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“Long overdue for refurbishing”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed 5 January 2013

Booked on the De Vere winter offer where this hotel is dearer than most others, (most of which we have stayed in) so expecting good things. The first issue is the £16/night car parking charge, not mentioned in the offer. The room we were given was very poor, small, old, tired decor, threadbare carpet and cracked tiles in bathroom. Asking for another room the very helpful receptionist showed us 3 other rooms 2 of which were no better. The room we settled in had at least been decorated recently with, new carpet and whilst the bathroom had been given a makeover in essence, it was still very dated. Our evening meal was served in a small restaurant at the front of the hotel. It lacked any ambiance at all and was more of a diner. The waiters were young, inexperienced and got the order wrong. The food however was great. Have now discovered De Vere have sold this hotel, no surprise really, it just doesn't fit with the rest of the group and has clearly been unloved for a long time.

Room Tip: Wait until the new owners refurbish it.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank bsaa65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 February 2013

Dear BSAA65
I’m sorry that the hotel did not live up to your expectations. I would like to respectfully point out that our car parking fees are widely distributed both online and with our central reservations team unfortunately being a city centre hotel with limited parking, space is valued with a premium, however we have done our up most to keep our fees to a minimum.I was pleased to read our receptionist clearly did their level best in showing you three alternative bedrooms, and with that I am sorry that on this occasion we were unable to satisfy your expectations. I also appreciate the positive comments in relation to our food As you may or may not be aware we do have plans over this year to undergo a full refurbishment programme however this is still very much in the planning stages.
Warm Regards
Matthew Morgan
Operations Manager

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366 - 372 of 915 reviews

Reviewed 4 January 2013

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com
Thank philip r
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Matthew M, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 February 2013

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 4 January 2013

I stayed over at the University Arms for business. When I arrived the staff were really friendly and helpful and check in was quick and smooth. When I got to my room, which was really warm, i opened the window and found that I backed onto the kitchen extractors which were really noisy. There was no way I was going to be able to sleep so I immediately went to reception and asked to be moved. They did this with no fuss and bother and I was soon in a new room overlooking the park. The room was much quieter and the bed really comfy. Whilst I agree with other reviews that some of the decor is tired I couldn't really fault my stay.

Stayed: January 2013, travelled on business
Thank Emma W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 February 2013

Dear Emma W
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to post this review. I appreciate your warm sentiments towards my front desk team. I am sorry to hear that your first room was unsuitable, however delighted to learn that the front desk team were able to resolve this some quickly and efficiently for you.
Warm Regards
Matthew Morgan
Operations Manager

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Reviewed 3 January 2013

We booked two rooms for New Year's Eve and like some others we were a bit concerned about some recent reviews. We needn't have worried we were given a four poster bedroom (room 214) and our daughter and her partner were given the same on another floor, that overlooked Parkers Piece and yes, some things are looking a bit tired and the room was a bit dark, but it was very clean and comfortable with nice toiletries and lovely clean, soft white bath sheets.Great choice of teas and plenty of them. This is a Victorian hotel and there are a few things that let it down but on the whole it was fine and I believe refurbishment will begin sometime this year.

The entrance, reception and ball room alll looked great and the "open fire" in the hallway was very welcoming on a cold and windy night.

The New Years Eve gala dinner was great. Good food, good band and a lovely atmosphere.

Every member of staff that we came into contact with was brilliant - nothing was too much trouble for them and they are a credit to this hotel.

Breakfast was great - buffet style, so as much or as little as you wanted and we could not fault it.

There have been a number of bad reviews for this hotel but this is not one of them.

Room Tip: If you want a quite night away from the busy Regent Street then ask for a room opposite Parkers Piec...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank fishingCambridge_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 February 2013

Dear FishingCambridge_uk

I took great delight in reading your review, it is true that we have a refurbishment program looking to start this year however I have been given no definitive time frame.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for pointing this out, further more I would also like to thank you for noting our food quality, selection and atmosphere.

Above all I take great pride in your comments in relation to our staff, this is something as a hotel we always strive for and i would like to thank you once again for noticing.

I look forward to welcoming you back to The University Arms Cambridge very soon.

Kind Regards
Matthew Morgan
Operations Manager

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Reviewed 31 December 2012

Four of us stayed in two rooms in December 2012.

The hotel foyer is comfortable and had some very nice Christmas trees. The bar is also nice with a view of the park. The sandwich we had there was not great though.

