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“Ideas above its station” 3 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 #24 of 34 Hotels in Cambridge
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Ideas above its station”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

There is nothing definitively wrong with this hotel. You can book and stay without fear. However, best to be aware of a couple of things. It is in central Cambridge and if arriving by car be prepared for heavy traffic and lots of cyclists. There is a car park on site, limited spaces and chargeable. The room was adequate but dated in decor and facilities. It is nowhere near as plush as the website photos imply, not sure why it is four star rated. The street noise well into the small hours made it impossible to sleep properly, not the hotel's fault although improved glazing would help.
I do recommend paying the small extra charge for breakfast in the room which is brought up in a very splendid manner. They had added bacon to a breakfast ordered by vegetarians though! I couldn't get room service on the phone (20 minutes of trying) so had to take the tray downstairs in my pyjamas to get some assistance.
Overall: location is good, rooms adequate but pricey, reception possibly under-staffed.

Room Tip: If sleep is critical, ask for room away from the front of the hotel.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Thank you for your constructive review regarding your recent stay with us at the hotel.

Cambridge is well know for its cyclists, and with the festive season in full swing the local market and retailers is seeing an upturn in visitors to the town, which can only be a good thing for the local economy.

It is true that certain areas of the hotel have become faded from the days of when it was all the rage, but as mentioned recently we are to under go, a major refurbishment programme.

I am disappointed and shocked that you received a protein product on your vegetarian breakfast, and I wish to assure you I have taken relevant company action and training where needed, to eliminate this from happening again.

I do hope when you return to the city that you will visit us again,
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906 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
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Washington. DC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

We have stayed at the University Arms hotel before, and we returned for one night this week. While the hotel has a very convenient location and an appealing lobby, the complaints of others about the plumbing and the physical condition of some rooms are justified. In our room, for example, the shower, sink, and toilet were not working properly.

In addition to the plumbing, we had difficulty opening the window. This became a concern when we read about the fire in the hotel on 1 October 2013 that caused significant damage to a section of the third floor, very near our room. More than 60 firefighters responded to the blaze, and the story was carried on the BBC.

Repairs to the damaged areas are underway, but the hotel is very old, and we worried about the condition of the wiring in the hotel and the exterior fire escapes. I am sure that the management and the Cambridge fire inspectors have looked into the matter, but I would advise guests to ask for a room on the first floor.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the first floor and check out the fire escape routes.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, December 15, 2013
Dear Sir



Firstly may I thank you for your repeat business, and secondly for you review of your recent stay, I have replied to your queries below which I hope answers you queries raised.



The hotel as you are aware in certain areas has since seen its heyday, and with you reading reviews are aware, that we have been granted in the past few weeks by the local authorities to begin a major refurbishment of these areas.



Having looked back and replied to many reviews that the issue mention about the plumbing does not reoccur in more than 2 of the reviews since my time at the hotel, I appreciate that you may have yourself had difficulty in this area, but this would be rectified within 24 hours of being brought to the attention of the maintenance team, if you have then i pass my sincere apologises.



The hotels wiring is PAT tested and public area tested in accordance with legal requirements, and meets the criteria.



Regarding the window, due to the health and safety law requirements, windows above the first floor are required to be restricted to prevent any possible accidents, so we again comply with legal requirements.



It is true that the hotel has recently had incident on the 3rd floor, and was attended to by fire fighters and bbc coverage, and with fire legal requirements being toughened in the past 10 years, we met and comply again legally, also since the incident we have worked closely with the local fire authorities to ensure we comply as required.

On a regular basis we work closely with the relevant authorities to ensure we are compliment as we always have and will.



I do hope my reply answers any questions or queries you ay have, and we look forward to you returning to us in the near future
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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for a couple of nights. Must say we were alarmed after booking to read some pretty grim reviews and were apprehensive on arrival.
To sum things up our concerns were short lived - the positioning of the hotel for the city is great, staff very helpful & friendly, food great in the restaurant as well as breakfast and importantly the room was clean.
Yes it has to be said that the hotel is in real need of refurbishment (and plans are in place to do this apparently) . If you are going away to just sit in your room and moan about the decor then this will not be the place for you !
Should also be aware that given the hotel's positioning there is a lot of outside noise at night - not much they can do about that.

Would we stay here again - absolutely yes.

Room Tip: Ask specifically for a quieter room and if lucky you'll be at the side rather than front!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, December 15, 2013
Many thanks for the kind work regarding your recent stay with us at the hotel.

I am pleased that you found the hotel, of a standard one would expect and the staff acted according, and that the room was to a suitable standard.

With having tried all services of the hotels facilties you have had the opportunity to see how all the new training and standards policies have created a unique experience.

Being a busy hotel and catering for people from many walks of life, guest reviews are based on there own expectations and where possible we do try to accommodate this, and I am pleased we meant your requirements.
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Edinburgh
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

Came here to this very centrally located hotel with a sense of trepidation given some poor reviews. However, I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised, yes the hotel is old but this gives it charm. The staffs were nothing other than courteous and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. My room, was as described and had all the amenities I required. An excellent full English breakfast served by a lady with a nice smile and pleasant manner. Next time I'm visiting Cambridge I shall endeavour to return to The University Arms.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
Many thanks for the kind work regarding your recent stay with us at the hotel.

