by Amanda Geronikos
It’s tough to find an affordable hotel in Boston, no matter what time of year you’re traveling. Look just outside of Boston, however, and you’ll find Hotel Marlowe – A Kimpton Hotel in Cambridge. The lovely hotel isn’t entirely budget-friendly, but it’s slightly easier on the wallet and offers incentives specifically for families, too.
Perks include Kimpton Kids, with in-room amenities, children’s menus, rentable strollers and goldfish; complimentary (and kid-friendly) wine hours and pet-friendly rooms. The hotel also offers an onsite restaurant and complimentary kayaks to enjoy on the Charles River! And when it’s time to walk the Freedom Trail in Boston, you can take a short cab ride or head to the T for clean, safe public transportation.
Our Editor Loves
- Kimpton Kids
- Complimentary kayaks
- Location in Cambridge
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Marlowe has deluxe accommodations with mini-bars, coffeemakers, bathrobes (for kids and adults) and iPod docking stations. Most rooms have shower/tub combos. Rollaway beds, cribs and connecting rooms are available upon request.
Double/Double Deluxe Room
This room features two double beds in 340 square feet of space. It also has both a mini-bar and mini-fridge, along with a desk that can double as a dining table.
Double/Double Deluxe View Room
This room is similar to the Double/Double Deluxe Room, except it also offers views.
The hotel also offers a King Deluxe Room and King Deluxe View Room, but these are best for couples or families of three.
The Kimpton Marlowe is reasonably priced and in a good location to take the T to the North End. It is near the Lechmere station on the green line, two stops away from the North End. We did not walk around the area where the hotel was located, except to go to the T station, as we spent more time in other areas. The hotel is across from the Museum of Science parking garage. Pros: the staff are very friendly and helpful. Self-parking is $30 in a covered garage (shared with CambridgeSide Mall). The hotel has an elevator that goes directly to the garage. On check-out day, the parking continued until 3pm, so we did not have to leave right away. Cons: bed was very hard, towels scruffy and the shower pressure was just okay. We also could not turn the temperature down past 65, and while this may not seem like a big deal in winter, the room was too hot for sleeping. None of this made our stay particularly difficult, and we managed, but I think I was expecting it to be luxurious based on what I had read. I was also not a huge fan of the daily fee of $25 (printing, $10 food credit, polaroid cameras), but given the reasonable rate we had on the room, it was not a big deal to us. We ate breakfast in Bambara's, the hotel restaurant, and it was very good, but cost $44 with tip, for two omelets and coffee. All in all, a good, solid choice, but definitely not a luxury choice. As always, location is key, so it depends on where you are planning to visit while in Boston.
I stay at the Marlowe at least twice a year when I go to Cambridge on business. It's always a pleasant experience. The only complaint I had this last time (Oct. 31, 2019) was that the room service lunch menu was not current. I tried ordering several things that were listed on the menu and they told me they didn't have it during the lunch hour although they were listed on the lunch menu on the TV. Other than that, the ambiance, staff, rooms, etc is always superb.
Every Kimpton Hotel, including Marlowe, offers Kimpton Kids, a program that provides in-room amenities like mini-bathrobes, outlet covers and even rentable gold fish; kids' menus for in-room dining and the onsite restaurant; welcome gifts; hula hoops and even strollers.
The hotel has a small selection of kayaks that can be used on the Charles River, just a short walk from the hotel.
Bambera serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with brunch on weekends. Featured options include salads, sandwiches and seafood. Gluten-free options and a kids' menu are also available.
Room service is available via Bambera; a delivery charge applies.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi isn't free, so sign up for Kimpton Karma, the hotel's free rewards program. It includes complimentary Wi-Fi, a $10 credit for your in-room mini-bar, and credits toward onsite restaurants and free hotel stays.
Pets are welcome free of charge, and are given bowls, beds and more.
The Art of Smart Timing
Boston is a year-round destination vacation, though it's especially busy during the winter holidays, summer and fall (many people visit Boston and nearby Salem for Halloween).
Fly into Boston Logan International Airport, which is just 10 minutes (give or take time for traffic) from the hotel. If driving, use Google Maps or Waze for the best route in -- traffic can be very heavy getting into the city, especially at rush hours.
Your best bet is to leave the car at the hotel. It's easy to get around with the T, which offers clean, safe and affordable public transportation.
For Mom and Dad
Head downstairs to Bambera and enjoy a nightcap, or walk a few blocks to CafÃƒÂ© ArtScience. Established by a student at MIT, the simplistically modern restaurant serves handcrafted concoctions and French fare.