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“Too expensive too dated”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Waterbeach, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Too expensive too dated”
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I stayed at this hotel for a shopping trip into Cambridge - for this it is an excellent location. From the start there were issues with the stay. The kerb to the upper level of the carp park meant my car grounded slightly on entry - unusual as my car is not particularly low.

The reception was quite a visual delight but unfortunately the service did not match it. There was little information provided by the receptionist other than we were on the third floor! The overall feeling was not welcoming.

The room was access from a lift via a corridor which gave a clue to the standard of decor. Dated is too kind a description. Paint work is scuffed, pictures set at angles, damage to skirtings and dado rails. The room was a reasonable size but in great need of maintenance and redecoration. Wallpaper was pealing, woodwork damaged, furniture units in poor condition to mention just few points. The room was noisy - external and internal. The traffic along the corridors seemed non-stop. The radiator needed bleeding as it heated unevenly and gurgled away all night. The toilet took an age to fill but luckily the shower was a boon.

We made complaint as you would expect and was told that the staff are aware of the room's short comings but they could not do anything about it.

After a disturbed night a good breakfast would be a bonus but unfortunately the service and quality matched the quality of the accommodation.

To summarise - too expensive, too dated, poor service and the hotel couldn't care less about the guests. There is little to recommend it and I would suggest Cambridge can offer better for less.

Room Tip: Surrounded on 2 sides by roads so avoid these. First floor rooms can be over the ballroom where fun...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Russ L
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 review, 12 December 2013
Thank you for your review regarding you recent stays with us at the hotel.

As mentioned in previous responses we caterer for many different guests and try to accommodate all wishes where possibly, by offering a base level of service and then meeting the guests needs from this basis.

The hotel has in certain areas seen it’s hey day, and as I have mentioned in recent reviews, we have received the go ahead from the local authorities to undertaking a major refurbishment, however the rooms and public areas are 2nd to none when it comes to cleanliness.

As I am sure you are a where we have extensive Conference and Banqueting facilities, and that it it’s the time of year for festive parties, we ensure the decibel levels are within the legal requirements, and that all event music finishes at 00.00 midnight, we also do have the appropriate signage in the public areas informing guests.

Overall your experience of staff and the hotel, were not to a standard you would of expected, but I would like to ensure you that, we are praised on the service of staff, but for you there service element was not to your requirements, for this I can only apologise, and I do hope you see you in the near future.
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Rating summary
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2013

Hotel with impressive foyer and dining rooms, very well located in the centre of the city and with a distinct view across the Parkers Piece green space. Rooms and the main part of the hotel are, however, rather more faded and obviously in need of renovation, although perfectly comfortable and serviceable. My room was large and – bar the four poster bed – unremarkably furnished. It smelled a little bit musty on entering and, given single glazing, the bathroom was rather cold, but overall the room was comfortable and usable and had a view. Breakfast was nice when not in my view as much of a distinct highlight as other reviewers have suggested apart from the impressive Breakfast room.

However, there were quite simply appalling levels of noise on the second (Friday) night of my stay from a nightclub or disco in the immediate facility - music blaring and reverberating through the walls and floor. Frustrating as I had to get up very early the following day. 

Not the best hotel I stayed in, but far from the worst in most respects, but to be avoided because of noise issues.

 

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ProfessorY
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 review, 12 December 2013
Thank you for your review regarding you recent stays with us at the hotel.

As mentioned we caterer for many different guests and try to accommodate all wishes where possibly, by offering a base level of service and then meeting the guests needs from this basis.

The hotel has in certain areas seen it’s hey day, and as I have mentioned in recent reviews, we have received the go ahead from the local authorities to undertaking a major refurbishment, which will see items such as single glazing refurb-ed.

As I am sure you are a where we have extensive Conference and Banqueting facilities, and that it it’s the time of year for festive parties, we ensure the decibel levels are within the legal requirements, and that all event music finishes at 00.00 midnight, we also do have the appropriate signage in the public areas informing guests.

I am glad that the overall experience was not the worst you have encountered, but sorry it the best, I would be delighted to receive you at the hotel, in the future and meeting personally, to show the future plans for the hotel and discuss any issue or concerns you may have had.
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Travellers are raving about these Cambridge hotels

Barnet, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2013

We stayed at this hotel from Friday November 29 - December 1 2013. It is in an excellent position in the magnificent city of Cambridge - ideal for walking round the colleges, visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum and, of course, enjoying the many pubs and restaurants.
It is what I call a good, solid hotel. The reception area, bar and breakfast room are well decorated, elegant and quiet. It was so nice to return to the peace of the hotel after experiencing the manic Christmas shoppers of Cambridge ! The bedrooms (we only experienced one) are more than adequate but I suspect it is time for a refurb, especially the bathrooms. Musn't forget the lovely, old-fashioned lift. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DJKJ123
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 review, 12 December 2013
Thank you for your review you posted of your recent stay with us at the hotel.

