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“Perfect stay and great disabled access room”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
“Perfect stay and great disabled access room”
Reviewed 27 September 2010

We were staying at the hotel for our wedding anniversary. The staff and Tariq in particular could not have been anymore helpful than they were. I was the first wheelchair user to stay at the hotel. The room was excellent. Rooms are accessed via a lift and were open and spacious with a hard floor making getting about very easy. The bathroom was to the highest spec with a beautiful walk in shower.

Although the hotel does not have its own bar / restaurant, it does have a 'relationship' with the River bar and kitchen and the Spa next door which were excellent also. The food was superb and very good value.

We will be visting again for sure and would recommend the hotel to anyone.

Many thanks for the help with the anniversary present!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rob-Mills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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South Yorkshitre
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2010

Stayed for one night and booked following excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. Haven't stayed in Cambridge before, so nothing local to compare with.

The hotel is really well located close to Magdelene College and the city centre. Everything is new, so furnishings etc in excellent order and all very clean. Beds extremely comfortable and no noise from the street.

The hotel falls down in a number of areas though. The rooms are very sparsely furnished to the point of losing basic functions like having somewhere to put your case, or somehere to sit (Our £190 room had only one chair). The place seems to be sparsely staffed too. Had to ask several times for water sent to the room, and they don't have the most basic of things available at reception. A request for toothpaste resulted in me having to walk into town to buy some (they did offer to send someone but I knew it would be quicker to go myself).

Breakfast, I have to say, was a pretty poor effort with the most rudimentary of buffets served next door at the far end of the spa. Anaemic sausage and bacon together with the usual buffet fare. This may be okay further down the price ladder, but not really good enough for almost £200 a night. There's no bar or lounge area in the hotel either, so you do get the feel of being in a better furnished Travel Lodge.

Staff were very friendly and helpful, so maybe some of the issues will get ironed out in time.

Didn't use the spa, but did use the gym which is very well equipped and will disappoint nobody.

The other big gripe is the parking. The hotel direct you to Park St multi storey, which is close by and seems safe. However, we stayed just over 24 hours and got charged £42. This is a lot!

Others will be in a better position to judge whether this hotel represents good value for Cambridge, but I felt it fell a little short for me personally.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank JDH128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flensburg, Germany
Level Contributor
81 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2010

My husband and I stayed at the varsity. We had not booked accomodation in advance and read about the varsity on trip advisor. The hotel had just opend two weeks prior. The staff was amazing. The rooms fantastic. Great view over Cambridge. Great Location. The best place to stay in Cambridge. We will come back.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Maureen E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london england
Level Contributor
127 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2010

I stayed overnight in this hotel a fortnight ago when in Cambridge for a dinner. The hotel is newly opened in a residential area which was apparently unpopulare with the residents but great for customers (see below). It is very recently opened and fills a niche (occupied by the Hotel du Vin - but with plenty of room for more) of new hotels in Cambridge offering some comfort and a better alternative to the older established and rather shabbier places. It has a very well designed website, but you should take the views it shows of the river and the rooftops with caution as many rooms are overlooking the alleys and have little that is picturesque out of the windows (even the suite I occupied). I was a little disappointed also by the furnishings - admittedly the website does not show much furniture in the rooms but I was not really prepared for bare floorboards, uncomfortable sofa, and complete absence of anywhere to put my suitcase while I unpacked. They really should supply slippers as the floors are not very comfortable to bare feet.

Those are the negatives. Everything else is positive. The staff were exceptional, a mix of local people who know Cambridge and could recommend where to go etc, and the usual multinational contingent found in UK hotels everywhere with not a clue about Cambridge or particularly competent at English, but all extremely friendly and could not have been more helpful. The faint hearted may find the prospect of being greeted by four people when you enter the tiny lobby a bit overawing but exhibitionists may enjoy it. The location is perfect, near Magdalene Bridge, right in the centre of where a visitor wants to be, and some rooms do have a river view out over the lovely red brick and gardens of Magdalene College. The rooms were quiet, which is unusual in Cambridge.

Breakfast is served in the next door health club restaurant - it was very good with delicious egg and bacon, real sausages and good coffee. Admittedly there were more staff serving than diners and the manager was directing them far too loudly but no doubt he will calm down and work out the right staffing levels!

The spa itself looked very nice, with a sunken bath overlooking the river that is a good centre piece for the hotel.

No room service, no parking (and the parking is a big problem in Cambridge so this is not suitable for those with cars).

I would definitely recommend it if you are careful about the room and bring your own slippers!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank UKandFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2010

As this was a last minute night away I didn't have time to do much research so I relied on Trip Advisor and chose the Hotel which was listed No 1. We were not disappointed. This Hotel is absolutely perfect - it is comfortable, spotlessly clean, the rooms are amazing - very modern and contemporary with the most comfortable beds we've experienced in a hotel for a very long time - the linen is white and crisp with luxurious douvets and feather mattress toppers. There are wooden floors throughout and each room has floor to ceiling windows, big flat screen TV's with high definition picture and the added facility of a dvd and cd player, along with ipod docking station. Our bathroom was huge with a victorian bath and large walk in shower. The bath fittings are all Villeroy & Boch. The staff were very friendly and extremely helpful. Breakfast was served in the adjoining restaurant which was faultless - excellent service, lots of choice - cereals, fruit, yoghurts, full english cooked breakfast, juices, coffee, tea etc. All in all an excellent stay and we will DEFINITELY return. The hotel offers a spa break package which we chose and this again was excellent - you get an hour's treatment per person at a reduced cost.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank NicolaOffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2010

Stayed one night at the Varsity recently while in Cambridge for a meeting but also had a chance to explore the beautiful city of Cambridge.
I was very impressed with the Varsity hotel, its location is perfect, right in the city centre which was great for me after my meeting as a base to do some exploring.
- The staff were very friendly when I arrived and very assertive. Everyone was very polite which sounds trivial but is very welcoming when staying in a hotel.
- The rooms are fantastic, the views I had from mine were superb, right over the top of the city which was at night.
- The room was immaculate and well equipped with a huge TV and DVD player, they had DVDs which you could ask for at reception which I felt was quite nice
- I believe that the restaraunt is available for evening meals but I actually met a friend at the Mitre pub round the corner for dinner and a drink which I would also recommend, good service and good food.
- Although I did not make use of the spa I had a look around and it looked great. I did however use the gym in the morning before I left which was very good, well equipped, clean and trendy.

Overall I had a very pleasurable stay at the Varsity hotel. I will definitely be returning when in Cambridge again and recommend it highly

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank prexam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lincolnshire
Level Contributor
80 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2010

Stayed at the Varsity whilst on business, booked through late rooms and made a request for a room with a view, however when i was escorted to my room this was not the case, but the staff moved me immediately without question to the 5th Floor in a room named St Catherines,(the rooms are all named after Oxbridge colleges)
The room was lovely, comfortable and fabulous views.
Breakfast is served in the adjacent building which is held within the spa.
We ventured out for dinner and ate at the Cote restaurant at the end of the street which was really good value and lovely food

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank bournetoparty
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 Family Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business 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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