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“Lovely hotel & fab location”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 37 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 March 2014

I stayed here with my partner for a one night trip to Cambridge. There doesnt seem to be a huge range of choice for hotels in Cambridge weirdly but The Varsity comes out on top for reviews so we wanted to give it a try. The location of the hotel is great for the town centre and restaurants but is also a little bit tucked away so its not in a majorly busy area. Our room was really nice, clean, modern and roomy with a nice big bathroom.
We took a brief trip to the gym and spa which is next door to the hotel which was nice and friendly with good facilites.
We ordered breakfast in the room in the morning which was delivered on time and with generous portions.
When we wanted to walk around Cambridge on the day we checked out the hotel were happy to keep our luggage & car until we came back later in the day which is always helpful.
All in all it was a very good experience and the best hotel I have stayed at in Cambridge. Obviously the price is quite high but when you judge the difference in price with other hotels I would say it is probably worth paying the extra for a nicer and more modern hotel. Would definately stay here again on another trip to Cambridge.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Hay-lo24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,449 - 1,455 of 2,514 reviews

Reviewed 6 March 2014

Really well situated hotel, modern rooms with air con and very friendly staff. Restaurant is in an older building next door, with beautiful views over the river. Top class breakfast and excellent steakhouse in the evening. Used the spa for a wonderful facial and a gym that puts every other hotel I have stayed in to shame. Valet parking is useful here as parking is difficult. All in all a really good place to stay, would not look anywhere else. Well done.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

The location is excellent, staff is very friendly, rooms are clean and modern but......all in all the rooms are very overpriced. I paid £180,- per night for a very small room with a very small bed (1.40 metre width), I expect a large spacious room for this price. You also have to pay extra for a cooked breakfast or a freshly squeezed orange juice. With this price I expect this all to be included. It's a good hotel but definitly not worth five stars. If I had paid half the price I would be very satisfied about this hotel.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Swaney66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014 via mobile

I'd not return to this hotel.
5 star is all about getting the detail right and this hotel doesn't.


The good things
1. Location
2. Nice decor
3. The bar staff
4. The view was nice from the room

The bad things
1. The room was too small for the price.
We paid £200 per night and got a tiny bed, a double, really? Is it the 1950's? In a modern new hotel? The room was so small width wise that we bashed our shins on the bed several times, there was room enough for a kingsize if better furniture had been chosen though so why put huge furniture and a small bed?

The bathroom was tiny, not enough room to hang the towels up, the spare toilet roll was put on the handle of the toilet brush, uck.

2. Breakfast was awful, charging extra for a cooked breakfast in a 5 star hotel? Good grief, get your act together, an earlier reviewer mention the Ryanair business model and I agree, the 'free' continental breakfast was 3 star, very limited choice, not great quality. Poor coffee, not leaving a pot on the table means that the staff should come and refill but no, too few staff to do that. Warm poor quality orange juice, oh but you could have freshly squeezed for an extra £3.50.
Awful.

3. Housekeeping.
It's normal to have trolley in the corridor so that the rooms can be cleaned but this hotel has foiled the trolley with linen and then the rest of the corridor with bags of other supplies, vacuum cleaners, crates etc, it looks a mess and is there for hours. A fire hazard and awful to look at. It's lazy, no one is paying attention to the detail or appears to know that a 5 star hotel should run smoothly without being noticed.

4. Reception.
Door man is only there part time and when he is he's not paying attention half the time.

The staff sit down at large desks but there are only two chairs in reception, not fit for purpose.
Reception staff are okay, not an awful lot of warmth or humour. They barely acknowledge you as you leave and arrive once checked in.

5. The roof terrace, from the website this is one of the highlights, but it is shut for the winter, it's still in the room guide though with a menu. Details.
As we were leaving we heard on of the front desk staff explain to a customer that they could go up but would be accompanied by Amber if staff, it would have been nice to have done that ourselves if we had known.

It's a shame about The Varsity, they've taken their eye off the ball, the staff should be retrained by someone who knows how a true 5 star should be run and the prices should reflect the room sizes.

The room was worth £100 a night, and that should have included a cooked breakfast.




Stayed: March 2014
4  Thank Brightredangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

We stayed for only one night last week. We had such a lovely time the location, room, spa and restaurant were all absolutely beautiful !!!!! We stayed in room 511 and it was gorgeous, breathtaking infact ! We walked in and just couldn't believe our eyes the views and bathroom were just exquisite !!!! Me and my Boyfriend will be back again sooner rather than later ( I hope, I'm already nagging to go back !) so if your reading this and thinking where shall we stay in cambridge ?? I 100% recommend The Varsity, you will not be disappointed !!!!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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1  Thank Empy-impy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

Had a graduates room in the hotel, awesome view and balcony, very comfortable room, well appointed, great bathroom. Brilliant location for central Cambridge, highly recommended.
Sadly due to work didn't get to use the spa, but looks ggo, thats the only reason I haven't rated it.

Room Tip: Ask nicely!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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Thank dan y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2014

I came here with the missus, to celebrate our anniversary. Wow did I pick the right spot. I live in cambridge, have done for a few years since moving here and this place is easily one of the best places to go. I only came to the top floor open area for drinks, but I could tell The Varsity has style. Well worth a visit. If you looking for somewhere to take the lady, then bring her here. She'll be swept off her feet!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JamesEarnshaw
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
Price Range: £113 - £336 (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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