Irving House

City: Cambridge, MA

Phone: 617 547 4600


Rates vary: $85-135 winter to $135-185 summer/peak season

Accessibility Rating: 4/5

Quick basics: Elevator entry to first floor and lobby. Elevator requires staff key to operate. Accessible rooms are spacious with room to fit a wheelchair in all corners. Bathrooms are accessible. Breakfast served downstairs is not accessible, though staff will bring breakfast upstairs if you ask.

Full review:

The Irving House elevator is squat and boxy, and grumbles when it moves from the ground-level sidewalk up to the porch that connects to the inn’s lobby and first floor. Irving House is a reasonably priced bed-and-breakfast a couple minutes’ walk from Harvard Yard, and because its lobby is a short staircase up from the ground level, an elevator by the side is necessary for entry and exit. A quick call to the receptionist will summon a staff member with the lift key. There are some chairs on the porch that may need to be moved too. Entering or exiting the inn might take as long as a minute or two, depending on how busy the staff is at that time.

Rooms are spacious, with enough leeway to allow a person in a wheelchair access to all corners without difficulty. A small shelf of books by the nightstand–tall hardcovers with worn jackets–offers a nice touch. Ask for an accessible room, and the bathroom comes equipped with the important features: steel handlebars welded to the wallside by the toilet and shower. Even the cot that they brought in for me (Brad) was soft and warm, and I slept well and woke in the morning from a lazy sunbeam across my face.

A continental breakfast, which is served downstairs from the main floor, is not accessible to the wheelchair-bound. The receptionist on duty, however, was more than willing to bring up breakfast for us and I helped her carry up the plates of warm pastries, fruit and cereal. The coffee was rich and soothing and filled the room with a nice smell.

Overall, Irving House is a good place to stay in Cambridge due to its great location–it’s a two-minute walk from Harvard–and its reasonable pricing for nice rooms. In terms of accessibility, it has everything you will need; just make sure to communicate with the staff at the main desk, so they are prepared to help you enter and exit and bring you breakfast.










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