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“Great service, fantastic decor but disappointing rooms.”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 January 2011

Having taken my husband away for the weekend for his birthday, I was very much looking forward to our stay at The Varsity. Although the entrance and reception area are small, the decor is really funky and the staff are excellent. It's very clean, the breakfast was great and facilities at the spa are fantastic too. However it's not a cheap hotel so we were somewhat disappointed by how tiny the room was. The bed was the smallest double I've ever seen and thanks to the paper thin walls and the guests next door leaving the TV on all night, we probably got about 2 hours sleep. We stay in hotels regularly and I've never experienced one with such bad sound insulation! Bearing in mind it was supposed to be a relaxing spa weekend it wasn't ideal that we came home exhausted!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank nenni23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,347 - 2,353 of 2,458 reviews

Reviewed 21 January 2011

My wife and I spent two nights at the Varsity booking the day before we arrived. Reception staff were helpful, friendly, very efficient and charming, restaurant service breakfast and dinner were excellent (Marco was terrific!) and breakfast and dinner A OK.
Our room, standard double on 4th floor was impeccable. Management staff and the Director of Operations (Tariq) and other management staff were often present in the Reception and Lobby areas all eager to help and make one feel a little special. (Which hotel do you know where directors happily help with luggage and carparking?!) This is a special boutique hotel and one we shall strive to stay at as often as possible.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank NeilMPrius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2011

As soon a we arrived at the hotel we were given a very warm welcome. The hotel staff were extreamly friendly and helpful. We were shown to our room which was beautiful. The furniture, decor and artwork had been very well thought out and was incredibly stylish. The bathroom was amazing with a huge shower that we were all very impressed by! There were lovely fluffy towels for us to use and a good selection of complimentary toiletries. The whole hotel was completely spotless!

The gym and spa were right next to the hotel and provided an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Clean robes and towels were provided and there was a friendly atmosphere whilst you were there.

The hotel is in a fantastic location, just a tiny walk away from the main centre of beautiful Cambridge where there are plently of things to do and see.

We had an evening meal in the hotel restaurant. The service was brilliant and we were made to feel very special. I had swordfish as my main and it was delicious! My friends were all very impressed with what they had too!

Overall, the whole weekend away was wonderful and has left me with some fantastic memories. I will definately be making another visit!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank carlylou63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2011

As we arrived we were greated by warm, friendly and informative staff. Staff at all levels could not have been more helpful and polite. We were promtly checked in and shown personally to our room. Well what can I say about the room..........................................it was simple gorgeous extremely well thought out in terms of decor and most importantly comfort. I have to say the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. The bathroom was devine, loved loved loved the shower!
In the day we wandered around the beautiful city of Cambridge and later enjoyed the luxury of the spa again where we were looked after by the staff. The facilities were fresh and exceptionally clean.
In the evening we dined at the restaurant and had a beautiful meal, I had steak which was cooked to perfection. After our meal we asked for advice on which bars to go to and the staff reccomended excellent choices, they read their clients very well.
Before our departure we asked the staff about where to go for a walk and again excellent reccomendations were made.
Overall I would say that Cambridge is a beautiful city that now has the most beautiful hotel experience. I would reccomend this hotel to anyone want to visit Cambridge or anyone just wanting something different from a hotel experience.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank rachelnielsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2011

I recently went to the Varsity Hotel & Spa with a group of friends. The hotel in itself is beautiful, clean and modern and an amazing selection of art work and features that complete the look. The rooms were beautiful and a good size. Brilliant showers! That alone would have made the weekend but this place has it all, with great views of the city and the spa and restaurant all in the same building complex. The spa and gym are a treat to relax after popping around the corner into cambridge to take in the whole city experience. Quite exciting is the new roof top garden area which I am hoping to return during the summer. A little bit of vertigo as it is six floors up but plenty of space so that you can appreciate it from the middle!

The staff are well spoken, courteous, friendly and very professional. They catered for our every need and made sure we had a brilliant stay by recommending things to do throughout the day. A definite place to go back to.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank nickip23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2011

I booked this hotel for my husbands birthday and i must say that the website does not do it enough justice the views over the city were amazing and there were serval touches that made it extra special the staff at the hotel and in the spa couldnt have done more for us. The rooms were large and spotlessly clean with very comfortable beds and luxurious linen. The location was spot on in walking distance to shops bars and resturants even in the thick snow.
Breakfast was in the spa complex and overlooked the canal we were served a full english breakfast with pipping hot tea and coffee and fesh juices all with a smile and the morning papers. They were also happy to oblige us with breakfast in the room but we decided to take advantage of the spa facilities and enjoyed the jacuzzi and sauna before returning home The hotel also has a roof terrace that boasts 360 degree views over the city we cant wait to go back in the summer and experience it all over again. Fantastic.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ccathygee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

This hotel is fantastic. It's so out of place amongst the appalling Cambridge hotels that I had to do a double take when I viewed it online and check it was really in Cambridge. As a Cambridge grad of many years ago I've stayed / recommended a lot of hotels in the area to people and none of them were anywhere as good as this. Yes, it is expensive. But you get what you pay for. The room was beautifully designed, meticulously clean and right next to a gym / spa you can use for free as a guest (the gym bit). Breakfast was lovely (served in the private restaurant above the gym) and the hotel is 20 seconds walk from the river and 60 seconds walk away from Trinity College which is in the centre of town. They have an amazing roof terrace which is opening in the Summer and I'll be back to sample it! The owners are forward thinking and there to serve the guests, not just rip them off and they accept suggestions/comments. Young, but friendly reception staff who v kindly helped me with my very heavy bags. Yes, they have wooden floors which really make you feel if you are in an urban environment, but give me wooden floors any day rather than grim, swirly carpets. And my room overlooked some very smart student accommodation -- but it's a city with about 30,000 students and you're in the centre of it so I wasn't expecting a landscape pastoral view. I can't wait to go back and would definitely recommend it without hesitation to all travellers looking for something special.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled on business
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Thank scriptgirl
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: £141 - £370 (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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