Interesting, friendly hotel A review of Le Meridien Cambridge - MIT
I stayed here for two nights in December and thought it was great. The hotel is obviously designed for business meetings and travelers, but not in an obnoxious way. The staff are friendly and helpful. There's a very good restaurant (Sidney's Grill), a business center with terminals, printers, fax machines, etc., and free internet access in the rooms. The public spaces are impressive, including the very large library/lounge on the main floor. There's even an outdoor garden, on the third floor where all the business meetings take place.
The hotel plays up its MIT connection, but not too seriously. Everywhere are framed pictures of things like MIT professors giving lectures in the 1950s, and students doing lab experiments. Along with the usual tourist-oriented magazines in the rooms, there are issues of the MIT Sloan Management Review and the MIT magazine on Technological Innovation. (A big help if you have trouble falling asleep.) I loved the elevators; they were like stepping into a retro view of the future, complete with blue lights and atomic-patterned carpet! Who knew geekiness could be so hip?
The rooms are comfortable, with Aveda products, robes, and complimentary bottled water. There was no mini-bar, but that just saved me from spending too much on things that are bad for me. Ironically, the heating system was too loud -- not well engineered! Also, the towels need replacing. They've definitely seen better days.
The one major reservation (no pun intended) I have about this hotel is its location on Massachusetts Ave. Central Square is okay; I don't think it's unsafe. But it feels a little iffy, especially at night. It's nothing to worry about, but if that kind of thing puts you off, this hotel is probably not for you.