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“Excellent Service & Quality”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
South London
2 reviews
“Excellent Service & Quality”
Reviewed 24 November 2013 via mobile

I am staying here to celebrate my wife's birthday. The service has been exceptional. We arrived to a warm friendly welcome by the concierge, greeted by reception and presented with a lovely clean, comfortable room with great views of Cambridge.

We pre booked the spa for treatments, I had a sports massage the therapist was excellent her knowledge and technique was really good. My wife had a prenatal 2hour treatment which she loved and would highly recommend.

Back to the room and the room service was also good, polite, timely and very smart well spoken staff.

It's great to see a hotel doing all the basics really well and excelling in all areas. Would certainly recommend as revisit, you really feel valued as a guest in this hotel.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank alexio26
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (573)
Date | Rating
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English first
Herefordshire, UK
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

Spent one night here for a press event, held in the Varsity's conference facilities the following morning. A new building squashed in between older architecture, it makes the best use of the space available and my room, 211, was particularly spacious. It was freezing out but, for once, I was able to meddle with the heat settings and ramp the temperature up to a reasonable degree (I like my warmth). The bed was moderately comfortable but with rather nasty flabby standard hotel pillows, and there was a power socket within reach to charge stuff without having to disconnect any of the room's appliances. But, increasingly, there is an annoying tendency these days to supply extremely dim lighting throughout -- a trend which makes it impossible to read in bed. This hotel's illumination was particularly bad. Opening the curtains in the morning to try and let in some extra light, I was presented with a frosted window which was rather strange and a bit disconcerting. For a modern building, I found the décor in my room rather sad and dated but the bathroom was the epitome of luxury with a free-standing claw-foot bath and a lovely walk-in shower. Even the loo seat lid was fun with the way it gently lowered itself without slamming. The lift was very slow (difficult, I suppose, when there's only one). Breakfast was served next door (in the same room as the bar), which meant dashing out in the pouring rain, down a bit of road, and into another building. One word of warning -- I was a bit disconcerted to find that the valet parking involved driving my car away and depositing it somewhere undisclosed in the centre of Cambridge, and not near the premises. I asked about the insurance aspect to this, but no-one seemed to know the answer -- and no-one less than 30 is covered to drive my vehicle. When the car was returned the following day, outside the hotel was busy with taxis for others in my group, so I was annoyed to discover that it was left in the middle of the road round the corner, unlocked, with the hazard lights flashing. When I queried this, the chap said: "Oh, but there are plenty of security cameras around here." Not impressed … Overall the staff were helpful and friendly and seem to be proficient but, unless they can improve the room lighting and give me a bit more confidence about the car parking, I don't think I'd want to stay there again.

Room Tip: Room 211 was by far the largest on my floor.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
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1 Thank rockstro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

I spent the weekend here with my family and enjoyed the spectacular 6th floor suite (613). Beautiful room with panoramic views and very well appointed. Superb bathroom and great AV. The elevator to the 6th floor was broken and 6 flights is a long climb, so had I been older or invalid that would have been a major problem. But I'm not. The waiters/staff were fantastic and helped us with the luggage and room service with a smile. Not so much the management. The breakfast is served next door in a cafe/restaurant overlooking the river. It is a nice place. In summer I am sure that walking along the river path watching Gondolas is really fun. However the food was very average/stodgy fare and did not really meet the expectations. Overall I would stay again, but for 4 stars or more the management has to try harder. I never expect an Amex surcharge by the way in a hotel that seeks 5 stars and if I have to climb 6 flights of stairs multiple times a weekend at the very least don't charge me for the car park!

Room Tip: Ask for a balcony suite.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We chose The Varsity as the venue for a university reunion for a group of friends last weekend. The hotel is ideally situated for a long weekend to Cambridge being right in the city centre where everything from the river, the colleges and shopping centre is walkable.

