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“Dated and drab” 2 of 5 stars
Review of University Arms Hotel

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University Arms Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AD, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 34 Hotels in Cambridge
Amersham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Dated and drab”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

Service on reception was friendly and they gave me a free upgrade to a room overlooking Parkers Piece with a very comfortable mattress and nice bedding. That is where the good points end. The room was large but shabby. It didn't look like it had been updated for at least 25 years. The net curtains were shorter than the windows including in the shabby odd bathroom (room 217). Everyone would be able to see you having a wee! Shower was not very powerful either. There was hardly any plugs in the room and there was a whole heap of extension cable under the bed. You had to plug the kettle in to this extension cable to boil water! I did not dine in the hotel as it looked fairly shabby everywhere else in the hotel too. For £200 I thought it was terrible value for money and would not recommend it to anyone. It was a true British hotel experience you would have expeted to get 30 years ago! This is what gives our tourism industry a bad name.

Room Tip: Avoid room 217 especially if you like to be able to open a window now and then!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Dear Jon E

Thank you for your review.
We are sorry you did not enjoy your stay and found Room 217 drab.
We are currently being sold and we hope that our new owners will carry out a full refurbishment.
On a positve note I am pleased you found our reception team friendly
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902 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (237)
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English first
Leicester, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

As a regular user of hotels in Cambridge this was the first time that I had stayed at the hotel - and will be the last. The bath panel was hanging off and dangerous, Curtains hardly attached to poles and the bed was a mess. The room had one thing going for it - it was clean but that did not make up for the lack of care of the room and showed little respect for the guests. Also even for Cambridge it was expensive.

Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Dear Barbara O

It seems very strange to wait for seven months after your stay to post a review!
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Scotland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Given the recent mixed reviews of this hotel we were a little anxious - not only as we were staying here but the family wedding reception we were attending was being held in the hotel. The latter went extremely well - very well organised with excellent food and service.
Our bedroom (312) overlooked Parker's Piece ( a local green space) ; the view was pleasant but there was a bit of noise outside from passers by during the night. Our room was clean and whilst it could do with "freshening up" there were no major problems. Plus points - large , comfy bed and generous supplies on welcome tray. The internet connection in our room was a bit unreliable at times but it worked well in Reception area ; given that it was free I personally was happy to forego this relative inconvenience.
I would agree with other comments regarding the staff who were very professional and helpful. We did manage to park our car in the underground car park but there isn't a lot of space to manoeuvre when it's getting full. If you manage to get a space leave your car there if at all possible - certainly it's not necessary to move it as the centre of Cambridge ( shops and colleges etc ) are in easy walking distance.
Whilst I don't have much experience of other Cambridge hotels we were happy overall with our stay and found the location particularly convenient and there was a classic "old fashioned " feel to the hotel. We would certainly consider staying there again .

Room Tip: See comments above.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Dear Scot9

Thank you for your positive review, pleased you enjoyed the family wedding and found our team very professional and helpful.
Parking is at a premium in Cambridge and your advise on leaving ones car in the car park and walking is a very good one.
We hope you at the hotel in a future occasion.
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Canberra, Australia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

On arrival for a 5 night stay, I laid down for a rest but after 3/4 hour of hearing running water above my head, called maintenance who eventually found it was caused by some outlet valve which hadn't shut off properly. The next night I was woken by a man trying to get into my room at 12.30am - okay, he had the wrong room, but it could easily have been a reception error. The third night at 2.30am, the water started running over my head again, so I got dressed and went down to reception to complain. It's so easy for them to smile and say they'll move me to another room, but very traumatic for a senior lady to be told a young man would help move my (unpacked) stuff - which after 3 days was scattered everywhere! And in the middle of the night! The next 2 nights were thankfully uneventful. I requested that the manager Paul Wilkes contact me before I checked out at 10am on the Monday morning. I had done this via email on the Saturday and verbally through reception staff. I can understand if Mr Wilkes hadn't arrived by the time I checked out - but to this date, have not had even any email response from him! These incidents were all noted in the hotel diary. I have worked hotel reception for 20 years, and have never ever had a manager who ignored a request to discuss details of a guest stay. One problem with all old hotels is the squeaking floorboards throughout the old sections but in a hotel of this calibre guests should not be made to "understand the problem" but management should invest in having the flooring updated - squeaking floorboards are not conducive to guest rest with elephants tromping around all night. I would have waited for a managerial response before posting this review but as none was forthcoming, Mr Wilkes might like to respond via Trip Advisor. I would like to say however that I found the staff most friendly and helpful and cannot fault them at all.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Dear ellamo

Thank you for your review as you have noticed I try and answer all the reviews on this website.

