5 Tips for Booking a Last Minute Hotel in Cambridge

Historical, diverse, and an enclave of intellectualism in the Boston metropolitan area, Cambridge, Massachusetts is an increasingly popular destination. Whether it’s a quick stopover while visiting Boston or a weekend dedicated to exploring Cambridge, the city is full of activities, attractions, academic lore, and architecture. Many hotels in the city have recently renovated and updated their lodgings. This short list of tips will aid you in finding an affordable Cambridge hotel, even if it’s last minute.

Find Lodgings Away From the Crowds

Cambridge Justin Jensen

Image via Flickr by Justin Jensen

Although Cambridge is known for the funky architecture of MIT, the academic cathedral of Harvard University, and the cultural hub of Harvard square, Cambridge offers a lot more. For more affordable lodging options, Northern Cambridge and Somerville are now considered trendy areas with lots of restaurants and nightlife options. The Best Western Plus Hotel Tria is a three-star hotel in close vicinity to Danehy Park and within two miles of Harvard Square. Starting at around $190 a night, the hotel offers complimentary shuttles and Wi-Fi.

Know When to Go


Image via Flickr by Joe Hall

If you plan on visiting Cambridge, it’s highly recommended not to go at times near college commencements or the beginning of the academic year, if possible. With a student population of over 250,000 in the area, Cambridge hosts droves of students and families during these times. Many area hotels book up months in advance. If you are lucky enough to find a room, you’ll need an MIT graduate’s salary to afford it.

Choose the Right Season

cambridge leaves

Image via Flickr by Micky

Cambridge is a four-season destination. Summer is mild, spring is blooming, winter heats up with student activity, and fall offers a blazing spectacle of red, yellow, and orange foliage. Cambridge actually sees a large influx of leaf-peepers, and hotel prices rise accordingly. For cheaper hotel prices, mid-summer, late spring, winter, and late fall are your best bets for finding last-minute options.

Historical Lodging Options

As a historical city, Cambridge features a number of lesser-known, smaller hotels. Many of these hotels are incredibly charming. If you’re not visiting Cambridge during college graduation or amidst the influx of leaf-chasers, these hotels may offer a better value stay. Unlike large chain hotels, their prices tend to be more flexible. The Cambridge House Inn’s prices fluctuate from $129 to $209 a night, depending on the season. Featuring a prime location, the small hotel is a restored 1892 mansion and each room features time-period antiques.  Other quiet and pleasant hotels located in the midst of beautiful surroundings include The Inn at Harvard House and the Harding House.

Try Your Luck

If you are looking for last minute accommodations, try going online and checking prices. Hotels consistently have last-minute cancellations or open rooms available, and might be willing to strike a deal to prevent empty rooms. One Cambridge hotel to check out is The Charles Hotel, a Cambridge institution in the heart of Harvard Square. Although The Charles Hotel typically charges around $260 for a standard room, you may score a last minute, discounted price.

With this list, you don’t have to be a Harvard post-grad to find affordable lodging in Cambridge. Know your seasons, try your luck, and, above all, enjoy your stay in Cambridge.


Author Bio:

A writing professional and traveling enthusiasts for nearly a decade, Matt Berry is a writer for the Hipmunk City Love Project, seasoned explorer, amateur foodie, and more amateurish folk singer. Well-traveled throughout the continental United States, Matt is now exploring internationally and documenting his travels abroad.

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