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“Excellent service in trendy city hotel”

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellent service in trendy city hotel”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We chose The Varsity as the venue for a university reunion for a group of friends last weekend. The hotel is ideally situated for a long weekend to Cambridge being right in the city centre where everything from the river, the colleges and shopping centre is walkable.

The service at the hotel is second to none and far superior to many London hotels I have stayed in. Nothing was too much trouble and service was slick. We arrived early on friday morning and we were warmly greeted by a doorman and the reception team our luggage was stored until our room ready. Valet parking was swiftly arranged and far cheaper than the NCP down the road. When we arrived back at the hotel later that afternoon our luggage had already been transferred to our room, very efficient. We had to call house keeping a couple of times, but service was very quick and friendly.

Our hotel room was just the standard room and although it wasn't huge it had a balcony with the most amazing view of the roof tops and chimney pots and was incredibly clean and well maintained and had hairdryer, ironing board, Elemis toiletries, tea/ coffee facilities and biscuits- no mini- bar as drinks are brought up to your room . It was just unfortunate that the lift was out of order this weekend as our room being on the fifth floor was a workout in itself!


The jacuzzi and sauna areas were well kept and beautifully decorated. Although I would have liked to have had a spa treatment it was very busy with only short appointment times left and so I would recommend booking ahead to get what you want.

Breakfast around the corner in the River bar and restaurant was gorgeous with the usual buffet, hot food such as full english was freshly prepared and also an A'La Carte section with everything from eggs benedict and omelettes to champagne as an extra. Our group ate at the restaurant one night where we were given the private room and the service again was brilliant! The Italian front of house guy (I can't remember his name) was incredibly professional and went out of his way to make the evening special and run smoothly! The hotel kept the roof terrace open for our group later one evening which made the evening special and provided blankets to keep us warm as we enjoyed our drinks and a beautiful view.

All in all an impressive stay in a very beautiful city- We hope to return!

Room Tip: 518 a standard room with balcony
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Vicki G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,278 reviews from our community

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English first
Royston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We had a wonderful stay there last month, couldn't fault the staff, service or room, we had dinner in the adjacent restaurant which had a lovely cosy atmosphere, had a quick peek at the rooftop bar, as the weather wasn't on our side, and will definitely be back for drinks in the summer months.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank NikkiBaxter369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoddesdon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
872 reviews
106 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 890 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2013

A good location, on the river. Chosen as a base for a special weekend where we were celebrating our anniversary and pushing the boat out with this hotel and dinner at Midsummer House.

On arrival, warm welcome and a room on the fifth floor. First impressions were good. The rooms were smaller than expected but well appointed with good lighting for a change.

I think that quirky would be the right description - if you eat "in" the hotel you have to go out and round the corner (worse at breakfast when you go through the spa and up the stairs.

There is a lounge on the first floor where you can serve yourself coffee/tea, but if you want anything else you need to phone reception who arrange for someone to serve you. This room is not cleared as often as it should.

Breakfast is served in the restaurant and service is good, but the set up is strange with full English included in room rate but if you want omelette rather than fried eggs it's extra.

The lift went out of service on the first morning and was not repaired during the stay making the trek to the rooms long - but these things happen.

Whilst Mr & Mrs smith hotels like the edginess and boutique nature of the hotels - this one has it but there are just too many things that don't quite work.

It might be an idea to check your bills on check out as mine had a number of errors - rectified but should not happen in a hotel of this standing

Room Tip: Higher rooms are better, but ONLY if the lift is working. It's along way from entrance to the fi...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

The Varsity is so well situated for visiting Cambridge apart from the satnav trying to take you down a street with bollards on it! I telephoned ahead as I was running late & had had a nightmare journey on the motorways & my husband's train was then cancelled, nothing was too much trouble, Reception talked me through the oneway system while I drove, (handsfree) and also notified the restaurant we were late too without making me feel guilty! Such a relief when I arrived & the car was taken off me & I headed to the bar. When my husband did eventually arrive we enjoyed a gin & tonic at the bar with no hassle from the restaurant staff to go to our table. Some friends then joined us & we had a fabulous steak & a very enjoyable relaxed evening. The hotel is so friendly & the reception staff so ffiendly. We would highly recommend this hotel. Shame the weather wasnt nice enough to enjoy the roof terrace which had amazing views over the City!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Muscat999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2013

The varsity is a lovely small hotel in the centre of Cambridge. Rooms are well equipped and the larger rooms are extremely spacious. We had a beautiful room with large windows giving a view over Cambridge There is a rooftop bar which is strictly for fine weather or the brave hearted otherwise drinks are served on request in the hotel drawing room. Breakfast is served in the adjacent restaurant.
An excellent base for anyone visiting Cambridge.

Room Tip: The rooms with a view over the rooftops of Cambridge are the best . Obviously, also more expensive.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AFF29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 7, 2013

This has to be the best place to stay whilst in Cambridge, great location, great service, beautifully decorated rooms and some with magnificent views.
This is the 3rd time we have stayed and haven't been disappointed on any of the trips.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rebekah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
2 reviews
Reviewed November 7, 2013

We booked two rooms at the Varsity and weren't disappointed! We had a lovely stay, staff were very friendly and helpful, rooms were gorgeous. We thought the reception area was a bit small and pokey but couldn't fault the friendly welcome. Would love to stay again!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JKay8
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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