It is very unlikely that it was receptions fault that somebody tried to use their key card to get into your room as if they had allocated the wrong room the guest would have been able to open the bedroom door.

I did receive your e-mail requesting me to contact you, but I was not in the hotel and not in Cambridge and not expected to be in the hotel prior to your departure.
I therefore asked Keith Donnelly our Reception Manager / Duty Manager to contact you which he did.
With a hotel running 24/7 every hotel uses the services of Duty Managers to deal with guest’s comments or queries so they are resolved quickly.

I have noted your comments about the squeaking floorboards and this will be discussed prior to the hotel being refurbished.

Very pleased that you found the staff friendly and helpful.
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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Stayed in this hotel in various type of rooms and I must say that it was consistently surprising to find all of them not of the same standard as other De Vere hotels that I stayed in the UK.

Pluses: absolutely excellent breakfast and service. This hotel serves the best Cambridge hotel breakfast that I've had in the last 8 months! I've been staying in other Cambridge hotels, and this one serves the best breakfast. The choice, the freshness, the taste - excellent! Two thumbs up for that!
With regards to service-everyone is very attentive and friendly.
Good to know: you get an iron and an ironing board in every room! The first hotel in Cambridge that I encountered that.

Minuses: Like most of the Cambridge hotels, it is in the need of a good refurbishment. Showers are not the best... lime scale everywhere...In one of the rooms the shower curtain rail came off the ceiling...a bit shabby.

Other points: generally, very clean. Depending on what room you get, you may hear a lot of door slamming (the doors are all very hard to keep open for fire safety reasons) by your neighbours in the late hours of the night or early hours of the morning. I'd advise to ask the reception to book you in the room in the quieter side of the building where fewer people are staying.

Otherwise, nice stay but I have stayed in various hotels over the last year and must say I am becoming a bit fussy. I was surprised with the level of standard of this hotel which doesn't quite compare with other De Vere hotels. I have the room interior and the showers in mind. I thought it would be more simple and modern. Maybe this is done intentionally to be in sort of 'oldy worldy' style to fit with the Cambridge town's vibe.

Room Tip: Standard rooms are quite nice size wise and the beds are far away from the door so you can't hea...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, September 24, 2012
Dear Katrinhen

Thank you for your review, very pleased you found our breakfast service excellent and the best in Cambridge.

Pleased you had a nice stay.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel.
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Fife, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We are regular visitors to the lovely city of Cambridge. This was our first stay at the above hotel and will be the last. On our arrival we tried to park the car in the underground car park only to discover the car park was full and nobody had bothered to put the car park full sign across. The car park is available to the public even though there is clearly insufficient space for guests. Attempts to contact reception about the parking issue went unanswered. We parked our car in the car park of another hotel! We had booked a room with a city view but our room had no such view. It had precious little view at all as the window was of frosted glass. We could see from the top half of the window a brick wall, drain pipe and some kind of netting! After a disturbed nights sleep we were greeted with a bill for accommodation despite the fact that we had paid in advance. Reception explained that his had been a mistake. It was approximately 9am when i asked about the bill. The reception area was a mess. The fruit bowl had two very sorry cheap looking apples in. HOW does this hotel qualify for a 4 star rating?

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, September 28, 2012
Dear Liz W

We do not close the car park as it is very busy with a constant movement of guests entering and leaving the car park, however for security reasons the car park is closed at night.
The room which you booked with a third party was for a standard double room and not all of our standard rooms have views over the city.

The reason there were only two apples at Reception was because we had a large group of Chinese businessmen who took apples on their departure.
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1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Fantastic location. Room full of character. we get a leak in the cealing. After reporting it lots of apologies from staff at front desk. new room organized im the flashes of flashes. however we carry our own stuff to the next room without any complementary service. new room has also fantastic views but the heting doesnt work and it cold in the room with single glazing im all windows. i dont want to know what the temperature will be tomorrow morning in the bathroom.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
Dear imalagon 1962

First of all I am sorry you expereinced problems with your first bedroom.
As discussed this morning we have a Duty Manager on duty twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week who are available should a guest require help.
Our receptionists do not normally give discounts automatically, but Duty Managers are empowered to give discounts if necessary.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about University Arms Hotel

Address: Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1AD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — University Arms Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 119
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 with 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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