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University Arms Cambridge
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177 - 182 of 913 reviews
Reviewed 3 November 2013

I booked this hotel for my daughter and I on a recent visit to Cambridge. We booked on booking.com and got a great rate two nights including breakfast for £158. Then I read the reviews and wondered what the heck I had booked us into . I knew it wasn't going to be five star but after reading the reviews it sounded worse than an hostel ( though I am sure there are some lovely hostels out there). I had read about it being damp and dirty and smelling of smoke, as my daughter as ashma I rang ahead and explained my concerns. The receptionist said she would make a note an that whilst the rooms were dated they were not damp or dirty.
When we arrived we had been up graded to room 314 facing Parker's peace. The room was clean and a descent size. The staff are very friendly however the hotel is dated , there are scuff marks and marks on the carpets. Some would call it wear and tear. Yes this place is definitely ready for a refurb however I don't think it deserves all the harsh comments. Was it value for money ....yes. Would I recommend it if you just wanted a basic room with bed ...yes. If you want five star luxury then no this wouldn't be the hotel for you and yes it is a bit noisey on a night due to the location. However the location is also a plus , it took my daughter and I only ten minutes to walk to kings and all the main colleges. Would I stay again ...yes if I was looking for cheap and cheerful no if I wanted luxury. However if I wanted luxury I know I would have been paying £400 plus a night

Room Tip: Room 314 was okay
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Lilybuttons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrew w, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

Firstly may I thank you for your comments and pointers that you have raised, and that I hope you had a wonderful stay with us and Cambridge itself,

Secondly with regard to the pointers raised,I thought I would like to discuss. With you having read reviews from former guests of the hotel, whether positive or negative, I am glad that you had the opportunity too make your own analysis of the hotel.

Yes it is true that the hotel, in parts has succumbed to fatique and that their are areas where the paint work etc is warn, you also mentioned the 1960's exterior on one side of the hotel, which again is not as one would preceive in the Cambridge high street. I am pleased to report that planning permission has already been submitted to Cambridge City Council and we are awaiting approval.

The issue you mentioned with regard too the smell of smoke in the building, I took upon myself too investigate, and at this point may we reaffirm that the hotel is 100% non smoking, upon investigation i could only come too the conclusion that due too an issue the hotel suffered at the end of September that there may have been a smell in rooms near this area which has since not being noted by guests upon departuture or housekeeping.

Regarding the prices of your stay I am pleased that you found this inline with the hotels facilties and offerings, and that oir prices reflect our 4 star market place.

Once again many thanks for your comments raised, and I hope that you and daughter will stay with us in the future.

Andrew W

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013 via mobile

Dirty bathroom, smelly corridors, poorly maintained hotel and very very noisy. I called reception who said they were going to do something about the screaming groups of students below my room. Could not sleep until 2:30 am. A true disgrace of a hotel with very deceiving pictures, tripadvisor do something about this practise . I have mentioned all this when checking out, not much of a response. Must hear this a lot. Do not give them your business! Not worth the 159 pounds at all.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
1  Thank nlesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrew w, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

May I thank you for your feedback and pass my apologises that the hotel did not meet your requirements.

Having read your review and looked into these issues, I have replied to them below.

It is true that areas of the hotel have long seen there hey day, but I am pleased to report that planning permission has already been submitted to Cambridge City Council and we are awaiting approval. The bathrooms of the hotel are of a standard that are clean, yes the enamel may have worn away on ceramic areas, but this in no way impedes on the hotels cleanliness, which we pride ourselves very highly with.

With regard to the noise I understand and apologise that you had difficulty sleeping until 2.30am, the hotel staff are aware that in situations like this, because we are in the heart of a thriving city centre, that contacting the local authorities and police to deal with any noise pollution that may be caused, working closely with parties does show are concerns as far as we can take in the event that this may be an issue.

The picture of the hotel and Parkers Peace is as the hotel sits adjacent to the Parker, yes as other reviews have commented on the main road side the building does not have the 1880s facia, and is more mid 20th century, but our pictures do show the hotel as is.

The pricing of the rooms in a very competitive market and inline with similar rated properties.

I am sorry that you felt the hotel does not meet your requirements, and that my reply is of little but cold comfort too you, yet I hope it shows that I have taken your comments on board and dealt with accordingly.

A Walker

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Reviewed 1 November 2013

Arrived at the hotel....entrance seemed a bit like a 1970's multi storey Car Park....but once into the main hotel it was well looked after & more 'grand' than the main entrance. Staff were very friendly & helpful. Rooms were spacious....could do with a bit of upgrading..(but I think there are plans to do this in the future). Rooms seemed to be quiet.....until about 11am onwards...right up to 4am!!!!...with youngsters/students on the Parkers Piece field by the hotel (Hotel know about this..& again they are hoping to do something about it)...so apart from the 'noise' from outside it was an ideal location for a few days stay in Cambridge.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank 63Alan247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrew w, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

May i thank you for your comments, all comments and reviews whether positive or negative, allow us too monitor guests feelings of the hotel, from structure, staff training and the overall product offerings.

