We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful views from the roof terrace”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Skegness, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Beautiful views from the roof terrace”
Reviewed 21 August 2012

We have just returned from our second visit to this centrally located hotel, and once again were not disappointed. The reception staff were polite and helpful upon arrival, and advised us where to find the cheapest, nearby car parking. They also offered to renew the parking charges on the meter each morning so that we did not have to worry about walking back to the car park before 8am every morning. This was a welcome extra offered by the hotel staff. Our room, on the 6th floor enjoyed fantastic panoramic views across the city, and was kept lovely and cool, despite the exceptionally warm weather, by the efficient air conditioning. Our room was bright and spacious, beautifully furnished and very clean. The bed was very comfortable and the pillows and crisp white linen ensured a great nights sleep. The highlight of our two day break was the time we spend on the rooftop terrace bar, not only for the fantastic views, but also for the most welcome cool breeze that was not available elsewhere in the city during the hot and humid temperatures. Not only did this rooftop bar attract customers from the hotel, but also locals who visited regularly to enjoy the views and meet with friends for drinks. The staff are attentive and plentiful, and I would advise anyone visiting the city to pay a visit here for unparalleled views and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. We ate in the steak restaurant on the first night and were impressed by the quality and choice of both food and wine. Breakfast, also served in the restaurant is of a very high quality, cooked to order and exceptionally tastey. Our food was always brought promptly and we could also help ourselves to the fresh fruit salad,cereals, pastries and cold meats and cheeses. The staff were polite, friendly and efficient and made us feel very welcome. My only complaint would be that our two night stay went too fast, and we will definately be returning to this little jewel in the centre of Cambridge one day very soon.

Room Tip: The top floors have the best views and if you can afford that bit extra, ask for a room with a balco...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank debbie p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

2,311 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    1,409
    543
    255
    80
    24
See reviews for
306
1,319
80
225
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (572)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2012

This is the second time we have stayed in this hotel. The rooms are fairly basic but are comfortable.

The check-in was smooth and the staff were kind enough to point out that the car park we were in would be quite expensive overnight. They suggested a cheaper option that was about 7/8 minutes from the hotel. Our room was really hot, there is no air con, and had a rather ineffectual fan. This didn't improve at all overnight.

The following morning we went for breakfast, this is served in a separate building. The layout of the room is such that you have a constant stream of people behind you if you are in the wrong location. There is a table with croissants and breakfast cereals. All cooked items are ordered from the menu. From the point of order to the delivery of the cooked items took 45 minutes. We raised the issue with one of the staff after the ladies next to us we're served their food after 15 minutes despite them ordering well after us. We were told our food would be along in 5 minutes which in fact turned out to be closer to 15. When it arrived my poached eggs were I edible due to the amount of vinegar used when cooking. The breakfast service was a joke and not a funny one.

I would consider other hotels in the city when we return.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JGB1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2012

We stayed for two nights (Saturday and Sunday).

Positives.
We had a senior fellows king size (room 517) (5th floor- highly recommend that 5th or 6th floors be requested facing the city and parks) and thought the room was lovely- fresh, clean, spacious, comfy bed and lovely balcony looking over Cambridge.
Bathroom was immaculately clean and big enough.
Breakfast was in the warehouse/bistro style restaurant with views over the river and was very generous and delicious. Very hot and fresh cooked breakfast and delicious croissants that were kept warm in a heated cabinet.
Evening meal in restaurant was lovely quality and desserts were better that those at Midsummer House the night before!

We loved our stay and would definitely return but have a few little points that could be improved on.
Reception was a huge let down for the hotel. They need to give information more freely to customers. We were not told where our room, the breakfast room or spa were and had to ask the right questions. We were not told about the parking service but had read on this website that one was provided. We felt the receptionists , though not unfriendly, did the bare minimum.

One bottle of water was provided on the first night but not replaced. Only the toiletries that had been emptied were replaced leaving us with very little shower gel and shampoo for day 2!
The balcony was really lovely and a real bonus but was only divided from the rooms either side by a couple of plants. Trellis or fencing of some sort would have made it more private. When our neighbours were on their balcony we did not feel able to go out on ours. Also we had a two seater settee but there wasn't a cushion on it. Could this be stored in the room with a note asking guests to take it in and out in case of bad weather?

Restaurant
Sunday special rate included 2 course meal. We were told on the phone that it was from the a la carte. The restaurant disagreed and gave us a set menu. In the end we negotiated paying the extra but the waiter could not tell us what that would be as he didn't know how much money we were allowed! Would it better and clearer for all if a value for dinner. was included? It would certainly have taken away the need for an uncomfortable conversation whilst trying to enjoy a relaxing evening.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JLB763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2012

