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“My Harvard Dorm”

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Irving House at Harvard
Ranked #4 of 20 Cambridge B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“My Harvard Dorm”
Reviewed 31 July 2013

I've stayed three times in Boston, love being in the heart of the city if it is with my wife and shopping. But when attending courses at the Graduate School of Management, Irving House is perfect. It takes me back to my years as a student. Its cosy, comfy beds, easy walking distance to most Harvardy things. Super. Staff very helpful.
Personally I went around the corner for a coffee and toast in the morning, I like the urban buzz.
If you want hotel luxury Irving House is not for you.
If you want to stay at a super B&B, go for it.

Room Tip: I like the first floor, and a room with a bathroom.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Greenwich2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RachaelSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this review, 1 August 2013
We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for taking the time to let others know. Perhaps one reason you felt our guesthouse reminded you of your Harvard Dorm is that the house was converted to lodging in the 1920s just for the expanding Harvard student population!
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274 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Roeland Park, Kansas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 July 2013

Quiet, clean, friendly atmosphere. Awesome location. All staff were always willing to help. No complaints. I would recommend Irving House and will be back. The room was large, larger than a hotel room and private bath was huge and clean. Plenty of space for luggage, desk, side table and TV. Better than a hotel.

Room Tip: I stayed on the third floor. No noise, A/C was great. No water pressure issues. The stairs were not...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RachaelSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this review, 22 July 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay, and that you have paid attention to some particulars helpful for other guests to know. We hope to see you again!
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Springfield, OH
1 review
Reviewed 17 July 2013

We would recommend Irving House to other travelers. Take some time to check water pressure from bathroom fixtures, especially shower. We really appreciated the off street parking and the variety of foods offered for breakfast. We also appreciated being able to request a fan for our room since the AC control is regional and not accessible in each room. We liked being in a fairly quiet residential area yet still within walking distance of Harvard Square and the T.

Room Tip: Carefully consider room choice given there is no elevator. The shower in our room had very poor wat...
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Green Features: We completely support the 'green' practices. All of them!
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank MrsDSpringfield_OH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RachaelSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this review, 19 July 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. Your comments are accurate, and address some of the details we know guests care about. I wish I could say the air conditioning variations will be fixed, but the variety of travelers causes some to feel a room is too hot and others, right next door, to feel too cold on the same night!

While our plumbing is fine, there are moments of high demand when pressure can be less than optimal. Most of the time, water pressure and our solar heated hot water, are plentiful.

We are very pleased you mostly enjoyed your stay. We hope to see you again if your travels bring you back to our fair city!
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UK
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2013

I have just reviewed the Photo Tour of the hotel to make sure I am not being unfair but we just spent a long weekend at this B&B. To be fair I booked it when we were thinking of bringing our kids, and the family room is great value for Cambridge at reunion weekend (285 I think). However as a couple it ended up feeling rather expensive at 260 per night - we could have been in the Charles for 400! The carpets etc are trashed, the shower is plastic, I rolled into the centre of the double bed. That said the staff simply couldn't have been more helpful or nicer. The dining room gives a simple breakfast which wasn't bad - boiled eggs, cereals, some pastries, a choice of breads. All the coffee was flavoured but there was good fresh juice and I reverted to making pots of earl grey tea. But it was in the basement and felt rather cave like. It must have been a seriously sunny day when they took the shots! All in all OK but we were disappointed.

Room Tip: We happily walked up the three flights as the insulation on the walls was not good, so this meant qu...
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Green Features: Seemed good - or at least as good as a hotel can be - lots of comments around the walls on low flush toilets and to reuse towels and awards on the walls. But hotels just aren;t really v eco friendly
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank p p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RachaelSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this review, 17 June 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. If you were here during Harvard's commencement/reunion week, you did indeed pay those prices, which are at their highest all around Cambridge during those days. Most of the rest of the year, our rates are lower, and a good value for the Harvard Square area.
A small correction should be noted: we have one flavored and one regular coffee, and only added the flavored one recently. The regular coffee is a ark roast and not friendly to all tastebuds.
While I could not access the rest of your comments regarding the insulation, I do know that sound transmission is an unsolved problem. Though I continue to seek solutions, I have found this to be a condition in most places I stay, even those purpose built for overnight accommodations!
We hope you otherwise enjoyed your visit to Cambridge.
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Canberra
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 14 June 2013

I stayed here for just one night and really wished I could have stayed longer. Rooms in this area are very expensive, and I thought that this was good value given the location. I had a room with one double bed and shared bath. The room was very small but an adequate size and very comfortable. The bathrooms were clean and I never had a problem accessing one despite them being shared. The staff were all fantastic, breakfast was great. I would happily return!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aussie-Sojourner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2013

It is true that rooms in and around this area are a little overpriced - as was indicated by others - and the Irving House is no exception to this Cambridge/Harvard rule. I guess that if you are part of the lucky few who can afford to study or follow a course at Harvard, then you can also afford the prices asked for rooms in this little part of the world. And if you feel the hotels are overpriced, you have not seen your tuition fees yet...
Don't keep on feeling bad about the prices here; just be happy to be part of the 1% who can afford it - either through scholarships or well paid jobs (of parents) - and enjoy the experience.

