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“Comfortable independent hotel with character”
Review of Kendall Hotel

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Kendall Hotel
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Level 6 Contributor
234 reviews
179 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
“Comfortable independent hotel with character”
Reviewed 4 December 2012

This is right next door to MIT, close to the Marriott. So if you need to be in the heart of Cambridge, it's an easy call. Big box, or independent?

The restaurant is well-known locally and apparently is good. Check in was efficient and friendly. The decor is retro-antique-arty, but well done and consistent. It feels cared-for, warm, and tasteful, not the owner's junk-shop. Much of the bric-a-brac and art refers to the building's heritage as a former fire station.

My room was a good size, with a comfortable bed, sensible lighting, and excellent bed-linen. It had nicely aged furniture, a good working space, tea/coffee maker, and the alarm clock would play my ipod's music. The view was of another building but I was only there overnight so it wasn't a disappointment. The bathroom was vast, and tiled in classic Americana style. Disappointingly, although plenty big enough to house a bathtub, it only had a walk-in shower. After a 20-hour journey I was looking forward to a soak in the bath, but was too tired to ask for a room change.

I found a chunky ring on the floor that a previous guest must have left, which raised a flicker of doubt about the quality of the housekeeping's attention to detail.

The free internet was blindingly fast (faster than my fibre-optic connection at home). I wonder if that's something to do with being a few hundred yards from MIT, global geek central?

Breakfast was a buffet, with a reasonably good selection of what you'd expect, all of good quality (great rustic bread, and excellent crispy bacon) although the buffet area is cramped and a short walk from the restaurant tables. So when it's busy, everyone is gingerly negotiating the buffet, trying to load their trays with one hand while dodging other guests shuffling around... a bit awkward... and I noticed that the breakfast tables ran out while I was eating so some guests had to eat in an armchair.

Check out was efficient, as was the bag storage while I made the rounds of business meetings.

This is a really nice family run hotel, with character, and clearly the owners care. Next time I'll ask for a room with a proper bath, but I'd stay here again, and choose it over the Marriott without a second thought.

Room Tip: It's an old building so the rooms will all be a bit different. If sunlight, bathtub, whatever...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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West Hartford, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2012

The Kendall is a boutique hotel conveniently located on Main Street in Cambridge. I try to be helpful with these reviews so I'll start with a few criticisms. First, my quoted room rate was $242 for a superior king room, plus $25 for parking. My final bill came to $312.92. Cambridge and the State hits you with 14.45% in taxes, then another $10.95 for something called a usage fee. I have no idea what this was for, I did a quick checkout with an email receipt otherwise I would have asked. So while not pricey by downtown Boston standards its a bit expensive.

Second, complaint was room temperature. I stayed there Nov 17 and the outside temp was 30 degrees. The room was very warm, I first tried the in room thermostat setting it to max cool and it didn't make a dent. Then, and should be a good tip, my room had windows that actually opened. I threw opened the windows, turned on the ceiling fan, and it was then fine.

Third, the parking garage is beneath the hotel, and is tiny, very tight. I drive a BMW X5 and could barley fit in any space. I have a patch of yellow on my bumper to remind me of my stay. They have a surface lot too. If you drive an SUV or a big car, don't use the garage.

Lastly the buffet breakfast was really mediocre. Steam table scrambled eggs, bacon (no sausage or potatoes, come on guys, when I am on the road I want my cholesterol), and the usual fruit, cereal and yogurts. In addition, you have to venture across part of the lobby, down a few stairs, with your loaded try, which for some bizarre reason is curved and unwieldy, to get to a table. There is no room service. This area of their operation could use reworking.

On the plus side. My room was large, with a great bathroom with Gilbert and Soames soaps and shampoos which are great, a large comfortable king bed, with a lot of pillows, and the room was quiet. It was also very funky folk Americana, done entirely in red, white and blue. Kitschy but cool.

