Happy Holiday

A chain hotel with some surprising secrets

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e’re all about not promoting chains. But in this case, we’ll make an exception. Why? Two words: free parking. A third of the price of hotels in nearby Kendall Square, this Holiday Inn is near the Museum of Science, in a neighborhood of reasonably priced ethnic restaurants, and a moderate walk (it’s also close to two subway lines) across the Charles River to Boston. So leave your car here and walk or take the T. Want to save more? There’s a supermarket nearby for guests who want to take advantage of the microwaves and refrigerators in their rooms. There’s free coffee all day, and cookies for arriving guests. The staff is friendly and enthusiastic, and the hotel uses sustainable products and biodegradable key cards and thermostats that turn down the heat when there’s no movement in the room. Just be sure to ask for a room in the back and away from the noisy road out front.

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The Museum of Science opened in 1864 at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston streets and was originally called the New England Museum of Natural History.

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