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“Lovely Hotel in the centre of Cambridge” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Varsity Hotel & Spa

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Lovely Hotel in the centre of Cambridge”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

Came with my wife for a long weekend, booked a Double and they upgraded us to a King Room, very tastefully decorated, with quirky wallpaper and beautiful furniture. A thoroughly modern bathroom with great water pressure in the shower capped it off nicely. A very warm welcome from the staff and nothing was too much trouble, stayed in and ordered room service on the first night which came directly from their steakhouse - two beatuiful medium rare fillet steaks that made us come back for more the next night in the restaurant. My wife had some treatments on the second day and I used the gym, she had a very relaxing Elemis facial and I used their very large gym - both used the sauna and steam room which was very pleasant. Thanks for a very relaxing stay, will definitely return.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ben J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,187 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (552)
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

This was our second stay at the Varsity Hotel & Spa and although good, it didn't quite live up to our first 2 years ago. Location is excellent, being next to the river and just a short walk into Cambridge. Check in was quick and efficient and staff were polite.

We stayed in a Senior Fellows four-poster room again which was lovely, but this time on the first floor, offering a non-existent view through the partially frosted floor to ceiling windows due to the next door office block. We found this a bit disappointing considering the price as this wasn't a standard room. We also overlooked an alleyway which a restaurant kitchen backed onto which was very noisy, showing no consideration for the hotel rooms a few metres away. Deliveries were unloaded and thrown about at 7am on a Saturday morning and empty bottles taken out and tipped into wheelie bins at 11:30pm in the evenings. Considering the hotel is a new build the sound insulation could have been better as we could hear the comings and goings clearly.

The room itself was spotless, spacious and finished to a very high standard. The modern four-poster bed was very comfortable. When booking it would be worth requesting a high floor to make sure you get a view and a quiet night.

The spa is next door to the hotel and is finished to the same high standard but is quite small. Also next door to the hotel is the restaurant (River Bar Steakhouse & Grill) where we had dinner and breakfast overlooking the river. Both were excellent and the steaks were cooked to perfection.

Being right in the town centre there is no free car parking. The hotel does offer valet parking however we thought this to be expensive. We used parkatmyhouse.com and hired a driveway a short walk from the hotel for £20 for 3 days, a bargain for Cambridge!

Overall this is a good hotel, finished to a high standard with friendly and helpful staff. It's not cheap, but neither is Cambridge!

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor to get a good view and minimise any noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank P_Rowberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

On arrival I was surprised by the small size of my room. Ikea-type furniture and size of room make you feel you are in a student's hostel. Table a few cm's wide, difficult to fit a laptop. Power plugs were by the door, far from where they were needed. Basin in bathroom very small, no place to put towels and toiletries. Lobby not by the reception, but on the first floor, poorly decorated and with no staff. Grand books with collections of old torn newspapers on coffee tables. Breakfast area and spa are outside of hotel. If weather is cold and rainy, you think twice before you go there. And of course I would not fancy to walk straight into the street after a relaxing spa treatment. Cheap art on walls. Only positive point the quality of food at the restaurant /bar and its nice location by the river. Service average, feels non-professional. Breakfast basic, almost everything is charged extra. I would not go again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TimTerzis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harlow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

I have stayed in the other hotels in Cambridge and haven't been too impressed considering how much you can pay so I chose the Varsity Hotel and Spa for a special occasion. We were most looking forward to the spa as we had never been to one before. Upon arrival the staff were friendly and the room was lovely, a little small and hot but very clean and well kept. We visited the spa that evening and after leaving the space of the clean and upmarket hotel we were a little disappointed. The spa consists of one very small hot tub, one slimey steam room and a sauna, I would not be happy to pay to enter the 'spa' especially due to the stench of drains!
I found the bed a little hard but you can't please everyone. Breakfast was very nice also. We could have visited the spa on the day of our check out but we would have rathered do something else!
The hotel was lovely, but I wouldn't visit again due to the parking costs (although this is an issue all round Cambridge) and our dissatisfaction with the 'spa'.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank S-M4X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

Location , Location and Location say no more.
Wonderful hotel with all the facilities that you would expect of a smart hotel. Valet parking smooth ,room well equipped , spa treatments exceptional and breakfast plentiful.

We also made it to the restaurant,food was delicious , the steak perfectly cooked.
Highly recommend.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jennifer a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here with my wife for our mini honeymoon getaway. Found the location to the river and city was ideal. Short walk to everything you needed. Rooms with lovely views over the city rooftops. Beds were very comfy. Rooms and bathrooms rather small. Disappointed that there was no offer to upgrade as honeymooners.
Good deals could still be found with the close link to the spar and river bar restaurant.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Doogle11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rayleigh
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

i had reservations on the hotel after initial confusion over booking a specific room with a real guarantee that that was the room i would actually get on arrival-( i never understand this policy with hotels and holiday companies)
the staff were great,very helpful
the room was perfect- although the bathroom was just a typical bathroom- i somehow expected more.
we ate at the river bar cafe-the food was excellent and the cocktail barman earned his reputation.
the flowers arrived as requested and breakfast was abundant and delicious
we'll be back!!!

Room Tip: gotta be the penthouse with balcony!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rich T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Varsity Hotel & Spa

Property: The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Address: Thompson's Lane, Cambridge CB5 8AQ, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Family Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Varsity Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Varsity Hotel & Spa is located on the edge of the picturesque River Cam in the heart of Cambridge and just yards from St John's, Trinity and Magdalene College. Ideally situated for punting, shopping, sight-seeing and nightlife, The Varsity hotel guests are truly immersed in the culture and charm of Cambridge life from the moment they arrive. Recharge in the wonderful Elemis spa before soaking up the beautiful skyline with drinks on the hotel's roof terrace,afternoon tea or dinner in the Six Panoramic Bar & Restaurant. Alternatively, guests can indulge in a hearty meal in the River Bar Steakhouse & Grill. Valet parking available from 7 am to 10 pm for hotel's guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Varsity Hotel And Spa
The Varsity Hotel Cambridge

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