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“Top notch hotel in a top notch city. Loved it very comfortable and modern”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Top notch hotel in a top notch city. Loved it very comfortable and modern”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Valet parking oh yeh, great staff, excellent room with very nice furniture that is a step above the rest. didnt eat here in the evening but did have a wonderful breakfast over looking the river and Uni buildings.

Room Tip: I had one at the front which did have some revellers passing at night but they were soon gone.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014

The Varsity is a trendy boutique hotel and a well-oiled machine.

Check-in was smooth, the rooms are comfortable (although the "graduates double" was a tad on the small side) and continental buffet breakfast (served in the River Bar next door) was basic (i.e. anything hot had to be paid for separately).

I booked through Mr & Mrs Smith and received the promised bottle of wine in the room on arrival.

The roof terrace offers unparalleled views over Cambridge and is quite the destination on a sunny day for hotel guests, tourists/visitors and locals alike. You don't need to be a hotel guest to access the roof.

The gym and spa associated with the hotel, Glassworks, is excellent. It's open to the public (for a fee), has slightly less equipment than you would find in a full-service gym in a major city, but has everything you need and is in a beautiful space.

The other hotel guests were predominately non-business travellers.

I have also stayed at the Hilton Double Tree in Cambridge. On balance:

- I would stay again at the Double Tree for views over the River Cam, the garden bar/restaurant by the river and the breakfast which includes your typical hot buffet

- I would stay again at the Varsity for use of the gym and spa, for the "weekend escape" vibe and for proximity to the colleges

Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank scottnothing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

My wife and I stayed at this hotel and will definitely return. It is not before time that Cambridge has a truly first class hotel and if it is to better its academic counterpart, Oxford, then more are required. The Varsity is not an old world hotel but a modern built hotel on 6 floors with a delightful roof garden where you can look over the roof line of this wonderful city.

The hotel offers valet parking as the nuances of navigating around Cambridge to find a car park may frustrate the best of those with a sense of direction or sat nav. It is worth taking them up on this if you arrive under your own steam and it is cost effective compared with the multi-storey around the corner. The concierge and all the hotel staff are extremely friendly and courteous and nothing seems too much bother.

We had breakfast in the Riverside Bar and Steakhouse Grill which is continental by default but you can have cooked breakfast as a surcharge. The continental breakfast is more than acceptable and we left feeling replete. The grill/breakfast room has to be accessed through the spa/gym area which adds a little quirkiness but the atmosphere is worth it once you get there with a mezzanine floor providing views over the Cam and Magdelene College and you can wile away the time watching budding punters navigating the sleepy waters of Cambridge's river.

The roof garden is a real attraction with many Cambridge visitors enjoying cocktails in the evening sun or during the day at weekends. Barbecue grilled food is available after 5:30 weekdays and from 12:00 during the weekend. There is also a residents lounge with an honesty bar on the 1st floor.

The only negative was that rooms on the Magdelene Bridge side of the hotel over look a service yard for a number of riverside restaurants/bars and the noise of bottles being emptied into bins does go on until quite late, 1am in our case, and the collection wagon arrives awfully early to empty them. However, if you have had an extra cocktail or two on the roof terrace I am sure that you might well sleep through this minor distraction.

Next time we visit we will definitely make more of the spa and gym facilities. Rest assured, we will return.

Room Tip: Try and get a room on the Jesus green side of the hotel
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Archie58UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sofie2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Connie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
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.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fadryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

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
Helpful?
Thank RoyLorraine
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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