On the whole, staff was friendly, the hotel spotless, the decor whimsical. Not bad.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2012

Everything about our experience at the Kendall Hotel in Cambridge was surprisingly superior. The decor is whimsical, fascinating and apparently lovingly selected for each floor and room. I am a clean freak and a bit over-the-top paranoid about critters when we travel, so I was thrilled to find impeccably clean white bedding with many plush pillows, a large spotless bathroom, and an overall hotel design that reflects very thoughtful concern for the hotel's guests. We tried the evening wine tasting and met some delightful people whom we eventually dined with. We had intended to go elsewhere for dinner, but after trying the delicious bisque and the mouth-watering "savory goat cheese cake" at the hotel's restaurant ("The Black Sheep"), we decided to stay and dine there. What a great dinner! Pleasant server, a visit from the chef, and surprisingly decent wine. I've stayed in many Westins and like their "heavenly bed," but I don't think I've had a more comfortable sleep than I did at the Kendall. Very nicely appointed and cozy. We met people there who stay at the Kendall regularly when they travel, even when their conferences are at other Boston hotels. Very, very nice full breakfast in the hotel restaurant is included. Excellent location very close to convenient public transportation. Reasonably priced. This is definitely our hotel for Boston stays.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Susan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marietta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2012

I stayed at this nice hotel over a period of 4 days in November. During this time, I had nice experiences with the hotel staff and the breakfast that they serve each morning. True, there is never enough tables to sit during "peak" breakfast times, but overall the assortment is always nice. We had some rough weather while we were in Boston, and was very glad to have this hotel right near the subway station. Easy walking distances to good restaurants, and hop on the subway to go elsewhere. Room was clean and very cozy, enjoyed the decorations throughout the hotel, a nice change from the regular chain hotels.

Room Tip: Try to stay in a room away from the elevators, I had a corner room and could still hear the "bi...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fsu2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Sebastian
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2012

I stayed there early November 2012 for a congress. I booked my room early August thinking it would be cheaper, but nothing of that happened. I had a 20% discount for being related to the congress and, in spite of it, the price fror three nights was $ 842.01, breakfast and taxes included. This makes $ 280.67 per night, a price I had never paid before for a hotel. A fortune!

My room was cold. It had one of those air heating systems that did not work and threw only cold air into the room. The corridor was also cold, with a chilling air jet running along. So was the room of a colleague I visited.

They announce the decoration of the rooms as being cosy and picturesque. I can only say it is weak and not practical. The only thing that was very well furnished was the bathroom. Everything was strong, "designed for years of use", and very practical. By the way, you could have hot water.

Lastly, I asked at the reception desk for a taxi when I checked-out, and was answered to go to the next hotel at the other side of the street. I do not think this is the right answer at a hotel where you are paying $ 280 per night. I did not know which hotel it was, and had plenty of heavy luggage so I insisted, and had one taxi at the door. My colleague asked earlier for a taxi when checking-out, had the same answer, and she had to go to the next hotel at the other side of the street. I think this is a bit rude.

I have to add that the waiters at the restaurant were extremely and unusually friendly and helpful. Breakfast was excellent, although you had to load your tray in a room and eat your breakfast in another room at 50' distance, going down with your tray six steps or a ramp, at your convenience.

Room Tip: Penthouse rooms are smaller and not cheaper. By the way, I would recommend not to use this hotel in...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Gracian88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, TX
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 November 2012

We got waylaid in Boston because a the hurricane and one of our tour guides said to check this place out. What a find, comfy, clean, a great location and real affordable to boot. Would definitely stay here again.

Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Dan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2012

Great hotel near the longefellow bridge and the cambridge side gallerie (15 minutes walking). Big rooms with a huge bathroom and breakfast for a great price.

Very near the subway (Kendall station - red line).

In the reception you can find nice staff.

Wi-fi available in the room.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kendall Hotel

Property: Kendall Hotel
Address: 350 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02142-1017
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Massachusetts > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kendall Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 77
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Also Known As:
Kendall Hotel Cambridge

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