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“Nice hotel but hard to sleep”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
dubai
Level Contributor
59 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but hard to sleep”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

This is a really nice little hotel with friendly staff, and wonderful breakfast room overlooking the river, and a good gym and spa. My room had a fantastic balcony overlooking the city. You can hear everything though through the paper thin walls. Couples enjoying the night, televisions playing loud, people coming home, people heading out - everything. Not a great place to get a good nights sleep.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank alwaystravelling69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,218 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 (559)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2013 via mobile

Spent a couple of weekend nights here. The hotel is well placed for the centre of Cambridge and our room was perfectly comfortable and clean. It was, however, expensive. At a price which would give London a run for the money, we had a frosted window with no view - in fact as it only opened a crack it was even difficult to see whether or not it was raining.
Small niggles included desperately cheap toilet paper and no make-up mirror.
Roof terrace is spectacular when open.....we had a cocktail and a warm blanket on the Saturday evening. The single gas heater perhaps needs to be multiplied although to be fair there weren't too many people up there.
Breakfast was fairly ordinary. Don't quite understand their pricing - full English included but others such as French toast at an additional cost. All hot food is brought from kitchen rather than buffet but both mornings our orders were slightly wrong and sausages were pink in the middle which is a no-no. Buffet element were ok but nothing out of the ordinary.
Had this hotel been £100 a night cheaper I would have no complaints but at £245 a night, it wasn't up to the mark

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank isobelb52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Although we felt our room was rather small (only one relaxing chair) and we had to squeeze round the end of the bed, this was outweighed by the fact we had, in ralation to other hotels in the area, a good deal, good bed, pristine sheets and towels, spectacular roof top bar and an excellent location. The staff were very efficient and made you feel very welcome. Just watch the valet parking - make sure you know what your are going to require as we left our coats in the car and it poured the next day. However, brollies are supplied which was great.

Cambridge is brilliant. Great to be able to walk virtually everywhere and the combination of historial buildings, punting on the River Cam, shopping and restaurants superb. Make sure you take the open top bus tour and to hop on and off - it last for 24 hours! The ticket!

Room Tip: River view rooms and higher flooors would be slightly quieter but, then again, you will probably hav...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank finsathazellodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
103 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

Although it is a bit cheeky to wish to escape tourists when you are once yourself, sometimes you want to feel like a local in a foreign town. Varsity offers this as you are in a great location along the River Cam but not smack in the middle of town ( 3 mins walk away!). We moved from another hotel and found the Varsity to be understated, clean and spacious. The roof top space is amazing and provides a distinct view of Cambridge and a lovely place to enjoy a glass of wine.
All hotels in Cambridge appear to be expensive, so surprisngly we had a very good deal on our room.

Room Tip: The room we were given was great, but it appears there may be some variability, so perhaps ask to se...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank saskiacromwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

2 night stay in penthouse suite was a great experience. The penthouse has the best views of any room in Cambridge and is very nicely furnished, but this is to be expected for the price tag. Bathroom a bit disappointing as not up to the grandeur & 'wow' factor in keeping with the rest of the room, but hey, I wasn't planning on hanging out much in the bathroom, so not a really big deal. Mini-bar/fridge in room very poorly stocked & no snacks available in the room without calling room service. I've not awarded 5 stars on the basis of the above 2 points - bathroom & minibar - the second point is easy to fix, the former a bit more difficult...
Service at reception, helpfulness of concierge & general staff in the hotel was faultless. The river bar restaurant for breakfast is comfortable with well organised service.
However don't expect the service on the roof terrace to live up to the views! As well as on this trip I have visited the roof terrace on 3 other occasions in the last year & the service has been appalling, disorganised and often rude. This was again the case on this occasion, which after spending four figures on a two night stay did take the edge off. The view & ambience on the terrace is exceptional so I coped with the grumpy service,but it's frustrating that such a simple thing isn't done better, and hasn't improved. It would be quite straightforward to rectify these issues & make it a five out of five, must visit hotel. It's so close....

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Businesstraveller707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 13, 2013

Stayed on a Sunday night in August with my girlfriend. Good room, not big but well designed, with cool furniture and nice linen and spotless. Staff friendly and went to roof terrace for a cocktail watching the sunset, be careful you might feel the urge to propose though - I did and she said yes!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Neil L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burgess Hill
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Good but not great. Expensive at over £200 a night for double but in line with other hotel prices in Cambridge. We also arrived without realising the £18 a day parking fee so bear that in mind. Not a very warm welcome in reception. Felt like we were just another one of their guests when they knew we had just got married. I've stayed at a much nicer hotel in central London for half the price and so we were were initially disappointed with the room. They were fully booked to get an upgrade when I enquired. I was told we had one of the better rooms anyway. It was ok size but didn't feel or look as we quite hoped. Nothing like the penthouse suite they like to show off on their website so don't be fooled. Difficult to put my finger on it as not much wrong. Just didn't ooze much luxury I suppose and the wood flooring made it feel cold. Bed very solid if a little too hard for us. Air con effective though. En suite bathroom nothing particularly special but very clean. Shower not a power shower so pretty weak and like standing in the rain. Missing hand soap and so used nice complimentary shampoo to wash hands. Not the end of the world and just a small fail that could not go unnoticed. No mini bar in the room as is their policy - something about the environment. They encourage you to reuse your towels for the good of the environment. Really? Probably to save their costs more like. On a positive, it's brilliant location at the top end of the colleges. Punting on the doorstep and roof terrace superb but pricey as expected and with panoramic views across the city. Kings Chapel stands out beautifully. The spa facilities were average and lacking a real luxury feel so pretty standard jucuzzi, sauna, steam room. I would recommend the Varsity and would visit again but with much lower expectations. Finally we ate at the River Bar and the Cheaubriand was perfectly cooked and one of the best steaks we've ever had. The hotel and bars seemed to be very well staffed in numbers.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul H
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 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Family Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Business 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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