We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Appalling stay!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed 12 January 2014

I stayed here for one night attending a Christmas work party and was absolutely shocked by my stay. I have never had such a bad experience in a hotel before and have stayed at plenty within the UK. To start with on arrival I asked the receptionist what time breakfast would be and what time checkout in the morning would be (I thought this would be quite normal questions when somebody checks in to a hotel) and I was told by the receptionist to read the details when I go up to my room! Imagine... I go to my room to find the balcony door is open and does not lock. I wouldn't feel safe sleeping knowing this so asked reception could I change rooms- she said every room was taken. I waited for maintenance for about 20 minutes for him to come up and advise me there was no no key (which I had told them) he would go to look for a spare. By this point I had only 25 minutes to get ready for my work do so called back to tell them not to worry I would sort something. The lady from my company organising the stay said there was a spare room and brought me to reception to get another room. The same arrogant lady was there and seemed extremely annoyed with me. I have to say I am usually such a placid person and have never even written a bad review on trip adviser before so her treatment really shocked me. To top it off the new room key I received ( walking in with two other colleagues helping to carry my bags at 2 am in the morning) had a young lady sleeping in the bed who screamed as we walked in! Note- always put the latch on your doors. I ended up swapping rooms with a colleague. I found out from reception later that apparently the awful receptionist was in fact a manager called Sylvia! My father has managed top hotels in London for over 30 years and when I told him of my experiences he was disgusted. Other than that the room was tired looking- but had quite a large telly, comfy bed and tea/coffee facilities which were fine. Our 3 course meal was awful thank god we had eaten not long before. The potatoes tasted like Aunt Bessy's cooked 5 times. Breakfast was lovely as were the girls working in the breakfast area. One last thing at 1.30 in the morning I asked the young man at reception could we order sandwiches and coffee. He said yes but only to your rooms as room service- I said please as I'm with my colleagues could we not sit down in the foyer (it would be less work than delivering to different rooms)- he was adamant that he couldn't so we didn't bother ordering anything. Overall I think the attitude of the awful receptionist ruined my stay- if she had at least said sorry about the balcony and had a better attitude I'm sure things wouldn't have seemed so bad but she acted like everything was all my fault and wouldn't even look at me in the morning-weird character and not an example to other staff of who should be greeting and welcoming guests to a hotel they have travelled far to get to.

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank 1aliyah1
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 16 January 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your comments raised.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (914)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

142 - 148 of 914 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2014 via mobile

The hotel is in a great location, however the decor is tired. The breakfast was a disaster waited ages to be served. Then got raw sausage. The bread for toast was frozen. My tip is stay on a room
Only basis and go in town for food there are great places within 1 minutes walk

Stayed: January 2014
Thank thecoes1
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 16 January 2014

Thank you for your recent comments regarding your recent stay with us at the hotel,

The hotel in certain areas is as you mention looking tired, and these are the areas set for the refurbishment.

Regarding the standard of the breakfast you encountered this saddened and shock me, for 2 reasons.

Firstly breakfast is generally the last encounter and memory a guest has when leaving the hotel.

Secondly I was shocked as we have overall receive most favourable comments regarding the quality and produce of our breakfast.

I have looked into the issues mentioned and to ensure these are eradicated and any potential issues that may arise are dealt with before they happen, this has been done by introducing new training policies and check lists.

I do hope we see you at the hotel in the near future and if I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me direct.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

Needed a hotel in Central Cambridge at short notice as late booking.com had booked us into Menzies hotel which is not located in the centre of Cambridge, but that's another story.good hotels at a reasonable price in Cambridge seem to be as rare as hens teeth ! Everything at the university arms is ok except the bedrooms themselves which are in need of a complete overhaul.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank willowtreacle
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 16 January 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your comments, I am glad you found the hotel as a whole satisfactory, as recently mentioned the hotel, is about to enter a refurbishment stage in certain quarters of the hotel.

Once again thank you for your custom and we hope to see you in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014 via mobile

On the plus side, the hotel is very well located for all that Cambridge has to offer.

The staff I met were friendly and helpful and I can not fault their approach to customer service.

