About Us

In the 1970s, an empty lot sat at the corner of JFK Street and Memorial Drive overlooking the Charles River in Cambridge's Harvard Square.

The sweeping water views and prime location the land offered attracted none other than the estate of President John F. Kennedy, which selected the site for his Presidential Library. As the time for building the institution drew near, however, loyal residents of Harvard Square questioned the potential commercialism that such a development would bring to their beloved neighborhood.

Richard Friedman, the president and CEO of the commercial real estate firm Carpenter & Company, understood the challenge posed by their opposition when he acquired the plot several years later, envisioning it as the home of an upscale hotel where visitors and locals alike could gather for good food and world class service. But he ultimately succeeded in working with the community and the Kennedy family to come up with a plan that benefited all the parties involved.

Right next door to Harvard's new Kennedy School of Government and just steps away from the university's storied quads-the thinking capital of the world-The Charles Hotel, a truly unique, independent luxury hotel, opened for business in 1985.

Over the past 30 years, The Charles Hotel has welcomed celebrities, scholars, moguls, artists, philanthropists, politicians, opinion-makers and world leaders. From Barbra Streisand to former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton, from Supreme Court Justices to Ben Affleck to even His Holiness the Dalai Lama, they have all felt at home at The Charles Hotel, an experience the hotel works hard to create for all its guests.

Special Offers

Give Thanks Special Offer

Give Thanks Special Offer

We are giving thanks to our hotel guests and to those in need!

Extended Stay Offer

Extended Stay Offer

Book three nights and receive 15% off our best available rate.

Preferred Suites

Preferred Suites

Receive Suite accommodations at 10% off our best available rate when you stay 2 nights.

Travel Tuesday Promotion

Travel Tuesday Promotion

Exclusively for our social media fans! Receive information on an exclusive one day only sale!

Bed & Breakfast Package

Bed & Breakfast Package

Breakfast in bed provided by room service or breakfast for two in the hotel's signature restaurant, Henrietta's Table.

Suiteheart Romance Package

Suiteheart Romance Package

Celebrate a romantic getaway with that special someone in one of our spacious suites

Smart Moves Promotion

Smart Moves Promotion

Travel smart with our Smart Moves package…

Check in to the Charles Package

Check in to the Charles Package

Check in for a blissful night in Harvard Square

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