One of the attractions is our lift, which is only 1 of 2 still in working order installed in 1927, and is quite an attraction.

Your positive feedback has been passed back to the team, and the reception praised as the new training implementation recently introduced have showed immediate results.

It is true that the hotel in certain quarters has since seen it’s hey day, and a refurbishment. is planned in the near future.
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Peterborough
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2013

We stayed at this hotel on a busy Saturday night in Cambridge after visiting the Corn Exchange. The location was excellent and the hotel good. Friendly staff, large comfortable bed, hot breakfast cooked individually. Safe and tea and coffee making facilities. Would definitely stay again.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Blue968
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 review, 12 December 2013
Many thanks for the positive feedback,

All feedback whether positive or negative assist us in developing a strong product and training basis.

I am glad you found the service/staff to standard and the bed comfortable.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future.
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Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

I was at university in Cambidge in the 1980's and remember this hotel as being the sort of place where parents would stay to see their offspring graduate. Unfortunately the room I had was last refurbished in the 1980's, and although the bed was comfy, the heating didn't seem to work properly and the decor made me think I was in my granny's back bedroom. The bathroom was dire with so many layers of over-tiling round the bath you could barely get in it.
On the plus side it's handy for town, has its own (small) carpark and the staff were friendly if not that well trained.

Room Tip: Try and get a refurbished room
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cloud9leeds
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 review, 5 December 2013
Many thanks for the correspondence and review of your recent stay with us at the hotel.

It is true that the hotel in some parts does play true to the era of the late 70s and early 80s, and that certain parts have seen there bygone days, as mentioned in previous reviews as of late, I am delight to be able to let you know that, just over 2 weeks ago the local authority has passed planning permissions for the refurbishment of the hotel. Which will take into account the redesign of the areas of the hotel that are more dated than others?

Once again many thanks for your comments raised and if I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to let me know direct.
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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

On reading some negative reviews I was pleasantly surprised on staying at the University Arms hotel. It is a true historically, elegant, English hotel. The main reception room with the beautiful chandelier and grand piano is a lovely place to sit and relax with a coffee. The bar and restaurant are also relaxing places to enjoy. The breakfast was one of the best of any where with hot food cooked fresh when ordered, not a buffet style. The bedroom my husband and I were in had a super king size bed, a little seating area up some stairs and a refurbished bathroom. It was also a lovely warm room in November. It was great to be close to the shops in the Grand Arcade which is a very stylish area. The staff in all areas were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dlnichola
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 review, 5 December 2013
.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for your comments, as always comments whether positive or negative allow us to build a portfolio of requests and training plans.

I am glad that you found the bedroom comfy, and that the King-size bed was to your satisfaction, we do offer many ranges of bedroom size from single to the more sumptuous king-size over looking Parkers Piece.

The main reception is an area we are renowned for the elegance of the grand to the chandeliers, and our signature breakfast that is as renowned to its lovers as our staff are for there service standards.

Once again I thank you for your words and look forward to seeing you in the near future
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

Attended a meeting at this hotel. The outside of the building is dire, but the main reception and foyer are much nicer. The ballroom (where lunch was served) and the conference rooms are fine, too. Lunch was okay, but nothing great. Despite the meeting being quite large (i.e. there were many of us attending), hot water (for tea) and coffee had to be replenished frequently, as inadequate amounts were put out in the first place. When a colleague asked one of the staff whether what she was putting out was hot water or coffee, the member of staff simply pointed to the sign on the table and said "it says there". Some further training on how to converse with customers wouldn't go amiss. On a plus note, the public toilets in the hotel are good - with good quality toiletries for you to use. I didn't stay at the hotel (as I had read too many negative comments to give it a try, and the recent fire certainly put me off).

Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Bobbysgirl01
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 review, 5 December 2013
Many thanks for your comments raised.

May I firstly ensure you that the issues that were regarding the recent fire at the hotel, were dealt with in accordance to company policy.

I am glad you found the facilities’ to your satisfactory, just to make you aware the reason we keep a regular flow of the beverages, is to ensure we offer the best service available by ensuring all our products are served at there optimum.

Regarding the staff, I have spoken with the relevant heads of department, to ensure if there are communication barriers i.e. language that we do have amble staffing to ensure this issue is minmialised.

Once again many thanks for your comments and I hope that I have been able to answer any queries you may of had.
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Additional Information about University Arms Cambridge

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £
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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