Hotels in Harvard Square near Boston

by Lisa Mercer Google
Harvard is America's oldest university.

Harvard is America's oldest university.

harvard university image by Stephen Orsillo from

Harvard Square, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is home to America's oldest university. The word "square" is actually a misnomer, since it is really a triangle, formed at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street and John F. Kennedy Street. Despite its gentrification in the late-20th century, the 100-year-old neighborhood still has remnants of its illustrious past. Harvard Square is easily accessible from Boston, but if you want to explore its active nightlife, spend a few days in the immediate neighborhood.

A Boutique Hotel

When Hotel Veritas opened in May of 2010, it became the first boutique hotel in Harvard Square. The hotel takes its name from Harvard's motto. Veritas is Latin for truth, but there's a touch of irony in this name choice. From the outside, the Hotel Veritas appears to be a stately Harvard residence. Enter the hotel and find small rooms, ornamented with a combination of antique and ultra modern design. Somehow, it works. High-end Etro bath amenities fill the bathrooms, and free water, juice, soda and espresso is available in the lobby. Rooms are small, but the floor-to-ceiling windows create a sense of space.

A Jazzy Hotel

Built in the 1970s, the Charles Hotel is home to Regattabar, a leading New England jazz club. During the winter, guests can use the Rink at the Charles Hotel, a 2,900-square-foot ice-skating rink. In the warmer weather, guests get complimentary use of the hotel's Electra Amsterdam Classic Bicycles. Rooms feature commissioned artwork and views of the Charles River. The hotel has a number of interesting, atypical packages. The Smarty Pants package, for example, includes a "Kid's Kit" with activity books and toys, a kid-friendly book about money and savings, Circle of Friends bath products for kids, and admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Quintessentially Harvard

Collegiate Hospitality, LLC is owned by the Fellows of Harvard University. The company manages two hotels; the Inn at Harvard and the Harvard Square Hotel. The Inn at Harvard, with its atrium lobby, resembles a European inn. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum inspired the Georgian-style building. The Harvard Square Hotel, located right in the heart of Harvard Square, is a bit more modernized. Both hotels offer special packages, which may include breakfast or admission to local museums.

Business Hotel

The Sheraton Commander Hotel, built in 1927, combines classically-designed guest rooms with modern amenities. Business travelers can book rooms on the preferred floors, which offer access to the Sheraton Club lounge. The lounge provides complimentary breakfast, afternoon hors d’oeuvres and an extensive selection of beverages. The hotel has six large meeting rooms and a full-service business center.

About the Author

My articles have appeared in Aspen Magazine, HerSports, The Professional Skier and other print and online publications. When I'm not teaching fitness or writing, I work at Copper Mountain and at the Breckenridge History Society.

Photo Credits

  • harvard university image by Stephen Orsillo from