I used to live in Cambridge, which is well known for its overfull, mediocre hotels (which they get away with due to the constant trade from tourists & students' parents).
I've stayed in this hotel once or twice before, which is the best one of various I've stayed in in central Cambridge, and hence probably the best one there is. (Hotel Felix is equally good, but located on the edge of the city.)
The Varsity Hotel is located on a backstreet but a short walk from colleges, shops, the river and Jesus Green.
My room was modern and stylish. It had no view to mention, but some rooms presumably do have good views across the city and Jesus Green. The bed & pillows were firm - certainly to my taste (though perhaps not everyone's).
The bathroom, equally modern and stylish, had one of those showers with a giant showerhead, which worked well and was sufficiently directional that the shower didn't need a door. The shower tray filled up alarmingly quickly with water (as it didn't seem to flow out fast enough), but didn't actually overflow so no problem.
My room was fairly quiet, but I suspect the hotel was not very busy. The only thing disturbing my sleep was the ventilation, which (even with the air conditioning off) seemed to switch itself on with a loud click several times during the night, waking me up. That said, I am a light sleeper.
A few catering details could be improved: the room had no minibar, implausibly citing environmental reasons - so you must order room service to get most things. Bottled water and tea/coffee were provided in the room, though the cups were fancy smallish coffee cups, too small for drinking tea. (No biscuits either.)
Breakfast was served in the hotel's restaurant, which is in a separate building, requiring you to go out onto the street and round the corner - unusual but not a problem. Breakfast was excellent, and the restaurant has really splendid views across the river of college buildings and trees.
There is an apparently elaborate spa/gym attached, which I didn't use; it only opens at 8am - not ideal for people wanting to exercise before work, but anyway.
The staff were helpful.
So overall the hotel is excellent, with a few minor points for improvement.
- 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