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“Interrupted sleep”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 July 2012

Nice enough hotel with smart accomodation but I am afraid that this does not count for much if you cannot get a decent nights sleep. This was highlighted as an issue by other reviewers and the initial room that we were allocated overlooked a service area for a number of neighbouring restaurants / bars. The manager was very helpful in trying to offer us a different room but the best that he could offer, given that the hotel was full, was a room slightly offset to the service area.

I was hopeful that this would work out but was sadly disappointed and was kept awake through to c.1am by noise from the service yard as staff / customers made their boisterous farewells (on an otherwise quiet Tuesday night) and was rudely awoken at 7am by a succession of delivery trucks. The impact of sound-proofing from the double galzed windows was negligible.

Not worth the disturbed sleep I am afraid.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank pc319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,894 - 1,900 of 2,430 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2012

We chose the varsity as we wanted a central hotel with all the facilities. We were not disappointed with the location and the leisure offerings.

We turned up mid afternoon and went straight to the roof bar as our room was not ready , armed with a couple of newspapers and magazines.

An oasis of calmness the roof top bar is really something special. We were happy to spend the rest of the day up there.

Our room was basic not very big but more than adequate for two people , tidy and clean.

Breakfast had everything you could think of, the gym and spa were exceptional for a city centre hotel , body massages we had were very good value.

Overall we liked the fact it was peaceful yet central.

Room Tip: De stress with a massage well worth it
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lloyd h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

The hotel itself is beautiful very small reception but checked in fine and staff seamed nice! The lack of comunication between the two buildings does seam to lack abit! Room was small but nice, and roof top lovely! Me and my friends had spa days at the spa, the therapists where amazing I would highly recomend treatments they are out of this world! However its a world apart from the new hotel the spa is old tatty, dirty and vile! The jacuzzi doesn't work, there was no light in the sauna, and no steam in the steam room, does this sound like a spa?? The staff in the health club where amazing and themselves seamed embarrassed. This could be an amazing gem in cambridge if the owners but some money into the spa to bring it up to the 5* of the hotel! The highlight of our trip was the treatments and we are very grateful to the therapists for that thank you!

  • Stayed: June 2012
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Thank freshflower565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

Ideally located in the centre of beautiful historic Cambridge, the Varsity is the only boutique hotel in the city. Very nicely furnished and with top floor rooms offering splendid views over the city. The roof top bar is a hot spot attracting both hotel guests and Cambridge residents looking for an exclusive place to celebrate a degree or just enjoy a drink. Staff is very friendly and helpful, and the River Café serves good food and a wonderful English breakfast to get you through the day. The Spa was a disappointment, with smelly steam room, malfunctioning jacuzzi and a sauna that wasn't hot enough. Also the rooms could be better soundproofed, and strangely there are no stores or shades to keep curious looks out so you need to close the curtains for full privacy, which is awkward during daytime. All in all a fine place but definitely overpriced and with some extra work needed.

Room Tip: Go for the upper floor fellows rooms. They're more expensive but the extra room and view over th...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Bart J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank SurreyWells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2012

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
Thank MikeEdw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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1  Thank Gemma O
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: £143 - £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 Cambridge
The Varsity Hotel And Spa

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