Kid-friendly, with scavenger hunts, movie nights by the pool, and family packages
Free car service throughout Cambridge during weekday rush hours
Free bike rentals available for exploring local area
Hour-long Charles River sightseeing cruises can be arranged at front desk
Cribs, rollaway beds, slippers, extra toiletries, and turndown service available
Pet-friendly and no-smoking policies
Free Wi-Fi throughout
No spa, hot tub, or sauna facilities
Thin walls between guest rooms may be troublesome for light sleepers
Fee for parking
The upscale, 400-room Royal Sonesta Hotel is a modern, business-friendly property in East Cambridge, with beautiful views of the Charles River and the Cambridge and Boston skylines. The hotel offers plenty of amenities, including two popular restaurants, a lobby coffee shop, 24-hour fitness center, indoor lap pool, and free car service on certain days and times. Waterfront meeting and event space -- renovated in 2015 through 2016 -- is another perk. Guest rooms are modern, bright, and spacious, with flat-screen TVs and sleek bathrooms. Royal Sonesta's neighbor Hotel Marlowe offers a boutique-like feel at a reasonable price, but it lacks a pool.
Spacious and sunny, with a cool vibe and a impressive contemporary art collection
At 400 rooms, the Royal Sonesta Hotel is a large hotel -- similar in size to the nearby Boston Marriott Cambridge, though that option isn't as stylish and has a less-impressive indoor pool. Royal Sonesta's lobby and other common areas have super-high ceilings and a casual but snazzy decor that includes modern furnishings in shades of eggplant and gunmetal gray. The lobby is generally populated with guests working on their laptops or having quiet tete-a-tetes and casual business meetings in the lounge areas, or enjoying a drink in the sophisticated ArtBar, so named because of the Royal Sonesta's impressive contemporary art collection. The hotel's common areas -- and some of its rooms -- are hung with artwork by emerging and established artists of conceptual, minimal, and pop art movements. Families will likely appreciate the hotel's kid-friendly programs, like scavenger hunts and movie nights, plus beautiful indoor pool and location within walking distance of the Museum of Science, while corporate travelers might value the excellent event space, excellent dining and drink options, and proximity to the businesses of Kendall Square. Guests seeking a smaller, more intimate hotel may prefer the similarly priced , near Harvard Square, but in terms of service and location, the Royal Sonesta ranks high on any list.
On the Cambridge side of the Charles River, convenient to the businesses at Kendall Square, as well as the many local tourist attractions
The Royal Sonesta is located in East Cambridge on the Charles River, with gorgeous views of the riverfront and the Boston and Cambridge skylines. Runners can easily run along the Charles, which is just behind the hotel. The area is safe and well-lit; there are no issues with walking around the immediate area. The Royal Sonesta is easily accessed off the major highways, and T stations are walkable: the green line at Lechmere station is an 10-minute walk away, while the red line at Kendall Square is a 17-minute walk away. Shopping and dining are just a two-minute walk across the street at the CambridgeSide Galleria. The tech companies and other business at Kendall Square are within a 15- to 20-minute walk, as well, making this a good spot for business travelers. The Museum of Science is a seven-minute walk around the corner. The hotel offers first-come, first-serve car service to Cambridge attractions during the week, at certain hours of the day. Boston Logan International Airport is a 14-minute drive from the hotel. The Royal Sonesta offers self-parking and valet, both for a fee.
Stylish, modern rooms, many with river or skyline views
All of Royal Sonesta's rooms are spacious and sunny -- many have striking views of the Charles River or the Cambridge and Boston skylines from the large picture windows. In fact, rooms are categorized by view and bed size: Cambridge View or River View, with double, queen, or king beds. The hotel also offers Executive Suites with four-person conference tables.
The hotel's 400 rooms were all updated in 2014; their decor is sophisticated and mod, in shades of gray, bright blue, and moss green. Contemporary artwork from the hotel's collection decorates some of the rooms. Each room has a large work surface and desk chair, as well as a 40-inch flat-screen LED TV, coffeemaker, alarm clock, electronic safe, and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms have mini-fridges and coffeemakers. Bathrooms are a good size, and have large back-lit mirrors. Some have shower/tub combos, while others have roomy, glassed-in shower stalls with attractively patterned tiling. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are provided in wall-mounted dispensers, and soap bars, lotion, and shower caps are individually packaged. Cribs, slippers, shaving kits, and turndown service are available upon request. Rollaway beds are available for a fee to most room types, but not all.
Two popular restaurants with riverside patio dining, modern fitness center, indoor pool, and waterfront event space
The Royal Sonesta's indoor saltwater pool is one of largest pools in the city. It has three lap lanes, plus an area for recreational swimming. The chlorine-free pool is in a spacious, sunny atrium, with a seasonal sundeck for relaxing. Note that there is no lifeguard. The hotel's fitness center, open 24/7, is huge by hotel standards, and well-equipped with cardio machines, free weights, and medicine balls. There's enough space to get in a real workout, with the added benefit of excellent city views.
ArtBar is one of the hotel's two upscale casual restaurants; it serves specialty cocktails and a menu of local, seasonal fare in a sophisticated dining room or on the outdoor patio. Restaurant Dante serves a classical Italian menu and a daily oyster happy hour, and also has indoor and outdoor seating options. The lobby coffee shop, Studio, offers an assortment of grab-and-go snacks and sandwiches, including homemade pastries. There are a few booths and tables for eating in. Room service is also available.
Hour-long Charles River sightseeing cruises can be arranged at front desk shows some of Boston and Cambridge's historic sights, including Beacon Hill and Harvard campus. While there are no dedicated children's features, the hotel hosts movie nights by the pool (complete with popcorn) and delivers milk and homemade cookies as part of certain family-friendly packages. Families can also pick up scavenger hunt worksheets from the front desk, and return them completed for a prize.
The Royal Sonesta has 28,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, all renovated in 2016. Function spaces include the outdoor Riverside Terrace on the Charles River, which can host catered receptions, luncheons, and dinners for up to 250 people. There are two computers in the lobby for boarding-pass printing, and Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.
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