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“Good pub, but terrible hotel”
Review of The Portland Arms

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The Portland Arms
Ranked #41 of 126 Cambridge B&B and Inns
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Well, it has been chosen because of no other relatively non-expensive hotels were available at the moment I made a booking. It`s quite far from the railway station (nearly an hour of energetic walk), and, as there is no luggage room at the station, I had to find out the local buses schedule to pick up the luggage from the hotel before my evening train. There happened to be the only direct bus to the station, going once an hour.

The hotel itself is a number of rooms with shared facilities at the floor above the pub. Yes, the music is right as it should be in non-quiet bar on Friday evening - so ear plugs are must-to-have. I should admit it became quiet at midnight, though.

At arrival, I was asked to wait - and had to wait for 10 minutes near the bar desk, and then ask for a manager at least twice, until one of the barman stops working with pub visitors and show me the room. Understandable, but quite unpleasant.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank NataliaR_Moscow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ScAtMaN_UK, Manager at The Portland Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2014

Hi NataliaR
Sorry for the delay in replying and sorry you felt you did not enjoy your stay.
As we are in the north part of the city and the train station in the south we recommend hailing a cab to get to us. We do state that in our booking and travel directions.

As a pub rather than a hotel we are busy at the weekends and do have regular live entertainment throughout the week. All details of any live events are on our website. Music and events always stop at 11pm.

Sorry you had to wait to be seen but again we can get very busy with lunchtime customers. We aim to have extra staff on at busy times.

Thanks for your response.
Steve, Landlord

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 - 51 of 66 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2014

Stayed for a couple of nights, and on both nights there was very loud music (what appeared to be a gig) downstairs. The music admittedly stopped at 11pm, but was really an inconvenience. The walls are pretty slim too so could hear neighbours talk late into the night.
Room was clean but not particularly well insulated from the cold.
Shared bathroom was fine.
Would not stay there again, given that some other B&Bs are more comfortable for the same price range in the area.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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Thank LondonDodo3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

I enjoyed my stay at the Portland arms yesterday the place was very clean and the staff were very polite and made my stay welcome. I had a nice room that was enough for me as I was alone and the location of the pub was within walking distance of the towns center I would definitely stay there again

Room Tip: there is only a few room available and all are good rooms
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank steve s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

A weekend trip to visit my daughter at university with my friend. Met by friendly staff and a lovely refurbished outside space. Exellent value for money for Cambridge,television and beverage available in room

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Nessy007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

Stayed here for one night, as part of a cycling holiday weekend. Didn't want much so basic pub BnB was adequate. Seems to be just three rooms which share a shower room (with toilet) and another toilet. Rooms were clean - perhaps they have cleaned up their act after previous criticisms. Pub is on main road it is a bit noisy with traffic.
Management folks both helpful (allowing us to chain our cycles securely out of public sight). No food served, perhaps because there was a private party going on in the separate room at the back - this did not impact us, we ate elsewhere. No breakfast included, so not a BnB, just a B.
Good location being almost opposite Jesus Green so ten mins walk into town. Cheap enough if that is all you need (as we did).
Marked sleep quality down just due to traffic noise - we did have window open as it was a hot night! I can sleep most places anyhow.
I don't know what people who have rated this one star expect for this money in central Cambridge!

Room Tip: Ask for the room at the back if possible?
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

"Family" room extremely cramped. Hotel located at road junction so very noisy all night with traffic after late night noise of music and constant banging of doors from pub below.

Worst of all floors and windows of room dirty, bedlinen and towels not fresh, communal shower area grimy with loads of hair and old toothpaste in plugholes and very strong, bad and unidentifiable smell in room.

Overall Yuck!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Ivaylo_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

'Only three roms available!' so quickly press 'booking'... Better not! Why? There are only three rooms in the 'hotel'. Don't know where to start the review. The place is consequently at the lowest end. The best about it: it is not extremely dirty and the staff in the pub (where you get your room key - and a key there is still a real key) is friendly; there are worse things in life than a bad hotel and most importantly, you can survive it. So, if you are looking for a low budget overnight stay and not even one room at any other place is available, go for it. In short: rooms are small, noisy and equiped with old furniture, beds/mattresses are worn out, towels are old, it is not easy to get a second key, and many more things like this to make sure that Portland Arms is consequently at the low end. 'Forgotten something'? No problem: just get a toothbrush or (!) toothpaste for 1.50 £, shore gel/shampoo for 1.95 £. Or earplugs or one aspirin for 0,50 £. And better go for it, it might be money well spent since the pub is just in the floor below, the main street it on front of the building and the dispenser for the shower lotion is empt. Advice: since there is no en-suite bathroom, but one for all guests, better get up early and use it first... Even then, do not expect that you will find it really clean. So, why should you book 'Portland Arms'? I really do not know, since there are many better places for the lower rates in town. The good thing about it: absolutely great business case for the owner. Three small rooms on top of a pub can generate a monthly income of 6,000 £ (!). That's wonderful - but just only for the owner.

Room Tip: Go for the cheapest, they are all the same low quality.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Walhoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Portland Arms

Address: 129 Chesterton Road, Cambridge CB4 3BA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #41 of 126 B&Bs / Inns in Cambridge
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Portland Arms 2.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Portland Arms is a traditional pub serving fine real ales, home-cooked food and a warm welcome. 2 minutes walk from the river cam and a 10 minutes walk from the historic city centre the Portland Arms is in easy reach of all Cambridge amenities, is on major bus and cycle routes and is easy to reach via the A14 and M11 motorway. There is parking available in the local area along side streets. All rooms are room only board basis. We have 3 letting rooms consisting of 1 double and 1 twin room and 1 with a double bed and sofa bed. All rooms come equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, TV and use of free Wi-Fi internet. Note: rooms are not en-suite, bathrooms shared between the three rooms. We are a noted Live Music Venue with entertainment most nights of the week. Check our website for current program of events. The pub is also famed for the quality of Its Ales and food with two bars with wood panelling and real open fires, pool tables, and sky sports. Please note that the pub is not open for breakfast but there are a couple of excellent cafe's nearby serving food early. Due to the age and nature of the building, rooms are unsuitable for mobility impaired or young children. Parking: No parking on site, street parking or pay and display available opposite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Portland Arms Hotel Cambridge

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