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“Mostly OK but it could be cheaper”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 July 2012

We stayed here for three nights. The location is good, close to several Cambridge colleges as well as to the city center. It can be reached from the railway station by "Citi 1" bus, for 1.5 pounds one way. Breakfast can be chosen, either full-English or continental. Our room was relatively spacious, with a comfortable bath tub. One concern, though, was that the reception had too many staff members to be efficient; so was the breakfast restaurant. This could be increasing the room rate.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kazuo_and_Hiroko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,898 - 1,904 of 2,423 reviews

Reviewed 12 July 2012

Booked this hotel for a few days away with my wife and we had a great time. Finding the hotel and Castle Street car park is very simple though a couple of tips here. There is only one way to get your car down to the hotel and that is down Magdalene Street. The signage is a little confusing as it implied at least to and old fool like myself that only buses and taxis were able to get down that way. You can in fact get down far enough to access the hotel.
Secondly the hotel receptionist (who was new) didn't make it clear that if you hand your car key's over at to reception that the hotel will take care of parking tickets at the pay and display car parks so my trip up to castle street at 7:30 AM wasn't required and I could have stayed in bed. I only found out from the hotel room directory on day two. Again, not a complaint as I heard another receptionist making this clear to a guest checking in when I was checking out.
Anyway the hotel is a great, hotel staff we're great, special mention to the Italian hotel porter who let me inspect the room and some alternatives to ensure I was happy prior to staying. Polite, professional informative and a nice guy.
Room was very nice clean airy feel, monsoon shower was great (slightly too low but I am 6’ 5”). Chocolates and flowers I'd ordered we're all in place as requested.
Rooms were very clean, the bed very comfy.
Roof top terrace bar is a must see for anybody visiting the city.
Only slight irritation was that half the hotel backs on to the back doors of the quayside restaurants and bars so it could be quite noisy late on with bottle banks being filled from bars etc. Didn't spoil my time but I could imagine that some may find it more annoying than me so ask for a room on the other side of the hotel should you be the inclined to let the little ting get in the way of a good time.

Went to the spa for a massage which was fairly standard fair but then it wasn't rip off price either.

Other than that a solid performance all round.

Room Tip: Don't be scared to ask to see the room first and get a room on the opposite side of the hotel fr...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank shiteyditey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Nice hotel with perfect location! I stayed in room nr 415 for a week (business), agree with earlier reviewers that it's noice both from outside (restaurant people throwing bottles) and other rooms (you even hear people sneeze!) Room has flatscreen and ipod speaker etc, both bureau and wardrobe, robes in bathrom etc... but NO minibar (really stupid, the explanation is that they instead want to bring you fresh drinks etc, but I think it's only because they don't want you to bring something own). Roof bar very nice but expensive, and unfortunately weather was really bad (=rain, rain,rain) so just had a quicky once..
Staff VERY nice and helpful and the staff at breakfast was awesome !
Would probably stay at Varsity next time I end up in Cambridge
P.S. Didn't have time to use spa/pool/gym - but it looked quite nice...

Room Tip: not that many rooms have that nice view....
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Scarlot68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

Very helpful and friendly staff that went out of there way to assist us.
Food was top quality and arrived very fast.

Beautiful views from the roof, only thing that could make this better would be a covering to shield you from the rain.

Overall a very good unique spot for Cambridge

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Duncan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

Great location and in easy walking distance to visit the colleges. Spa was excellent, watch people punt past on the river, and the food in the resturant was great in the evening, not as impressed with breakfast.

However, the bar on the roof, by far the best location to see Cambridge.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Kevin O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2012

My boyfriend booked a night in the hotel for a surprise. First impression was great, very central location, room was very nicely turned out. We were intending to use the spa the next day, and very disappointingly, the Jacuzzi was out of order for the entire day! Given there is no swimming pool, the Jacuzzi is clearly the highilight of the spa, so for it to be broken was unnacceptable (with no real apology from the Spa reception). Breakfast was good, but surpisingly, an English Breakfast is complementary whilst there is an extra charge for Eggs Benedict/French Toast etc. I only wanted Eggs, so it seemed a shame to not be able to have Benedict, and order an Full English leaving the sausages/Bacon etc to waste! Newspapers were not complementary either, and the Lounge only stocked the day before's paper. Given the cost of staying in this hotel, you would think the smaller touches would be free.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Citygirl993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2012

Great location and in easy walking distance to visit the university. We also ate at their restaurant which was excellent and good service. Beds were extremely comfortable and big. Would definately stay here again. Didn't use the Spa. Breakfast in the room wasn't brilliant.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Ali29HongKong_China
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 Family Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £142 - £320 (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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