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“Just awful! Avoid”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We were looking for a relaxing break to an historic city, and this deal at 99 pounds to stay at 'probably the best hotel in Cambridge' seemed to good to be true. And it was.

The pictures on the website are very misleading as they show one side of the hotel overlooking a pleasant green area. What they do no show is the other side of the hotel overlooking Cambridges answer to Magaluf.

But lets start at the beginning of the god awful hotel. After parking in the tightest car park in the world (think sardines in a crusher) we were told we would be charged 16 pounds to park there overnight (although I could barely here the receptionist due to cheesy classical music blaring out in the corridor. We got in the lift, which was like the ones you get carted to the operating theatre in at your local NHS hospital, and took a ride to our room on the second floor.

The room was very basic with a nice view of the wall opposite above a sainsburys. The room was unbearably hot and there was a broken airconditioning unit in the corner with a note on top telling you that it was indeed a broken air conditioning unit, but that a fan had been provided for your convenience to make up for it. I opened the top of the window (which was also broken, to be greeted by a wall of noise of the buses and cars coming from the high st.

This was not the relaxing break I had planned.

I had a shower, then needed another shower once I had dressed to remove the sweat I had built up getting dressed because of the intense heat in the room.

Headed to the bar and was greeted by a very pleasant barman who told me that every one of the draught lagers was not working, except the Stella Black which promptly packed up as he tried to serve me a pint.

Decided to get out of the hotel and head into Cambridge and actually had quite a pleasant evening.

Got back to the hotel and had just entered my room when the fire alarm went off. Evacuated the hotel and along with about a hundred other guests just drifted around aimlessly outside for a while with seemingly no direction from anyone at the hotel. After about 15 minutes the alarm stopped so went back inside. Got back in our room and the alarm went off again, and again, and again and again. Finally stopped after half an hour.

The room was now melting in places from the heat with the wallpaper coming off the wall behind our broken air conditioning unit. I opened the window and found that although it was now 12o'clock the noise from outside had now quadrupled in sound with the sound of the buses and cars being accompanied by the dulcet tones of our darling british youfs swearing and jeering each other on the way home from whatever den of inequity they had been dwelling in that evening. This went on for about another 3 hours and with the heat even with the window open and complimentary fan on full meant no sleep for me apart from a couple of snatched hours between four an six till the buses started up again (which at this point I decided to go to the toilet and was greeted by a massive cockroach running around the toilet bowl)

Now in case you think I'm some delicate flower from the country I lived in east london for 25 years so am used to sleeping with some street sound. But never as bad as this. And there was me thinking Cambridge was going to be a bit posh.

Went to check out and to be honest was so tired I didnt have it in me for an argument. It was now 10.30 so I said to the receptionist I was going to head out to get some breakfast then would come back and pick up my car. I was told that if I didnt move it by 11 am I would be charged a parking fine of 60 quid as the hotel car park was run by an outside company.
I would be better off going and parking up the road as parking is free on sundays in Cambridge.

I wearily went back in to the hospital lift and down to the basement and then me and the wife spent about 30 mins trying to negotiate our way out of the car park nudging backwards and forwards until we somehow made it out of there without nudging or scraping any other cars which is a feat I challenge any of you out there to match.

Got parked in the car park and went for breakfast got the car and was duly charged another 6 quid for parking for 2 hours.

Needless to say I have certainly been 'educated' enough by this Cambridge Hotel to know not to go back there ever again. You have been warned!

Room Tip: Yeah, choose a room at another hotel!
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Rek1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 - 48 of 914 reviews

Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

Great location. 2 minutes walk to the centre. Breakfast pretty good too with reasonable choice and very attentive staff. Rooms are a bit tired and could do with a freshen up, so knocked a star off. Ask for a room that doesn't overlook the air conditioning units.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
Thank 570margo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

When we booked the hotel I made the mistake not to read the reviews...so based on the pics i thought it would be luxurious and posh. I was so so disappointed!! Its location is great! But that is about it....
16 pounds for parking a night! Come on...!
The room was old, furniture was run down...showerhead had not been cleaned in ages...had to clean it ourselves to get the water running proparly...
Airco was not working...room was very warm.
Why its considered a 4 star hotel is beyond me...
Not worth the 120 pounds we paid...will not stay here again.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Marije1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2014 via mobile

The exterior of the hotel is ugly in places and the room I staid in dated, however, the room was beautifully clean and I had a number of luxuries provided. I was particular impressed that they ran an extension board to one side of the four poster bed where no plug socket was otherwise provided. The communal areas of the hotel were beautiful and well maintained. The staff were wonderfully helpful and polite. Service at breakfast was excellent although the choice of food was limited and the cooked breakfast of an average quality. I would, however, happily stay here again.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
Thank BusinessTravelMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2014

Our stay was comfortable and relaxing. We found the staff friendly and helpful. Ground floor is very impressive, but on the first floor, our room, corridor areas and others we saw were very dated and in need of URGENT refurbishment. We over-looked Parker's Piece which is a lovely location with small balcony, but very noisy at night and in the early hours. Air conditioning was non-functioning, Wi-Fi, even with helpful assistance, would not work. Bed was comfortable. Breakfast was well-presented, tasty and plentiful. There is no doubt that this is a relaxing venue, but parking charges which are very excessive and the run-down appearance of most of the hotel tends to erode the good feeling.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Having read the dreadful reviews, I stayed here with my eyes wide open. I found a deal on lastminute top secret hotels so selected it purely on location (which is very central). There is indeed a fairly serious problem with the standard of customer service provided by staff. On my two occasions visiting reception, I have couples to either side bitterly complaining to very disinterested reception staff who appeared to offer no apologies or solutions. The room was adequate and seemed clean enough, but certainly not a 4 star standard. I agree with other reviewers that the heat was at times unbearable with a very poorly functioning air con unit. From what I could see they really need to flatten this hotel and rebuild from scratch - the location really is the only redeeming factor.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank ChristineLo30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

If you want to get a good nights sleep, please don't stay here. We were in the newer part, near the street. The window opened 2 inches, but we had to keep it closed as there was so much noise coming from the street, there was an air con unit in the room but it didn't work, there was a fan that we had on all night, in the end I had to resort to putting a wet towel over me to fall asleep eventually at 4am, the room was was just stuffy the whole time. I wouldn't recommend staying here until the hotel clean up their act and refurbish the rooms and install air-con properly. I can't believe it is a 4 star hotel, I would say its a 3 at best.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank NorseGoddess
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
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 - £376 (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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