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“A great weekend break”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Ruthin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A great weekend break”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2011

My wife and I spent two wonderful nights at the Varsity and were very impreesed by the location, the staff, the sevice and the stupendous views. Cambridge as a city, has a lot to offer for a weekend break and staying at the Varsity, we couldn't have been better located or cared for.

Room Tip: Room 516 - morning sunshine on our own balcony
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Coedlan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,229 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (561)
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English first
Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2011

We'd booked a weekend away in Cambridge not only for our wedding anniversary but also to see John Cleese at the Corn Exchange.

We arrived at the hotel around 1 am and, being too early to check into the room the staff at reception offered to keep our luggage whilst we went out for a mooch around and to grab some lunch. They said they'd call when our room was ready - they didn't.

When we returned to our room later we noticed that our golf umbrella was not in our room so we contacted reception and they unsuccessfully searched for it. Later on we again checked with reception but, again, no sign. On return from the theatre again we checked. Again, no sign. By this point I was getting a little bit annoyed as the staff didn't appear to want to own the issue at all. Anyway, not wanting to spoil our weekend I left it. On check-out I asked again where my umbrella was. The reception staff insisted that it had been taken to room. They went to check and, surprise, surprise, it wasn't there. Now, all this was a little bit annoying as it's only an umbrella, but when I asked reception what they were going to do to compensate me for losing my umbrella their response was exactly that - "it's only an umbrella". Of course, this response wasn't what I expected so I asked them to compensate me by reducing my room bill. They said they couldn't do that and offered me a used hotel umbrella instead. I was disappointed that nobody actually said sorry for losing an item of my luggage for 24 hours. It really doesn't matter what the item of luggage is, if a hotel loses it they should (a) apologise straight away and (b) offer some compensation without the customer having to ask for it. I paid £300+ for a room at this hotel and I felt like I was dealing with a £45 Travelodge. To add insult to injury, as I drove away from the hotel, the receptionist stepped outside and gave me a look that basically said, in classic Fawlty style "I could run this place perfectly if it wasn't for the customers". Oh, and the free wireless didn't work. I couldn't be bothered to tell reception for fear of troubling them.

This is all a great shame because the hotel, although it has it's oddities in terms of layout, could be a really nice place. It's in a good location, the rooms are nice and the room garden is fantastic (if only they opened it during the evenings that is).

So, thanks Varsity for spoiling a lovely weekend over such a trivial matter that should have been dealt with in a much more professional manner, especially if you ever want to be an upmarket boutique hotel that you claim to be.

I cannot recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 6Aldy9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2011

The Varsity is a stunningly hotel with the rooms decorated and furnished to a very high standard. The rooms have all mod cons including an I-Pod dock and large LCD TV and also provide a selection of free tea and coffee which is a welcome sight after a long days exploration of the beutiful city of Cambridge. The service is above what you would expect and they can not do enough for you to make sure you enjoy your stay with them, offering room service (including wine, breakfast etc) at a very good rate and speedy response. If you venture to the resturant for breakfast it is also very tasty and prepeared fresh for your selection and I would say that a trip to the roof terrace for a drink is not to be missed, offering amazing views across the city and providing a good selection of drinks.

The spa is next door and offers an amazing range of facilities including a gym, jaccuzzi and steam rooms which are available to use as part of your stay. I also chose to have a massage whilst there and it was well worth it! I would also definitaly reccomend checking out the other services available in the spa which range from nail shaping to hair dressing.

Overall I would rate The Varsity as exeptional, well worth the money and a definate highlight of our trip and we shall be coming back very soon!

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank looloo14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Man
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2011

We stayed here for one night away from the kids as a break so it was supposed to be a bit special at Easter. The room was small and cramped, and the tea and coffee supplies in the room second rate. The floor to ceiling wndows made it feel like we were staying in a greenhouse on stilts. The breakfast was cold and reached by following an unattractive corridor in the building next door. The parking cost £35! Plus points are proximity to King's and it was clean.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Manxie73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2011

we stayed in a senior fellows suite, which at £325 for one night isn't cheap and so great things should be expected. The room itself was on the 6th floor and the floor to ceiling windows in the bedroom and lounge are fantastic with views to match. The finish and detail are superb but for such a great room the tiny bathroom and small bed are a let down. The biggest let down however is the restaurant associated with the hotel, decent value but poor cooking and breakfast was not up to scratch, with lack of fresh fruit being just one fault. I wouldn't order room service either as it looks like this is taken from the breakfast buffet and then taken outside the hotel back in and to your room. Parking vouchers should also be on offer as there is no parking at the hotel. The roof terrace only opens at 12 midday and so on a glorious Sunday morning we were not able to go up and read the papers? Waste. So all in all the room excluding the bathroom was superb, but the overall package including restaurant and parking does not justify the price. Cambridge itself is delightful

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MJPR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampton-in-Arden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
230 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2011

Hotel is situated in a great location which was easy to find on foot. We wished that we'd used the park and ride when we got the bill of £34 for 24hr hours parking in a nearby carpark.

On arrival a friendly porter showed us to our room despite us not having any bags.

Our graduates double room had a fantastic balcony with outdoor seating and was nicly decorated with everything feeling very new and modern.

The rooftop bar was expensive and had a limited stock of drinks, we were also informed it was not serving food for a couple more weeks (despite it being Easter Weekend) If we had been subject to the usual British rain the bar wouldnt have been very pleasant but sitting in teh sun it was glorious!

Be warned that there is only one lift so if you have limited mobility in the morning when it is being used for service at the same time guests are making their way down to breakfast you may have a wait on your hands.
You have to treck out of the building and enter through next doors spa to get to breakfast which was a basic self serve breakfast but the staff were friendly.

Minor billing issue on leaving (drinks that weren't ours had been charged to the room) but the staff dealt with the situation quickly and effectivly

Cant praise the room highly enough

Room Tip: Rooftop bar in the sunshine
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank firefairie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2011

Having stayed in various hotels and B&Bs in Cambridge over the years and been disappointed with all of them to varying degrees, the Varsity, a new-comer on the scene, came as a very pleasant surprise. My husband and I were entitled to a room upgrade and upon check-in, were offered the choice of a graduates double (their smallest room, I believe) with lovely views over the rooftops of Cambridge, or a larger fellows kings room with no view to speak of. We chose the smaller room. It was a bit of a squeeze, but was clean, new and well-appointed; the bathroom was warm and had mixed taps (not something to be taken for granted in the UK!) and underfloor heating. There was free wifi throughout the hotel. There were large flat-screen tvs in the room and a menu of dvds which could be borrowed from reception. The buffet breakfast was nothing special, but more than adequate. Service was professional and impeccable, with staff going out of their way to be helpful. The duty manager, in particular, asked us on our second evening there if we had been up to the rooftop bar. We had not, and even though it was closed by then, he asked one of his staff to open it for us so that we could have a look. Don't miss it if you stay there - it provides some of the best views of Cambridge. Kudos to the owners and staff for creating this lovely hotel in one of the loveliest cities in the world. I won't be staying anywhere else when I return to Cambridge.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tamszee
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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