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“Enjoy a drink on the terrace, but it's not worth staying the night”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Enjoy a drink on the terrace, but it's not worth staying the night”
Reviewed 18 July 2012

The hotel has so much potential, but desperately lets itself down. Tucked away beside the Cam near Magdalene Bridge, the hotel is centrally located and has a fabulous roof terrace bar with far-reaching views for when the sun is out. Rooms are modern, but vary greatly in size - our shower room was literally too small to stretch your arms out! Major issues with front of house staff - far too inexperienced and desperately lacking in hospitality training. In one instance, our room keys were even given out to the wrong guests, which presented a huge security risk and just isn't acceptable. Varsity feels disjointed (not least because the 'spa' and breakfast are in other buildings). Unlikely to stay again - stay at Hotel du Vin for similar money and a far better experience.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SurreyWells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (570)
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
218 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012 via mobile

Modern Boutique hotel, good guest bedrooms, small but well appointed and maintained, great breakfast in bar next door, best asset by far is roof terrace, a cool open space with wonderful city views. Good gym and spa next door. The only real negative point i have to make is staff on front desk could do with some service and hospitality training in my opinion, in experienced rather than rude, sure only a temporary glitch. But think the GM shoud look a the current level of welcome and check out efficiency.
For any future refurbishment: finding a way to better connect the bar / breakfast room and making the lounge into a real bar would make sense.
Overall I would recommend the Varsity, but i feel its a little overpriced for what it offers currently, that said its an expensive city.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank MikeEdw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012

What a place! It was amazing. I can't recommend this place enough! It was wonderful. The rooftop garden was a brilliant place to hang out and the staff were so friendly! The room itself was wonderful, it really was. The bed was so comfy, the pillows were nice, the bathroom was luxurious.. just everything was brilliant! I

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gemma O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012

Only stayed one night on business, which was s shame as this is a cracking hotel. The roof top bar/terrace is superb and the night before they used it as a cinema as part of regular showings! A lovely Aveda Spa. I'll be going back for a weekend as they do complimentary walking tours as well. So much thought has gone into this place. Just brilliant. My only gripe...the steakhouse restaurant is a bit too bistro for me but then I was on my own.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Eleanor A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincolnshire
1 review
Reviewed 15 July 2012

Loved stopping at this hotel, great location near town, great views, wonderful helpful staff. The food is Delicious.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank xfrozentearzx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spilsby, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2012

A really great place to stay! It's central location is perfect for getting out and about in Cambridge and it's really easy to find. The staff are really friendly and go above and beyond to be helpful. The rooms are gorgeous and I absolutely loved the roof top terrace with views of the city.. I also went to the hotel's restaurant which is fantastic - the food was divine, I only wish I could have eaten it all!!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shannon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 15 July 2012

First impressions of the hotel were good , reservation was dealt with efficiently . We booked two rooms for two nights. When we arrived neither room was ready , we were encouraged to wait in the first floor bar which offered complimentary drinks and newspapers which made up for the slight delay.
After 15 mins or so we were shown to our rooms. Both rooms were clean comfortable with nice touches. The hotel is in a central location on the river .Additional facilities are in keeping. That evening we all had a drink in the bar before heading out to dinner which was also excellent.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank appleyard b
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 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Family 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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