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“Great Little Break in December”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 December 2012

Great break to do some last minute Christmas shopping and escape the London transport nightmare. Warm welcome from very friendly blonde girl on reception when we arrived, this level of service kept up right to the end. My girlfriend even persuaded me to have a facial in their Spa which was lovely. Went up to the roof briefly to see the view as the weather was a bit windy and wet - well worth it. Decent size room and very comfortable beds. Excellent breakfast in the morning, with good coffee. Will be back

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Graham S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,713 - 1,719 of 2,391 reviews

Reviewed 27 December 2012

You will not go wrong with this hotel. It is perfectly located, the views are grand, the staff are helpful and friendly and display none of that snootiness you might get from grand hotels. I was very happy to have stayed in this hotel and if I ever come to Cambridge again, I'll stay with them again.

Room Tip: I was in Room 612 and the view is marverlous. See picture.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Wilbur M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2012

This was our second stay at the The Varsity hotel and after such a wonderful visit last year we were slightly nervous that this stay would disappoint... Needless to say, it didn't. We certainly shouldn't have worried, as the hotel and staff were as delightful as ever.

On checking in, we were upgraded to a Super-King room, number 211, which was beautifully furnished, stylish and had all the mod-cons, including a huge TV, i-pod docking station, AC and floor to ceiling windows! The shower was big enough for a whole football team, with a free standing bath in the middle of the room, a room fit for a king! On top of this, our car was taken to a parking spot away from the hotel (parking can be a problem near the hotel but this is obviously a new service they offer) and returned to us whilst checking out, we had no wait whatsoever.

Not only is this hotel simply stunning but perfectly located. Not sure on the name of the pub, but no more than a 50m away from the hotel, opposite the bridge near the canal - but also worth a visit, with a number of Ale's on tap! Do eat in the hotels restaurant also, River Bar - the Rib Eye Steak was recommended and it was sensational, cooked perfectly!

Great stay and already looking forward to a 2013 visit.

Room Tip: Room number 211 was lovely!
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Gabrielle_Dibsdall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2012

We needed an almost last minute Xmas party venue when my department decided to host a Xmas party for our team. We looked around Cambridge and went for the Varsity because it is close to the centre of Cambridge and they seemed to really wanted us to be there. As a not for profit organisation the budget was tight and they were good enough to waive the function room hire charge. We chose canapés and drinks to allow people to mingle. This proved to a great choice and the room was comfortable with 40. Much more would have been tight.

The function room is just across from the bar and the riverside restaurant. While I was waiting I had a jolly good Mojito at the bar and I could see people getting stuck into the food which was well presented.

The convivial atmosphere was helped by low music, low lighting, candles and Xmas decorations. We went for the cheaper canapes menu which were still of good variety and size. The wine was a bit expensive but was excellent and worth it. The waiters were attentive but not intrusive.

I thought we would wind up at about 10pm, but people eventually left at midnight. I let the budget drift a bit and people also used the pay bar.

We had a great evening. Thanks to Tariq and all the rest of the team.

Just be aware that parking in Cambridge is bad so just go to the nearby Park Street Car Park or take a cab/cycle/walk. There are other restaurants and bars around so people can easily go on after.

The Varsity also has a rooftop bar and lounge which has great views but of course is no good for a Cambridge Winter evening. I have not seen or tried the rooms.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
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Thank FO6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2012

Spent one night at the Varsity. Some good points: central to the city, friendly staff , upgraded to suite, lounge and bedroom area both well furnished and comfortable. Things to be aware of: not all suites have a view, we overlooked the bins. Had problem with door key sticking. No internal entrance to the restaurant, be prepared to go outside and then upstairs. Restaurant itself was disappointing, from the pictures it looked quite large, actually it's fairly small and tables very close. In the evening there was a family with two small children next to us, very boisterous and parents just let them do what they wanted. Don't go for a romantic or relaxing meal. Husband had steak, said was nothing special and chips were hard. I had salmon, sauce it was served in was far to strong. Breakfast not much better, sausages looked well cooked, but were virtually raw inside. Don't want to put you off because for a central hotel it is fine, perhaps though check where room is situated first and try eating out elsewhere.

Room Tip: Check which room and what you will see
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank ginger195350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2012

The Varisty Hotel is about a 10 min walk to the town centre.
When we arrived with a 4mth old, we found the reception staff not very helpful on our arrival with opening the door and helping us with our luggage etc. They did get better though.
The rooms are very nice and clean and the Bar and Grill restaurant attached to the hotel has really nice food. We found the waiters/waitress very helpfull and friendly.
We would stay there again, despite not having the warm welcoming from the reception staff when we arrived.
They also have valet parking.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank goobertron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2012

Strange hotel, weird entrance I can see why they don’t have a picture on this on their website!
We stayed for one night in one of the Penthouse suites before we entered we noticed the carpet at the front door was badly marked and we had trouble getting in the room in the first place as the door was sticking, in the end we had to kick it.

The room was ok but needed a refurb, some of the furniture was badly marked and worn, the wood flooring was deeply scratched with some very deep marks in it.
The table in front of one of the TV’s the wood had blown and there were very bad marks on it.
The sink in the bathroom had a very deep crack going all the way through it, when we realised the glass shelf above the sink was not straight and housekeeping had put two glasses on it which looked like at some time they had fallen off and into the sink and cracked it. This must have been noticed by housekeeping as the crack had dirt in it, not good for a room with a price tag of £ 580.

We were told we were getting a complementary turn down which is all they seemed to have done, nothing was replaced in the bathroom so my husband could not have a shower the next morning as there wasn’t anything to wash with.

The breakfast was not much better, very weird place to go through the spa to get breakfast!
The food was ok but the place looked dirty and it did not look as if anyone was in charge and therefore service was all over the place.

In the end not a place we shall be returning to, we both thought the place just did not seem clean and for what you do get very expensive.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NooLeeds
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 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Family Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £140 - £364 (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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