It is true that the entrance too the hotel is mid 20th century and not in-keeping with the internal part of the hotel, and that areas of the hotel are not as they were in there hey day, but the overall services and product are in keeping too your requirements.



My apologises with regard to you having a disturbed evening until 4am, I am pleased however my colleagues at the hotel did bring to your attention that we do work with the local authorities and publicans regarding the noise pollution, and that they mentioned that the hotel as applied for redevelopment, which is awaiting approval from the City planning and council.


All in all I am glad that you felt ideal location for your needs, and please feel free too contact the hotel direct with regard too bedrooms, if you have any requirements.

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Reviewed 30 October 2013

Rather deceptive picture on parking, the photo makes it look as though surrounded by parkland and therefore parking might be reasonable, but arrival gave different impression.I parked near the door to unload, was not obstructing anything or anybody,, but some jobsworth duty manager ordered me to move it. I asked where I could park, and told there was a public car park 15 mins walk across the meadow. No mention of a car park downstairs which was not clearly visible, though I did notice it on my trudge back, and indeed found 5 spare places. Was very cross that jobsworth hadnt the common sense to tell me there was this possibility, especially as it was pouring with rain. Breakfast was excellent, but once again lousy reading from bed-lights, and stupidly placed bath taps accessible only to an acrobat from cirque de soleil around the fixed glass bath shower shield.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank President66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrew w, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

May i thank you for your comments regarding you recent visit to the hotel, having looked into the issues raised, I have briefed my replies below, thus showing we have taking these issues and acted as where visible.

Firstly thank you for the comments regarding the breakfast and thought you found this to be excellent, as I am sure you will agree this is important start to the day.

Secondly upon my reading of the issues you encountered with respect too the parking, I took this very seriously, as we do pride ourselves on customer service, and visibility, the parking although near parkland does not actual stipulate that this is where the hotel car park is situated, thus we have limited services on two levels with signage showing the entrance and exit, this is being followed up as to cleaerr signage. My main concern here is as I stated we pride our self on customer service and i was shocked that you mentioned a member of staff, as not being courteous or amicable, to ensure this is minimalised going forward I have issued retraining where appropriate and dealt with internally where required.

Some of the bedrooms as you pointed out have fixturew and fitting design quirks, this is under review in lines with the plans of refurbishments, set to the local authorities as mentioned in previous review responses, to ensure we are Health and Safety compliant, any rooms that have fixture or fitting in obscure places have been adapted to ensure comfort of use.

I do hope you find my reply answers some of the issues you encountered, and if i can be of further assistance, please contact the hotel direct, where I would be delighted to discuss.

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Reviewed 28 October 2013

We stayed for one night. Its in an excellent location.
The room suffered from a smell of damp. The bed was comfortable. The shower was low flow and had not been descaled in recent times. The air conditioning did not function at all i.e. press as many buttons as you liked and nothing happened. At about 5a.m. what sounded like a generator started right outside and thereafter sleep was difficult.
Breakfast was good and served in a delightful airy room.
Given that parking will likely be an issue in Cambridge I would have a section called "parking" on the website. The cost is £16. The cost in the nearby multi storey would have been much less. You can find the rip off rate of £16 if you reads the terms and conditions closely. I am not surprised they did not want to advertise this too prominently.
Wifi was free. I could connect in an armchair but not in bed where the signal failed.
Overall I would try somewhere else next time.

Room Tip: Don't choose 230. Too much early morning noise and no wifi signal in parts of the room. Don't choose 227. It had a condemned H&S sign on the door.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jeremy69Uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrew w, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

Many thanks for the feedback regarding your recent stay with us at the hotel.

I have addressed the issues you have raised below, too which I hope give some clarity.

With regard to the park in the hotel, as mentioned in a previous reply on trip advisor, car parking in the centre is at a premium, and our costs are below the average set in many public parking areas and private parking areas, there are a number that charge over £25 per night, and as you mentioned our is £16, our rates are 8 hours £8.00 and over night £16.00, which is below averages for the area. As you mentioned we have a section on this on the website, as is required.

The building dates back pre 1890s in parts and depending on the weather can cause a cold feeling in the brick work of the building, regarding the water pressure I can only presume that if a lot of guests are showering at one time that this may have caused this issue, upon speaking with maintenance we have had no issues prior to this. The scale which you noticed I was concerned with as we take housekeeping very seriously, and was surprised that this had been over looked in the monthly checks, to ensure this is not an issue going forward I have implemented that housekeeping check on a daily basis as well as maintained monthly checks.
The wifi as I am sure you are aware has an independent signal strength , and having recently checked we are well covered with receivers, can only deduce that signals were for some reason low at that time, we are monitoring at present to see if this has a pattern.

I do hope this answers any questions you may have had and I would be happy to discuss further if required.

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