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“Very faded charm”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed 28 April 2012

Having previously stayed here in an acceptable regular room which cost £89, I decided to try one of their 'executive' rooms thinking that they'd be of a substantially better quality at £149, room only.

We were first offered a room near the front which looked and felt identical to the regular room I'd previously stayed in. I pointed this out to the front desk and we were offered an alternative without any fuss. This room was enormous with a four-poster bed so we can only think that there had been a mistake.

A few problems were immediately apparent: there was the sound of a toilet endlessly trying to refill.. it was broken. I removed the granite top and fixed it.. and while doing so, discovered 3 or four broken floor tiles which wobbled underfoot.

We then discovered that the internet router was not connected to power. The multi socket to which it was attached had fused, so we connected it to the wall and fixed that. There was no central light in the room though it appeared there was a fixture without a bulb. I guess we could have probably had the hotel attend to these issues, but I tend to think it's far quicker to sort these things on your own in a few minutes rather than go to that bother.

On the plus side, the four poster was very nice with crisp linen and comfortable pillows. Decent if slightly cramped shower with good water pressure and good towels. A quite lovely view of the park.

There is something rather charming about this hotel although I can quite understand why this is lost on many. The decor is unquestionable tired, but you cannot take a hotel seriously that offers rooms with cracked tiles, a broken toilet and fused electrics. Loose extension cables and sockets trailing around furniture are also not the mark of a classy hotel. Somehow, the photos on their website manage at the same time to be accurate and yet misleading.

Quite honestly, £149 is way too much for this room. £89 seemed acceptable for a standard room, but the hike to £149 is over the top. Yes it was a very nice size, but I was expecting something more than extra space, and certainly free of maintenance issues!

Room Tip: Don't let them give you a room at the front along the main road.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank worldwiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrej S, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2012

Dear worldwiser,

Thank you for your review.

I was very happy to read that we were able to offer you a room with one of our four poster beds.

Thank you for raising some of the issues you experienced during your stay.

I have passed these issues on to my housekeeping and maintenance manager who will be addressing them shortly.

Best Regards,

Andrej Stein
Operations Manager

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510 - 516 of 914 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2012

I stayed one night on business - room and breakfast cost £107.10
Like many other comments I agree the rooms are a little dated and the small touches in the room could be approved apon but my overall experience is a good one for this hotel, not sure if its worth over £100 but that might be down to the location as its in the centre of Cambridge.

Staff are friendly and helpful! I had high hopes for this hotel as it is a De Vere but was slightly disappointed - thought it would be a bit better quality in the rooms but they are still nice.

Parking is a nightmare with limited spaces in a very small car park. Large selection for the breakfast in the well looked after restaurant.

Room Tip: Nice reception area - got that grand feeling about it
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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Thank ejh_1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrej S, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2012

Dear ejh_1986,

Thank you for your review.

I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay and enjoyed our central location.

We look forward to welcoming you back at the hotel.

Best Regards,

Andrej Stein
Operations Manager

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Reviewed 26 April 2012

Very disappointed with our stay at this establishment. We travelled a fair distance up to Cambridge for a nice romantic weekend with my girlfriend and was shocked at how misleading the pictures on the website were compared to the actual current state of the rooms at this hotel. The rear of the hotel (Pictured) is stunning admittedly..... the front however is completely out of character with the rest of the building. I would love to know who the photographer who took the pictures was as his skills in flattering the hotel are truly astonishing and i would be interested in hiring him because with his skills i think i could be a underwear model for Calvin Klein. ( i'm no oil painting) We paid a lot of money to stay here and if it was not raining i would of asked for a refund and slept in the park adjacent. On the plus side though breakfast was pleasant and the over priced car park and location was handy. Im not some bitter old crank but i paid £196 for one nights stay and i think i'm well entitled for a little moan......

Happy Camping

Room Tip: Dont expect to stay in any of the rooms displayed as the pictures were taken around about 149 years...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank SiB657
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrej S, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2012

Dear SiB657,

Thank you for your review.

I was happy to read that you enjoyed our breakfast buffet.

I am very sorry that you felt your bedroom did not represent the pictures on our website. As we are a Victorian Hotel some of our room layouts differ and might not reflect the images of our website.

We have carefully chosen a selection of pictures to represent the hotel in a truthful way.

Our car parking is priced at £16.00 per night which is a very competitive rate in Cambridge, especially for its location.