Sadly the hotel is very dated. I appreciate it is under an extensive refurbishment programme, but nothing short of a complete overhaul will bring many of the rooms into the 21st century.

The first room I had was large, tired and old fashioned. The second was cramped, tired and old fashioned. It is a period hotel, but it is possible to be up to date and sympathetic to the style of the hotel.

The car park is completely inadequate for the size of even quite modest modern cars. In an attempt to maximise profit, the spaces and room to manoeuvre just aren't good enough. They could remove a few spaces and increase the allocation for each vehicle quite easily. But that would of course reduce revenue for the hotel. With parking at such a premium in Cambridge, the car park is very full.

These are minor details compared to the noise issues I suffered during my stay. Large areas of the hotel are given over to bars, function rooms etc. As it was just before Christmas, there were multiple functions each and every night of my four night stay. Presumably there are functions throughout the year also. Any room even two floors above these functions is rendered useless as a hotel room before midnight. I couldn't stand to be in the room, let alone sleep. The noise and the vibration from various live bands, karaoke etc was ludicrous. I can't begin to describe it. If that was 85db, as described by the general manger in another post here, I must have the hearing of a bat. It simply wasn't.

I was moved to a quieter room on the third floor for the remainder of my stay. It was cramped, dated and scruffy. But it was quiet at least.

The hotel needs to decide. Is it a party venue? In which case all affected rooms must be sold with a disclaimer and a reduced rate at the point of sale. Or is it a hotel where people can rest and sleep? To sell these rooms in the full knowledge of the experience the guests will suffer, at full rate and without warning, really can not be justified.

Clearly the manger is trying to address the issues on here, for that he must be commended. But that only shows the scale of the problem.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
Thank Le-Hedgepig
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 16 January 2014

Dear Guest

May I thank you for your constructive points raised, as I have mentioned in previous replies, all feedback whether positive, constructive or negative, are viewed in the same light and are taken on board for the future development of the hotel, during its refurbishment and training.

Car parking as you mentioned is at a premium in the city and our car park as mentioned does become full, the points raised have been taken on board and passed to the planning team during the refurbishment.

As we are a city centre hotel, like many in the city centre we do have conference and banqueting facilities and during the festive periods these faculties are used frequently. Ensuring our guests have a pleasant stay, we try to ensure where possible that guests utilising our conference and banqueting suites are housed in the areas above these rooms, depending on special requests.
Where possible we will assist guests of the hotel to move rooms, to ensure there stay is as comfortable as possible,.

Once again thank you for your review and we looked forward to seeing you at the hotel in the future

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2014

Well located in the heart of Cambridge, this historic hotel has everything you need to have a pleasant stay except good service! My family and I stayed there several times while our daughter was at university in Cambridge. The last time we had a room there however, the staff and management had changed and they really went out of their way to make our visit unpleasant.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MARIE CHRISTINE F
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 11 January 2014

Dear Marie

Firstly thank you for your review.

Secondly I was saddened to learn that you and your family did not enjoy your stay with us the last time you were in the Cambridge area visiting your daughter, but was a little shocked at the fact you mention the managment and staff have changed as the senior management have been here for around 5 years and many of the full time and casual staff a minimun of 18 months to 2 years.

I would be delighted to discuss are assist if there was a particular member of the team you felt had distrupted your stay, if this is the case, please do not hesitate to contact me at the hotel, where I would be happy to assist.

Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

As a warning to those wishing to book this hotel- please be aware this is definitely a hotel of two halves from our point of view. Reception areas, restaurant and bar definitely live up to 4 star rating, but unfortunately with regard to the rooms we were shown the condition and quality left a lot to be desired. We appreciate that the hotel is in the process of refurbishment, however when you pay good money, you expect a certain level of decent accommodation.