The service at the hotel is second to none and far superior to many London hotels I have stayed in. Nothing was too much trouble and service was slick. We arrived early on friday morning and we were warmly greeted by a doorman and the reception team our luggage was stored until our room ready. Valet parking was swiftly arranged and far cheaper than the NCP down the road. When we arrived back at the hotel later that afternoon our luggage had already been transferred to our room, very efficient. We had to call house keeping a couple of times, but service was very quick and friendly.

Our hotel room was just the standard room and although it wasn't huge it had a balcony with the most amazing view of the roof tops and chimney pots and was incredibly clean and well maintained and had hairdryer, ironing board, Elemis toiletries, tea/ coffee facilities and biscuits- no mini- bar as drinks are brought up to your room . It was just unfortunate that the lift was out of order this weekend as our room being on the fifth floor was a workout in itself!


The jacuzzi and sauna areas were well kept and beautifully decorated. Although I would have liked to have had a spa treatment it was very busy with only short appointment times left and so I would recommend booking ahead to get what you want.

Breakfast around the corner in the River bar and restaurant was gorgeous with the usual buffet, hot food such as full english was freshly prepared and also an A'La Carte section with everything from eggs benedict and omelettes to champagne as an extra. Our group ate at the restaurant one night where we were given the private room and the service again was brilliant! The Italian front of house guy (I can't remember his name) was incredibly professional and went out of his way to make the evening special and run smoothly! The hotel kept the roof terrace open for our group later one evening which made the evening special and provided blankets to keep us warm as we enjoyed our drinks and a beautiful view.

All in all an impressive stay in a very beautiful city- We hope to return!

Room Tip: 518 a standard room with balcony
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Vicki G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royston, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We had a wonderful stay there last month, couldn't fault the staff, service or room, we had dinner in the adjacent restaurant which had a lovely cosy atmosphere, had a quick peek at the rooftop bar, as the weather wasn't on our side, and will definitely be back for drinks in the summer months.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank NikkiBaxter369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoddesdon, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
884 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 921 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2013

A good location, on the river. Chosen as a base for a special weekend where we were celebrating our anniversary and pushing the boat out with this hotel and dinner at Midsummer House.

On arrival, warm welcome and a room on the fifth floor. First impressions were good. The rooms were smaller than expected but well appointed with good lighting for a change.

I think that quirky would be the right description - if you eat "in" the hotel you have to go out and round the corner (worse at breakfast when you go through the spa and up the stairs.

There is a lounge on the first floor where you can serve yourself coffee/tea, but if you want anything else you need to phone reception who arrange for someone to serve you. This room is not cleared as often as it should.

Breakfast is served in the restaurant and service is good, but the set up is strange with full English included in room rate but if you want omelette rather than fried eggs it's extra.

The lift went out of service on the first morning and was not repaired during the stay making the trek to the rooms long - but these things happen.

Whilst Mr & Mrs smith hotels like the edginess and boutique nature of the hotels - this one has it but there are just too many things that don't quite work.

It might be an idea to check your bills on check out as mine had a number of errors - rectified but should not happen in a hotel of this standing

Room Tip: Higher rooms are better, but ONLY if the lift is working. It's along way from entrance to the fi...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

The Varsity is so well situated for visiting Cambridge apart from the satnav trying to take you down a street with bollards on it! I telephoned ahead as I was running late & had had a nightmare journey on the motorways & my husband's train was then cancelled, nothing was too much trouble, Reception talked me through the oneway system while I drove, (handsfree) and also notified the restaurant we were late too without making me feel guilty! Such a relief when I arrived & the car was taken off me & I headed to the bar. When my husband did eventually arrive we enjoyed a gin & tonic at the bar with no hassle from the restaurant staff to go to our table. Some friends then joined us & we had a fabulous steak & a very enjoyable relaxed evening. The hotel is so friendly & the reception staff so ffiendly. We would highly recommend this hotel. Shame the weather wasnt nice enough to enjoy the roof terrace which had amazing views over the City!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Muscat999
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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