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“Very Disappointing!!”

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Irving House at Harvard
Ranked #4 of 20 Cambridge B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 15 October 2013

We decided to stay here after reading some of the older positive reviews. I'm not sure what room those people had or what they ate for breakfast but our experience was not positive. The rooms are WAY OVERPRICED! I consider myself a world traveler - having been to more than 50 countries and away for more than 125 days each year. I've become a good judge of hotels, B&Bs, hostels, guest houses, and apartments on airbnb. I've stayed in more than a dozen different places in Cambridge and Boston. This was one of the most expensive and by far the most disappointing. The towels were rough and thin. Housekeeping did not remove dirty dishes. The breakfast was continental only. There were few hot options and certainly no service. You had to clear your own dishes. The compost and dirty dish trays were in the same room as the food. The pillows were lumpy. The shampoo (in a large dispenser) did not foam and left my hair feeling dry and dirty. There was dust on the floor. Without going on and on, I hope you get the message. Stay elsewhere, even if it means a T ride or a longer walk to the campus and area.

Room Tip: Stay Elsewhere!
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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4  Thank Maple1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2013

i am so sorry that your stay with us was not to your liking in so many ways! I have shown it to my staff to begin to address the concerns you raised. Your stay did come during our most busy season, and so the rates are higher now than they are during other times of the year.
The shampoo does not have the chemicals that cause lathering, but it is still effective in washing, and rinsing out. Most of our guests are appreciative of both the simple, natural ingredients and the dispenser provision, which replaces small disposable containers. This is in keeping with our environmentally friendly operations, and is becoming standard throughout many hotels.
We are phasing out the thinner towels, and have been providing thicker towels, so I am looking at how and why your room got the older towels.
Our breakfast staff does bus tables when they can, and we will review staffing to be sure they can do it more often, so that guests do not need to clear others' tables, or wait for an empty table. The menu does change very little, though the baked goods do change daily and more with the season.
Most guests also appreciate that they can compost and recycle as they do at home. We have not ever heard a complaint about the presence in the dining area of facilities to do so, but we will look at that now too, though space is limited there.
We take this review very seriously and will look at ways to address the matters you note. We hope your visit to Cambridge was otherwise a pleasure.

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Reviews (282)
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153 - 159 of 283 reviews

Reviewed 10 October 2013

Is not easy to find a good and cheap place to sleep in Cambridge ..but Irving House is overpriced. The location is great, in a quite area not on the main street. Rooms are nice and clean but very small. Breakfast place is horrible and food is poor.
Staff is OK.
Irving is the only hotel I know so far in Cambridge, its not bad but im not sure I would choose it agian.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Pilot_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. As an experienced traveler, you are likely aware of the variability of hotel rates, which fluctuate with demand. While we do keep our rates competitive with the Harvard Square area, that still puts our rates higher than other areas of Cambridge and Boston and much higher than many areas of the US and other countries.

We aim to provide an excellent value to our guests. We hope that in your travels as you compare rates and offerings, you find we have succeeded.

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Reviewed 29 August 2013

I stayed in Irving House at Harvard for three nights. I had a room with shared washroom. In general, I liked the place. The place was cozy and the people were friendly. I never had to wait in a line for using the washroom or taking a shower. The breakfast was also good. My main complain is about WIFI which was very slow. Do not count on it except for checking your emails (which also might take a while).

Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
1  Thank ShahinKamali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. While we have upgraded our broadband signal, and checked the distribution around the house, there are still times when the wifi signal is slow because demand continues to increase: the more we provide, the more it is used. We continue to seek better options , still hoping to be able to provide this service at no extra charge. We are please that in other ways you did enjoy your stay. We hope to see you again some time.!

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Reviewed 20 August 2013

We stayed here two nights during our trip in the USA and would have loved to stay longer! Irving House is located close to Harvard and the atmosphere in this area is so nice. The rooms are clean and nicely furnished and as prices on accommodation are quite high in Boston, we really think that Irving House is value for money. Especially the breakfast was great. It included more than we could wish for and everything was fresh and some things even organic. Also the free snacks and coffee during the day was a nice surprise and saved us a few dollars as we didn't have to buy our coffee in town. We would love to come back and stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ditte_i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2013

Thank you for your very kind review! We love to hear what we are doing right. We hope to see you again on another visit to Cambridge...

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Reviewed 15 August 2013

Staff was so friendly, our room (ground floor, next to reception desk, a bit more expensive than standard, but worth the price) was big and clean, breakfast was more than adequate, free WIFI, free parking (tight space but enough), really close to Harvard Square, and the price within reasonable limits. What else could you ask for?

Room Tip: They have free postcards, and they'll even post them for you. A nice touch in this Smartphone-er...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Halcon Viajes
1  Thank fenzof40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2013

We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay! I will share this with my staff, as I do all reviews, to keep them on their toes.....
We hope to see you again on another visit to Cambridge!

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Reviewed 12 August 2013

My fiancé and I decided spur-of-the-moment to drive from NYC to Boston for a day this past Saturday morning. Given the last minute decision and that it was a weekend day during the end of the summer, we looked at various "deal" sites in hopes of finding reasonable accommodations. To our great surprise, we found this B&B with one queen bed room left at a good price! We reserved it and on our way we went. We always preferred B&Bs rather than impersonal hotels and were very pleased to see it was a couple of blocks from Harvard University!
We were VERY HAPPY with our stay! Our room was on the top floor (which we prefer for privacy and less noise). A huge skylight and two windows accessing fire escapes made it an incredibly sunny room (which I love!!). We had a small but private and clean bathroom, free wi-fi with no signal interruption, and a very comfortable bed.
The price included breakfast which I found a great deal as it offered simple but varied options - from healthy boiled eggs and yogurt with fresh fruit to hearty quiches and delicious croissants!
My fiance was very happy that the B&B offered free parking - extremely convenient as we could go explore for the day without having to worry about the difficulty of parking around Boston!
Lastly, we enjoyed our day stay so much, we decided to extend our stay one more night and the friendly staff was wonderful at accommodating our request and keeping us on the same room. The B&B also offers a small laundry room with a clean washer/dryer in the basement which became useful when we decided to extend our stay.
There are also three outside areas (at each side of the front and by the door) where you can sit and enjoy the quiet neighborhood, or have your coffee/tea (which you can also get from a great cafe around the corner), or just read to pass the time.

The only item was the AC which like other reviews mention is for the floor and not independent of the room. One night we felt too hot but a midnight call to the reception desk had it fixed in no time!!
We will be back and recommend it to any family or friends visiting the area!

Room Tip: Top floor rooms are sunny and the four flights will count as your exercise for the day!!
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tania s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RSolem, Owner at Irving House at Harvard, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2013

Thank you for your glowing report on Irving House~! I will share it with my staff. We love to hear when we are doing our job well. We hope to see you again....

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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.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about Irving House at Harvard

Address: 24 Irving Street, 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: £86 - £274 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Irving House at Harvard 3*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Irving House is a large 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 hotel use in the 1920s with 44 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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