markets

Harvard Commencement + NBA Playoffs = Steep Boston Hotel Rates

Need a last-minute hotel reservation in the Boston area Wednesday night? Be prepared to pay up.

As of Tuesday, the best available rate at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cambridge was $809 for a room with a king-size bed, according to Marriott’s website. (It was no longer available on Wednesday morning). Many of the local hotels listed on Hilton’s website were sold out. Among the company’s available offerings was a room at a suburban Hilton Garden Inn, where $294 would get you two queen beds with breakfast included -- just 17 miles from downtown Boston. Fast-forward a week and the Courtyard books for $249, the Garden Inn for $184.

Graduation Rates

The average daily rate for Boston hotels on the night before Harvard's commencement was nearly 17 percent higher than the monthly average in 2017

Source: STR

Parents of Harvard seniors won’t be surprised. The university holds its 2018 commencement ceremony on Thursday. This year, demand for hotel rooms is compounded by the Boston Celtics’ run through the National Basketball Association playoffs. The team hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers in game five of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics attempts a dunk against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the NBA Playoffs.

Photographer: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Boston hotels commanded an average daily rate of $260.95 on the night before Harvard’s 2017 commencement, a 17 percent premium on the average rate for the month of May, according to lodging data provider STR. Figures on this year’s rate spike aren’t available yet, but recent history shows Wednesday will be among the month’s most expensive nights.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE