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“Hotel Needs Renovation”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed September 12, 2012

I stayed here for two weeks on a business trip, so I can't speak to the value of the room as I didn't choose or pay for the accommodation.
Positives:
- Staff were friendly and helpful with any queries
- Location is good
- The bed was comfortable with nice linens
- Grocery store is one block away
Negatives:
- Severely worn carpet, wallpaper, furnishings
- Distinct musty, old smell pervades the building
- Several mold / mildew spots in the bathroom
- No on-site gym facilities
- No ice machine or in-room fridge
- Wifi connection is spotty at best
- My room (118) faced Parker's Piece, which is apparently a cut-through for late-night revelers as they leave the bars on Regent Street... The windows are old and thin, so the only help I had was having the air conditioning unit fan on high speed.

Room Tip: Try to choose something not facing Parker's Piece or Regent Street, or maybe on an upper floor
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank April E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2012

Dear April E

Thank you for your review, pleased you found the staff friendly, helpful and most importantly you found the bed comfortable with nice bed linen.

We are hoping that when the hotel is sold that the new owners will refurbish the hotel.

Being in the centre of a University city there are occasions when there is noise at night.

We have checked the wifi connection and received a strong signel in the bedroom you occupied.

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447 - 453 of 915 reviews

Reviewed September 8, 2012 via mobile

As previous reviews have mentioned this hotel is a little frayed around the edges. But for what it lacks in contemporary chic it makes up for in character and most importantly the quality of service from the staff. ALL staff are really friendly, helpful and polite.

This hotel is clean and welcoming and like a comfy pair of slipper... Great to come home to after a lot of walking around this stunningly beautiful city.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank MRGB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2012

Dear MRGB1

Thank you for the very positive review, as a team we are delighted that you found us really friendly, helpful and polite.

Glad that you found the city stunnnigly beautiful.

We look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back to the hotel.

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Reviewed September 6, 2012

I am not ususally given to writing a review and when I read somone complaining on Trip advisor I usually say to myself get a life! However I felt compelled to write about room 123 so that other people who may chose to stay at this hotel do not suffer the problems I did. I picked this Hotel having stayed in other De Vere hotels and had never previously been disappointed. I booked for the 25th Aug 2012 as I was going to the racing at nearby Newmarket. I arrived at 1230 parked up and checked in with no problems, the parking and the lift are already covered so I won't mention them. I was given room 123 and it looked ok if not a little dated on first inspection. I then went into the bathroom and was suprised to see there was a used spoon on the side, and there was also a price ticket stuck to the wall both presumably left by the previous occupant. As i was heading straight to the racing I wasn't to bothered, but it was then i noticed the shower head was leaking and making a dripping noise, i closed the door and went into the bedroom and i could still hear it. As I am a light sleeper i went down and reported it to reception, they told me it would be looked at. I returned that evening at 1815 and was surprised to see the shower head was still leaking. I went to back to reception to be told the shower needed a part and could not be fixed!. I asked to move room to be told the hotel was full and only had single rooms left, not ideal as my partner and I where there for an anversiary break. I asked to see the manager when i told him the problem he told me nothing could be done and i should fill the bath with towel's to catch the drip!! He did offer to ring around other hotels but as i had a table booked for dinner and it was race weekend it was hardly worth it. He then said he would knock 50% of the bill and sent up a bottle of wine. Whilst a kind gesture this did nothing to improve the situation and i had a sleepless night as i had to get up to change the towel's a couple of times. The room itself also had tiles coming away from the wall in the bathroom, the toilet flush handle was dodgy and the TV in the room was broken. Whilst this was bad enough I complained via e-mail on the De Vere group website on the 28th and was not acknowledged until I sent a second complaint on the 6th September. On this occasion the De Vere group and the University Arms hotels customer service fell well below the level of service I would expect. I am not saying don't stay at this hotel as the bar, dining room, breakfast and staff in general were first class. It is in a good location and handy for lots of local attractions, just don't stay in Room 123.

Room Tip: Do not stay in room 123
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank mark m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear mark m
Disappointing to read your review after we had given you a 100% refund which included accommodation, breakfasts, parking, drinks in the bar and newspapers.
The valve in the bathroom wall did rupture and a replacement was not available as the plumbing suppliers are not open over the weekend.
The used spoon and price ticket in the bathroom left by the previous occupant was an oversight by the room attendant and we have dealt with this internally.
As the hotel was 100%full we did offer to move you to another hotel in the centre of Cambridge which you declined
I understand you did not receive a reply to your complaint to the De Vere Group directly, but normally a complaint is made to the hotel which did reply to you within 12 hours and you indicate you that a full refund of all of your expenses was an acceptable resolution.

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Reviewed September 6, 2012

I had to attend a business function in Cambridge and this was probably the best of the hotels that were still available last minute.

We arrived early Friday afternoon and were booked in for one night. On-site parking is a premium with spaces below the hotel and in fron available. No signs to indicate whether there were any spaces and accessibilty under the hotel is difficult. Took over ten minutes to determine that there were no parking spaces available and to exit.

Good parking is available nearby but is very expensive.

My wife and I stayed in a small room on the second floor. And by small, I mean really small. This was a double bedroom that looked out over the roof to the kitchen area. We later realised that the air-conditioning units were housed here which led to a noisy night's stay in Cambridge. The decor is in need of modernisation and with limited space available, it was difficult for two adults to get ready for our evening out. Yes, it really was that cramped.

Having the in-room air conditioning on can be noisy so we opted for good old fresh air but this was affected by the constant drone from the units outside our window on the roof.

The cost of the room was, in comparison to other places that we have stayed, quite expensive and had everything been in order, we would have been relatively happy. However, the noise and lack of quality in the room led to us making a complaint in the morning.

We were referred to the duty manager who immediately reduced the rate by a sizeable percentage. Excellent customer service but doing this without hesitation suggests that a) complaints about rooms in this part of the hotel are commonplace and b) the rooms are vastly overpriced.

The buffet breakfast was better than expected and food was served at the right temperature although the timing of your breakfast, I suspect, is the key here.

This is a centrally located hotel and therefore, ideal for visiting Cambridge. Pricing is on the high side and the rooms definitely need modernisation. Get a room with a decent view if you can, Parker's Piece is one side of the hotel and that is a lovely view.

We booked this hotel through the official website. The "warning" came up that this was the last room encouraging us to book there and then rather than risk losing out. Having booked the room I went back to the website to check out other venues for future purposes and couldn't help but try to book a room for the same hotel on the same night to see what happened. Funnily enough same price and the same "encouragement" came up!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view over Parker's Piece.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2012

Dear SteveD181

I am sorry you expereinced problems parking your car. Our bedroom sizes do vary based on when they were built.
We do make adjustment to guests room rates and as you have indicated we do this as a good customer service practice. Normally our pricing structure is very competitive. Pleased you enjoyed the buffet breakast which as you can see from previous reviews is changed on a regular basis to ensure it is fresh.

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Reviewed September 5, 2012

This was our first stop in England and i had read many negative reviews. After spending the night here, i can without hesitation say that this place was excellent in every way. It is in a great location, nice comfortable room with a very comfortable bed. I had my best nights sleep in quite awhile. The breakfast is served in a beautiful dining room and the food was wonderful with plenty of it. The people that work here could not have been nicer, providing rstaurant tips, directions, and even printing out a google map for me to our next destination. I would stay here again happily. Not sure where all of the negativity came from regarding this place but it is misguided. This is a very good place to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank selli44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

My wife and I booked an one night stay. The Hotel is positioned in the centre of Cambridge so is within walking distance of the River, Shops, colleges and many tourist attractions. The staff were friendly and courtious. There is parking at the Hotel for £16 per night, though this is cheap for Cambridge in general. Our room was a little small, as was the bathroom, but clean and tidy and perfectly adequate for a one night stay. The bed was very comfortable, but as it was at the rear of the Hotel overlooking the street it was quite noisy early in the morning with various utility vehicles coming and going, I would stay there again but request a room park side which I believe would be quieter. We had dinner at the Hotels R17 Restaurant, and were slightly apprehensive as we were the only people in there when we arrived at 8-30 (though another couple did arrive shortly after) however our apprehension soon disappeared as the service was excellent and the food outstanding, compliments to the chef here as every mouthful was full of flavour and everything was cooked to perfection, I really can't understand why this Restaurant is not busy, as it is very reasonably priced and from our opinion faultless. Breakfast was also an extensive buffet with lots of choices and something to suit all, and you can have eggs cooked to order in various ways. The Bar is also very nice, again not busy, but prices here are slightly higher than local bars so that probably explains that, though again service was of a high standard. I would use this Hotel again.

Room Tip: Rooms Park Side are quieter & have the best view
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank UkToker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2012

Dear UKToker

Very pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. I will certainly pass on your comments to our Head Chef and Food and Beverage Team about the qualitity of food and service.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel and I hope I have the opportunity to meet you.

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Reviewed September 3, 2012

The staff are what makes this hotel a good venue for a wedding. The food was good and the event ran smoothly. All of the staff were attentive and friendly. The hotel could do with a full makeover. Carpets are worn, no ambient controllable lighting, no installed sound system (of good quality) limited internet access and despite our chilly summer all rooms were hot and airless. The location is great, though parking is limited and expensive.
This should be a first class venue in every respect, but some capital needs to be invested!

Room Tip: Overlooking Parkers Piece is best, but it is noisey late at night during weekends.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank mchutchon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2012

Dear mchutchon

Delighted you found our team attentive and freindly and your event ran smoothly.
The hotel is currently being sold and we are hoping the new owners will refurbish the hotel.

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Additional Information about University Arms Cambridge

Address: 1 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1GG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range: $81 - $500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — University Arms Cambridge 4*
Number of rooms: 192
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of medieval Cambridge, set back from the hustle and bustle of the town and bathed in green lawn lies this rather special historic hotel. It’s an education in quirky British charm and is famous for its hospitality, not to mention its guests over the years from the Beatles to the Krays. Luxurious rooms full of character await, spiral staircases and of course all of Cambridge’s attractions right on your marble doorstep. Take a punt on University Arms and you won’t be disappointed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel De Vere University Arms

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