Re-visiting Cambridge, my usual choice to stay would ordinarily have been the Charles. Quite by accident, however, I happened to come across a relatvely new hotel located right in the heart of Harvard Square; smaller but never the less generous and unfrenzied.
Located at #1 Remington at the corner of Massachusetts Ave (Cambridge's main street) and still a mere ten minutes from Logan and 4 blocks from the' T,' this quaint but chic, 3-story, AAA-rated hotel offers privacy, total comfort and superb concierge service willing to make virtually any arrangements or reservations by request. Its Art Deco style, iridescent walls and drapery, Anchini linens and robes, marble shower and Etro bath impart an impression of luxury and one is made to sense a certain bed & breakfast intimacy.
Although the Veritas takes its eponym from Harvard's grand old motto, its atmosphere is not in the least crimson. Its external structure is modeled on late nineteenth-early twentieth century Victorian. Its architecture inside and out is tidy, compact, well organized, sparing no wasted space. The architect left nothing to chance, having considered the smallest detail down to the crown molding around the doors and ceiling, climate control, muted plumbing and a variety of individually controlled embedded ceiling lights and lamps. Hallways and rooms display B&Ws by some notably gifted photographers.
While occupying a small (about 200 sq. ft) single room adjoining a spacious balcony (complete with a broad table and chairs), I spent some of my spare time attempting to discover some of the neat tricks the designer had implemented to impart the illusion of more imperious dimensions. Even the relatively small bathroom felt larger than it actually was due primarily to the lack of a solid bassinet, glass shower doors and a nearly floor-to-ceiling window (that could be opened) and louvered shutters. When I left the bathroom door open, I noted that its expansive mirror would reflect the scene from the balcony, imparting the illusion of surveying the Cambridge scene while simultaneously peering at my image in the mirror. As an author, I was gratified to be able to spend several hours each day enjoying undisturbed solitude in the room; able to concentrate on my writing and illustrating.
What else: excellent room service, bottled water, real glasses, wall-mounted, wide-screen HD TV, hair dryer, ample closet space with plentiful hangers, valet service, alarm clock, voice mail, material detailing current activities, local personages, restaurants and locations, a spacious table and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on (bar none!!). Adjoining the concierge desk is a quality, easy to use Nespresso machine that I (and the other guests) used extensively. Assorted teas and confections are also available as are juices and sodas (all complimentary, of course!). Other extras become available when the exquisitely comfy 'Simple Truth Lounge' opens, including spirits, beer, wine, cheese and charcuterie. There are intimately located tables-for-two on a secluded, elevated area above the rear of the lounge. The roomy chairs and sofa are of teal leather, the faux fire place and floors of exquisite, polished limestone.
Can there possibly be more? There is a 'business' lounge area complete with 2 computers with Internet access and an HP color printer. Additionally, complimentary access to the Gym at the Karma Yoga Studio just across Mass. Ave. is available. I noted that the gym was in use early each morning.
One more item of note: I had requested a very (very) early wake-up call in order to catch a ridiculously early flight on my departure date. About 15 min. after the call, the concierge on duty came to my door just to make certain I was awake. This little lagniappe (as we southerners call it) was greatly appreciated!
The Hotel Veritas was a most pleasurable serendipity and a re-discovery and an old truth about resplendent rewards contained in small packages. I shall most likely make mention of the Veritas in one of my future short stories and shall make the Veritas my home-away-from-home on my future Harvard-Cambridge sojourns.
L. D. Rafey
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Veritas is a 31-room independent upscale hotel located in Harvard Square offering intimate service in a hip Cantabrigian setting. The entire look and feel of the hotel is elegant and current, but with a respectful nod towards our traditional and historic neighborhood. The guest rooms are designed with the fine detailing of an old New England residence and furnishings that are interesting contemporary pieces with rich fabrics and textures. ... more less
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