Hyatt Regency Boston / Cambridge: Bottom Line Review

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I’ve enjoyed all of the Hyatt properties that I’ve visited in the Boston area, the two most recent being the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor and the Hyatt Place Seaport. I’ve been past the Hyatt Regency Boston/Cambridge many times; it has an impressive location looming over the Cambridge side of the Charles River. Earlier this year, I was in the Boston area for a night with a free night certificate that I needed to burn, so I decided to give it a try. I wish I hadn’t.

Hyatt Regency Boston / Cambridge Bottom Line Review

My time at the Hyatt Regency Boston/Cambridge was one of the worst domestic Hyatt stays that I’ve had in the last couple of years. From the moment I arrived, the service was disinterested across the board, at times becoming actively irritated by requests. There’s not much in the way of amenities here, but there’s still a destination fee that covers things like internet and free use of a shabby lobby printer…even the complimentary shuttle was unavailable during my stay. This is a worn, dated property with an enviable, riverside location next to MIT and near Harvard…but that evidently doesn’t feel the need to try very hard because of it.

  • Price: A Hyatt Category 5, 17K/20K/23K points off-peak/peak/standard. When I was there, it was still a category 4, so I was able to book it using a category 4 free night certificate. Cash prices seem to range from $200-400/night throughout the year.
  • Value: Varies quite a bit as an award value. Sometimes, it’s right around our Reasonable Redemption Value for Hyatt Points of 2.1 cents each, but it can get much worse, especially in low season, where it can go as low as 1 cent per point.
  • Location: Very good for Cambridge. It’s right on the river, next door to MIT and a short ride to the Harvard campus. It’s not the most convenient for exploring downtown Boston but it’s close enough to be workable.
  • Room: I was upgraded to a ~325 sq ft River View One King room. The front desk agent when I checked in told me that it had one of the best views of any room in the hotel, which is a shame if so. Overall, it was dark, worn and dated.
  • Parking: Valet parking is $58/night + tax. The hotel does offer a complimentary shuttle to local Cambridge destinations (that wasn’t running when I was there).
  • Resort/Destination Fee: $20 + tax and is waived for Globalists and on award stays. It “includes:”
    • Hotel shuttle 7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily throughout Cambridge (based upon availability)
    • Guest bicycles for use (based on availability)
    • Long-distance and local calls
    • Premium Wi-Fi
    • Storage and handling for up to five packages per guest
    • Notary services available Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Two bottles of water daily
    • $10 daily food credit towards Paperback Tavern (excluding alcohol)
  • Internet: Slow in the room, better in the lobby and restaurant areas.
  • Service: Efficient, if unexceptional.
  • Turndown service: None.
  • Dining:
    • Paperback Tavern: Primary restaurant on the mezzanine with nice river views. When I visited for breakfast, the service was painfully slow and disinterested. I ordered a bagel and lox that took almost an hour to arrive and, when it finally came to the table, looked like someone had dropped it onto the plate from a stepladder. Serving breakfast from 6:30-11:00am (12 on weekends) and dinner from 5pm-11:00pm. There is no lunch service within the hotel outside of the grab and go in the lobby.
  • Spa: None. No pool.
  • Fitness Room: There’s a somewhat janky fitness area on the ground floor with enough resistance equipment for a circuit workout. The usual array of cardio options are there as well: ellipticals, treadmills and a stationary bike. When I was there, they were having issues with leaking water and mildew, so the entire room was filled with carpet dryers running on full blast.
  • Hyatt Globalist Benefits: 
    • Suite Upgrade: I booked a standard room and was proactively upgraded to a 325 sq ft King Room with views of the Charles River. There were suites and balcony rooms available, but I arrived late and evening front desk guy had no interest in checking for one or trying to upgrade me…and I had no interest in trying to escalate for a short, one-night stay.
    • Free Breakfast: Served in Paperback Tavern. Nice views, mediocre food, poor service.
    • Late Checkout: Asked when I checked in and the front desk agent told me that I needed to ask the next day. So I went back the next morning before breakfast and the person a reception rolled her eyes and said that she didn’t know for sure, then checked my room and said that she could do 2pm (which was all I needed).
    • Parking: Free on award stays.
  • Would I stay again?  No way. There’s several very nice Hyatt properties in the Boston area. This one has a worse location, lackluster facilities and poor service. As a category 4, it was a poor value. As a category 5, it’s even worse.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great location relative to MIT and Harvard
  • Nice Charles River views

Cons

  • The room that I had was quite dated, with notable wear on the furniture, carpet and curtains
  • Some of the worst service that I’ve received at a Hyatt Regency
  • Below-average breakfast
  • Poor elite recognition
  • If doing extensive sightseeing in Boston, getting back and forth from the hotel could be irritating.
  • No pool or club lounge.

Image Gallery

Hyatt Regency Boston / Cambridge River View King Room

Vista from River View room

Hyatt Regency Boston / Cambridge Restaurant (Elite Breakfast)

Entrance to restaurant

The Japanese say “first you eat with your eyes.” They don’t say that in Boston.

Hyatt Regency Boston / Cambridge Gym and Common Areas

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18 Comments
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Brandon

When I stayed last year, I was told the bikes was not available as amenity either even though it showed up among amenities in resort fee(waived)

JohnofCharleston

I was there last September and enjoyed the stay. They had me in a base room originally but upgraded me to a balcony room when I asked. Service was slow and scattered, but they were packed on a weekend where families were moving into MIT so I cut them some slack. The room was fine, and the balcony was wonderful. I was attending a conference near Harvard Square, their shuttle was a fantastic amenity. I’m surprised it wasn’t running when you were there, the hotel is out-of-the-way without it.