We booked a superior fellows room because these are slightly bigger and could accommodate a single extra bed for our daughter (extra £30). The room was enormous,huge comfortable bed, spotless and more than adequate for all three of us for one night,The bathroom was also enormous with huge shower (no bath) and lovely complimentary toiletries and robes. As other reviewers have mentioned our room though lovely did face the inner yard/service area which was not pretty but to be fair we came to stroll round Cambridge not sit in the bedroom. With windows closed I can honestly say we were not troubled by service noises (bottles etc) though we are all fairly heavy sleepers. The Illy coffee provided was lovely. We didn't eat in the restaurant except for breakfast which is a stroll around the corner in a separate building, breakfast was fairly good, probably overstaffed if anything and as couples left you did tend to feel a bit like a goldfish, but the staff were very good but it was just perhaps quiet when we were in there. The reception staff were excellent also in welcoming, check in and recommending a place for a nice drink when we arrived (see La Mimosa). I had looked forward to seeing the roof terrace (which opens at 2pm). It had got dark when we called up for a night cap around 10pm but it really is a lovely space with great views even at night - I have a couple of comments about the terrace but it may just be me (it's non smoking which is fine and from a health and safety aspect perfectly understandable) this may also be the reason why there is no candlelight which would have added a certain ambiance and more importantly would have helped combat the midges which we found to be a real problem at that time of night. not a fault of the hotel just worth noting, final comment - they don't have Drambuie or glayva of frangelico - three of my favorite drinks!!! but otherwise a really lovely stay in a great city and would use again. Last point - yes parking is expensive - we parked in the closest one (a couple of minutes walk) it cost about £28 for about 16 hours but hey I parked in York yesterday and it cost £9.60 for 4 hours - it is just part and parcel of visiting cities like this.

Room Tip: Superior Fellows Rooms worth the extra - very spacious
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pollyschoices
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Treviso, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2012

Me and family had recently the opportunity to spend a few days in the Varsity Hotel. The hotel is very central and close to major colleges and attractions; the hotel is very close to the river and gives additional opportunities to really enjoy Cambridge. We were four people and enjoyed a fantastic suite in the 6th floor; views over Cambridge are simply unique. The rooftop bar is also quite attractive and offering spectacular views. The hotel facilities and design are very new and nice; furnitures and decorations are very unique and worth to define this a boutique hotel. As there is not a private hotel parking, cars must be left in a partking some 1km away; however the hotel offers the service to go and place the parking ticket in the car. The hotel did not exceed in service; some staff at reception were average friendly, others quite careless and small-town behaving. At the breakfast restaurant service was often average and again some of the staff wouldn't make their best to make customers feel welcome. Quite disappointing to see when arrived there was a tin on the terrace floor; even worst was that after 4 days when we left, the tin was still there. All in all a great hotel in a very good location; need to invest in staff.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lucaVenice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Great Missenden, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2012

We chose the Varsity as it had such excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. Location is brilliant. The room had a lovely balcony and most of the things you would expect from a good hotel as well as a very comfortable bed. Breakfast was OK and the spa next door had a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
Only downside was the parking. We parked about 10 minutes away and the hotel kindly sorts out the car parking pay and display tickets so you do not have to get up early in the morning. The only problem we encountered is that when we got back to our car we had a £50 parking ticket as the hotel did not display the "pay and display" ticket correctly in our car window. To be fair, the hotel said they would sort it out and hopefully they will!
I would thoroughly recommend this hotel for a short break in Cambridge.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary-GJW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2012

Summary - one year old building with good decor and fittings; great location. Priced as a premium hotel (200+GBP per night). At that level the details matter and this hotel does fails to deliver.

Room - well appointed. Bed comfortable. Shower weak (6th and top floor). Very clean. Fine views from 5 & 6 floors.

Noise - separated by a 6ft wide alley from the Quayside development with its bars and restaurants. There were boxes of empty bottles being tipped into the waste bins after 11pm and around 7am on both days we stayed. So woken on 4 occasions. They also move beer kegs around and the empty ones are like metal drums, more disturbance. Not the hotel's fault, but a significant disturbance.

We were on the top floor. When it rains the flat roof, construction materials and plate glass windows make for a fair bit of noise. Would definitely wake all but the heaviest sleepers.

Breakfast - you have to leave the hotel for a 10m walk around the corner to a restaurant that is under the same ownership as the hotel. Not ideal. It's a cramped place. The cooked food is mostly pre-prepared (unless a premium is paid for one of the specials). On our first day the cooked food was dry and tough (bacon, mushroom, black pudding). Luke warm coffee was served. Day 2 we requested fresh, which was served but took ages to arrive.

Wifi - free and fast

Roof top space - fun. Open to non-residents

Reception - Feels as if there is a mix of full time (better behaved/trained) and temporary (holiday) staff. Luggage was stored on arrival/departure and delivered to rooms. We were not advised of the car park payment service (perhaps because it entails and early morning 10 min uphill walk?). Staff discussed their salary increase in front of us!

Payment - they ask for 2.5% extra for AmEx and point to a small card on reception to justify this. AmEx advise this is not acceptable practice. Regardless of the contract between the hotel and AmEx, this hotel positions itself at the premium end of the market and charges accordingly. Many of its customers will be AmEx users and they will probably feel as I did...ultimately disappointed by the experience.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank xk140fhc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Cambridge hotels
0.8 mi away
The Gonville Hotel
The Gonville Hotel
#2 of 36 in Cambridge
1,752 reviews
1.4 mi away
Hotel Felix
Hotel Felix
#8 of 36 in Cambridge
1,163 reviews
0.5 mi away
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.7 mi away
Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge City Centre
0.7 mi away
Regent Hotel
Regent Hotel
#3 of 36 in Cambridge
420 reviews
0.8 mi away
Hotel du Vin Cambridge
Hotel du Vin Cambridge
#14 of 36 in Cambridge
890 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Varsity Hotel & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Luxury 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Ebookers, Priceline, Odigeo, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, HRS and Cancelon so you can book your The Varsity Hotel & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Varsity Hotel And Spa
The Varsity Hotel Cambridge

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing