineral water cooling in a couple of large ice buckets. Given my level of thirst at that point in time, the water was like a crystal clear pool in the midst of a desert. The following morning, a breakfast of fragrant coffee, delicious wheaten toast and a sumptuous plate of summer berries helped to negative the jet lag I had experienced after my trip from Ireland.

The room was beautifully maintained and the double bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in. Great bathroom with a terrific power shower. The service was efficient at all times. When we informed the front desk staff that we needed to retrieve our car rapidly from the car park in order to travel to Logan airport, they facilitated us immediately. I find that if you are pleasant to people, nine times out of ten they respond positively. I try to avoid whinging most of the time because I know that it will almost inevitably elicit a negative response from the member of the hotel staff who has to listen to the complaining. Far better to achieve your end objectives by a combination of charm and reasonableness. I despair of supposedly intelligent people who spend their entire lives verbally bullying hotel staff whom they misguidely perceive as inferior to themselves. Bullying is unacceptable at all times. Criticism, complaining and whinging should, however, be reserved as a last resort to deal with recalcitrant people. But complaints were never necessary at the Harvard Inn : the employees of the hotel performed their duties with style and brio.

Harvard University is also a sight to behold. But I think it is mainly the preserve of the young students who populate its cobbled streets, lanes, libraries, residences and hostelries. It's a great place for the young (and possibly the young at heart). To be honest, however, I especially liked the fact that Cambridge itself was such a bookish town. If you love books, this is the place to be. The variety on offer is out of this world. I returned to Ireland with a suitcase full of books and mightily impressed with the high standard of American publishing !

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The Inn at Harvard
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