We booked a double room and on arrival were given a pokey poorly decorated room overlooking the flat roof housing extraction systems which were noisy. We asked for another room and I have to say the Spanish Receptionist was extremely helpful however the "upgraded" room was appalling, it smelt of drains, areas around the bed had wallpaper peeling, there was black mold in the bathroom and the room had no heating, and to top it all two single beds had been pushed together with a double sheet fitted over, leaving a gap between the beds. We again asked for a decent room, by this time were very despondent after travelling for some time to be met with this disappointing situation. Again we were offered an upgrade on the third floor, which was a very nice room, but again needed some TLC. The receptionist told us we could have this room for £10 extra, which we were surprised at being charged but were left with no choice as the booking was non-refundable. On leaving this morning we were presented with an extra cost of £10 per night for the upgrade, we felt disappointed, disillusioned and somewhat hoodwinked! When we questioned the charge we asked to see a Manager but were told no one was available. The receptionist appeared to really not care and didn't even ask us if we had an enjoyable stay - maybe because she knew what the answer would be. This trip was a birthday treat but has left us feeling very flat as we paid our £20 for the upgraded room and £32 for the use of the car park which incidentally doesn't seem to be made clear on the website.

I do hope these points are taken on board by the Management.

Room Tip: Levels two or three overlooking the park in the older part of the hotel. Ensure the room has been r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank HackneyX
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 6 January 2014

Dear HackneyX

I am very sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us.
As you will see from other reviews the hotel is very shortly going to have a major re-development which will include bedrooms.
While I certainly take your comments on board I would need to have more details in order to ascertain who checked you out and indicated there was no manager avaiable.

If you could please e-mail me additional information and I will investigate and get back to you.

My e-mail address is: paul.wilkes@universityarmshotel.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

Arrived at the hotel and thought this looks rather nice (still unsure if its the same picture as we saw on the website) but it had potential for a nice stay. It all seemed very nice downstairs looks like we must of fell for the same trick as everyone else because when we got to our room it felt like we was in a completely different hotel.

When we made our reservation it was for a deluxe double room. When we walked into our room (219) there was two single beds. Obviously a lot of hotels normally push them together and put some sort of topper over it, not this one!

All the housekeeping team did was push the beds together put a double sheet over the two mattresses so as you may be able to gather there was a large hole in the middle of the bed which made it very uncomfortable and is NOT what you expect with a 170 pound price tag

When we booked we saw a picture of a room that could use the words "deluxe". Room 219 is the complete opposite. the wall paper is coming away from the walls, the bathroom door wouldn't close. it was cold and felt damp. we was supplied with a heater because the in room heater wasn't working but it look like it cost 20 pound form b&q, if this isn't the case it probably did about as much good.

The parking was 16 pound per day. When your paying 170 pound for a room no its not a problem if the service that was provided actually justified the 170 pound price tag. it wasnt even worth 70 pound per night. Does this hotel just pull prices out of a hat?

Breakfast - The most important meal of the day......
Everything was cold, in a way i was grateful for this because at least my orange juice was cold.

After handing over 190 pound when we was checking the woman asked us if we "Had a nice stay" we both said no. It was like she really didn't care or she has heard it 100 times before.

In conclusion any one thinking of staying here i would recommend a premier inn.

Room Tip: Best off going to another hotel
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Fairopinion1
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 6 January 2014

Dear Fairopinion 1

Thank you for your review.

Very sorry you expereinced so many problems.
If you do expereince problems in a hotel please contact the Duty Manager who is on duty twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to deal with any guest queries and we will do whatever we can to make your stay enjoyable.

Our breakfasts normally receive very good comments and I have discuss your comments about cold food with our Head Chef..

As I do not have any of your details other than your tripadvisor name it is difficult comment any more.

Once again I am sorry you did enjoy your stay.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Cambridge hotels
0.2 mi away
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
0.1 mi away
Regent Hotel
Regent Hotel
#6 of 36 in Cambridge
438 reviews
0.2 mi away
The Gonville Hotel
The Gonville Hotel
#2 of 36 in Cambridge
1,839 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.4 mi away
Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge City Centre
0.3 mi away
Hotel du Vin Cambridge
Hotel du Vin Cambridge
#14 of 36 in Cambridge
922 reviews
0.4 mi away
Royal Cambridge Hotel
Royal Cambridge Hotel
#18 of 36 in Cambridge
598 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to University Arms Cambridge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 - £377 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA, Ebookers, Cancelon, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your University Arms Cambridge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hotel De Vere University Arms

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing