A design-forward hotel finds a home in Somerville


“I think because Somerville is such a creative community, they really embraced the idea,” said Jan Brenner, associate principal architect at CambridgeSeven, the firm responsible for the design. “They wanted something unique and interesting architecturally instead of a cookie-cutter type hotel.”

Brenner said the idea for the angular facade was born of both necessity and inspiration. If the hotel had been designed with a flat exterior, the 100,000-plus square foot building would have looked like a big, bland box. He said the area’s bay windows inspired the sharp angles of the building. CambridgeSeven is the architectural firm behind the other local hotels such as Four Seasons One Dalton, the Liberty Hotel, and the Williams Inn at Williams College.

The Cambria slowly opened its doors last month with just four rooms and has gradually received guests floor-by-floor as more furnishings arrive. There are now 100 rooms in use. COVID-19-related shipping delays meant months of false starts, with fittings and decor slow to arrive and shipping costs escalating. According to Jordan Warshaw, developer of the Cambria Boston Somerville and founder of the Noannet Group, the final price tag for the hotel is roughly $70 million. When all spaces are complete, the hotel will have 163 guest rooms with nightly rates hovering in the upper $200 range, based on seasonality and demand. Guest rooms average a spacious 375-square-feet, while a 960-foot rooftop suite, with views of Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston, has a private terrace.

The Cambria will also have a restaurant on the ground level with a large outdoor patio, but Warshaw is tight-lipped on details, except for hinting that a respected local chef will helm it, and the cuisine will be “accessible, everyday kind of food.” He anticipates the restaurant will open in the fall….