I am pleased that you found the hotel, of a standard one would expect and the staff acted according, and that the room was to a suitable standard.

Being a busy hotel and catering for people from many walks of life, guest reviews are based on there own expectations and where possible we do try to accommodate this, and I am pleased we meant your requirements.

We do hope you visit again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterbeach, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for a shopping trip into Cambridge - for this it is an excellent location. From the start there were issues with the stay. The kerb to the upper level of the carp park meant my car grounded slightly on entry - unusual as my car is not particularly low.

The reception was quite a visual delight but unfortunately the service did not match it. There was little information provided by the receptionist other than we were on the third floor! The overall feeling was not welcoming.

The room was access from a lift via a corridor which gave a clue to the standard of decor. Dated is too kind a description. Paint work is scuffed, pictures set at angles, damage to skirtings and dado rails. The room was a reasonable size but in great need of maintenance and redecoration. Wallpaper was pealing, woodwork damaged, furniture units in poor condition to mention just few points. The room was noisy - external and internal. The traffic along the corridors seemed non-stop. The radiator needed bleeding as it heated unevenly and gurgled away all night. The toilet took an age to fill but luckily the shower was a boon.

We made complaint as you would expect and was told that the staff are aware of the room's short comings but they could not do anything about it.

After a disturbed night a good breakfast would be a bonus but unfortunately the service and quality matched the quality of the accommodation.

To summarise - too expensive, too dated, poor service and the hotel couldn't care less about the guests. There is little to recommend it and I would suggest Cambridge can offer better for less.

Room Tip: Surrounded on 2 sides by roads so avoid these. First floor rooms can be over the ballroom where fun...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
Thank you for your review regarding you recent stays with us at the hotel.

As mentioned in previous responses we caterer for many different guests and try to accommodate all wishes where possibly, by offering a base level of service and then meeting the guests needs from this basis.

The hotel has in certain areas seen it’s hey day, and as I have mentioned in recent reviews, we have received the go ahead from the local authorities to undertaking a major refurbishment, however the rooms and public areas are 2nd to none when it comes to cleanliness.

As I am sure you are a where we have extensive Conference and Banqueting facilities, and that it it’s the time of year for festive parties, we ensure the decibel levels are within the legal requirements, and that all event music finishes at 00.00 midnight, we also do have the appropriate signage in the public areas informing guests.

Overall your experience of staff and the hotel, were not to a standard you would of expected, but I would like to ensure you that, we are praised on the service of staff, but for you there service element was not to your requirements, for this I can only apologise, and I do hope you see you in the near future.
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

Hotel with impressive foyer and dining rooms, very well located in the centre of the city and with a distinct view across the Parkers Piece green space. Rooms and the main part of the hotel are, however, rather more faded and obviously in need of renovation, although perfectly comfortable and serviceable. My room was large and – bar the four poster bed – unremarkably furnished. It smelled a little bit musty on entering and, given single glazing, the bathroom was rather cold, but overall the room was comfortable and usable and had a view. Breakfast was nice when not in my view as much of a distinct highlight as other reviewers have suggested apart from the impressive Breakfast room.

However, there were quite simply appalling levels of noise on the second (Friday) night of my stay from a nightclub or disco in the immediate facility - music blaring and reverberating through the walls and floor. Frustrating as I had to get up very early the following day. 

Not the best hotel I stayed in, but far from the worst in most respects, but to be avoided because of noise issues.

 

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
Thank you for your review regarding you recent stays with us at the hotel.

As mentioned we caterer for many different guests and try to accommodate all wishes where possibly, by offering a base level of service and then meeting the guests needs from this basis.

The hotel has in certain areas seen it’s hey day, and as I have mentioned in recent reviews, we have received the go ahead from the local authorities to undertaking a major refurbishment, which will see items such as single glazing refurb-ed.

As I am sure you are a where we have extensive Conference and Banqueting facilities, and that it it’s the time of year for festive parties, we ensure the decibel levels are within the legal requirements, and that all event music finishes at 00.00 midnight, we also do have the appropriate signage in the public areas informing guests.

I am glad that the overall experience was not the worst you have encountered, but sorry it the best, I would be delighted to receive you at the hotel, in the future and meeting personally, to show the future plans for the hotel and discuss any issue or concerns you may have had.
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London
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

We stayed at this hotel from Friday November 29 - December 1 2013. It is in an excellent position in the magnificent city of Cambridge - ideal for walking round the colleges, visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum and, of course, enjoying the many pubs and restaurants.
It is what I call a good, solid hotel. The reception area, bar and breakfast room are well decorated, elegant and quiet. It was so nice to return to the peace of the hotel after experiencing the manic Christmas shoppers of Cambridge ! The bedrooms (we only experienced one) are more than adequate but I suspect it is time for a refurb, especially the bathrooms. Musn't forget the lovely, old-fashioned lift. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Hotel, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
Thank you for your review you posted of your recent stay with us at the hotel.

One of the attractions is our lift, which is only 1 of 2 still in working order installed in 1927, and is quite an attraction.

Your positive feedback has been passed back to the team, and the reception praised as the new training implementation recently introduced have showed immediate results.

It is true that the hotel in certain quarters has since seen it’s hey day, and a refurbishment. is planned in the near future.
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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:
#8 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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