Right next to the Charles River, the certified-green Sonesta has one of the best city skyline and sunset views in Boston. Diners at the in-house restaurants Art Bar and Restaurant Dante can sip a glass of prosecco while watching dusk fall on the boats sailing by. Inside, modern art lines the hotel's hallways, and a friendly, professional staff make this Cambridge riverfront property a bit of a surprise. Also great: an attractive indoor-outdoor pool and a restaurant that sources 100% of its ingredients from New England. Guest rooms are done in neutral earth tones, with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, gaming consoles, free Wi-Fi, and CD clock radios. Note to parents: kids 12 and under eat and stay for free if you book via the hotel's website.
Apr 11, 2010
When is a 4-star hotel NOT a 4-star hotel? When it delivers more like a 2-star. I have just returned from a stay here. The staff was very friendly. I found the food to be very good and actually fairly reasonably priced. The atrium/pool is gorgeous. The rooms, the restaurant and the pool are clean. There's interesting art work throughout the entire hotel. HOWEVER--the walls are paper-thin, so I could hear the "neighbors" on each side showering.
My room in the East Tower was also located near the service elevator, so I heard that fairly often. My view was over a section of roofing housing an air-conditioning unit. I've stayed in Cambridge at both The Marlowe and Le Meridien in rooms that were probably twice the size, and they weren't suites, they were standard guest rooms. The hallmark of a truly great concierge is "hitting one out of the park" when the client throws a curve ball. Some friends gave me flowers as a present on Thursday night. I phoned the front desk and asked Andrew if I could have a vase. He said "Can I phone you back on that?" As of check-out time this morning (Sunday), I'd not heard from him. My room didn't get made up at all yesterday, but luckily I still had clean towels. Despite the fact a few airport-shuttle vans will deliver here, the hotel doesn't have a "formal arrangement" for them, so if you want one, you're on your own. They also don't permit late check-out, although they will make accomodations to store your luggage if you have a later flight out. And they do have a "type" of shuttle service, BUT you have to pre-book it and it isn't at all door-to-door but only to certain T-stops in Cambridge. And if you want to use the Business Center to use a desktop computer or send a fax, expect to pay $$$. If this is "the Royal" treatment, all I can say is the monarchy is doomed! If a friendly attitude was all it takes to make a good hotel, half my neighbors would be in the business. Unfortunately a good attitude isn't all that's necessary. Delivery and execution are. On those points, the Royal Sonesta comes up short, especially for the rates they charge.