HHM Prepares to Open Newly Converted Freepoint Hotel in Cambridge, MA
BOSTON, MA. February 21, 2017 – This April, Freepoint Hotel will open as the newest independent, lifestyle hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As the only independent hotel in West Cambridge, Freepoint celebrates the vibrant intellectual and innovative spirit that defines both the past and present day Cambridge community.
Located in the heart of the Fresh Pond neighborhood and a short walk to Alewife Station (MBTA Red Line), Freepoint breathes new life into the space formerly inhabited by the Best Western Plus Hotel Tria, following a multi-million dollar transformation. The hotel was acquired by Philadelphia-based hotel management company HHM in February of 2016 and with the renovation will join the Independent Collection, HHM’s growing portfolio of lifestyle hotels inspired by their unique and authentic neighborhoods, local heritage and destination-specific travel experiences.
Freepoint will be inspired by the intersection of art and technology in its 121 guestrooms, chic lobby, open-air atrium and chef-driven bar and restaurant concept as well as a refreshed and art-centric exterior façade. At Freepoint, functionality meets fun.
The new modern and eclectic lifestyle hotel represents the fabric of Cambridge by interpreting brilliant elements from the worlds of innovation, art, style, design, technology and cuisine into a fresh and compelling hospitality experience. Unique collaborations and locally sourced partnerships with the likes of the Cambridge Arts Council, Living Proof and Public Radio Exchange (PRX,) further exemplify the hotel’s commitment to creating an authentic Cantabrigian experience for guests and locals alike.
“It’s a rare opportunity to be able to contribute to the hospitality landscape of such an iconic gateway city like Cambridge, Massachusetts,” says Shawn Tuli, Vice President of Acquisitions and Development at HHM, who grew up near Cambridge and is also an alumnus of nearby Harvard Business School. “We feel confident that Freepoint will resonate with the innovative spirit of the city and the authentic travel experiences that have become synonymous with the Independent Collection. The proximity to local landmarks like Harvard and MIT alongside an impressive roster of residential, retail and corporate neighbors allows us to bring a unique product to this cross-section of travelers.”
Renowned interior design firm, Dash Design who oversaw the recent renovation of Boston’s Hotel Commonwealth, brought the vision for the property to life under the guidance of the hotel’s ownership. The design and décor of Freepoint will reflect a sophisticated urban environment, an authentic and engaging reflection of the true Cantabrigian spirit and its passion for intellectual exploration, reinvention and innovation. The contrasting harmonies of approachable sophistication and bohemian originality are met with a splash of innovative flair in an effort to pay homage to the city of Cambridge as the epicenter of revolutionary thinking.
On the exterior, a larger than life mural towering 25’ wide by 30’ high will introduce the hotel to guests and the community. This abstract design is intended to personify the creative ethos of the Freepoint brand and foreshadow the elements of discovery that guests will soon experience within. Upon entering Freepoint, an open and free flowing design traverses the space, showcasing the multitude of offerings that seamlessly transition from reception to lounge to guestrooms, and beyond. A chic vibe is brought to life through a playful mix of raw and refined elements, in robust materials like the warm woods of oak and walnut and mixed metals in the form of blackened steel and brass. Warm neutral tones with eclectic color accents will also be incorporated throughout each space. Wood parquet flooring serves as a subtle nod to old world Cambridge juxtaposed against a curated collection of curious artwork that pays homage to some of the most note-worthy and forward thinking local contributions, from the Fig Newton to the printing press. An engaging and tech-laden three-dimensional art installation, inspired by another Cambridge-born invention, the Polaroid, will display locally inspired abstract visuals that rotate throughout the day. Directly behind the reception desk, guests are greeted by another statement art piece that subtly continues the narration of the destination’s “Greatest Hits” and entices observers to discover the strategic story that exists within its design.
