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“Not sure where everyone else was staying...”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not sure where everyone else was staying...”
Reviewed 5 October 2010

Not sure where everyone else was staying as my experience of the Varsity was awful. Noisy rooms, over looking neighbours, no parking, building works all around, would not reccommend!

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank dTheM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 October 2010

I travel a lot for work and I have to say this is the best hotel I have stayed in in Cambridge. It has a great homey, yet chic feel to it which made if feel like a real home away from home for me--very hard to find in a hotel.

The location is absolutely perfect with a couple minute walk to the city center and key colleges.

I am not sure I have ever stayed in a hotel that offers views of 800 years of history in a such a modern setting--I felt like I got the best of both worlds.

The staff was lovely and I felt they really cared about me and wanted to be sure I had the perfect stay.

I will definately be back and will recommend to all my friends.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank punkyetpink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2010

The owners of the Glassworks Gym and Spa have recently opened this hotel on the next-door site. It is not a place to stay if you are looking for large public spaces and the usual conference-type facilities. All the effort has gone into the rooms themselves, which are classified acording to the rather naff but Vasity-theme hierarchy of "Graduate", "Fellow", "Master" etc. We stayed in a "Fellows King" room - comfortably large, with a nice king bed and a massive bathroom/wetroom. The view of the Trinity Hall accommodation opposite was not particularly inspiring but we were on the 3rd floor and the higher you go the better the view (there are 7 floors). The general style is minimalist luxury which works pretty well. Nice touches include a tin of Illy coffee and cafetiere in the room and wi-fi. Big flat-screen TV etc. Breakfast is taken on the first floor of the Glassworks Gym - superb view over the river and Magdalene College on the opposite bank. Excellent hot and cold buffet breakfast (eggs cooked to order), and friendly service. A stay in the hotel includes a voucher for the Gym and Spa. One of the the best things about the hotel is the location, tucked away from the main tourist drag in a characterful little Cambridge Street (surrounded by students' lodgings), yet only a few minutes' walk away from the colleges and city centre. It is not cheap - rooms start at £145 - and there is no parking on-site, although Park Street multi-storey is 2 mins on foot, it is 10 mins by car due to the intricacies of the Cambridge one-way system. Overall, however, an excellent addition to the Cambridge hotel scene.

Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank owen100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 October 2010

I stayed in the Varsity hotel over a weekend and found it was perfect for all my needs and much more.

The location is perfect, right in the city centre. I spent the weekend with my boyfriend shopping, dining and enjoying the sights of Cambridge.

We stayed in a room on the top floor and the views were breath taking. I love cambridge, and to see it from this angle was amazing. The room had an extremely comfortable super king size bed, tv, dvd and ipod docking station and the room decor was chic.
Being female I loved the brand new selection of glossy magazines in the room, huge walk in shower and Elemis products. Everything was immaculate, attention to detail was spot on I could not fault.

Also I would thoroughly recommend the gym and spa which was such a treat, just what you need after a hard days shopping.

All staff members couldn’t have been more helpful, service was top class!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bflick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2010

Stayed here for one night, initial contact by email and phone was good and first impression from the outside was also good, the reception staff were efficient and friendly, and really seemed to care if the guests had enjoyed their stay. There were porters readily available to help with bags, who were also polite and efficient. We had a Graduate room on the fourth floor, which cost £150. It wasn't huge but didn't feel cramped and the furnishings here, as elsewhere in the building, looked good quality, as were the bathroom fittings. There was excellent ground coffee for the cafetierre, although we would have appreciated having a biscuit or two, I would say this was the only thing lacking during our stay, the bottle of mineral water was especially welcome in the middle of the night. We parked at the nearest car park (Park Street) which is the most expensive of the two mentioned on the hotel website but it was very convenient. We arrived at 2pm and left by 9.30am the next morning and parking cost just under £15 which is not too bad really. We ate at the restaurant next door, which probably wasn't the cheapest place in town but the ingredients were good quality, the steak was tasty, although there are no vegetables as such ie the usual carrots, brocolli etc. Try having the baked camembert starter as an alternative dessert after the main course, delicious to share with a glass of Chilean Merlot. Again the staff were very friendly and welcoming. The hotel was slightly out of the town centre which seemed a trudge after shopping but that may be because we lost out way a bit, but it wasn't too bad and probably means that it was quieter during the evening. The pub just up the road, next to the car park, is a good place to pop into for a bit of people watching and a night cap, better on the inside than it looked to us on the outside.
Would be happy to recommend The Varsity to anyone and the owners and staff deserve for it to succeed as they are obviously trying to give their guests a comfortable and pleasant place to stay.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank x40ros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2010

Just to explain the title, my Wife and I had just travelled from Italy, and driven up from Gatwick to Cambridge; hence were perhaps a little tired by the time we made it to the hotel - but we promptly drove straight past the hotel - thinking it was some kind of new apartment development. About 10 minutes of driving around the narrow streets adjacent to the hotel (and at least one domestic squabble later ;0) ) we decided that perhaps the place we had driven by and that the sat-nav had directed us to was indeed the hotel. And on close examination, indeed it was!

There is not much of a parking space out the front of the hotel, but we managed to get our bags into the lobby, and then I drove a few minutes down the street to a pay car park where we left the car overnight.

By the time I had walked (3-4 minutes) from the car park back to the hotel (finding it rather more easily this time) my Wife had checked us in and was happily installed into the Senior Fellows King Room we had reserved. And what a marvelous room it was. It was on a higher floor, and offered a large balcony and deck with beautiful views over the city (see photos). Everything looked pretty much brand new. The bed was most likely the most comfortable we slept in for our entire trip.

Any downsides? Well maybe a couple. The shower handle came off in our hands (I guess that's just a teething problem with the hotel being new) - and although the floor to ceiling windows made for a spectacular view, it would have been nice to have seen some 'modesty curtains' (are they called net curtains? Those things that let you see out but stop folk peering in too much). Finally, the balcony is not for those with a fear of heights - it has one of those glass walls at its edge; I thought it would not hold my weight if I leant on it - and hence I kept well away from the edge!

But some more positives:

As others have mentioned, the hotel is next to a spa (did not use) and a bar/restaurant (I was told owned by the same folk) which served a very pleasant breakfast for us in the morning. (The restaurant is up some stairs - I wonder if it is only me that thought the entrance was very confusing - no signs pointing to go up the stairs to the bar - so the place looked closed).

It has a great location - right by the river. You can walk to a bunch of pubs and restaurants, and it's easy to get to the shopping in the center of Cambridge.

The staff were lovely and welcoming. And they allowed us to leave our luggage after check out time until we left Cambridge later in the evening.

So all together a lovely stay - our new favorite in Cambridge!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gary_in_KL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 30 September 2010

Simply one of the best hotels i've ever stayed in.

The hotel is boutique style and the room we had (a fellows King) was fantastic, cleaner than any hotel i've ever stayed in and furnished to the highest standards.

I have to also make a special mention to the staff who were the best i've ever experienced, nothing was too much trouble.

Breakfast was very good, buffet style but constantly refreshed and eggs cooked to order (and to perfection!).

There isn't any parking on site but I used the NCP, only 100 metres, away for one night (£24 for 24 hours) and used a pay and display car park a 5 minute walk away for the 2nd night for only £6.80. The hotel even went and changed the ticket for me in the morning!

All in all I cannot recommend The Varsity highly enough. I've stayed in most of Cambridge's "better" hotels and none of them are a patch on this offering.For travellers looking for that boutique, stylish feel with staff that go out of their way to make sure your happy, this is the hotel for you.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cityvisitor52
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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