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“Unique for Cambridge” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Varsity Hotel & Spa

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Unique for Cambridge”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2014

Lovely rooftop bar at this hotel. I would recommend for the summer to enjoy a drink and look at the view of Cambridge. However even in the night, this is a lovely place to come and socialise with friends or your partner.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Reusch84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,187 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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 (552)
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English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2014

We stayed at the Varsity with our 2 children and had 2 beautiful rooms - both large, wonderfully appointed, super clean and very quiet. Hotel personnel is extremely kind and attentive to all needs. The restaurants are very good too and have nice views! The hotel is located on a small street very close to town with lots of shops and restaurants. We'd definitely stay here again. Thank you!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tammy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2014

Normally I don’t have many true room requirements since most rooms now are non-smoking, preferring to be surprised at my good fortune if something desirable happens. That happened on my previous visit when I booked the Trinity Suite, arguably the best room in the hotel (see photo). On this return trip to the Varsity I was assigned Room 614, and while I knew I could not exceed the quality of the Trinity Suite, this one was a bit disappointing.

Differences between now and my last visit approximately one year ago:
1 - Partition separating the adjoining balconies between the Trinity Suite (613?) and Room 614 (see photo). Previously there were a couple of potted shrubs that were largely ineffective.
2 - There are public restrooms on the 6th floor now. The entrances to the Penthouse Suites were remodeled to accommodate the new restrooms. Room 614 now opens directly onto the hallway at the base of the stairs to the rooftop terrace. Original trepidation was noise from amped up terrace guests would disturb attempts at sleep but this turned out to not be a problem.

Overall value for the room was not there for me on this trip. The suite occupies the entire northeast wing on the sixth floor (see photo) and consists of a bedroom and a lounge/sitting room completely enclosed by floor to ceiling windows. The excellent views are what I would call “Green” views looking out over rooftops surrounded by trees and green grass. The bedroom and lounge are connected by a hallway. The entrance door to the suite opens into this hallway and there is a fire door at the entrance to each room. One of these fire doors would randomly close with a loud thump, usually at around 3:00am. Compared to the other Penthouse suites, which are not actually suites, the bedroom is relatively small and the lounge is not very useful although there is an iMac available for use. The bathroom was particularly tiny, but you did have a great view of the neighbor hood through the plate glass window. You do have access to a small portion of the balcony so that is a positive.

Hotel staff was exceptional professional and friendly. The small reception area, the outside detour to the restaurant and the Continental breakfast does not bother me. Restaurant staff was keen to make sure the charges for the extras were known. High winds from the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha caused a real challenge on the rooftop terrace.

Great location and unique facility still make this hotel a top choice for Cambridge.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gray492
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2014

I knew staying at the Varsity hotel would be special and was very excited with the prospect. But I was blown away when we arrived at our room. We stayed in the Trinity room 613. As soon as you enter your amazed by how much space there is, everything is luxurious and beautifully furnished. The bathroom is spacious too with a huge shower, big bath and lovely products to use. From your gorgeous 4 poster bed you have panoramic views of the city, what a beautiful sight to wake up to. Your balcony is stunning and can see for miles over the roof tops. The staff were friendly, polite & very helpful. Breakfast was very good & arrived quickly once we ordered & you can help yourself to the buffet. We sat upstairs looking over the river, so relaxing .
I would highly recommend this hotel, you will definitely want to visit again.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank zwarder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

Despite living in Cambridge, following amazing reviews of the Varsity we decided to treat ourselves to a night here in May this year - it didn't disappoint. All of the details are covered, including Elemis toiletries (much to my delight), immaculate bedding and towels and even a fan which came in most useful during the warm evening. Little details like this really set it apart from other luxury hotels that we've stayed in. We wish we could have been staying longer to take advantage of the DVD library and gym, but even more of an excuse to return :)
Definitely the most luxurious hotel in Cambridge with the best views, and location and a lovely quiet nights sleep which hasn't been had in other city hotels.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank S G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed Varsity on our wedding night, and given the price tag we were expecting big things.

The quality of the hotel infrastructure is very high. Lovely bed and nice furniture. Good shower and spacious bathroom. Balcony with wonderful view of Cambridge.

I did feel a bit let down by the staff though. They were friendly and polite throughout, but just quite undertrained or incompetent.

I ordered a bottle of champagne to be left in the room for when we returned from our wedding, and it wasn't there (especially since I'd double checked at check-in), which was a big disappointment, especially when they then tried to charge me for it.

They got half of our breakfast order wrong, and several bits of it were missing (though the food that did come, was very high quality), and every time we went to reception there was a long wait, despite there being 4 or 5 staff on duty.

It all points to poor staff training, and is a real shame. It's really not worth the money at the moment.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank JimmyfromWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

My wife and I spent a night at the Varsity exploring Cambridge. The location couldn't be better. Valet parking and a superb room on the 6th floor.
The weather was perfect and the panoramic views from the room were only bettered by the roof bar. Bliss on a warm summers evening
Highly recommended.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Agricolast
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 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Luxury 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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