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“Beyond Expectations, a lovely short break away”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 May 2012

I surprised my wife to a short break away over the Easter period and having visited Oxford I was very much looking forward to visiting Cambridge. I booked in at The Varsity and felt welcomed from the moment I spoke to the lady on the phone as she was very friendly but also very helpful and really took the time to help plan my visit as I had never been to the area and did not want to waist time once we arrived.

So we arrived early and as expected our room was not ready however as advised on booking our bags were looked after so we could head off to explore Cambridge! Before we hit the town which is literally a 2 minute walk we stopped into the spa to see if their treatments available as the weather was rubbish and thought we could make an excuse and have a treatment or two !
We booked in for a massage later on and were lucky as they had just had a cancellation otherwise it was fully booked so I would advise booking ahead.

After looking around the beautiful town for an hour or so we headed back to get ready for our treatment and to use the gym as the weather really was pants. This was a shame as we had hoped to look around more but luckily the hotel offers lots to do if you really are fed up with the weather. The Spa is really nice you get a robe and slippers and can relax in the jacuzzi, steam and sauna whilst looking out onto the river (and all those stupid enough to still be out in the rain, hahaha).

At 3:00pm the receptionist informed me my treatment would be in 10 minutes and I was welcomed into the treatment area with a refreshing glass of lime and cucumber water.
My massage was for around 1 hour and the therapist was excellent and I am really picky when it comes to treatments as I often feel they vary so much. On this occasion the therapist was really thorough and knew exactly the areas of my back and neck that were tight. The rooms for the massage are in the oldest part of the building and so it has a peaceful and rustic feel to it.

Now on to room, what can I say AMAZING we stayed in the pent house suite and without doubt is the BEST ROOM I have EVER stayed in. I was literally stunned at the views over Cambridge from the room they are a must see. What also impressed me was the coffee machine in the room, decent coffee in your room this I have never seen before !

Dinner was also very very nice I had a steak which was cooked beautifully and the cocktails and wine with our meal were also really good. Service was really friendly and not over fussy which I liked and again we really went away feeling they cared about what they were doing.

The following day we braved the weather and looked at the beautiful sites and collages that Cambridge is famous for. All of them were well worth the visit and I have to say I prefer Cambridge to Oxford but I am not sure if that is based on the fact that I want to go back to the Varsity again?

Overall The Varsity is an excellent Hotel, staff, food, service and room were really impressive I would most certainly recommend and are looking forward to going back.

Room Tip: Push the boat out and get a suite over looking the city it's amazing !
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank alexio26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,939 - 1,945 of 2,391 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2012

I recently had the pleasure of staying at the Varsity hotel & spa in Cambridge (UK)... I was in Cambridge on business & only stayed 1 night BUT this was possibly one of the best nights sleep I've had in a long time. I arrived late (10pm ish) & was starving... not a problem, their 24hr menu had a great mixture of hot food & snacks to choose from. Food was fresh & delicious. The reception staff were very helpful & polite - nothing was too much trouble for them (i can be demanding!). The room was clean, well presented, spacious (important to me as I'm a big guy) & beautifully furnished with Teak furniture. The bathroom was like something out of a dream for me - a fantastic shower! My only regret is that my partner wasn't with me ;) The bath looked great also but maybe I can experience this indulgence on my next visit. Unfortunately I was up early the following morning... but with good Tea/coffee facilities in room i could face the world feeling a little more human. Breakfast was served in the hotels restaurant next door to the main hotel... very good, very fresh. Fresh fruits, pastry's & cereals on offer accompanied by a hot food menu cooked to order (not the usual buffet selection you'd expect). Actually i have to note that there were a couple of very fussy Americans sat next to me... to say they tested their waiter is an understatement, they were very particular. Their perfectly cooked eggs were delivered to theirs (& my!) delight. Will definitely stay here again.. & again! ..oh, before i forget, definitely take the time to admire the artwork that decorates the walls of hallways & stairs - absolutely brilliant. Attention to detail is definitely this hotels forte!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2012

Amazing Hotel | Stunning Rooms | Lovely Interior | Breathtaking View | Great Food | Awesome Location | Impeccable Service | Impressive Gym | Fantasic Management | Incredible Sightseeing | Extraordinary Bathroom | Overwhelming Rooftop | Superb Staff | Beautiful Spa | Inspiring Art | Great Steakhouse | Fascinating Building | Excellent Welcome | Fabulous Treatments | Magnificent Facilities | Exciting Culture | Outstanding Accommodation | Gorgeous Design | Unique Outdoor Cinema | Brilliant Style | Cool Details | Marvelous Setting | Wonderful Cambridge…

I recomend this hotel and will definitely return.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank anne_zurich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2012

Our long weekend was near perfect at this stylish comfortable hotel. Well located for central Cambridge. Service was excellent, room was clean, quiet and comfortable and the roof terrace views (although windy on our visit) were stunning. There are nice touches too like a communal lounge with newspapers and refreshment on the house. The spar next door is relaxing, though building regulations currently forbid internal access from the hotel. Hopefully the success and style of this hotel will eventually see laws changed and a solution to this minor inconvenience. The food at the nearby Riverside Bar was geared to meat eaters - a tasty without being wide ranging menu. The atmosphere was lively with the additional background setting of river and colleges. Good for couples and groups alike - business or pleasure. Hopefully all these positive reviews don't make it impossible to book again - which we both want to do when we can!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank John N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Just back from The Varsity hotel in Cambridge , one night of sheer heaven , pampered and relaxed , the spa was wonderful , the beauty room was cozy , with the exposed original brickwork very natural .My back neck and shoulder massage was soothing and most enjoyable. The warm bed is a nice touch. We were so relaxed and not wanting to face the torrential downpour we stayed in.

From the room service we had baked camembert , followed by a rib eye and fillet perfectly cooked with a bottle of malbec. Breakfast was a bit busy but selection was more than adequate. Cant go too wrong in this lovely hotel , highly recommend as good value.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank peter h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

You enter the room and want to stay there the whole day, enjoying the breathtaking views over the rooftops of Cambrige's historic center, through french windows in our suite on the top floor. The interiour decoration and details like the small Illy Espresso Machine contribute to a perfect guest experience. You can also enjoy your drink on the large roof terrace, which is open to the public and obviously a meeting point in summer.
Still we could not wait to explore the nearby cultural gems as well as the pittoresque landscape along the river cam, dircetly in front of the hotel. We put our running gear on, and got a first impression of the surroundings, enjoying the spa area upon our return. If you haven't had enough, you still can push some weights in the hotel owned fitness centre. Also part of the hotel: a steak house, where we enjoyed a decent dinner and re-loaded our protein cells.
Visiting the most prestigious colleges takes a 3 minute walk along river Cam, where you also pass the central dock of punting boats, which take you on a tour to take look at the back yards and gardens of those colleges.
All in all, we enjoyed our stay at The Varsity very much. We would like to thank the very obliging staff for a great weekend! We ll be back.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank RandolfS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Excellent stay at the varsity, good spacious disabled room, with excellent service by all the staff. Nothing is to much trouble. Must try a steak in the restaurant cooked to perfection.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank SpionLincoln
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 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Family Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £139 - £364 (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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