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“Over priced”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Over priced”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

This hotel is slap bang in the centre of Cambridge so we enjoyed the location. However there is no parking with the hotel and the valet parking service is expensive. The rooms and bathrooms were clean and modern and the Roof Terrace bar offers breath taking views over the city. Drinks are very expensive and service is extremely slow. The hotel restaurant is a steak house called The River Bar but don't bother. It offers terrible service and they can't cook a steak. It's the only restaurant I've ever been to where the food came to the table way before any drinks! They offer 5 different steak temperatures but this was a joke as despite asking for two steaks cooked "medium", the first steaks came out blue....when we asked for them to be changed the waitress thought it was hilarious and totally acceptable that she left the chips and rest of the meal on the table whilst the chef cooked the steaks for longer! Eventually our meals were replaced but this time the steaks we so over cooked they were tough and grey. Come on, if you call yourself a steak house please get a chef who can cook a steak. The cafe rouge round the corner is excellent though. All in all we felt this hotel wasn't worth the money. We would return to the roof terrace for drinks though even though the service is terrible the views are stunning.

Room Tip: You are in a city centre so expect some noise. I think all the rooms were of an ok standard though.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lesley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,224 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (560)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014 via mobile

I think that whether you will enjoy this hotel depends very much on what you are looking for. I stayed for three nights in May, and found it to be quite nice. The rooms are small, the elevator is tough (1 elevator) and it's in a quite area. That being said, staff is fantastic, it's a short Walt to anywhere you might want to go and the rooms are fantastic. Also, make sure to go to the top floor. Great views. It's not a typical business hotel but I found it quite relaxing. Also, if you're looking for a nice bar at night, there is a student bar that is about a 5 minute walk from the front entrance.

Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Partsunknown123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

Stayed Sunday Over to Monday, Had a great time in the short amount of time we stayed. We had a King Suite On 3rd floor with an amazing bathroom. room was spotless as expected. making our stay very comfortable. The use of the spa included with the room made it more of a relaxing stay. impressed with the valet parking, worked out cheaper than local car parks. The staff were excellent seeing to our every need, most helpful and polite. looking forward to staying at this Hotel again.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wayne N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

We stayed at the Varsity whilst attending a friends birthday celebrations in Cambridge. On First View the Hotel looks quaint and Up Market, however our experiences were different to this. I thought the room purchase 'Fellows King Room' for £285 per night was small with poor quality furniture and particularly bed. The windows were dirty and had poor views.

I would not use this hotel again and would recommend anybody else to look elsewhere for 'Value'

Next weekend, I am staying at 'The Grand' in Brighton' for £219 and am confident from past experience that my room and the service will be in a different class to the 'The Varsity'

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Golfer768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ascot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
118 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2014

We managed to get four rooms in The Varsity at short notice after another hotel had managed to double book us!
The staff could not have been more helpful - arranging the lounge for a business pre-meeting with a projector, so that we could properly prepare for a meeting in the city.
The rooms were very comfortable and spacious, and I had a wonderful night's sleep; en-suite was also spacious and stocked with all the usual goodies that you would expect in a hotel of this quality.
Breakfast was taken next door in the adjacent Spa building, with picturesque views over the Cam; my Eggs Benedict was perfectly cooked.
The hotel does not have car parking, but the Valet Parking service was well managed and my car was returned at the time requested. It is also much better value than the nearby public car park.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eileen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk, UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2014

Good location for pottering around Cambridge. The room we had (314) was of a good size and comfortable. The roof-top terrace affords great views over Cambridge, and is accordingly expensive. Staff all very efficient and friendly.

We went to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and it does have the feel (and the price tag) of a special occasion hotel. My boss certainly wouldn't wear me staying there at those rates on a business trip...

Downsides, other than price, were a cramped reception area, expensive overnight parking (hotel valet service at £20 the best option which wouldn't involve parking out of town and walking miles back in), and a rather small spa: steam room, sauna and jacuzzi area felt cramped with more than a handful of people in it. Unisex toilets on the 2nd floor were a source of confusion for all concerned and would probably benefit from having a "Unisex" sign outside, as this would avoid men feeling that they'd walked into the ladies and scuttling out sharpish worrying about being arrested for being a pervert (exactly what the guy in front of me did, luckily a passing member of staff put us both straight on it).

Room Tip: Higher floor, larger windows
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoddesdon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
293 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 344 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

Lovely hotel in the city, great location for this lovely walkable place. The room was amazing spacious comfy bed. Great views.

On the fifth floor it's was quite and peaceful. So comfy bed goodnight sleep.

Staff are lovely and friendly. Breakfast in the restaurant next door was certainly not brilliant as for a cooked breakfast cost extra. I had pleased to see that they cater for people who have allergies so I ordered gluten free cooked breakfast. It was missing the gluten free toast. I sent it back due to a hair on the plate. The manager was so apologetic and took breakfast off for all of us.

The hotel provides on a Saturday a guided walk around Cambridge. It was meant to last 50 mins but it actually last hour and fifteen mins. It was fantastic very informative and took us around colleges and explaining the history of them.

Would definitely recommend the walking tours.

Would I go back yes.

Room Tip: Any of the suits.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Spursgirl13
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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