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“Good location Shame about the staff”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
St Albans, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Good location Shame about the staff”
Reviewed 29 July 2012 via mobile

The hotel is in a great location, in the centre of Cambridge and right by the river cam. There is no parking so you have to park in the very tight public car park.
The hotel itself is very modern and nicely decorated but the rooms are hot with no air con so consider when you are goIng.
Fab bathroom with claw footed bath and enormous walk in shower with elemis products.
The roof terrace is great but was busy as anyone can go, expensive and staffed by teenagers who of course behave like teenagers.
The whole hotel and adjoining restaurant also seem to be staffed by teenagers which is disappointing for an expensive hotel where you expect better service.
Not sure I would stay again, especially if it is hot weather, it does look good though.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank h0peful75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,346 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (576)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2012

Stayed during the university term so maybe that's why the price was so high but we paid about £240 in spring 2011 (May not August actually) and for that we had nowhere to park (serious parking probs around there) and a room with no view at all. We could have been anywhere, in any generic box-like room. The whole place felt sterile & character free. Not what you want when staying in such charming town. I's day this place is quite incongruous with its environment. There's really nothing wrong with it - its clean and tidy but you expect something a bit special for a twin room at £240. Be careful how much you pay

Room Tip: Be careful how much you pay. ASK for a room with a view. They must have some.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elliot A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
10 Thank pc319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Syracuse, Utah
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lloyd h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank freshflower565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp, Belgium
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bart J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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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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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