• Healthy Living at The Charles Hotel

    February 10, 2012

    I receive a ton of questions from readers about where to stay when they visit Boston. I’m always hesitant to give my recommendations because I’ve only stayed at two hotels (now three) in the area. All of my family lives locally and when my friends visit, they stay at our house, so I just haven’t had a ton of experience with the hotels in the Boston area.

    With that said, I finally have a great hotel recommendation for those of you who are visiting Beantown: The Charles Hotel. It really has a lot going for it, especially if you’re looking for a “healthy living” experience.

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    Quick side note: The Charles Hotel is located in Cambridge, which is not Boston proper. If you want to experience all of the Boston-y things in the city, I recommend staying at The Colonnade Hotel. It’s located in the Back Bay/Copley area of Boston, right on Huntington Avenue across from the Prudential, so it’s basically near all of the touristy stuff. The rooms are absolutely gorgeous, the hotel restaurant Brasserie Jo is amazing, and there’s a pool on the roof! If you want to learn more about it, here are my reviews: The Colonnade Hotel.

    Ok, back to why I think The Charles Hotel is a great place to stay when you visit Boston. The main reason is that it has so much to offer; everything is right at your fingertips.

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    Obviously, Harvard Square and everything that goes along with it (shopping, restaurants, etc.) is right outside your door, but check out what The Charles Hotel has to offer (I totally nabbed this info from the website, but it’s really impressive):

    • Full Service Spa & Salon – Corbu Spa & Salon
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in all guestrooms and public spaces
    • 24-Hour Concierge
    • 24-Hour in-room dining
    • Library in lobby with The Harvard Coop’s autographed bestsellers
    • Avis Rent-a-Car located onsite
    • Same-day laundry
    • Valet, indoor/underground parking & car salon
    • “Kid’s Kits” presented to children upon arrival
    • Complimentary Children’s DVD Rentals
    • Pet-friendly < --- Murphy wants to visit!
    • Access to The Rink (seasonal)

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    Not included in that list, but what I liked most about my stay:

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    Ok, now that I’ve (hopefully) sold you on The Charles Hotel, here’s a recap of my morning there. (I apologize if this post sounds super sales-y. I just want you guys to know why I think this hotel is a great place for out-of-town folks to stay.)


    Jen woke up bright and early for work, so I got up as well. I said goodbye to her and then threw on my workout gear for a visit to the hotel gym for a run. I snacked on a banana before I hit the treadmill.

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    The Wellbridge Athletic Club is a legit gym, meaning the folks who live and work in the area are members. It has all of the usual fitness equipment (and plenty of it) as well as a lap pool. It’s definitely not your typical tiny, dark hotel gym with old school equipment.

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    For some reason, I just wasn’t in the mood to run this morning, but I love trying out new gyms, so I forced myself to get started. The first mile of my run was brutal (like why the F am I doing this to myself?), but once I got warmed up, I was happy I got my sweat on.

    My workout for today was 3 x 800 with 5 minutes rest in between. It looked like this on the treadmill:


    As I mentioned, I felt terrible at the start of my workout, but, as it progressed, I felt better, so my 800 intervals increased in speed each time. It was a short and sweet workout, and I finished in under 35 minutes.

    After my workout, I headed upstairs to my hotel room for a quick shower. I watched Live! with Kelly while I got ready in the bathroom. It was awesome. How cool would it be to have one of these TVs in your bathroom at home?!

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    Once I was ready to go, I went downstairs to Henrietta’s Table for breakfast.

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    I almost headed home and ate breakfast there to save some money, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to dine at Henrietta’s Table. Their breakfast/brunch is epic.

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    The first thing I ordered: coffee! Nice and strong. Perfect.

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    Everything on the menu sounded delicious, so I had trouble making up my mind. Eventually, I just ordered a few different things, which ended up being a lot of food!

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    Check out the size of my fruit!

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    The waitress warned me it was a large portion, but I didn’t think it would be that huge! Ha!

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    I also ordered an egg and a Morning Glory muffin, which was also pretty big.

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    I had no problem eating the entire thing. Obviously.

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    Good times at The Charles Hotel. I definitely recommend it!

    Off to CrossFit! Woot!

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    { 43 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sneakers2Sandals February 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    You can Kathleen from TheDailyCrumb are there!? I’m dying of jealousy 🙂 I love Henriettas table. Your suggestions are wonderful. I hope you are enjoying yourself.


    Lindsay @ Running the Windy City February 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    That is a lot of fruit! I wish more restaurants offered large servings like that though. It always sucks when you pay $4 for 3 pieces of melon and some grapes!


    Jess February 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I love the Charles hotel! Last time I was there was September, when I stayed overnight for a wedding.


    honeywhatscooking February 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    omg, the food looks amazinggggg. i could only imagine how fun it would be having a tv in the bathroom. love.


    Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction February 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    mmm everything looks so good! I need to visit this place asap!


    Hope @ With A Side Of Hope February 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    That food looks delicious! I love the big portion of pineapple and cantaloupe! Perfect with breakfast. 🙂


    Alyssa February 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Don’t forget about the view of Boston you get from here! Pretty spectacular.

    And I really miss Harvard Square!!!!!!!!


    Tracy February 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I have to tell you that I feel like your posts have improved recently. I voiced my concerns (along with others) in a post a few weeks ago. I stayed true to my word that I would continue to read daily in hopes that things would return to normal, and they have. Thank you!


    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I definitely have running days like that, where I ask myself why oh why am I on this thing!? If I didn’t have weekly mileage goals, I think I would have quit a few runs recently. Glad I didn’t though! Haha and that is a lot of fruit!


