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“Well appointed hotel, well located, Compromised by unthoughtful service (not proactive)”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Well appointed hotel, well located, Compromised by unthoughtful service (not proactive)”
Reviewed 11 March 2014 via mobile

Very good service on arrival. Rooms clean and well maintained. Took us up to closed rooftop terrace to see views over Cambridge at sunset. Positives: generous servings of wine in lounge. Effortless valet parking Let down by small details: hairdryer in my mother's room broken. Did not replenish shampoo in bathroom for second night's stay. Service at breakfast time was Ibis standard at best. Coffee at breakfast time scalded (contrast to delicious Illy coffee in room). Brown bread at breakfast time not very fresh. Repeated back and forth from restaurant to hotel, including bottles loudly emptied into trash right outside our window at 11pm - could better have waited until morning.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AlexanderMarsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,251 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Worthing, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Lovely staff ,well decorated room with free wi fi ,hotel was approx 3 mins walk from the city centre.We paid 245 for a double room.The free walking tour was great fun and the guide very informative. The service in the Spa and gym was also excellent.Breakfast was busy but staff were on the ball.Good value if you take into account all the free amenities and worth paying for the location alone.This was our first visit to cambridge and we really enjoyed it.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nigelhunt w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
essex
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Surprised by all the positive reviews . This place is not worth 200 GBP a night, The spare toilet roll was planted on top of the toilet brush . Room was cramped. The trollies laden with linen etc sat out in the corridor/ fire escape all day. You have to pay extra for a cooked breakfast and fresh orange juice. You don't get your own pot of coffee and on the second morning i was given just one cup . Staff were running around and I was not offered a second cup. Checking out I was asked how my stay was and when I replied "it was ok" I was not questioned any further.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank oldhairyarse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2014 via mobile

Booked a room for the evening of my birthday with my partner. He had emailed hotel saying it was my birthday and about any treats he could arrange, but never even had a response!
We had been spoilt in another hotel the night before, for a similar price, so were very disappointed with what we got for our money here.
Clean room, small/ average bathroom (smaller than my bathroom at home, a small 2 bed house!), lovely view over the Cambridge sky line, good central
Location and lovely breakfast.
Bed not very comfortable and woken often by other guests noise, banging doors etc.
Also there was an air of snobbery about the place. We arrived in an average small car at the same time as Porche and BMW, we did not feel we received a warm, friendly or helpful welcome from the door men or reception.
Overall disappointed and 'could do better'

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank KLT71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex, UK
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2014

We stayed at the Varsity on a recent trip to Cambridge, finding the hotel was easy enough, and the location is about as central as you can get!
Upon arrival everything was sorted out easy enough, valet parking and check-in was done promptly and we were sat in the room having a cup of coffee moments later planning our day.
The spa/gym next door was excellent and the staff very friendly.
Due to the location, there are a plethora of restaurants to choose from, and the hotels own restaurant looked very nice, but was a little pricey for us!

The room was spacious, bed was huge, bathroom was huge (it had both a bath & shower in there)
We have stayed in Cambridge a few times, and this will be our choice of hotel from now on, it is clearly number 1 for a reason.

Any bad points? Well, not really, but if I was to be a bit pedantic I could say the shower gel/shampoo in the bathroom was not really enough for 2 people to have a couple of showers each, and maybe they could have put a few biscuits in the room with the coffee/tea tray.

Really though, that's just small stuff and I am pretty sure if I asked they would have brought more if required.

So all in all, highly recommended, staff friendly and very helpful, top class place!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Staccato_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marks Tey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hay-lo24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jane C
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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