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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 March 2011

A 470 pound sterling 'holding' deposit was necessary at check in, (the full cost of the room over two nights, really?) Visa Debit is not accepted - this is the first hotel I have ever stayed in where the entire amount is withheld??
Upon arrival (4.30pm) we wanted a drink to start the weekend, we were directed to the lounge which at first looks like an honesty bar, but it isn't everything is locked so we called down to reception and waited patiently for someone to serve us... after around 12 bored thirsty minutes we gave up, went downstairs and decided to go to the River Bar the hotel's bar/restaurant we were kindly directed there by front desk staff... only to find it was closed. To be fair we were chased by a member of staff but by then it was too late.
I received the wrong newspaper on Saturday and Sunday morning, and whilst I appreciate the offer of a few quids refund to compensate me for the mess up the moment of reading my chosen papers in bed had passed. Not the best start to the day, but lets get onto the night...
The room was ridiculously hot, there is no control to alter the temperature so we had to keep the window open or suffocate, room 115 is incredibly noisy, that coupled with the grunts and groans of the amorous couple next door / paper thin walls meant I only had 4 hours sleep despite going to bed at 10pm.
I found it very odd you needed to walk through the spa to get to breakfast, you could easily end up in the ladies changing room, there is no clear signage - that said the breakfast selection was very good apart from having to ask for milk for your tea coffee, and butter which I thought came as standard.
Our spa treatments which were part of the hotel deal so booked via the hotel were at the wrong times, we should have been booked in at 11.30 but the spa had us booked two of us in at 11.20 only ten minutes I know but this seemed to really irritate the spa receptionist so I definitely got the feeling its a common occurrence.
Booking was a pain too, perhaps I should have given up then, I called to book told the reservations lady that the prices were cheaper online, she told me to go off and book it myself - not exactly helpful, then I had to call back as there was a problem booking the 2nd night on the spa deal, she then did it for me, emailed confirmations which were all wrong I had to call again and have the right ones re-issued. All that for 195 a night, not really the level of hit and miss service you expect for that kind of money, its a shame it could be so much better.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank tijjers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 March 2011

My husband and I, along with my mum and dad and my sister and her husband stayed over one night on a visit to cambridge to celebrate my dads birthday. we were all very happy with our time here.
the location is excellent. the rooms were great, i stayed in the queens room which was massive, tastefully decorated and the bed was very comfortable indeed. the bathroom was enormous with a big walk in monsoon shower.
my sister and parents had smaller rooms, but again perfectly formed.
the hotel is very stylishly decorated, the paintings in the corridors were unique and contributed to the charactor of the hotel. staff was extremely helpful and warm, nothing was a problem for them and they were very accommodating to all our needs.
breakfast was a buffet which was good-again, staff were very attentive and welcoming.
the spa facilities were very good- we all had treatments and they were great. we made some last minute changes to our schedules and they were fine about this.
there is a nice lounge area with lots of interesting books and also board games.
i felt that there were so many little touches making this hotel unique and exceptional, from the decor to the service the ambience was lovely. the entire family agreed on this.
we will all definately be visiting again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank princess239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2011

We headed up to Cambridge for a reunion dinner on a Saturday night and were happy to discover that there had been a cancellation at the Varsity Hotel and there was one room free. We were shown up to the room, which was the St John's Masters Penthouse suite, and were taken aback by how nice it was.

The room was enormous, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows around about half of it. It was on the sixth floor, which provides amazing views across Cambridge, particularly of nearby St. John's and Magdalene colleges. There was also a large balcony from which to admire the view.

The room itself featured a very comfortable four-poster bed, a couple of sofas and a few chairs, along with various other pieces of furniture (including a desk). There were two large TVs; one near the bed, and one at the other end of the room in a seating area. The room was very nicely decorated, with plenty of books, an antique telescope (for the view), and lots of other carefully chosen items.

