Q. We're taking our daughter to the Boston area for college tours this autumn, and will visit Harvard, Tufts, and Boston College. We thought we'd like to stay in Harvard Square. Can you recommend a convenient hotel that's not too costly?
A. I'd go with the very amiable Inn at Harvard (800/458-5886), which is right on the Harvard campus and is actually owned by Harvard University. It's a very homey place designed by architect Graham Gund, who himself graduated with a degree in architecture from Harvard. To give you an idea of how the place is run, the general manager's office is a desk right in the lobby. He runs the place as if it were his own home, which is a great touch. Depending on season, rates can be very reasonable as well. Harvard Square is a good location for your visit in that it's more or less equidistant from Tufts, which is in Medford, and Boston College, which is in the Chestnut Hill area of Newton, Massachusetts near the Boston border.