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“Good location but very noisy hotel, expensive”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 August 2011

I stayed here for a week for business and a conference outside of Cambridge. This is not your typical standard hotel and that is what attracted me to it. The very best part of the hotel is the roof terrace with an incredible view of Cambridge. The worst part of the hotel is it is extremely noisy. They clearly screwed up with the sound insulation both external and from within the hotel, it is too bizarre for words. I had tried to get a different room to see whether that was better but was told there were none, but I got this answer after I asked 3 times. Restaurant for breakfast is not in the same building so you have to go outside,walk through the spa part up a narrow pair of stairs to the restaurant which is very nice indeed. decent breakfast. Staff is mixed, some very warm and service oriented people some very cold and one blunt person. Gym is nice but TVs did not work properly and when I told them, yeah we know difficult to repair. They could not be bothered that much was clear. There are not many nice hotels in Cambridge and I had hoped this one would be different and nice to come back to. Location is pretty good but the noise problem and high price per room for such a poorly insulated hotel makes me hesitate whether I would come back here. Too bad.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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1  Thank nlesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,219 - 2,225 of 2,492 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2011

we stayed at the hotel for 1 night in the penthouse suite. we booked a spa package, which inluded breakfast & a spa treatment for 2 people.
the hotel is well located, albeit with no onsite parking, which is a 5 min walk away (£15) overnight charge not included in rate.
on arrival welcome was pleasant.
room was nice, spacious & bright with associated facilities you would expect for the best room in hotel.
bathroom was also very small in proportion to rest of room.
spacious terrace looking out over cathedral & river - best feature.
an hour after arriving we called reception to book our spa treatments, only to be told the earliest available times were 12 & 1pm which was too late for us so we were not able to use the spa facilities - worst feature.
we also expected some celebratory wine on arrival in the room, which was not there - once advised the staff arranged for a bottle of prosecco on the roof terrace, but nibbles were not available.
breakfast was nice buffet but self serve.
main down side was upon leaving when we asked for the bill to be discounted to reflect the lack of spa treatments. the staff only offered £30 - from a total room cost of £355, which i thought was offensive. after speaking to three members of staff & the hotel manager who was quite rude we were finally offered an £80 discout, which we accepted simply to avoid further debate with hotel staff & not wanting to ruin our stay.
overall average hotel

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank gouldsteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

On arrival the staff were very helpful, we were offered a free room upgrade. The rooms were modern and well equipped, and the breakfast was excellent. I would have no hestiation in recomending this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank neil t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

We booked the hotel off t'interweb, based on previous reviews. We weren't disappointed. High quality fixtures & fittings, and attentive staff helped make our anniversary a real treat. The rooms aren't the cheapest, but they represent real value for money. Good quality breakfast included in the price. The views for the rooftop garden were spectacular, especially as the staff opened it up for us on the morning we left, as rain had made it impossible for us to get out there the previous evening. Not only that, but they took the time to explain all if the sights to us as well.

One word of caution. Parking is very expensive in Cambridge.

Would I go again - you bet! Would I recommend it unreservedly - too right!

Room Tip: Book early, it's a VERY popular hotel
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank thenickmeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2011

We were meeting old friends in Cambridge as it was a half way point and we saw the Varsity online.
The hotel in reality certainly didn't disappoint and lived up to the very cool images on the website.
The room was just fantastic and we had a view over the beautiful college roof tops.
We didn't want to leave the room and it was harder to leave the hotels roof terrace after pre dinner drinks as the city view from there was jaw dropping.
The brilliant hotel staff recommended where we and our friends should go and we had a great Friday night out.
We all though agreed that we wanted to just get back to the hotel and we all piled into one room.
It was so refreshing to have 24Hr room service with a large food and drink menu instead of the usual nuts and chocolate in a mini bar.
We eventually turned in and the next day had a great breakfast in the hotels restaurant adjacent. It was all over too soon.
We are planning an extended return trip especially as we want to try out the very cool gym and spa.
We can't recommended this very cool boutique hotel enough.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

We have just returned from an incredible stay at The Varsity - it really is an amazing hotel and spa. It is located in a beautiful spot at the heart of the city and on the river. Beautifully decorated with attentive and lovely staff. Rooms are very well-equipped and the spa and restaurant are perfect.

Faultless! I can't recommend it enough.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AnnaKSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

Stayed with my girlfriend before I embark on a PhD at Cambridge. Have given up the world of work for four years and the subsequent luxuries I have recently enjoyed, so my other half treated me to a weekend in the city I will be soon slumming it in.

Great service from the entire staff here, the Spanish porter who took my bags up was particularly enthusiastic about the world. Enjoyed a glass of champagne on the stunning roof terrace before having a very good meal in the steakhouse next door.

Room was furnished very well, don`t quite understand the reviewer who thinks furniture was from Ikea, I had solid teak in my room - may be my girlfriend had specially arranged this before I move in to more spartan accommodation. Could have had a slightly bigger shelf in the bathroom, but it was all equipped very well.

Hotel so well situated in the centre of town, so a lot of shopping was done. Used the spa for the jacuzzi and sauna, which was very relaxing. Will be back to the roof as a regular if our summer continues into September - British optimism!

Wou

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rob D
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 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £113 - £314 (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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