"..won’t satisfy everyone’s tastes and wants. It is too small to do that and too smart to try." Boston Globe

A few tidbits which our concierges and managers hope that you find useful or interesting.


Zagat Names Boston Area’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants

Zagat helps our summer dining plans by identifying ten of the hottest new restaurants in the Boston area – and we thank them for compiling an interesting list (and with a few favorites)!

Cur, 1 Straight Wharf, Nantucket, MA
First Printer, 15 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA
Gem, 42 Province Street, Boston, MA
Happy’s Bar + Kitchen, 1363 Boylston Street, Boston, MA
jm Curley, 21 Temple Place, Boston, MA
Moksa, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Olives, 10 City Square, Charlestown, MA
Painted Burro, 219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA
Rosa Mexicano, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA
West Bridge, 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

Happy eating!

Hotel Veritas awarded “Small Business of the Year” by Cambridge Chamber of Commerce

At Hotel Veritas, we love being a small, independent hotel.  We are able to make immediate decisions regarding what’s best for our guests, what’s best for our owners, and what’s best for the staff.  We don’t have layers of managers, regional managers, district managers, directors, and executive committees involved in our little hotel (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Last night, we received the “Small Business of the Year” award from the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce during their annual “Excellence in Business” awards dinner – and we are so honored.  The Small Business of the Year award recognizes a small business in the Cambridge area that:
• Demonstrates excellence, professionalism, leadership and originality in its industry;
• Exhibits a tangible record of positive impact on the community;
• Has fewer than fifty employees and has been a Chamber member for at least one year.

Cambridge is an amazing city in which to do business.  We have incredibly supportive organizations such as the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, the Harvard Square Business Association, and the Cambridge Office of Tourism.

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce is a 1,500-member not-for-profit organization representing all sectors of the Cambridge economy. Its diverse membership and deep expertise in government affairs, business development, professional development and business philanthropy attract employers of all sizes.

Since its inception, the Chamber has been actively engaging local business leaders in governmental and philanthropic activities, connecting and educating its members, and providing a forum for addressing the needs of the Cambridge business community.

We are so happy that our little hotel was recognized with this award.

100th “Excellent” Review on TripAdvisor for Hotel Veritas!

Since Hotel Veritas opened in May of 2010, we are honored to have received so many great reviews posted on TripAdvisor by our guests.  This week, we received our 100th “Excellent” review and we are so thrilled.  We do read every review which is posted, because listening to our guests is extremely important to us.  We love when we make a connection with our guests and are disappointed when we fall short on meeting their expectations.  The reviews of Hotel Veritas on TripAdvisor allow us to acknowledge the staff who strive each day to deliver the highest level of service and to fine tune our operations in order to satisfy our guests’ needs.

We’ve been very fortunate that most of the reviews have been very complimentary of the service, decor, location, and amenities of the hotel.  The ongoing concerns which are expressed are the small size of our rooms and the noise from the street and subway – two things which we can’t change.  While it may seem strange, we truly love when guests post about these issues, because it helps potential guests determine if we are the right choice for them.

Thank you to the 131 guests who have posted their reviews of Hotel Veritas on TripAdvisor – and especially to the 100 who rated us as “Excellent!”

NEW iPad App from Condé Nast Johansens

We’re excited that the new Condé Nast Johansens iPad app is here! The guides are free to download and features all of their recommended hotels (including Hotel Veritas, of course!) It offers comprehensive information about our hotel and the option for guests to check availability directly through our website. Start downloading it here. Hope you like it!

Hotel Veritas celebrates 2nd anniversary with 2nd TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence!

Today is the second anniversary of the opening of Hotel Veritas and we just received word that we were awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the second year in a row!  We’re thrilled that our guests have shared their comments so often on TripAdvisor and that we are ranked the number one hotel in Cambridge.

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, today announced that it is awarding highly rated accommodations, restaurants and attractions with the 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional businesses for consistent excellence, as reviewed by travelers on the site,” said Christine Petersen, President, TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence Award gives highly rated establishments around the world the recognition they deserve. From exceptional accommodations in Beijing to remarkable restaurants in Boston, we want to applaud these businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience.”

A beehive in Harvard Square – and perhaps one for your home?

Just across the street from Hotel Veritas is a thriving, happy beehive – which happens to be in the most incredible little shop called Follow The Honey.  Actually, they call themselves a “story” rather than a “shop.”

