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“Perfect Cambridge/Harvard location, and friendly”

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Irving House at Harvard
Ranked #4 of 20 Cambridge B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Middlebury, Vermont, USA
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Perfect Cambridge/Harvard location, and friendly”
Reviewed 1 December 2013

Our stay was over a single night, and we needed a comfortable place that was close to family living in the area - this was perfect. Friendly, clean, and conveniently located, we really enjoyed our stay.

There is off-street parking; if you have a wide vehicle, it's going to be a bit tense, but they do a great job of making sure as many people have room to park as possible - a bonus in this neighborhood where permits are required on the streets. We left our car there and just walked to the Porter Square area, which I think most people would find to be a bit of a hike but it felt good to not need a bus or taxi.

We stayed in a self-contained unit on the fourth floor. Other rooms had shared bathrooms and what we saw seemed really clean and accessible. While one must take the stairs up to other floors, we really liked the added quiet and didn't mind the steps at all; our host at check-in actually offered to place us on a lower floor but we said we were fine where we were - she was very kind and I appreciated the offer, though! Because the Inn is off of the main road, the noise level was SO much better than other nearby places we've stayed at that were directly on Cambridge Street.

Our room was fine for our needs - small but there was a desk and a very interesting plush chair to sit in (style-wise!) and the sink/toilet were in a separate compartment than the shower. Everything worked fine - internet signal (free) was strong and fast. (If needed, there is a common computer on the first floor in the sitting room.) I thought the bed was too hard for my own comfort, the only thing I didn't really find great about the accommodations.

The breakfast was really nice - quiche and other items, good coffee, etc. - all in all, we'd definitely stay there again, and appreciated the very friendly staff, excellent location, and well-tended property.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank GahuGrrl
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, 4 December 2013
Thank you for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay and that you took the time to comment on it so specifically! It is hard to accommodate all preferences for mattresses. I am sorry that you found the bed too hard.

We are pleased that in every other way you seem to have enjoyed your stay. We look forward to seeing you again!
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276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 November 2013 via mobile

I stayed just one night there and I LOVE IT!
Very friendly and helpful staff, very nice breakfast with variety choices of food.
I love their interior setting, so English and cozy. I feel relax after a whole day tour in Harvard.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JikiTeo
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, 30 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay! We are very pleased you enjoyed our hospitality. We hope to see you again when your travels bring you back to Cambridge!
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Watchung, New Jersey
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

My daughter and I stayed there this weekend while in town to visit colleges. We had nothing but positive things to say about this B&B.

Room was very cute, full and twin sized beds. Bathroom was right down the hall, and very clean. The whole place was clean and well maintained. Reception was awesome. The young lady was personable and very helpful. Parking is very close, I mean VERY close, but hey, it's off the street, and free. I thought the rate was fair, especially considering other places to stay in the area. Irving House is easy to get to, and convenient to pretty much everything. I'm sure we'll be back, but definitely when the weather is warmer :)

Room Tip: Choose a room with private bathroom if that's a concern
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lyons54
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 review, 26 November 2013
We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us! We hope you found Cambridge (Our Fair City!) to be worth visiting again.
Yes, parking is tight, but if everyone is co-operative, it works.

Thank you for taking the time to review--every little bit helps!
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Baton Rouge
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Charming rooms, squeaky-clean bathrooms, delicious (and plentiful) food, access to tea and (good) coffee, and right in the heart of perfect Cambridge! There's nothing lacking here--except an elevator (if you're lugging heavy suitcases ask to stay on lower floors, I guess), and the wiring is probably a bit funky (power blew out), but this place is an adorable delight. And Green, too!

Green Features: I really appreciated the Hotel's commitment to the environment!
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SubjectTravel
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, 12 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay! We are so pleased you appreciate what we are doing here. I completely agree that the house would be much improved for guest (and our staff!) if we had an elevator. Alas, space and the laws do not find a good confluence here. In several go rounds of inquiry, I have come to the conclusion that it is just not possible.
We hope to see you again on a return visit to Our Fair City!
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Galway, Galway, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Pluses:
Good breakfast
Good location (near Harvard)
Nice common area with books and mags to read
Charming exterior to building
Quiet at night
Plenty of towels & hot water in shared shower room
They booked a taxi for me to the airport ($44 from B&B to Logan)

Minuses:
Expensive for small room with shared bathroom
Bedroom was cold-ish and not enough blankets
Checkout at 11am not 12pm, as is normal
Snippy receptionist

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ladybird43
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 review, 4 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. And thank you for phrasing your headline that way. During October, our peak month, the rates are indeed high, as they are all over Harvard Square. Our rates vary with demand, as is the industry standard, but we set them to be a good value overall within the Harvard Square market.

The heating can be a little slow to get to some rooms, but we do have supplemental heaters for particularly cold nights/cold rooms, for future reference.

However, the lack of blankets and the snippy service at the desk are NOT our way, and I have showed this to my staff to ensure we make further improvements in those areas.

We are pleased that you did, in some ways, enjoy your stay with us. We hope to see you again some time.
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New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2013

Rustic charm and great location made the Irving House a great place for us to stay while getting our daughter situated for a Harvard fellowship. It's expensive but we had a wonderful experience and parking is free.




Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Noel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
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!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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Additional Information about Irving House at Harvard

Property: 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 (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 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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