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

Preferred Suites

Preferred Suites

Receive Suite accommodations up to 30% off our best available rate when you stay 2 nights.

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, included with your stay.

Smart Moves Package

Smart Moves Package

$50 Gas Card & Parking Included!

Advanced Purchase

Advanced Purchase

Plan ahead and save. Enjoy up to 25% off your stay.

AAA Rate

AAA Rate

Take Advantage of Your AAA Membership and Save 15%!

AARP Rate

AARP Rate

AARP Member? Happy to Help You Save 15%!

Stay Longer and Save

Stay Longer and Save

The longer you stay, the more you save! Save up to 20% off.

Best Available Rate

Best Available Rate

Best Rate Guaranteed When You Book Direct Here!

Doggone Smart Program

Doggone Smart Program

Elevate your pet-friendly stay at The Charles Hotel with our exclusive dog package.

Game Day Package

Game Day Package

Settle in for an upscale staycation and catch the game from the comfort of our luxurious suites!

Suiteheart Experience

Suiteheart Experience

Love is in the air... unforgettable moments await at The Charles with $50 F&B credit at Noir and breakfast for two.

Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Give Thanks and help those in need. Take 20% off select dates in 2024.

Book your Stay

Specials