“Follow The Honey is not just a store, it’s a honeybee-centric STORY [an adventure!] illuminating the landscape, wildlife and humanity from whence its nectar flow originates. To this noble mission, Follow The Honey travels the world bringing the finest of “transparency of source” honeys and bee-inspired offerings to you and your sweet ones. In addition to raw untreated honeys, we offer solar power created aromatherapy beeswax candles, mead kits, honey filled truffles from local chocolatiers, holiday cards, silk hexy-sexy scarves, Apis melliferous bling, books of Melissae both scholarly & esoteric,  propolis tinctures, pure pollen, with honey infused lotions, soaps, scrubs & salves. We even carry Iggy’s bread on weekends to slather your honey on with an organic local cheese to pair ~ we are your all purpose sweet gifting honeypot in Harvard Square!”

Helping tell the story of Follow The Honey and bees is Noah Wilson-Rich, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Best Bees Company. Based in Boston, MA, they specialize in installing honey bee hives in densely populated, urban areas – offering their services to the Greater Boston area and Cape Cod.  Noah was recently interviewed by CNN for a segment on The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Bees and wrote a very interesting article for cnn.com.  He writes, “Honey bees are dying. This is a global phenomenon and a worldwide problem affecting food availability. Like climate change, the decline of honey bees is not unprecedented. There were great die offs of honey bees reported as early as the year 950 A.D. in Ireland, called the “Great Mortality of Bees”. This repeated in Ireland is 992 and 1443. The great die-off crossed the pond in 1903 when 2,000 colonies died in Cache Valley, Utah. Three years later, 100% of hives died on the Isle of Wight, UK. And then, in 1996 and again in 2006, Pennsylvania beekeepers reported alarming numbers of honey bee die offs. These die-offs are continuing today, but under the auspice of a new name, Colony Collapse Disorder.”

We’re fascinated by the story of Follow The Honey – and of the disappearing bees.  And now we’re ready to enjoy some honey.

Follow The Honey, 1132 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138



Imagine Helen Keller with an iPhone!

Helen Keller.  Anne Sullivan.  Braille classes.   Before today, that’s pretty much all that I knew about the Perkins School for the Blind.

Over a delicious lunch at Upstairs on the Square (thanks to Susan Regis and Mary-Catherine Deibel!), I joined several people for a discussion with Steven Rothstein, the president of the school.  Based in Watertown, MA just three miles from Hotel Veritas, the Perkins School educates hundreds of students on their historic 38-acre campus overlooking the Charles River.  Although the organization is 183 years old, Steven said they are “just getting started.”  The incredible advances in technology have changed everything for people who are blind or deafblind.  Perkins offers a Braille & Talking Book Library, which provides free services to Massachusetts residents of any age who are unable to read traditional print materials due to a visual or physical disability.

Global Impact

By working with parents, government officials, and educators, Perkins is able to provide training and assistance in more than 60 countries.

Some of their successes:

  • 20,000 children who are deafblind or blind with additional disabilities receive educational services
  • 52,000 family members receive support
  • 13,400 teachers and administrators are professionally prepared
  • 100 parent groups and advocacy coalitions collaborate to improve educational services
  • Successful university teacher training programs are established in 17 locations
  • 200 international leaders trained in the Educational Leadership Program at Perkins now serve as regional resource persons
  • More than 190 leaders from Africa and the Caribbean trained through the Institutional Development Program—these leaders manage organizations serving nearly 17,000 people who are blind
  • Over 300,000 Perkins Braillers® benefit people who are blind in 170 countries
  • Professional literature and education publications have been produced in 21 languages
  • In 27 countries, government polices or practices changed in relation to the education of children with multiple disabilities
  • Over 200,000 children, family members, teachers, and professionals have directly benefited from program activities
  • The teachers and professionals trained in the program are projected to serve 1.8 million people over the next 20 years
Community Programs

Perkins offers many services for people of all ages who are visually impaired as well as for vision professionals, classroom teachers, care providers for individuals 55 and older, medical professionals and family members.

  • Special classes and programs offered on and off our campus
  • Services provided by our Braille & Talking Book Library and Low Vision Clinic
  • In-home outreach efforts for infants
  • Outreach to students and teachers in public and private schools
Needless to say, the lunch “opened my eyes” to the incredible work of the Perkins School for the Blind and I look forward to finding new ways to support them.  (Steven used the “opened my eyes” line, so I’m using it, too.)
Posted by Benson Willis, General Manager of Hotel Veritas

A Night at Pigalle

My friend and I had been talking about a weekend in Montreal for ages, we were hoping it would happen this spring, it didn’t. So in lieu of a trip to a francophone land, we decided to have an exquisite French meal. During our tenure in Boston we had both heard amazing things about Pigalle, a small French restaurant nestled in Boston’s Theater district. The chef, James Beard nominee Marc Orfaly, is constantly lauded for his culinary creations.  I am happy to perpetuate the ‘word-of-mouth,’ for Pigalle, that “You must go there!”