Ample seating throughout the lobby creates an inviting environment where guests can space out and work for hours or kick back and soak in some social time with a coffee or cocktail in hand. Art sourced and curated by the Cambridge Arts council will adorn the walls, spotlighting a roster of local artists and creatives who both live and work within the community. Saw tooth skylights canvas the lobby and bring in elements of the outside surroundings indoors. An artistic screen made entirely of oars serves as a whimsical reference to the grand collegiate tradition of rowing the Head of the Charles River each autumn. A chef-driven bar and restaurant space rounds out the lobby experience, where hearty breakfast dishes will be offered alongside globally influenced shared plates and entrées for dinner. A full service bar rooted in locally sourced spirits and beer will match the culinary program with perfectly paired signature craft cocktails and new classics.
The pinnacle of guest discovery exists within a secret garden located just off the bar and lounge, completely encased by glass windows. Upon entering through a sliding glass wall, this open air atrium stretches up to an exposed sky while embracing a nature inspired interior design that includes fire pits, lush greenery and a cluster of birch trees that peak through the al fresco roof.
Guestroom types include Loft King Bed and Loft Two Queen Bed options. Each room combines high style with smart comfort in a design that is best described as modern, chic, loft-like spaces with a collegiate touch. A color scheme of cool and warm greys with soft pops of color create an inviting atmosphere where guests can take advantage of distinct spaces designed for sleeping, working and lounging. Inspired, locally sourced artwork adorns the walls of each 325 sq ft room, including an exposed brick wall that further emphasizes an industrial chic design. Additional décor includes a stylish sectional sofa, oversized desk, 32 inch flat screen television, mini fridge and bedside USB charging station. Tech savvy amenities include Chromecast capabilities, complimentary Wi-Fi and ihome docking stations. Each bathroom features hex faux wood floor tiles, stacked elongated subway wall tiles and walk-in rain shower or a full tub with a rain showerhead.
Each guestroom bathroom will be outfitted with Living Proof hair care amenities, a first of its kind partnership for the innovative and award-winning Cambridge-based beauty brand. Living Proof prides itself on solving the toughest beauty challenges with science and patented technology originating from MIT. Since inception, the brand has grown to twenty patents, 50 products, and over 100 awards that have changed lives in ways both big and small ways.
Additional amenities include a complimentary shuttle service, designed to help guests access any attraction located within two miles of the hotel, from the indie establishments in Somerville’s Davis Square to the quaint shops, cafes and chef-driven dining of Harvard Square. An on-site 24-hour fitness center located on the main floor of the property allows guests the opportunity to break a sweat on state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The hotel will be pet-friendly and pets will be greeted with a dog bowl and treat upon arrival. A 24-hour pantry can also be found in the lobby space where locally sourced snacks and drinks will be available for purchase alongside more commonly found favorites.
Every detail of Freepoint Hotel is thoughtfully conceived and purposeful; designed to articulate ideas and inspire further conversations and exploration. It’s where the best of Cambridge’s past and present come together in a vivid and stimulating way. Freepoint represents the beginning of a journey where innovation and hospitality harmonize together to deliver the next great boutique hotel experience.
Freepoint Hotel is located at 220 Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge’s Fresh Pond neighborhood, ideally located just minutes away from the Alewife MBTA station, Harvard Square, Kendall Square and many more of the city’s best attractions.
About Independent Collection Hotels
The IC is a growing collection of cultivated and intimate lifestyle hotels located in unique residential neighborhoods of gateway cities across the US. Founded in New York in Tribeca, and then Brooklyn, it has grown to Boston’s West End, Midtown Village in Philadelphia, Washington’s Capital Hill, Georgetown, and Dupont Circle, down to Miami’s South Beach, and west to Santa Barbara across the last five years. This distinctive hotel concept is renowned for its simple sophistication, authentic connection to local communities and personalized service. Independent Collection hotel are created for the independently minded traveler and invite guests to experience the true spirit of the city.
HHM, formerly known as Hersha Hospitality Management, operates nearly 130 hotels across the United States. It provides turnkey hotel management, asset management and receivership for properties with leading 4 brand affiliations through Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Intercontinental Hotel Group. HHM also operates 28 independent hotels ranging from The Rittenhouse Hotel, a Forbes Four-Star property in Philadelphia, to the Larkspur Landing hotels, all-suite extended stay properties in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Its highly experienced team is accustomed to serving as a fiduciary to publicly traded companies, joint ventures, institutional real estate owners and private investors. Additional information on HHM can be found at hhmhospitality.com.