a brief review of Hotel Marlowe, Cambridge MA

Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge is a fantastic hotel and a tremendous value. We stayed two nights of our New England tour in this hotel and as you may imagine I’m … fickle.

I have never stayed at a Kimpton hotel before, but if they’re anything like Hotel Marlowe, I’ll keep my eyes out for them. I’ve never really had a preference for a hotel before, so it seems kind of weird to me that I even care enough to say a few nice words about this one.

When I say that Hotel Marlowe is a tremendous value, I mention this because the expectation isn’t that it will be like checking into the Plaza or the W for a few days. We were traveling and trying to be frugal and looking to get the most “bang for our buck”.

Marlowe is a pet-friendly hotel, apparently something all of the Kimpton properties share. When we stepped out of the cab there was a big bowl of water and a bowl of treats for canine companions ready and waiting. If we had checked in earlier, I was informed there is a wine reception for guests checking in, too. In addition to this, the front lounge area had large chillers of water, one with strawberries suspended in the ice and the other infused with pieces of lemon and lime — I enjoyed both.

The staff at Hotel Marlowe are fantastic, everyone was delightfully cheerful and happy and eager to help. We had requested additional pillows for our room at the time of reservation, and they were there. We called down for a heating pad the last night there and it arrived in less than five minutes. The cleaning staff were excellent, and the one of the better parts of our stay at the this hotel was the restaurant downstairs: Bambara.

We had an excellent dinner on our first night, putting our stay off to a great start. Wife had their steak frites (Hanger steak, slow roasted roma tomatoes, arugula, herb butter, peppercorn sauce and fries) and I had a crispy half chicken (Semi boneless Giannone Farms chicken, potato gratin, chard, pan sauce), which was also my first interaction with chard.

The dishes were prepared beautifully and perfectly done — it was hard to declare a winner between the two, the first time we’ve had a tie as far as I can remember. Something worth noting, the french fries from Bambara are some of the best I’ve ever had — seasoned with garlic, salt and i-dont-know-what-else, but I couldn’t stop eating them.

They were french fries worthy of being mentioned thrice, I assure you. They were almost too good. If they had a roasted red pepper mayonnaise to dip them in, I could have set up camp and ordered plate after plate of them until being wheeled out by paramedics. One of my favorite comfort foods are french fries, and I love when they’re done so well.

In light of everyone being so nice and the food being so delicious, I have to give this hotel and their staff a strong recommendation. I can usually find all sorts of negative things to fixate on about nearly anything, but Hotel Marlowe didn’t give me the opportunity.

On the eBay scale, Hotel Marlowe is somewhere near A++++ would stay again territory. I’ll be back someday.