    Cait's Plate February 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    YUM! Everything there looks so stinkin’ delicious! I hear ya on the off running days…I certainly have days like that…but one good run tends to erase the memory of a thousand bad ones!


    Grace @ Healthy Dreaming February 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Love this recommendation! I have family and friends who attend schools in Boston so I always love visiting them 🙂


    Steph February 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    That muffin looks delicious! As does the fresh fruit!


    Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes February 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Everything looks divine. Love that quote!


    Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl February 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    After that delicious looking muffin, I would need some a WOD, too! Henrietta’s Table looks like a gr8 yummy place. nice portions on the fruit!


    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Hotels with good food options are generally some of the best. At least in my opinion! 😉


    Ashley @ coffee cake and cardio February 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Now that’s a piece of fruit!


    Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic February 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Sound like a great hotel. Your workout sounds like mine. I totally wasn’t in the mood this morning. The hardest part is getting started.


    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    It’s great to see a restaurant that actually gives you nice looking fruit and not mushy grapes and bland melon.

    I would love to have a TV in my bathroom. It would be so convenient to check out the morning shows while getting ready!


    Molly@RDexposed February 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    You have me exited to explore our hotel this weekend. It’s not in Boston though-darn!!


    Hillary February 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    That TV is totally wigging me out. I would be so distracted! Haha!


    Lauren February 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I just booked my room at the Hyatt in Cambridge. Now i’m wishing I looked into this one first. 🙂


    joan February 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I stay with my daughter when I come to Boston except for one time. We had a work event/dinner at the Hyatt in Cambridge, and spent the night. You will not be disappointed! Beautiful, and a great breakfast in the morning!


    Anon February 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Aww, my husband and I had our first date at the Charles Hotel (well, at Noir). 🙂


    Michelle (Better with Berries) February 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    That is impressive for a hotel gym!! Most of the time it seems like it’s an older treadmill, an elliptical, and a few weights 🙂


    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I’ve been to Boston once, and I love it!! I have a good friend that lives there, I should so visit her!


    TeenyLittleSuperChef February 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I’d probably be willing to watch the Home Shopping Network if I had a TV that awesome in my bathroom. Pretty swank if you ask me. Gotta love those types of hotels. Would you consider the Charles Hotel to be a pretty affordable place to stay or is it more on the pricey side? My husband and I stayed at a really pricey one the time we visited Boston and they not only charge a huge amount for the room, but then you have to pay extra to use the pool, the exercise room and to park your car ($40 and you don’t have in-out priveleges!) Probably why we now stay at places like Best Western and Howard Johnson.


    MigraineMe February 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    The Charles Hotel is such a great place to stay! I was there for a wedding and we also stayed there – it was such a perfect place for the reception and for guests!


    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) February 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I love how the fresh fruit is presented! That’s awesome. And yes to the TV in bathrooms. That’d be sweet. 🙂


    Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie February 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Wow! I love how they give tons of fruit. I hate when I tiny fruit cup costs an arm and a leg 🙁


    Clare @ SweetnSimple February 11, 2012 at 12:16 am

    That is one awesome hotel gym.. very impressive! 🙂


    Khushboo February 11, 2012 at 12:38 am

    I feel you on the running- I felt like that when I got on the treadmill this morning but ended up feeling so glad I sucked it up! That fruit portion is huge, although I’m loving the presentation!


    Hannah (Hannah Lives) February 11, 2012 at 3:13 am

    I totes just had a #TWSS moment after reading, “Check out the size of my fruit!” #imtwelve


    Kaitlyn February 11, 2012 at 6:35 am

    OMG Henrietta’s Table is *sooo* delicious! When my boyfriend’s parents came up to Boston and I met them for the first time, that’s where they took us to breakfast. I loved everything about it– the food, the ambiance, and especially the adorable piggy. It also felt pretty hilariously academic because there were a bunch of Harvard fraternity boys in blazers sitting near us. . . haha! Glad you enjoyed your experience, as well.


    Jen@FoodFamilyFitness February 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Dang, I wish more restaurants offered fruit plates like that!


    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 11, 2012 at 8:02 am

    That’s awesome that the hotel actually has a legit gym! I’m always so disappointed when the “gym” turns out to be a few ancient machines and one set of weights. 😛


    Beth @ Running on Cloud Nine February 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I love the bronze pig, very nice hotel!


    Jolynn February 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Love the tv in the bathroom! Although, if I had one at home, I think I’d be late to work every day lol!


    Angela @ The Chicken Scoop February 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Wow this place sounds wonderful! I have never been to Boston but have always wanted to visit (actually, I want to live there for some reason because it just seems so cool). I will keep this place in mind for when I finally make that trip!


    Melissa Rose February 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    It seems that it’s a wonderful hotel with complete facilities to amuse us. The foods look yummy, can I have one? :-). The gym is also good to have some treadmill workouts after enjoy the food. Nice……it’s worth to visit!


    Kate February 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    i’m coming to boston next weekend! but alas, i am a poor college student and therefore will be staying in a crappy apartment hahah..but this place looks beautiful! I LOVE boston!



    Alaina February 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I love The Charles Hotel!! That was my first job out of college. I worked the front desk and concierge. And I’ve had every meal at Henrietta’s; it’s so good! 🙂


    Laura @ prettylittlewords February 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Wait, I’m confused — so is that like a hologram-type TV in clear glass, or is that just a reflection??? Clearly a very important question, haha, but I’m dying to know nonetheless…!


    Jill March 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    What a cool, simple way to serve the fruit – cannot wait to try it at home!!


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