Thank you once again for your review.

Best Regards,

Andrej Stein
Operations Manager

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Reviewed 25 April 2012

I've known the University Arms for over 50 years, ever since my parents stayed there in the 1960s, so it is an old friend in a way. Last week was, however, my first visit for some years. The location is good, with fine views if you're lucky with your room, and there is still a hint of Victorian splendour about the central lounge and the rooms around it. But the overall impression was of a hotel that had seen better days.

I was looking forward to eating in the dining room overlooking Parker's Piece, but it's now the "Ballroom" and the restaurant "R17" is in a smaller modern room overlooking the street. However, our dinner there was good and nicely served.

Our room was inconveniently arranged on two levels, with 3 poorly-marked steps separating the sleeping area from the sitting area and bathroom. As a result, you couldn't view the TV from the two armchairs. The bathroom was very narrow at one end, with a very hot towel rail close to the bath. Sound-proofing was poor, with the band at the wedding party in the ballroom clearly audible until they stopped at midnight, but then the creaks from the floor of the bedroom above us were even louder.

A room-service continental breakfast was promptly served, and was OK apart from a shortage of butter.

The staff were all friendly and keen to please, and our complaint about the hazardous steps in the bedroom was sympathetically dealt with by the manager. But my old friend of a hotel now lacks the finesse that I remember.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank RichardRFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrej S, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2012

Dear RichardRFC,

Thank you for your review.

I was very happy to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, in particular the Meal in Restaurant 17.

I have taken your comments on board in regards to the furniture layout and will review these as soon as possible.

I am grateful you gave me the opportunity to deal with your complaint in regards to the steps on check out. I can advise you that the problem has now been rectified.

Best Regards,

Andrej Stein
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Stayed here for a couple of nights . . . .had to change rooms because first one was very noisy overlooking air conditioning on roof. Second room quieter but very small and dated.

Room Tip: Contact hotel prior to arriving and discuss rooms . . . if you want a great room then you are going...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank retsehcniw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrej S, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2012

Dear retsehcniw,

Thank you for your review.

I was very pleased to read that you found our reception staff to be pleasant.

Please let me apologize that you did not find our rooms acceptable.

Please do contact me, should you wish to stay with us again. Via E-Mail Andrej.Stein@devere-hotels.com or via telephone 01223 273 000.

Best Regards,

Andrej Stein
Operations Manager

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Reviewed 20 April 2012

We stayed on a Saturday night, the room was rather over priced but the bed was very comfortable and although the room was dated it was clean. The hotel staff were obliging and reeled off the corporate script in a 'have a nice day' fashion!
We overlooked the busy, noisy road and spending over £100 for one night, I would have preferred a view over Parker's Piece.
Won't go back.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the road are very noisy on a Saturday night.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nicholap19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrej S, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2012

Dear Nicholap19,

Thank you for your review.

Please do contact me directly should you wish to return to the University Arms. I then would be able to check for the best promotions and offers we have available. Via E-Mail Andrej.Stein@devere-hotels.com or via telephone 01223 273 000.

Best Regards,

Andrej Stein
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

This hotel is very tired and badly needs investment to bring it up to date. The rooms are small, beds uncomfortable, walls are paper thin so noise can be an issue. On the plus side the staff are very good, polite and helpful. Location is good but make sure you eat out, we had a dinner here for 25 people from around the world that reinforced the myth that food in England is the worst!! Such a shame and a real disappointment.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Martin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrej S, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2012

Dear Martin H,

Thank you for your review.

I was very disappointed to read that you had such a negative experience.
Would you please be able to contact me via telephone 01223 273 000 or e-mail Andrej.Stein@devere-hotels.com so I would be able to gain more details and fully investigate your stay.

Best Regards,

Andrej Stein
Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about University Arms Cambridge

Address: Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AD, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: £61 - £379 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — University Arms Cambridge 4*
Number of rooms: 192
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of medieval Cambridge, set back from the hustle and bustle of the town and bathed in green lawn lies this rather special historic hotel. It’s an education in quirky British charm and is famous for its hospitality, not to mention its guests over the years from the Beatles to the Krays. Luxurious rooms full of character await, spiral staircases and of course all of Cambridge’s attractions right on your marble doorstep. Take a punt on University Arms and you won’t be disappointed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel De Vere University Arms

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