The restaurant is small and intimate. The decor really suits the restaurant. Whomever did the decorating knew the integrity of the restaurant, it feels perfect.

The people at Pigalle are warm, they really took care of us. I felt like a guest as opposed to a patron, a feeling that makes the restaurant experience very memorable.

At the bar was Jack and the Friday night “pop-up oyster bar.” Pop-up Oyster Bars are a new summer trend that Pigalle hosts on Friday nights. You can sit at the bar and enjoy Jack’s oyster knowledge while he shucks some of the best bivalves.

The food is remarkable, really, I know because I have been constantly talking about it. Can I recommend an entire menu? I really wanted to peak in the kitchen and see how it was orchestrated. I consider myself a great cook, but I could not recreate any of our courses at home.

Pigalle is a gem, a setting to have memorable moments, food that you’ll dream about, and meet people that will charm you. If you’re looking for a quicker trip, they offer a generous theater and bar menu.  No matter the occasion, I recommend Pigalle.

A votre sante,


Posted by Laurie, Concierge at Hotel Veritas

2012 James Beard Award Winners near Hotel Veritas

On your next visit to Hotel Veritas, you can experience two of the latest recipients of the James Beard Award.

Best Chef, Northeast:  Tim Cushman, O Ya
Outstanding Wine Program: No. 9 Park

We’re getting hungry and thirsty just typing this.


“RAISE THE ROOF” Benefit Exhibition Returns May 5 – 28, 2012

The Cambridge Center for Adult Education presents RAISE THE ROOF, a show of art works by CCAE students and teachers – past and present – which will run from May 5 – 28, 2012.

“This is one of the most exciting art shows the Cambridge Center for Adult Education has ever done,” says executive director Susan Hartnett. “We expect to exhibit more than 400 works of art by artists at all stages in their careers – from the most accomplished to the very beginner.”

All work on display will be offered for sale to the public — most of it in the very affordable $100 – 300 range.

“The proceeds will be split 50/50 between the artist and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education,” says Hartnett. “CCAE will use its share to fund improvements to our class rooms, including but not limited to new lighting, new storage units and new sinks.”

RAISE THE ROOF first transpired in the spring of 2010, when a group of students and teachers joined with Hartnett to raise money to fix two leaky roofs over CCAE’s art and dance studios.

This year RAISE THE ROOF is being organized by Julia Csekö, an artist and independent curator who has worked with both emerging and established professionals through a series of exhibitions at GroupPy. She is also a second-year graduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

“Julia has recently discovered and fallen in love with CCAE – our teachers, our students and our staff,” says Hartnett. “She now teaches here and has been visiting all of our art classes to reach out to everyone.

The first RAISE THE ROOF featured drawings, paintings and photographs.

“This year we are expanding to include sculpture, too,” says Csekö, “And Harvard University has donated the use of a great exhibit space at 92 Mount Auburn Street (formerly the Globe Corner Bookstore) which has track lighting, huge windows, and tremendous visibility. The exhibit will be staffed from 12 noon to 9:00 pm daily, but because of the fantastic location, most  of the show will be on view 24 hours a day.”

So far RAISE THE ROOF has been a lot of fun.

“The students and teachers are very devoted to the Center,” says Csekö. “There has been very strong interest in participating and contributing art work. Not only current but former students are eager to be involved, too.”

RAISE THE ROOF is part of CCAE’s ongoing revitalization of their Brattle Street campus.

“We have been raising money so that we can address historic preservation, energy efficiency, and classroom upgrades in our beloved buildings,” says Hartnett, “so that the Cambridge Center can flourish in the 21st century.”

“We hope everyone who visits Harvard Square during the month of May will drop by RAISE THE ROOF. Even if they are not able to buy a work of art,” adds Hartnett, “they will be inspired by the range and quality of work on display.”

There is an opening reception party on Thursday, May 10 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm,  which everyone is welcome to attend.

Who:    CCAE students, instructors, and alumni

What:   Benefit exhibition of 400 art works to raise money for CCAE

When:   Saturday, May 5 – Monday, May 28, 2012

Where:  92 Mount Auburn Street in the heart of Harvard Square

Hours:  12 noon – 9:00 pm daily

Party:  Opening Reception on Thursday, May 10 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Cost:   Opening reception is FREE (original works of art will be for sale at a range of affordable prices)

Phone:  617-547-6789 x1

Web:    http://www.ccae.org/raisetheroof