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Advise on Cambridge Hotels

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Advise on Cambridge Hotels

I love Boston,visit several times a year, and have stayed in many hotels throughtout the city. My question is this. For a change of pace, my friends and I would like to stay in Cambridge, even though we'll be attending a concert at the Bank Of America Pavillion, this summer. We're having trouble deciding on a hotel. I have found a great rate on the Radisson Hotel Cambridge, and found that it also has a Japanese Steak House, which would be a fun, pre-concert dinner. I also discovered, it's not really near the T. I also am looking into the Marriott Cambridge, which apparently is more centrally located. We're not opposed to walking a bit, and want a good, fun preconcert dinner, but don't want a big hassle trying to get into the city. Any thoughts or suggestions on which hotel would be better for us would be appreciated!

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1. Re: Advise on Cambridge Hotels

The Radisson isn't very close to any public transportation, but does have "Bisuteki" as well as a good Greek restaurant going for it. It's also close by a Trader Joe's grocery store for great snacks and drinks, a Microcenter store for computer equipment, and a Strawberries CD/DVD/gaming store.

If you stay at the Marriott you'll be almost on top of Kendall station on the Red Line, famous for its musical sculptures that are controlled by waiting passengers. The "Characters" bar in the hotel has so-so food, but there are pool tables available and it's a fun place to hang out at. At the end of the block there's the renowned Legal Seafoods, but other than that the neighborhood is mostly offices and MIT buildings so is pretty dead after about 7 at night.

Have you thought about either the Hotel Marlowe or the Royal Sonesta? They're opposite each other, neighboring the Cambridgeside Galleria mall, and MBTA shuttle buses (replacing a closed trolley line) can get you to the heart of downtown Boston in 10-15 minutes. In addition to a standard-issue food court, the mall contains a California Pizza Kitchen, a Cheesecake Factory, and a Papa Razzi Italian restaurant. The Marlowe's own dining room has caught on with local foodies, and Davio's in the Sonesta boasts a following from way back. Behind the Royal Sonesta is the river, flanked by a wide walkway which draws mobs of walkers, bladers, runners, you name it.

The Inn at Harvard, Sheraton Commander, and Harvard Motor Inn pretty much cover the budget spectrum and are all close by Harvard Square. Shay's, the Redline, and John Harvard's Ale House are but three of the many lively watering holes around there. Grendel's Den is a great spot for half-price meal specials in the late afternoon; bibliophiles gravitate to the Harvard Book Store; a pharmacy on Brattle St has what could be the world's largest cologne collection; the Border Cafe is fun for Tex-Mex; Veggie Planet makes an awesome meatless pizza (vegan option available on all menu selections); Tealuxe packs in fans of the leafy brew; fashion victims "get their shop on" at Urban Outfitters and other stores; you get the picture, it's a fun area.

The Hotel @ MIT (exactly what it's called) is at the edge of the rollicking Central Square area, with a dozen or so bars and clubs and scads of "ethnic" restaurants to try. It's a point of pride for those of us who live here that the three independent coffee places are holding their own against Starbucks, and Burger King has closed up shop! When in the neighborhood, stop by Hubba Hubba - even if just to look in the store window - to see the latest in dominatrix gear :-X By walking Mass. Ave. from Central Square toward Harvard, you'll find about a half dozen well-stocked used record/tape/CD stores, something Boston needs to be more famous for 'cause out-of-town visitors are always remarking on them.

Considering where you'll be catching a show, you might want to have your "fun pre-concert dinner" at the Barking Crab. It's an outdoor place - bar and picnic tables under a big tent by the Fort Point Channel - that serves unpretentious seafood dishes. From there it's an easy walk to the pavilion.

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2. Re: Advise on Cambridge Hotels

To Spensworld,

Thanks so much for all the great info! You've given me lots to think about, and I'll definately check into the other places you mentioned.

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3. Re: Advise on Cambridge Hotels

The Inn at Harvard and the Harvard Motor Inn are where you want to stay to have the fun right at your doorstep. Absolutely.

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