You might think a place in such a high-tech neighborhood would be all stainless steel and chrome; think again: the Kendall Hotel is homey and ultra-friendly, bright-hued and lively—and it's convenient, with a T stop just one block away. Based in the former Engine House 7 fire station, it is stuffed with related memorabilia. Full of collectibles, an antique Chinese checkerboard, a ceramic Dalmatian, and a whimsical grandfather clock contribute to the mishmash decor.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you have an aversion to tchochkes, this may not be the spot for you.
Decorated with an American folk art theme, the quiet rooms at the Kendall are done up in historic hues with Victorian-inspired furnishings. Rooms feature luxurious bedding, cable TV's, coffeemakers, digital alarm clock radios that are compatible with A2DP Bluetooth devices, and windows that open. There are four suites with their own kitchens, often housing visiting professors from neighboring MIT.
All guest rooms have a clean and welcoming bathroom with a separate shower and tub.
The colorful lobby plays up the hotel's history as a firehouse, with lots of bright red Americana. Grab a seat in a leather chair by the cozy fireplace, and be sure to check out all the unique memorabilia throughout the area.
Be sure to check out the rooftop retreat, a beautiful gathering area with an atrium-style ceiling that streams in natural light.
There is no gym on-site, however hotel guests receive passes to a gym down the street.
The Black Sheep Restaurant is named in honor of the Engine 7 Firefighters, known as the "black sheep" of the fire department. It serves up classic American dishes for lunch and dinner. A hot breakfast buffet is included with your room rate.
On Monday through Thursday evenings the hotel hosts a wine hour on its beautiful rooftop retreat. There is also the Black Sheep bar downstairs, perfect for a craft beer or glass of wine.
The Kendall Hotel is just a few minutes walk from the Kendall stop on the MBTA's Red Line. It's a 20-minute walk to nearby Central Square, which is a bit more lively than Kendall at night.
Catalyst (5-minute walk) is an acclaimed American restaurant serving sustainable cuisine right down the street. Area Four (6-minute walk) is a unique bakery and restaurant serving delicious artisanal pizzas in a lively atmosphere with excellent music choices. For delicious coffee, pastries, and sandwiches, head to Flour Bakery and Cafe (11-minute walk), Joanne Chang's acclaimed mini-chain with the best sticky buns around.
Meadhall (4-minute walk) is a popular bar and gastropub with 100 beers on draught. For a crafted cocktail made with experimental techniques, head to ArtScience Culture Lab & Cafe (9-minute walk) a fascinating spot filled with (you guessed it) art and science.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Kendall has a spunky, independent spirit unlike any other hotel in the Boston area.