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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 37 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 July 2014

There are only a handful of hotels worth staying in so the lack of competition allows for higher prices. Also we visited this weekend where there were a lot of graduations taking place and I assume hotel occupancy is high. It is located in a quiet, north side of town.

The hotel is modern with efficient staff. Breakfast is reasonable bit only includes basic fruit, yoghurt, cheese, juice and bread. For any eggs you pay extra.

They offer newspaper and I say yes assuming it's free as in other hotels but it's not. They don't tell you these small things.

Valet parking is $19.50 a day. This is a good option.

Biggest gripe I have is the room, we stayed in one that had a broken aircon. Nothing they could have done but it made our stay less than perfect. . They provided a fan and a cooling machine. We leave the windows open and it starts cooling down at 11pm. We transfer rooms the next day to one with a properly working aircon. Really cold one needed for a hot summer stay.

Upon check out no offer of discount or compensation. I'm starting to think this is not common in the uk as it is in the US.

Room Tip: High room not facing west.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank avidtravellerhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 July 2014

I have recently stayed in the Varsity hotel with my family. I really enjoyed it. The staff were happy and delightful so it gave of a positive effect. The staff were very co-operative. During the stay there were only a few bumps in the road. First of all when I had breakfast, the cheese knife was misplaced and put in the bread section. This led to me cutting my finger. After I cut my finger the staff was very helpful in resolving this conflict. They gave me a band aid and then were very nice. Secondly our first room had a broken air conditioning. The staff fixed this by giving us a cooler and a fan and then moved us into a better room the next day. I really liked this hotel and I think it is good for staying with a family and by yourself.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Quito C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I honestly can not fault this hotel. The staff were beyond friendly and eager to help us with anything that we needed. Rooms are beautiful and roof top bar is a true gem,especially when the sun is shining. Great location, beautiful spa and reasonably priced valet service. Thank you to all the staff for making our weekend away such a special experience! Keep up the great work.

Room Tip: Higher the better.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank CharlotteRB3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I stayed here last week for two nights whilst visiting Cambridge on business.The Varsity not only provides a fine service,but the location is perfect.Ideal and convenient for all the restaurants nearby and for a gentle stroll along the river to unwind.
I had a beer and burger on the roof terrace which was delicious and thought the prices were more than reasonable.I'll be back.

Room Tip: Try the roof top terrace , you will be amazed.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank loftusc134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

This is actually the first time I have voted below 4 for a hotel on Tripadvisor. I am from Cambridge (though live in Hong Kong) and was married there on the 4th July this year. I know The Varsity from the great rooftop bar there. The moment that spoilt the whole experience was actually the check in after the wedding, bride in tow around 11pm. We had already had our bags brought by relatives earlier in the day. I simply asked the long haired chap in reception whether there was a "nice view" from the room (for 300 GBP per night you would hope so esp for your honey moon night!) and his tone and response was incredulous - he bluntly stated "well we cannot change it now anyway" (I wasnt asking for an upgrade merely asking about the view). When I said I dont want to change the room I just wanted know about the view, he just said sarcastically "I dont know all the rooms in the hotel, I dont know". The worst ever check in experience and on my wedding night OUTRAGEOUS. And guess what the room certainly had no view and even worse was just above the bins for the bar next door which woke us up each morning at 6.45am (we stayed 2 nights). Breakfast was nice (though charging for eggs for the breakfast that was included is also a rip off!), spa was ok however when enquiring for availability there wasnt anything available and it was our wedding day! The polish cleaners and receptionists during the day were very friendly. They also forgot to bring us the champagne that our relatives had kindly brought which was left in their fridge - we were called at the airport leaving that it was still in their fridge - shocking. Massively overpriced and that rudeness will mean I never go back there again out of principle.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
26  Thank Flash1979_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Over many years, we have stayed in several hotels in Cambridge, but this is our favorite. Great location, excellent facilities, extremely helpful staff, very good breakfasts. There is a rooftop dining + hang out facility which gives an excellent view over the whole city. The only downside: the rooftop hangout is a major hot spot for the locals and because of heavy use the elevator often requires long waits--we often trudged up and down the stairs rather than wait (but that's a minor problem).

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank K C C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Having read the reviews on Trip Advisor about the price and standard of the Varsity we were not sure what to expect. We booked to visit the Tour De France in Cambridge but also have a nice relaxing break for two.

The thing about the Varsity is that you need to understand what it is. This is a hotel smack bang in the middle of Cambridge, no walking to get anywhere you are already there. People have said it is a bit dark or cramped but remember you can't build a stately home with large grounds and parking as it is where it is.

So, Valet Parking service was used and worked perfectly. The price has been complained about but again Cambridge has very very little parking and the nearest NCP would of been £32 for the duration of our stay. The Varsity was £19.50 with delivery to the hotel door. Saved me dragging luggage anywhere.

We had a Super King Room on the 3rd floor and it was clean, well equipped and well appointed. Whilst our luggage was moved we had drinks in the lobby lounge on the first floor.

The staff are all friendly and there are plenty of them however like most places in Cambridge they use some Student staff and sometimes it was a little "what do I do now" with a few of them. They were all pleasant, well dressed and helpful though.

The roof terrace is a jewel and offers outstanding views of the city. Have a look around the area and you can see why any hotel would be hard to pack in. The lift does get busy however and a couple of times I walked down a few floors rather than wait.

Yes breakfast is around the corner through the SPA but the reason for that is well documented in your room if you bother to read it. The building is one of the oldest in Cambridge and they didnt want to cut access through it. Breakfast was fine and although we did have a hot option the price was no different to hotels we have used in London. £6.50 for Eggs Benedict seemed reasonable and we also asked for a non menu drink that appeared with no fuss.

I enjoyed the stay, we felt special staying there and had a relaxing stay. If you want a cheaper option there are plenty about but I din't feel that we hadn't got our monies worth.

Room Tip: Go for a Super King room
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Ankhmf
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 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £115 - £343 (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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