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“Poor service”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #30 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed 24 November 2008

I went to this hotel last saturday with a group of people for bar food. It was about 2.30 in the afternoon.The service was incredibly slow and the food poor. Orders were mixed up.

One of our group was having soup. It arrived cold and the butter accompanying the bread was rock hard. The soup was sent back and when fresh soup came (eventually) it was with half baked "doughy" bread and again rock hard butter. After discussion (which was difficult as none of the bar staff spoke english as a first language) some brown bread was produced which was freezing to the touch, having obviously been just taken from a fridge.

It was like something out of faulty towers. I am not surprised that the place was practically empty. However, the receptionist was friendly and helpfull in calling taxis.

Stayed: November 2008
Thank Camino32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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813 - 819 of 914 reviews

Reviewed 26 October 2008

I recently stayed at the University Arms hotel on business. After reading some of the reviews on TA, I was a bit nervous, but found the hotel and staff to be quite lovely.

The room (rm 114) was spacious and clean. There was a balcony overlooking a very nice park, where games of soccer happened throughout the day. The bathroom was large and clean as well. I found the bed to be very comfortable, and had two great nights' sleep.

Breakfast was excellent - the staff were attentive and polite, and the spread was fantastic - the cold buffet included fresh fruit, cereal and juice, and the hot food was made to order. I enjoyed the full english breakfast on my first day, and scrambled eggs with bacon on the second day. Delicious!

In short, I would definitely stay at the University Arms again. The location is convenient to shops, tourist attractions, and the city center.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank JMSoule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2008

Having stayed at De Vere hotels before, we were expecting their usual high standard, but were extremely disappointed.

When we arrived the Hotel could not find our booking for the first night - even though they confirmed that they had our credit card details from when we called to confirm the booking. We had to wait for over half an hour to be found a room, only to find when we went in (at 4.30 in the afternoon) that it had not been cleaned from the previous occupants. Bed unmade, towels on the floor, bins full and a very musty smell.

We went back down to reception for a further 15 minute wait to be given keys to another room. We had booked an executive room, but there were none available. The second room we were given, whilst at least it had been cleaned, was small, overlooking the air conditioning units at the back of the hotel ( when we had specifically reserved a room with a view over the field to the side of the hotel.) Wallpaper was peeling off the walls, a large water stain on the ceiling, the curtains didnt fit the windows properly and the floor in the bathroom was stained, particularly around the toilet, with something I would prefer not to detail here... We asked to be moved again but were told that the hotel was now full.

We then found that our room was over the function room, by a note pushed under the door after we had checked in, and so had the music from a wedding disco pounding into our room until 1 in the morning - we would have requested to change rooms again but had quite frankly lost the will to complain any further by this point.

The only good thing about the hotel was the breakfast which was in a nice room and was well prepared - although the service was laughable we had to move table three times in the space of 10 minutes on the first morning.

If we were paying in the region of around £60-70 a night then I would have been fairly relaxed but at a "special" rate for guests of the wedding of £135 a night the standard of roooms and service was unbelievably poor - would not recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank DotBLiverpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2008

when we arrived the Hotel looked fantastic from outside and the immediate inside,i had paid to upgrade our room and when we arrived it was on the top floor facing over the green,a smallish batroom with a whirlpool bath which didnt work and part of the jet was missing,the bathroom blind was broken and you could only wind and unwind it by hand ,standing on the toilet!
Toiletries were only enought for 1 person(and 1 flannel)
The comfort tray was only enough for 1 person
The iron leaked when used
Two lamps were hanging off the walls with wires exposed,1 where the lampshade was also frayed.
The bedside reading light did not work and not for the want of my boyfriend trying to swap all the bulbs round,so i had to read with the main light on in bed!
The windows didnt open or close properly.
Very noisey outside with local students sitting drinking on the gree untill the early hours of the morning.
Bed terribly uncomfatable.
We wrote all this down and on our way to breakfast i handed this to the receptionist,who said"oh dear,ill pass this on to the duty manager"
Breakfast was terrible,with staff being very busy,orders taken wrongly,arriving seperatly and some of it not turning up,we got up and left!!!
On checking out the receptionist said that the Parking fee (£14)had been wavered due to the problems we had had,i still wasnt happy with this and wrote an e-mail to deveres stating all the problems with the room,it wasnt aknowledged so i sent it to deveres head quarters(previous had been sent to University Arms)and the reply i got was that it is being refurbished etc etc,and they would accomadate a special occasion if i had one.

I have stayed in 2 devere hotels before "the grand Harbour"(portsmouth)and The mill and Swan" minster Lovell,both were fantastic,minster lovell being my favourite with fab food and great rooms and location with fantastic scenery.

University Arms was such a let down for A 4* Hotel and you would have thought it was more of a 2* hotel.
I was glad to see the back of it,and am now deciding whether to ask for my money back or to ask if i can be accomadated at "the swan and mill"for 2 nights instead!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ClareHair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2008

We got a deal through travel zoo this hotel - bed, breakfast, 3 course dinner and picnic and punt on the river for £120 per night. Very reasonable.