The staff were friendly and the room service was very prompt. There is a spa and small gym next door which are included in the cost of the room. They were a nice extra, but not good enough to be your main reason for staying at the hotel. Breakfast was also next door, and provided a very good selection of hot and cold food, along with the morning newspapers.

Overall I'd highly recommend staying at The Varsity Hotel. The room we stayed in was incredible, and the hotel in general is comfortably the best in Cambridge, in terms of both decor and location. I always enjoy a weekend spent in Cambridge, but this one was particularly good thanks to The Varsity Hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jsmith42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2011

We stayed at the hotel for one night to celebrate our anniversary and generally spoil ourselves. My boyfriend called the hotel to book the room rather than booking online so he could specifically ask for a room with a free standing bath. He was given all the options over the phone by the member of staff on reception and the room we were booked into exceeded our expectations. Floor to ceiling windows with fantastic views, a big comfortable bed, large tv and DVD player and a gorgeous bathroom. Big thumbs up for the illy coffee in the room and the fluffy towels and bath robes.

We had a meal in the restaurant which is next to the hotel and well worth trying. The food was extremely good and the staff were very friendly. Breakfast is served in the restaurant and this was again very good.

The staff were all extremely helpful and went out of their way to make our stay special. They all seem like they really enjoy working at the hotel which adds to the atmosphere. As we checked out we were asked if we would like to go up onto the roof to look at the view as it was such a lovely day. We were taken up to the roof by a member of staff and we were not disappointed by the view. This will be an amazing entertainment area once it is finished for the summer.

I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone wanting something a little bit special in Cambridge. I can't wait to visit again in the summer to make the most of that fantastic roof garden!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Cleoscats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

What a lovely clean and modern hotel in the heart of the Cambridge and the wonderful thing is they accept my little dog!
Comfortable bed and very friendly staff. I am booked again very soon!
The spa is not so great though so is not comparable with the accommodation as it is a completely seperate building.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank winzip123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2011

I stayed in this hotel for one night with my two daughters. We were in a super king room, which was very spacious even though occupied by three adults. The room was stylish and clean and the shower in the wet room was powerful. We all enjoyed a peaceful nights sleep. From the moment we walked into the reception the staff were very pleasant and eager to please, including the staff in the spa, and the service provided exceeded that of larger chain hotels I have visited. We did have to go outside for approximately three or four metres to access the restaurant, however, we did not see this as a problem and we were escorted all the way to the door of the restaurant, which was a lovely room overlooking the river.
The location was good, as close to the hustle and bustle but down a quiet small lane.
I liked the friendly service best and the thing I liked least were the feather pillows, however I must stress even they were fluffier than most. I love hollow fibre pillows, but have yet to stay in a hotel that supplies them.
Our stay was thoroughly enjoyable and I have already booked a return visit.

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank CMacStafford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2011

Went to stay at this hotel as a last minute treat for me and my wife , I have to say I was so impressed with the standard of the hotel. The rooms were modern spacious and very well equipped …..Everything was very clean and tidy and the service from the staff members was very polite.

I also went to the restaurant , we had a lovely mean and overall very impressed ! We will def be going back.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank mwardy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Varsity Hotel & Spa

Address: Thompson's Lane, Cambridge CB5 8AQ, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Family Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £135 - £315 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Varsity Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Varsity Hotel & Spa is located on the edge of the picturesque River Cam in the heart of Cambridge and just yards from St John's, Trinity and Magdalene College. Ideally situated for punting, shopping, sight-seeing and nightlife, The Varsity hotel guests are truly immersed in the culture and charm of Cambridge life from the moment they arrive. Recharge in the wonderful Elemis spa before soaking up the beautiful skyline with drinks on the hotel's roof terrace,afternoon tea or dinner in the Six Panoramic Bar & Restaurant. Alternatively, guests can indulge in a hearty meal in the River Bar Steakhouse & Grill. Valet parking available from 7 am to 10 pm for hotel's guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Varsity Hotel And Spa
The Varsity Hotel Cambridge

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