All this to say, I mostly agree with your review. On a good cash rate, if the shuttle is running, I would be happy to stay here again. This should not be a Category 5 hotel, I would balk at paying 20k points.

mark

Hotel category is not based on quality…it is based on average room rate. So, tough to say the hotel “should not be a Category 5 hotel” unless you have access to their financials.

R D

I frequent this hotel for work. I agree with everything you’ve said— the renovation did very little, and the hotel routinely does not follow Hyatt’s rules for upgrading Globalists. In many cases, the “upgrade” puts you in a room with odd geometry and is smaller.

I stay here because the competing Hyatt’s in the area are awful too, especially Boston Harbor. If Marriott or Hilton had a compelling offer, I might switch.

York

This is my most stayed-at hotel, I think 5 times now (mostly work).

Agree service is poor— on my last two multi-night stays housekeeping hasn’t even come! And minimal recognition (Explorist here) if that’s your thing.

Your room looks renovated; I’ve only ever had the carpet and that looks like a huge improvement. BUT your view was most definitely not the best! South/ SE facing view towards downtown is better.

Agree with another commenter on the Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall; had a great one night stay there. Also Le Meridien near Central Square is maybe my favorite points option near Harvard/ MIT (nothing remarkable, but better than this Regency).

Last edited 21 days ago by York
Corky

I was just there. Nice people, hair on the shower wall, broken coffee machine, perfunctory apology after survey feedback.

Brent

I was there for a conference about 6 weeks ago. The service was better than you describe (we found the employees generally helpful and pleasant), but the hotel itself was really bad. In particular, the bed in our room was nearly unusable. That you had hardwood floors makes me jealous — we had some tired carpet. The location is meh, in the sense that it is a long walk to have a bite. But the views are nice from the property. I would not stay there again.

FNT Delta Diamond

Go to the Hyatt Regency Rochester, New York.

Brent

This sounds like a fun challenge. Maybe I can get sponsors to do a tour of worst Hyatt Regency properties? You know…for science.

FNT Delta Diamond

In my experience, this experience is more often than not the typical domestic USA Hyatt Regency. Older, average at best hotel food, minimum to nonexistent services including often no lunch restaurant, no open club lounge, and no real recognition for globalists like an in-room amenity of some kind or personalized welcome letter.

The hard product in many Hyatt Regencies is somewhere between a Holiday Inn and an older Sheraton or Marriott. In fact, like Sheraton, a lot of Hyatt Regencies are 1970s and 1980s buildings, which are now 5 or 6 renovations past their original design.

Other good examples of bad Hyatt Regencies are the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, the Hyatt Regency Houston International Airport (NOT AT THE AIRPORT!), the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, and the Hyatt Regency Greenville.

At some point, you can’t keep putting lipstick on a pig. The 1970s and 1980s Hyatt designs are really bad at this point in time. You either have to gut these buildings for a full interior rebuild, de-flag the hotel, or demolish and do a new build.

Worse yet, unlike Marriott Bonvoy, you almost never get Hyatt points for food and drinks in a Hyatt bar or restaurant. But maybe that’s a good thing because the only hotel brands with worse F&B than Hyatts are Holiday Inn and Sheraton.

Last edited 22 days ago by FNT Delta Diamond
Brent

Having stayed at both, I can confidently that this property is much worse than the Hyatt Regency Wichita, which I didn’t mind.

Hall M

LOL! This hotel was actually my first ever Hyatt redemption. We stayed last fall for the Head of the Charles Regatta and had a similar view. Meanwhile, the weather outside was rainy and miserable, so our nice warm room overlooking the start of the race was AMAZING!! That, and we booked for 15k pts when cash rates were $850+. I would happily stay for HOCR again, but I can’t believe it went UP a category. We are literally on our way to Boston again right now, and will be staying at the Harbor location for the first time. I hope it’s nicer!

Lon Mapes

I stayed at this hotel back in November and agree with everything you said. Literally the only positive is the location, as I had to attend a seminar at Harvard University.

Very run down and dated. The most disappointed I’ve been with a Hyatt hotel in the U.S.

FNT Delta Diamond

The Hyatt Regency in Wichita, the Hyatt Regency Houston International Airport (NOT AT THE AIRPORT!), the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, and the Hyatt Regency Greenville are equally bad. The 1970s and 1980s Hyatt designs are really bad at this point in time.

Last edited 22 days ago by FNT Delta Diamond
Dan C

I live in Boston and worked in Cambridge for years. This hotel is generally a bad choice for anyone looking to visit the area unless you are specifically going to MIT or Kendall Square. It’s old and dated and the location is generally inconvenient. Next time try the Hyatt Centric near Faneuil Hall if looking for a place other than the HP Seaport. Hyatt Regency Boston is also fine.

Gregg

What’s my best bet for a Hyatt after a concert at Fenway?

Dan C.

There are no Hyatts close to Fenway. The Hyatt Regency Boston is the closest. But you’ll need to take an Uber or the T. The Hyatt in Cambridge is about the same distance but the only decent transportation option is Uber/taxi. My preferred hotel for events at Fenway is the Hilton Back Bay. It’s about a 10 minute walk from Fenway and it’s in a fun location for pre game/post game activities.

bill

This hotel had a pool but closed it years ago. Some OTAs haven’t updated with the information, which led to me witnessing a screaming match between a mother and staff when I was trying to check in last year.