The bedroom was a disappointment, suffering from that sad shabbiness which afflicts so many UK hotels. A broken lamp cover had not been replaced, leaving ugly light bulbs exposed, the net curtains were practically black with dirt (the worst I've seen anywhere), the enamel on the loo was chipped and unsightly and just generally the room was looking tired and unloved. The bathroom had what must be the smallest and most useless washbasin in the known world - infuriating! At least the bedding and towels were immaculately clean.

The hardest thing to bear was the heat and stuffiness of the room. It was phenomenal. The radiator was off and the air conditioner was completely feeble and useless. The windows have, for some unfathomable reason, been restricted to opening about half an inch, which made not an iota of difference. Our companions in another room had exactly the same problem and we all passed an utterly miserable night. Their bed was very uncomfortable, with a big dip in the middle, although ours was OK. The rooms were on the road side and incredibly noisy, so if you must stay I suggest you make a point of specifying rooms on the park.

The breakfast was disgusting. I tried a croissant which no self-respecting Frenchman would have acknowledged as such; it was dense and rubbery. Having abandoned that, I asked for scrambled eggs, which are pretty hard to get wrong. I got cold, soggy, unbuttered toast and anaemic, tasteless eggs. My companion who is usually unfussy said the bacon was horrible too. There was no butter available on the buffet, only margarine, which was bizarre. However, some was quickly brought on request.

The staff in general were polite and efficient, although it did little to improve our stay. The core business of a hotel is surely to provide a comfortable room, a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast. This hotel fell down an all three. We all felt dreadful the next day and it basically ruined our stay in Cambridge.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the park, or choose another hotel.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank MuttleyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2013

Dear MuttleyLondon

We are sorry you had a miserable night staying with us.
I am not sure that night you stayed wit us or what room you were in, but we could have moved you to an alternative room if you had contacted one of our Duty Managers who are on duty twenty hours a day, seven days a week to deal with any guest queries.
I cannot comment on your sandwich as you have not indcated what was wrong with it other than 'not great though'.
The croissant is in fact made in France!
Toast is normally made by guests using a toaster on the buffer, therefore we cannot understand your comments about cold soggy toast!
We do have restrictors on the windows as it is a legal requirement in hotels in the UK.

Please that you found the staff polite and effcicient.

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Reviewed 30 December 2012

We paid £129 for a 1 night stay and think that it was an absolute joke and a complete insult of a stay. I had come all the way from Sri Lanka to sit an exam in the morning. From the room we could hear loud music until 12pm. I rang reception at about 10 to complain and was told that it would finish at 12 and the guy commented that 'maybe we shouldn't book such late parties in the future'. The party guests then proceeded to make a hell of a lot of noise going to bed until about 1am. My mother complained in the morning on check-out as I was sitting the exam and was told that 'we should have been offered an alternative room'. Well, we weren't. And maybe it should have been taken into consideration that there was a party going on when we were checked in.

The room's furniture was small, very tired and our view was onto a light well. Not exactly what you would expect from a £129 room. It already did not impress me without the noise problems.

Parking was an additional £16, which is pretty steep.

I will be writing to the management.

I paid £700 to come from Sri Lanka for an interview and exam and I feel that my chances of sucess were hampered by this hotel. Something I would absolutely not expect when we paid so much.

Room Tip: Choose another hotel if you want to be guaranteed sleep!!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
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Thank jsm101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2012

Dear jsm101

I note the content of your review and understand you will be writnig to the hotel and we will await your communication so we can reply to you formally.

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Reviewed 29 December 2012

I stayed here on 17th December and was very impressed with this hotel.The reviews made me wary about going but I was pleasantly surprised.On entering the hotel there was lovely display of well cared for plants,display boxes in reception area were well presented and made such a difference from the usual things you see in these cabinets.
Reception team gave a arm welcome and were very friendly.I wandered around the ground floor area and found all areas to be spotless and well kept.All staff I met had a smile.The lunch in Parkers Bar overlooking the green was very enjoyable.
The room we had was spacious,very clean with a fresh smell and plenty of toiletries and variety of teas etc.Admittedly some areas could do with a revamp but the warmth and lovely surroundings was a joy to behold.All staff from reception,bar,breakfast and housekeeping area credit to this lovely victorian hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Emma S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2012

Dear Emma S

Pleased you were pleasantly surprised by your stay.

Our team do try hard to ensure our guests have a good stay and your comments are very motivational for the team.

We hope you stay with us again in 2013.

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Additional Information about University Arms Cambridge

Address: 1 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1GG, 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: £59 - £363 (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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