Afterglow Festival

Lodging

Hotels

THE VERITAS HOTEL 

Situated right across the street from Club Oberon, the American Repertory Theater’s second stage and our main festival venue, the Veritas is the perfect jewelbox of a hotel. Our festival directors have called this warm and welcoming hotel home time and time again. It has just thirty one rooms but there is nothing of the bed-and-breakfast about it. It reminds us of the boutique hotels one might encounter in European second cities like Antwerp or Lyon. The place is artfully designed, with some reassuringly frou-frou splashes of flair. The beds are comfortable—we always try to get the King Room which sometimes expands into a suite. There’s a tiny business center where some of us spend way too much time. The lobby totally works for a quick creative businesses meeting and there is complimentary coffee and water and juices right there near the front desk. The best part about this place, though, is probably the adorable staff of young people running this joint. One gets the sense that everyone here is going places. If you ask for a recommendation on where to eat and drink, they will tell you Night Market and Parsnip, respectively.
1 Remington Street, Cambridge. 617.520.1000. www.thehotelveritas.com

THE CHARLES HOTEL

The quintessential Harvard Square hotel, with its block design  native to modern Cambridge architecture, the understatedly elegant Charles has hosted world dignitaries, artists, actors, politicians and thinkers from all over the planet. One of our festival founders, fresh out of university, even worked there the first year it opened. All the Cambridge suites generously appointed with custom designed down quilts, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, three telephones with free local, national long distance, and 800 calls, Bose Wave® radios, LCD Flat Panel Televisions, and “in mirror” bathroom televisions.  Complimentary web cubes with internet, printing, and Skype technology are available on each guest floor. The hotel boasts a number of fine restuarants and clubs: Henrietta’s Table is a popular breakfast, lunch, brunch and supper spot for farm-fresh New England fare from Chef Peter Davis. Our summer festival goers will enjoy the large outdoor patio; Benedetto is the second Cambridge-based Italian restaurant from Chef Michael Pagliarini and co-owner Pamela Ralston who wowed the culinary world with their widely acclaimed Guilia. Regattabar is a renowned Jazz club—on the hotel’s third floor And, named Food & Wine “Best Nightlife” spot, Noir is a chic, cozy bar serving classic cocktails mixed to perfection, sultry signature drinks and a menu suited for a late afternoon or late night snack. The staff can be snooty or is that spelled snotty? They know parents of Harvard students will keep them in biz.
1 Bennett Street, Cambridge 617.864.1200. www.charleshotel.com

THE SHERATON COMMANDER

On the other side of the Cambridge Common from Harvard square, near the spot where George Washington took command of the continental army,  this stately, very servicable hotel entrance is inspired by the architecture at Mount Vernon. It’s a bit corporate but the staff is quite personable; and there are 175 guestrooms and more cushy club rooms where stays include complimentary breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. If you’re big on aesthetic this place isn’t for you. But if you just want a solid base from which to engage with all Harvard Square has to offer than it’s more than fine. And there are great walks through residential Cambridge neighborhoods to be had just setting off in any direction. Nothing to eat here. We think there might be vending machines. Yeah, it’s something of a throw-back.
16 Garden Street, Cambridge. 617.547.4800. www.sheratoncommander.com

THE ELIOT HOTEL

A primarily all-suite hotel located across the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge at Commonwealth Avenue, near the top of Newbury Street, is the European style Eliot with its wisp of a lobby and international front desk staff. That was code for “student hoteliers” who barely speak English. This was always our favorite residence in Back Bay and, comparatively speaking it probably still is. But it has slipped in our estimation over the years, resting on ye olde laurels. It attracts a great many foreigners and, not to sound xenophobic, but some cultures don’t give a fig whether or not the tiny sandwich board on the desk says No Smoking or not. Sometimes the hallways just wreak of cigarettes and the hotel staff seems to disempowered to really do anything but sort of blink at you with a helpless look of resignation. The Eliot also houses the restaurant Uni, a Ken Oringer joint, which is way too pricey if you don’t know what to order; and so it attracts a great many materialists in the form of teenagers from New York attending BU giving off a vibe of being way older and too sophisticated to be asked to shown ID. It can be a bit too Kardashian for our taste. But this was meant to be a hotel blurb. The Eliot’s great. Even though it used to be greater.
370 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. 617.267.1607