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“A great second stay at a The Varsity”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 July 2014

My husband and I stayed at The Varsity for a mid week stay for our 20th Wedding Anniversary.
As per last visit it exceeded all our expectations. We stayed in Room 611 a real surprise as this was the most fabulous room overlooking the whole panoramic vista of Cambridge at its stunning colleges. Before dinner we had lovely drinks on the Roof Terrace served by wonderfully friendly and professional staff. The summer sunset was delightful, the atmosphere convivial, and the BBQ extremely tasty.
After a restful sleep in the four poster bed, we were welcomed by a friendly team of breakfast bar staff who were immediately attentive throughout. Great to see that from a hotel.
Breakfast beautifully served, with lots of choice of breads,jams, fruit, cereals and juices.
We shall look forward to returning again for another special occasion. Thank you the team Varsity.

Room Tip: A high room with a view
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank sofie2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,210 - 1,216 of 2,387 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2014

We stayed here for 2 nights leaving on the day of the Tour de France. What could have been a nightmare was a wonderful time joining in the excitement of the Tour.

The hotel is everything we hoped for in a boutique hotel. The location is fabulous just off the river but around the corner from Round Church. The rooftop terrace has great views of the city though it was a bit chilly the night we were there.

We had a lovely room with a terrace and were able to get almost as good a view as the rooftop. The staff were extremely accommodating and were wonderful to let us know what to expect on the day we checked out as there were so many road closures due to the race. They notified us that they would be happy to store our luggage until we could leave later in the afternoon and would even help us with our luggage if we needed to catch a cab on the other side of the bridge due to the road closure. We decided to stay and watch the Tour at the Round Church and got amazing photos of the riders coming through the town.

Afterwards, we had a leisurely lunch as we had been told the roads may not open until late afternoon. But when we arrived back at the hotel, they told us that they were able to get us a cab at the hotel earlier than expected and that we could go up to the lounge for a drink while we waited.

Definitely service at its best. It is these little attention to detail that make a property go from good to outstanding.

Room Tip: choose a room with a terrace
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Connie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014

We stayed for one night at the Varsity in July.

We really loved the location, but the lack of parking on site was a bit disappointing. We weren't prepared to pay nearly £20 for valet parking, and so dropped our bags and got directions to a nearby longstay car park, about 10 mins walk from the hotel.

We had a room on the 4th floor with not much of a view. The room was quite small (I have bruises on my legs from knocking into the bed trying to get into it in the small space between the bed frame and the wall) but it was decorated to a high specification, the air con was efficient, the bathroom was great with a lovely shower, and the bed was extremely comfortable.

There were nice toiletries in the bathroom, but the loo roll was cheap. There was lovely coffee and tea available in the room, but no biscuits. It's like the hotel nearly got there with regards to the quality you would expect, but not quite.

A continental buffet breakfast was included in the price of the room, but the choice available was limited. We paid extra to have a cooked breakfast, which was nice, but the service in the restaurant was poor.

Overall we enjoyed our stay and would stay here again. I liked the hotel and it's location, and with a few small amendments it could be really lovely. However, it's not quite a 5spot stay yet as it is not quite going that extra mile to make the stay perfection.

Room Tip: Standard king rooms are very small. If you want a bit more space you will need to pay a bit extra.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank fadryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We stayed for two nights. We had a decent sized room but everything does feel a squeeze and finding the place in a car is a nightmare not sure it's really worth the cost but it is in a fabulous location .

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank RoyLorraine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We stayed here for two days on our way to Dover as a treat.The hotel was ideally located next to the river.The staff are extremely friendly and relaxed.The room was small but had everything we needed .After check in on the first day we went punting on the river, which was great fun.The charming man gave us lovely tour of the college and university.The roof top garden in the hotel is stunning, as hotel guests we had priority.After about 30 mins the place was full.On our way out to dinner we noticed many people were trying to get in.
I did not try the Spa or the Gym. My husband really liked it, particularly the Gym.Breakfast was adequate with a good selection of items.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank maud a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Decided to stay here after viewing the hotels site. However the hotel is nothing like them. The room was tiny, it was very disappointing. The reception should have been a give away, it is also very small and not terribly smart.
Breakfast is not actually taken in the hotel, you need to go outside and around the building to the bar/bistro. At 8am when its raining, as it was when we went, it's not what you want to be doing.

I Overall it was a very disappointing stay, it will not be repeated.

I looked forward to seeing the roof bar however it was closed due to rain, that said even if it was fantastic it would not encourage me to stay again in the future.

Room Tip: pick another hotel.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank jalnic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
  • 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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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 Family Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £137 - £372 (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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