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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Premium price for budget hotel service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2012

Booked two nights at this establishment as part of a trip for my wife and I to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.

Unfortunately all I can say is that in my opinion, we didnt enjoy our experience at the Varsity hotel one bit. From start to finish the catalogue of errors built up and made our stay even more miserable.

It was only until we requested a meeting with the general manager did our issues get fully addressed. There were efforts to rectify and improve our moods by means of a bottle of prosecco (which we accepted as i wanted some of our wedding anniversary to be special ), dinner in the restaurant (which we really didnt want to subject ourselves to as we had reservations elsewhere), possible treatments in the spa which we declined, and a reduced rate for the second night (which we accepted but to be honest I would have paid the full rate , I just wanted to go home) but I am sorry to say that these were too little too late.

Yes the prosecco was very nice and I appreicated the time the General Manager took to come and sit with us to listen to our problems which werent simple little grumblings but some serious matters but these matters shouldnt have arisen in a hotel of this supposed calibre.

I paid handsomely for an upgraded room and would have liked a nice view from the room but instead got two floors of a fully occupied office looking into my room, the back of Las Iguanas and a Japanese restaurant as my view.

I have stayed in many hotels around the world and have paid less for alot more. I really dont believe that for a rate of upwards of £200 a night, we recieved the service we should have.

We came home quite upset and have agreed not to return to this hotel. I will save my hard earned money and stay elsewhere of which I am sure there are plenty of places in Cambridge.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
16 Thank SSN123
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)
Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2012

The staff were exceptional! I have to personally thank Darren Bennett who went above and beyond with his service and is a credit to the Hotel & Spa.

I had a very small complaint with the view we had which was no problem should there had been no vacancies but Darren assured me he could arrange a better viewing and he sure did.

The staff as a whole were very friendly and made me feel at ease.

My only criticism with the hotel was the bar and restaurant staff who seemed more interested in avoiding their customers and forgetting to bring drinks. I had to call over a 3 different waiters / waitresses who all messed up orders.

Besides that I would happily reccommend this hotel to anyone who wishes to stay in Cambridge. It's has a great location and as mentioned the staffing in the hotel is of the highest caliber.

Thank you

Chris

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chris3Dgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2012

The Varsity Hotel hosted an open-air screening of short films in the stunning setting of its rooftop bar on Sunday, 15th April 2012. It was a clear but chilly evening and, with its usual attention to detail, the hotel provided blankets and a most beautifully designed butane gas heater which attracted almost as much attention as the films!

After drinks and tasty canapes, my wife and I slipped down to the warmth of the floor below where a suite had been cleared for a showing of "Brief Encounter" which was a delight. Once again, the hotel added that extra touch of providing us with popcorn to munch as the drama unfolded.

All in all, Cambridge Film Trust's collaboration with the hotel and its spectacular location and friendly staff provided what I hope will be the first of many such evenings to come there.

Chris Wingfield

Room Tip: N/A - we didn't stay over
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2012

On a clear starry night we enjoyed wine canapes and a screening on the stunning roof terrace of this wonderful hotel. These cinema nights are going to be a regular welcome addition to the local scene.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Meteornarrowboat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2012

I stayed here for a friends hen do weekend.
This is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in.

It's in a great position for a weekend in cambridge, a short cab ride from the train station, close to for shopping and eating out.

To be honest you really have to eat at the hotels restaurant, it was a lovely meal, great service and a very reasonable price.

I had to leave early and didn't get use the spa but my friends told me I really missed out as it was amazing.

The hotle had a great lounge area were we had complimentary tea and coffee.
The rooms were beautiful, a good size, spotlessly clean with really comfy beds.

Great hotel, can't wait to go again.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kellyelderkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2012

Coming from a long working history in the catering industry, and currently the general manager of a very well known restaurant in london i tend to pick and chose my trips and especially, hotels and restaurants very carefully and with a great deal of insider knowledge. Looking for a special weekend outside of london i queered a few of my colleagues about any hidden gems they know of. The answer kept coming back "have you heard of the Varsity in Cambridge". Cambridge being one of the cities in England that i had not yet visited, and with the glowing recommendation from all a fore-mentioned colleagues, i booked into the Varsity for the Thursday night. On arriving at the Varsity we were greeted by 2 smiling reservations staff (i have to say that there was always 2 staff minimum awaiting us when ever we came into the hotel, no waiting as i have experienced in many other hotels). On reaching the room, well they are stunning, great decor, spacious, very clean and modern with a slightly decedent feel to the room. the room had full windows as did the bathroom, unlike berry 46 we did have stunning views from 416 the is nothing nicer than having a bath looking over the rooftops of Cambridge, apart from when we changed and went to the roof garden for a cocktail before diner where as the view was even more spectacular. What i would say is that if you are not a guest at the hotel but simply travelling, a resident of Cambridge or staying at another hotel..........................THIS IS A MUST, even though the weather was 50/50 (not the hotels fault), the view was still amazing and the perfect mojito sped me to a warmed climate, but i chose to keep the view. Moving down to the restaurant, menu was typical steakhouse, that said the food was so much better than average, infact the only critsism i have of any part of the restaurant was the fact that the menu did not show the providence of the local and amazing produce that is served. Local beef, scottish smoked salmon the list goes on, great ingredience cooked to perfection, for the record i had the surf and turf. 8 oz of prime fillet locally sourced with half a lobster cooked with a light garlic butter. I could go on as this is my field but i think you can get the picture. I did talk to the head waiter on leaving as it felt very busy for a Thursday night and was informed that they have a very big local following (see my comments regarding the roof terrace), to be honest im not surprised, im sure there are great restaurants in Cambridge but walking about i see endless chains of restaurants, Los iganose, prezzo ect, i know where i choose to spend my money.
To cut a long story short we stayed the next night too as i found the hotel, the staff and Cambridge both charming, warming and friendly. Would i recommend the hotel........yes but not too much as i would hate to miss out on a room when we visit again in fairer weather, please note i didnt recomend the spa facilities ill keep that my secret as i love the peace and quiet

Room Tip: Ask for the room i stayed in
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jason M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kiwi in England
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2012

Booked a spa night for my partner and I for Good Friday where you get a nights accomodation and 60 minute treatment each.

We arrived just after two, our room wasn't ready so we went for our treatments in the spa next door.

The treatment - well to be honest I was glad that I didn't pay for it! Was really disappointed with the treatment. I had the swedish style massage and the therapist never once asked if the pressure was ok especially when I was telling her that it was actually really hurting me. I have had a number of massages and this was the worst one ever! To make matters even worse I had to wait ten minutes for my partner as my therapist didn't give me a full 60 minute treatment.

Was told at check in that they would take our bags up to our room when it was ready. Came back from the spa and was given the room key however there were no bags so had to ring reception. Then rung room service as it said they would deliver fresh milk and cookies on request hmm cookies are cheap and nasty - was expecting fresh home made cookies to be honest especially since there is a resturant attached to the hotel.

Our room - was really impressed with the room however was let down by the view. Was expecting to see the a bit of Cambridge however in the Kings room you only see the alley way where they keep all the rubbish and into the building in front. Not was I was expecting at all. Felt very ripped off to be honest!

Was never told on checking in about where breakfast was served or what time check out was.

On checking out we were never asked how our stay at the hotel was which I was expecting to be honest due to the expectations from the website and the star rating!

My partner was woken up at 3am and again at 6am due to the rubbish trucks picking up the rubbish on the side alley to the hotel where our room was located; not ideal for a relaxing evening away.

The hotel and the spa day was a real let down.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kiwiwithshoes
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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