The hotel claims to be 4*, however the room we had was very dated (although large) and the hotel has no leisure facilities.

The punt on the river was fantastic and no-doubt the best thing about the trip as Cambridge is a stunning town. The picnic we were given was a shambles. We were supposed to have been sent a form to pre-book the picnic but that never arrived. My partner then had to ring and book over the phone. The picnic that was given to us contained NOTHING that had been ordered. Luckily there was a cream cheese sandwhich (again cheese and pickle had been ordered) as my partner is vegeterian. I had smoked salmon which was lovely but not the tuna Id ordered.

As it was my birthday, my partner had bought champagne to drink while getting ready for dinner, he ordered glasses to be delivered to the room and they never showed up.

Dinner was in fact 2 courses and coffee and there was one vegeterian option on the menu. The gnocchi was barely edible (mushy??).

We had drinks later in the hotel bar, one of mine had to be returned. Id ordered a Bellini and this arrived warm and flat!!

As we were feeling a little indulgent we decided to pay the extra £3 for breakfast in the room. The menu to order was very confusing to pre-order and again no vegeterian option. When this was delivered in the morning it came with no cutlery!!!! By the time this arrived my breakfast was cold!!!

I know it was a complete bargain but I think 4* is a slight mis-representation and service leaves a lot to be desired.

Very central location is about the best thing I have to say!!!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Beaverface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2008

I booked this room through the website at a special rate of £80 for a standard double room with breakfast. The room was large and comfortable with a view of the park; the bed was huge; the staff were young but very helpful and polite; breakfast was very nice in a lovely room. The bedroom was quite stuffy and I could only open the window a little but there was an efficient air conditioning unit. We also ate in the restaurant which was delicious and reasonably priced. On the downside: the park was quite noisy outside the window late at night. The details are the things that bug you - the shower leaked all over the floor, the bin fell over whenever anyone touched it, the skirting boards were covered in dust. Overall it was a lovely stay and I felt good value for money at the special rate but I wouldn't have paid the advertised £160.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled solo
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Thank redangel78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2008

We chose this hotel for the De Vere name and it's central location which was ideal but our experience was not 4*. We took up a Summer Special offer of bed and breakfast in a standard double room with city view and first impressions on entering were good. The lobby and reception area was as I would have expected and reception staff were friendly and helpful but on viewing the room it was a big disappointment. It was very small for a double room and the city view (through the 3 broken panes of glass!) was a main road with the hotel's waste area directly underneath.

On closer inspection it was obvious that we had been given a single room into which a double bed had been squeezed. We could clearly see, on the opposite wall, where the dado rail had been cut to accommodate a single headboard and the three holes beneath where it would have been screwed to the wall. This is where the built in bedside lamp was still positioned meaning there was no bedside lamp for the double bed. There was only one bedside table and on the other side was an out of place coffee table. A lamp had been placed on the bedside table (as an afterthought) which, we discovered in the evening, could not even be plugged in as there was no socket by the bed. The bathroom was very small and the complimentary toiletries provided were enough for one person only. On the plus side, the bed was clean and very comfortable.

After one night in this room we decided to speak to the duty manager. He appeared promptly,sat with us in the lobby, listened and then apologised and asked us to leave it with him. The moment we returned to our room the phone rang. Reception told us we were being upgraded to an "executive room" and would we please come and collect the keys.

This new room was much bigger and what we would have expected for a double room with 2 bedside tables with working lamps, 2 chairs and a double wardrobe. It also had a "four poster" bed. However, it was still spoilt by the meanness, the little touches which could so easily have been rectified and the shabby decor which badly needs updating.
Again, the toiletries provided were for one person only and if any were used it would be cleared away but not replaced when the room was serviced. There was mould around the tiles in the bathroom and the toilet was blocked. It was cleared quickly once reported but was obviously caused by the very weak flush which could bearly cope with normal usage.

The flex on the kettle provided for the tea/coffee making facilities was not long enough to reach the socket so we had to plug it in behind the TV. Any of the tea or coffee sachets used, again, were not replenished when the room was serviced and we finally bought our own coffee and milk.

We had had a very good breakfast in the elegant Ballroom on the first morning but it finished at 9 a.m. We were on holiday and wanted to breakfast later. We found we could have it brought to our room up to 10 a.m. (for an extra £3 per room) and opted for this. We ordered the full english which arrived without condiments and the toast had been forgotten. The next morning we had each ordered a slightly different breakfast but when they arrived they were both the same and not what either of us had ordered. The toast was remembered this time but there were no plates to eat it from and again no condiments.

The bed was as equally clean and comfortable as the first and to be fair, all the facilities advertised were supplied, such as internet access, hairdryer, etc. We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful but the tariff for this room was £185 per night and certainly not worth that. We have stayed in 3* hotels that were far better and feel the University Arms is only trading by the De Vere name and the excellent location. De Vere should beware this hotel doesn't damage their good name.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank purple_pa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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: £60 - £368 (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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