Well, enough said about pricing.

Irving House - the main house and house no. 40 - is not suitable for people who are differently abled and can't get up stairs. It is wheelchair unfriendly and if you can't carry heavy bags up stairs, you might have a problem here.

Apart from that; the rooms are nice, the bed is comfortable, the TV gives a wide choice of channels, internet is free, you can sit outside on the porch and in the back, and there is a well equipped little kitchen with toaster, water cooker, coffee maker, rice cooker and microwave. And if you need to iron, you can get a iron etc...

NOTE ON THE KITCHEN: YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COOK! Yes, that is a little counter-intuitive; a kitchen in which you are not allowed to cook... But no electric hot plate, stove or gas burner due to fire regulations. So of you see 'kitchen' and think you might save a buck cooking your own meal; nope, that isn't happening. I thought that and was in for an unhappy surprise in that sense. Having said that; supermarkets in the area are rather expensive as well - you won't save a lot of money preparing your own food. But it is sometimes nice to cook yourself. Warming things up in the microwave, making toast, or poaching a hot egg with cooking water from the water cooker (long long process) is the best you can do.

The staff is very very helpful. Umbrellas are at the front desk if it rains, free of charge. Internet works well, washing machine and dryer are in the main house (little fee), etc etc.

We really enjoy staying here. But yes, this area is expensive, Irving House is not accessible to wheelchairs and people with back problems might have issues, and you are NOT allowed to cook in the little in-room kitchen. Apart from that: RECOMMENDED!

Room Tip: Stay on the ground floor if you have back problems. No elevator. The rooms at the front of the hous...
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Green Features: They do provide everything you need to recycle your rubbish. But ENERGY STAR kitchen appliances as they say? The toaster is ancient, but works. Same for the water cooker and other kitchen appliances; not energy star equipment for sure...
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dennis_Bours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RachaelSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this review, 6 June 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. I have shown your comments to my front desk staff to let them know of your experience. Occasionally during busy times staff can be more efficient than welcoming, and for this I apologize.
While our breakfast is not cooked to order, it does provide a variety of sweet and savory choices. The menu posted on our website is, if anything, an underrepresentation of the daily fare, as we vary and expand in response to guest requests.
The photos of the rooms are all of our rooms, taken within the past few years. The rooms are different from each other, and yes, there are rooms on four floors, breakfast in the basement dining area, and no elevator, alas.
We hope you otherwise enjoyed your visit to Cambridge.
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Wilmington, DE
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2013

Generally, the pictures online misrepresent the property. The carpets are old and worn throughout and as a whole the Irving House looks very dated. The woman at reception was efficient but definitely not polite. The breakfast is like a nice continental breakfast and far below what you would expect from a bed and breakfast. Don’t go here if you like things like scrambled eggs and pancakes. Expect hard boiled eggs, cold mini quiches, yogurt and breads.
I booked a family room based on the photo the Irving House had posted on their webpage. The family room pictured on the website look reasonably spacious with some privacy for adults in a queen bed with bunk beds for kids around the corner. The family room I got appeared smaller with the bunk beds directly facing the queen. When I asked about the discrepancy between the pictures online and my room, I was told the room pictured on the web is on the 4th floor. The family room that I had on the 2nd floor was completely different.

Room Tip: Make sure you ask what floor your room is on or you could end up walking up 4 flights of stairs just...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kzatrini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RachaelSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this review, 18 June 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. Please be assured that the photographs were all taken in rooms in our property, and many look better now than they did when the photos were taken.
While it is true that we do not offer a cooked-to-order breakfast, our menu is listed on our web site so there should be no surprises. The quiches, popovers and other savory baked goods are baked on the premises and are kept warm at the buffet.
We are sorry we did not meet your expectations. We hope you otherwise enjoyed your visit to Cambridge.
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Additional Information about Irving House at Harvard

Property: Irving House at Harvard
Address: 24 Irving St, Cambridge, MA 02138-3007
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Massachusetts > Cambridge
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Irving House at Harvard 3*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Irving House is a quaint bed and breakfast in Cambridge offering uniquely cozy accommodations and a variety of amenities for our guests to enjoy. Built as a two-family house in the 1890s, Irving House was converted to a bed and breakfast in the 1920s with 44 unique guest rooms in a variety of sizes. There are many room types to accommodate the ranging needs of our guests, from individual travelers to families. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Irving House At Harvard Hotel Cambridge

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