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“Lovely stay”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Lovely stay”
Reviewed 2 January 2012

We have just returned from a lovely 3-night stay over New Years Eve at the Varsity Spa Hotel in Cambridge.

We arrived at 6pm in the dark, it was raining hard and the hotel entrance is situated on the corner of a narrow road. Cambridge has a parking problem generally but whilst previous hotels we have stayed in operate a valet parking service, the Varsity does not. We therefore had to block the road whilst we unloaded the car, checked in and then drove off to find the nearest Long Stay Car Park and walk back 10 minutes in the rain. I am sure on a summers evening this is not so inconvenient!

We booked two rooms, the Penthouse Jesus Suite and a Super King. Both rooms were spotlessly clean. Our Suite had beautiful panoramic views with a good-sized bedroom, loads of storage, a separate small living room with unfortunately the only very small bathroom leading off it.

My daughter and her husband’s room (£300 cheaper per night) did not have a sitting room but had a bigger bedroom, bigger bed, very good views and an exceptionally large bathroom with freestanding bath and separate shower. It became a family joke and I wanted to swap!!!! I did look into the suite next door and it appeared to have a much better open plan design with a large terrace – note to self, check all room layout options more thoroughly in future!

As noted on other posts, the rooms did get hot, and there was some noise but the comfortable beds and beautiful views more than made up for this!

The staff were very friendly and helpful, although the turndown service discussed at check in did not materialise and it would have been nice if the mineral water in the bedroom had been replaced each day. The Elemis Bathroom products are replenished each day but are so small I bought my own. It would be useful to have a desk close to some points for re-charging computers etc, although the free WiFi worked perfectly.

Breakfast was very good, room service efficient and the Spa treatments excellent value.

To conclude, the hotel is perfectly situated and the exceptionally friendly staff made it a very pleasurable stay, however the experience would be even better if the parking and attention to detail are improved.

Room Tip: High floor have better views. Super King room (416) was very spacious with a great bathroom. Suite...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank JackiD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 30 December 2011

Bowled over by this place. Firstly, the location is incredibly convenient and central yet in a quiet residential district so strangely peaceful. The room was in fact two beautifully appointed rooms - seperate sitting room and bedroom with plasmas in both and a proper coffee machine. Before I even got to the room, everything from the art on the walls to the fixtures and fittings is quality in a tasteful but not brash way. The staff were intelligent and attentive without being instrusive or annoying and nothing was too much trouble. The restaurant was cosy and informal - the kind of place you don't feel conspicuous for being alone. The food was unfussy and tasty - I particularly enjoyed the potato wedges. The manager was kind enough to show me the spectacular views from the roof garden which was not open to the public that night but must be the coolest place to sit in Cambridge in season - an experience I hope to enjoy soon.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Matthew D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2011

been here to the roof terrace for drinks, lovely spot, and even though I haven't stayed, I've seen the rooms and experienced the service and I am from Cambridge so I know the area really well and you won't find a nicer place to stay, great views and wonderful hospitality.

Helpful?
Thank laraos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2011

An alumnus of the University, previous trips to back to Cambridge on business have almost inevitably been spoiled by the obligatory mediocre hotel stay that barely rivalled College halls. Not so here, for (much to my and my colleague's delight) the recently-opened Varsity provides top-quality and brilliantly situated accommodation in the heart of the city - just off Magdalene Bridge and within sight of St John's College. If you've visited the city before you'll know how prized this location is - in my view outdoing the Hotel du Vin and the Doubletree Hilton, which are both slightly further away from the action.

Rooms are throughly contemporary and knowingly-themed around their Cambridge context (presumably it's only a matter of time before the opening of an Oxford counterpart…) and bedecked with the latest gadgetry - mine had a large LCD TV, Illy coffee machine, dustpan lid-sized walk-in shower, underfloor heating in the bathroom and so on - so that would be the "boutique hotel" boxes ticked, then…

Luckily, excellent facilities in the room were supported by excellent service - a rather unusual request from one of my colleagues for Black Sea bath salts was met with a deft and speedy response, the porter on duty somehow conjuring up a near match from the adjoining Glassworks Spa; and my own predilection for course rather than fluffy bath towels(!) was catered for with impressive patience.

The hotel offers 24 hour room service, though after two nights of blissfully peaceful sleep (full marks again for investing in a proper mattress…), I didn't exactly have cause to call upon it! Both mornings a hearty breakfast was brought directly to my room, which I enjoyed with some nostalgia whilst looking out over the Cambridge rooftops in the morning sun.

All in all, it's pretty difficult to fault the Varsity Hotel - an unrivalled location, superb service and an easy night's sleep. As a visitor to such an otherwise busy and sometimes difficult city, there isn't much more one could ask for.

Room Tip: Ask to be on one of the higher floors for a panoramic view over the Cambridge rooftops
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 December 2011

My wife and I, and our 6 month of boy, spent a long weekend here and absolutely loved it! We have travelled many times to Cambridge but this was our first stay at the Varisty hotel and we will certainly be back!

The staff were amazing, very friendly and could not do enough for us, especially the hotel manager, whom I believe was called Roberto, providing us with a travel-cot in our room, despite us forgetting to notify them when making the booking.

Our Bedroom was spacious, bespoke and very clean with twice a day towel service, if required. The hotel and our bespoke room was decorated with beautiful furniture, wallpaper and lighting, certainly not your typical hotel decor. Ideally located, close to the centre and many of Cambridge's historical building's, I really cannot fault this hotel. Although the roof top bar was closed due to the weather, we were still allowed to have a look at the stunning views over Cambridge, which is certainly worth a look. The spa was delightful and the breakfast was first class, with plenty of staff attending to our every need.

I don't usually write hotel reviews but this hotel was above and beyond what we expected, we loved it. Our baby even slept better than he usually does, which was another bonus..!! Enjoy..!!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kev_Quinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chablis, France
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2011

The Varsity is a spotless, modern hotel with plenty of amenities. I stayed for two nights in November 2011 and was delighted with the quality of the food in the restaurant (just around the corner from the hotel through the spa, or with its own entrance further down) and the quality of sleep in the bedroom. The room was a Fellow's room if I remember rightly, and though small, the bathroom was spotless and well-lit, and the bed was extremely comfortable.
The staff at the hotel were particularly efficient and welcoming, and my stay was enjoyable.

Room Tip: Don't expect a stunning view from a lower-priced room, but the location is so perfect in the hea...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank parislights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
96 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2011

I used to live in Cambridge, which is well-known for its overpriced, often full and mediocre hotels. There are (just) three that I know of worth considering: Hotel Felix (though out of town), Hotel d Vin, and the relatively new Varsity, which I stayed in for the first time last night.

It's located on a backstreet but near the centre. My room had stylish interior design, with a well-appointed bathroom, a balcony with table & chairs, and quite good views. The room price was reasonable.

There's no grand entrance & lobby to the hotel, but that's not needed. Breakfast (which was perfectly good) is in the hotel's restaurant, which requires you to leave the hotel, go round the corner and re-enter via the hotel's spa, which is a bit odd but not a huge problem. Wi-fi, spa and breakfast were included in the room price (but these may depend on the room).

My only significant negative point is that voices from adjacent rooms and the corridor were rather too audible - i.e. the rooms aren't sufficiently soundproof - but this is a common problem with hotels.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank bf99
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 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Luxury 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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