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“Not worth the money”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Stayed here in January for a night and have to say I was not impressed.

First impressions last a lifetime, and the hotel is located down a narrow and dark lane full of student housing with a service ally to a few restaurants being the first thing you come to just before the hotel. You enter through a badly designed vestibule which narrows as you get further in and seems to advertise their electrical panel. The doors are heavy and glass - can't say they look disabled friendly either!

The receptionists were rude - they stayed seated throughout the check in and the tone of voice was that of disinterest in my business. I was then handed a key and pointed towards the lift to see myself to the room - no offer of help with luggage was offered as I only had the one carry case. Deciding to take the stairs My "Graduates Double" room on the third floor was looking onto neighbouring buildings and was small. The room was crammed with oversized furniture and the wallpaper was gaudy. There was a lack of minibar in the room and if I wanted a drink I had to call to reception to deal with the lacklustre receptionist. I chose just to keep to tap water.

There was no bath in the room which is okay for business people but I find to be just an easy way for corporate hotels to pack as many rooms into one space as possible.

Check-out was impersonal and as disinterested in me and my day as the check in was the night before.

I will not be returning to this hotel; I have paid the same amount for the Hotel du Vin in Cambridge before and they at least offer a friendly service! If I want mediocre service for small rooms, I'll go to The Holiday inn!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Mr_Cambridge13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,687 - 1,693 of 2,469 reviews

Reviewed April 24, 2013

This hotel is well worth the money! The views from the room were spectacular and the service from the front desk to the valet parking was exceptional. The spa was great and treatments delivered to a high standard. I would highly recommend this hotel and look forward to going back in the future.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank DogfaceMalone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

My wife and I booked the Varsity for a two night stay (Friday and Saturday) for a couple of nights away without the kids. It's not cheap but it was well worth the money and we weren't disappointed. We booked one of the more expensive rooms and it was massive as was the bathroom. It was on the 4th floor with good views over the city. The hotel has been fitted out and finished to an excellent standard and the service was great too. We used the value parking which was good value considering the prices and availability of parking, not to mention the queues to get in elsewhere. It's in a great location right by the river and right next to everything the city has to offer. We'd definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: If you're going to pay this sort of money, pay a bit more and go for one of the large room which...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mark&Liz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

after a long journey the valet parking was exceptionally helpful. we booked in for some fantastic treatments in the same complex and then enjoyed the idyllic views from the restaurant. We didn't have to leave the building all weekend!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank montylikes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

We just spent the one Saturday night here but it was a great stay. Staff were wonderful and dealt with our extra requests really well. Room service at 6am, gave me one of their locks for my bike, car valet and loading - all great.

Thank you all.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Beacon94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The varsity. We booked last minute and were lucky to get a room as someone had cancelled.My wife had studied at Trinity so the location was ideal.Excellent hotel with Excellent service , everyone we came into contact with was pleasant and helpful. We picked the perfect weekend as the weather was ideal. The roof bar was packed with people queing outside the hotel clearly the "in" place in Cambridge.Breakfast buffet was generous and though we arrived late the staff were very accommodating.

Room Tip: The roof bar is pricey but worth visiting.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ThorsteinM M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Stayed in a huge penthouse suite for 2 nights. Just look at the photos on the web site they are exactly what you get, wonderful views, spotless, stylish, large terrace, and so so quite! Staff are friendly in this small boutique hotel, great breakfast in the adjoining restaurant/bar. A must visit and would highly recommend. My friend stayed in the normal room and again very pleasant, spacious and stylish.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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Thank petersbahrain
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

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
Price Range: $177 - $420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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