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“Lovely old hotel”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed 21 August 2014

Four of us stayed here, last weekend,first impression from the outside is horrible and very ugly looking, but when you go inside, it's lovely, it's old in a nice way, it has the old faishoned cage looking lifts, the back part of the building from the outside is beautifull, the front doesn't match the back, our room was very nice, 4 poster bed, chocolates, biscuits, water, still & sparkling water, tea & coffee, dressing gowns, slippers, our room had a small balcony which looked over the park,The bar was large, and the service was good, all staff were really friendly, & helpful, the breakfast was gorgous, it wasn't a help your self breakfast like most hotels, where they have half cooked bacon floating in grease,in a Bain Marie, and beans etc, here you have a menu, it's is cooked freshly to your requirements,as well as the usual, there was fish to choose, there was plenty of fruit cereals, yogherts, & pastries,I would defiantly stay in this hotel again, also it's in a prime location for Cambridge City centre & river

Room Tip: Choose a room overlooking the park
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Tracey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 - 44 of 914 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2014

I have just had my last stay at this hotel before it closes.
As an individual and as a family we have used this hotel for last forty years and will be very sad to see in close at the end of September.
The staff at the hotel have ways been great and have been a credit to the hotel business.
The hotel is tired and in need of a refurbishment, but some of the comments are really unfair and we believe it is important to put the record straight.

Thank you again for looking after us so well.

Room Tip: A room over the park
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Duncan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine G, Sales and Marketing Executive at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on the Cambridge University Arms Hotel. I know the team will be delighted by your comments, as it is feedback such as yours that motivating and rewarding. Thank you so much for your continued support and loyalty to the hotel, and I hope that we will have the pleasure in welcoming you back to the hotel once the refurbishment has been completed. It is certainly exciting times for the hotel, not only re-storing the hotel to its original glory, but also making a positive contribution to an important gateway into the City centre. I am sure that you will be very impressed with the changes that are planned and hope that you will keep in contact with the hotel. Please feel free to e-mail the hotel with your contact details, and we can let you know of the progress and the opening of the hotel.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

The University Arms may occupy a prestigious position in Cambridge but the hotel quality is in decline and not up to the standard expected. We parked in the convenient undercroft parking but nobody answered the internal door so we had to drag all our luggage back round to the front of the hotel; not a big distance but it was pouring down with rain. We had 2 rooms booked and checked in 2 hours before our check in time (incidentally waiting an age as reception was understaffed) only to be advised that the hotel could not tell us if either room was ready. We were off to the races and were advised to get changed in the urinals with no chance of a shower. Nice.
On our return to the hotel the hotel bar was closed (10.30pm) although was opened briefly to serve a large group then closed again. The rooms were very tired. Fire doors crashed closed all night long to disrupt sleep. My room was opposite Parkers Piece; while the view was pleasant the noise during the night and morning was not what I expected. I paid around £250 (each) for the rooms. I'll stay with Lenny Henry next time. This place needs an overhaul and better management. Very disappointing.

Room Tip: Stay away from parkers piece side to avoid noise
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank RHqualityagent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We were slightly sceptical booking a room here after reading some of the recent reviews so I only thought it was fair to add a review myself.

The location of the hotel is excellent, everything to see in Cambridge is within walking distance, we parked our car on check-in and didn't use it again until we left to go home. Talking of parking, the hotel does have a car park that you pay £16.00 overnight for, this may seem steep but after some research we found this was more than a fair price for Cambridge.

The reception staff were very friendly and checked us in & out without any problems at all & our bedroom was more than acceptable, very clean & had everything we needed, we were pleasantly surprised.

The breakfast was delicious with lots of choice and plenty of hot tea/coffee, this was served in the hotels Ballroom with great views over the Park so was a lovely way to start the day.

Overall we really did enjoy our two night stay in Cambridge, we booked the room last minute to visit family & friends, we paid £99.00 per night for a double room including breakfast and for a city centre hotel we got a really good deal. Yes it does have noise from the surrounding bars/pubs but it’s a city centre location in a University City so we wouldn't have expected anything else, the noise didn't keep us awake or ruin any part of our stay.

The hotel is tired in places but this was made up by the friendly staff, great room & the delicious breakfast, we also learnt that the hotel is closing at the end of September for a refurbishment so they are obviously aware of what needs to be done; we look forward to returning to this new hotel when it’s open again

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank jjersey79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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 - £379 (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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