Cambridge Hotels on the River

by Joanne Thomas

The lively university town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is separated from the sprawling metropolis of Boston by the Charles River. The handful of hotels located on or near the banks of the Charles River offer scenic surroundings, views of the rooftops and skyscrapers of both Cambridge and Boston and a convenient proximity to riverside walking paths.

Hyatt Regency Cambridge

The Hyatt Regency Cambridge is a 470-room hotel housed in a striking tiered glass pyramid overlooking the Charles River and the Boston skyline. Its guest rooms and suites, which are available in 11 categories, offer such high-end features as 37-inch flat-screen HD televisions with on-command entertainment, iPod radio docks and ergonomic work stations. Some have a private balcony or patio with river and city views. The decor is elegant and modern, with earth-tone furnishings and walls adorned with original black-and-white photographs. Guests staying in special "business plan" rooms enjoy a complimentary daily breakfast, wireless Internet access, a daily newspaper and in-room bottled water. The on-site restaurant, Zephyr on the Charles, serves regional cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients, as well as a seafood buffet on Friday nights and a Sunday buffet brunch. The Zephyr Lounge offers signature cocktails and panoramic river views.

Courtyard Boston Cambridge

Courtyard Boston Cambridge, part of the Marriott hotel chain, sits on the banks of the Charles River and offers panoramic views of the river or Boston skyline from all 197 guest rooms and six suites. The rooms are furnished with custom mattresses, plush down and feather bedding, a mini-refrigerator and flat-screen televisions with Internet browsers and premium cable channels. Guests have three dining options on-site: casual American fare for breakfast and dinner in the Great Room; cocktails to enjoy with a good book in the Library Lounge; and teppanyaki-style steaks and handmade sushi at the Bisuteki Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. The hotel also offers an indoor pool, an outdoor courtyard pool and a fitness center.

Doubletree Guest Suites Boston

Doubletree Guest Suites Boston is an all-suite hotel overlooking the Charles River and the skylines of both Boston and Cambridge. Nine types of suite are available, all with a refrigerator, a microwave, a spacious seating area, designer bedding, premium cable, and black-out drapes to ensure a restful stay. A notable feature of the hotel is Scullers Jazz Club, a local landmark that has played host to some of the biggest names in the musical genre. Jazz enthusiasts can take advantage of "Jazz Overnighter" packages combining hotel accommodations with dinner and a show at the club. Other dining options on-site are the Terrace Lounge, which presents live sports on big-screen televisions, and the Green Room, offering buffet breakfasts and candlelit gourmet dinners.

The Charles Hotel

The Charles Hotel, which sits directly on Harvard Square, a few blocks from the Charles River, was awarded Four Diamonds by AAA for the 10th consecutive year in 2010. Its guests have included a diverse array of illustrious figures, such as U.S. presidents, foreign heads of state, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. The guest rooms and suites have bold decor with custom checkerboard-style quilts, original artwork and LCD-screen televisions. Wireless Internet access and local and long-distance telephone calls are complimentary. The premier room option -- the Presidential Suite -- offers a custom king-size four-poster bed, two fireplaces, five televisions, an eight-head shower and a separate dressing room. Extensive guest facilities include a car rental desk, 24-hour concierge service and a library in the lobby. A private art collection on display throughout the Charles Hotel includes early American quilts, sketches by John F. Kennedy Jr. and specially commissioned paintings. In winter, the hotel hosts an ice-skating rink.

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