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“Great location, renovated room”

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University Arms Cambridge
Ranked #29 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed November 27, 2013

I visited Cambridge for business last week and I decided to stay at University Arms hotel due to the fact that it is located in the city center and I was not disappointed at all. The hotel as a whole was quite old fashioned, but my room was bigger than expected and was recently renovated! The location of the hotel is more than great, since it's in walking distance of all bars, restaurants etc. I will stay here again when I'm back in Cambridge.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank mouis2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded November 28, 2013

May I thank you for your correpsondence and review.

It is true that the fabric of the hotel has since seen times when the decor was trendy, and that rest asured the rooms are clean and of a standard required by the business guest, I am pleased that you found the room larger than anticipated, and that you found the location ideal.

I look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel in the near future.

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171 - 177 of 915 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2013

Room 206 Friday November 15th

OK, lets get the good things out of the way first.

This hotel is incredibly handy for Cambridge City Centre. You can stumble out of the front door, hang a right and you are about 2 mins walk away from the shops.

Now the grumbles.

No early check in available; This hotel lets you check in at 3pm. I had asked specifically for an early check in (1.30pm) but they could not accommodate. This was a pain as I had a meeting at 2.00pm and wasn't able to check in until afterwards (4.00pm) and a group of guests who were in front of me had just come from the airport and were unable to check in a freshen up. Surely some sort of accommodation can be made for a few early check ins at 1.30pm onwards?

Car Park = £16.00 for a night. Really?

Room. #206 had an air of better days about it. The bathroom, whilst clean, could have done with a few new fittings and a good scrub with a mould deterrent. Nice drawer for the hair dryer which was nicely labelled "hair dryer". Sadly for terms of accuracy there was no hair dryer included.

The biggest problem about this room (apart from the mattress which had the sturdiness and support of a water bed on a bouncy castle) was the fact that it overlooked Regent Street. By day this is one of the main commercial streets but by night it is the centre of the Cambridge "Late Night" Party scene. There are several bars and clubs which have 2pm+ extensions and when the crowd comes out they don't want to go home either quietly or quickly. I got to sleep about 3.30am

Room service. Very limited after midnight (couldn't sleep, see above) and settled for a chicken mayo on white with salad and chips. The chips I discovered where Cheese Biscuits rather than "French fries" and it took some stern words the next morning to ensure a slight discount in the charge "well you DID eat the sandwich sir!", "yes, but it wasn't what I bloody well ordered, it turned up late and I was starving hungry..."

All in all I was charged £120+ for a night of no sleep in an average room (no breakfast included), a very simple sandwich and somewhere to park the car. Sadly this seems to be standard for Cambridge.

Room Tip: Ask for a room which doesn't overlook Regent Street. Or ear-plugs
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank MickC0llins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2013

May I thank you for your feedback regarding you recent visit with us at the hotel, and as mentioned in previous replies, all feedback whether positive or negative in the future development of the hotel, in standards and structure.

Our check in time is set as a standard to ensure that the majority of the rooms that have been departed from are available at that time 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to give base continuity; this does depend on the business levels from the previous day, and we do our upmost wherever possible to meet the guests requests, but as mentioned this does depend on the availability and previous departs. This also goes in-line with large groups that do check in from over seas, but many times the information we receive has little detail with regard to these needs, again we do our upmost to ensure that we are able to assist depending on the level of business.
Having said this, it all depends on the day of the week and the occupancy levels which all have to be taken in to account, as we have more family rooms at weekends, which means rooms have a more in depth configuration, and takes away what we may be able to offer Monday to Thursday.
Having read that there was no hair drier in the room, I have implemented where required new training and room checks to assist in ensuring this does not happen in the future. Having been to the room to investigate the mention of ‘mould’, I was concerned as a 4 star hotel this we would not tolerate, but upon my investigation I noted that it is where the silicon and sealant have become discoloured, and will be replaced now that the refurbishment project has been grant.

Please accept my personal apologises for you receiving a disturbed nights sleep, being in a thriving district of the city centre, we work with the local authorities and police to ensure that the noise levels from surrounding areas is minimal, and to report if not.

The car parking in the hotel car park is in line, and in many cases below the average of similar properties or car parks, in the area, as parking is at a premium in the centre. The £16 is £9 cheaper than the nearest public car park; the only downside is that the hotel does have limited spaces.

Having looked in detail at the room service you received, we do operate a minimal service due to health and safety to ensure we are compliant, and due to not receiving a high volume of requests, thus this ensures we minimalize unnecessary H&S issues as well as waste. Having said this I was concerned by the mention of chips, because we do not offer them on the room service menu, as this is in line with our current health and safety risk assessment, also I was concerned that a member of the night team offered them, but upon my investigation I was able to source that this was a lingual issues, as here in the UK we call crisps, crisps, but on the continent they are classified as chips, as we have a large European staff population this had been overlooked. Going forward new starters and present staff are aware of the different classifications of these products, so going forward this is eliminated.

I do hope I have been able to answer some of your comments raised and if I can assist further please do not hesitate to contact me at the hotel.

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Reviewed November 17, 2013

So, perhaps being located beside Parker's Piece where rowdy groups congregate is not the fault of the hotel, but it does make an early night challenging. Other than that, the parking fee is extortionate and the rooms are at best dated, although the beds are comfortable. The major bonus for me is that this is one of the best breakfast venues in Cambridge - the quality of the food and also the views are spectacular. Also, the staff are exceptionally helpful - I just get the feeling that a little modernisation would help greatly.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
Thank Jonathan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2013

May I thank you for your feedback regarding you recent visit with us at the hotel, and as mentioned in previous replies, all feedback whether positive or negative in the future development of the hotel, in standards and structure.

On the positive thank you for the kind words regarding the breakfast and staff that you encountered, as this is a key area that we pride ourselves, as the breakfast and the staff are usually the most lasting memory guests have of a stay in any establishment. Your feedback has been passed to the relevant members of the team, and I am glad that to accompany this you found the beds of a suitable standard for rest.

Regarding the building it is true that certain areas, do not have a modern trend in their appearance, but as I am sure you are aware from my past review responses in the last few weeks, that we are pleased to announce that after a detailed planning application was submitted to the local authorities for refurbishments, that this has been passed, which will see the hotel enter the next phase of it’s development.

The hotel as you are aware is a thriving district of the city centre, and we work with the local authorities and police to ensure that the noise levels from surrounding areas is minimal, and to report if not.

The car parking in the hotel car park is in line, and in many cases below the average of similar properties or car parks, in the area, as parking is at a premium in the centre. The £16 is £9 cheaper than the nearest public car park; the only downside is that the hotel does have limited spaces.

I thank you for your review, and hope my reply has answered any queries you may have encountered.

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Reviewed November 12, 2013

I stayed for 2 nights and used 3 rooms, first room on first floor noisy because over an area where smokers gathered and opposite a bar which closed late, second room on second floor worse than first room as it was so close to A/C fans which ran continuously abandoned that room at midnight, third room on third floor quiet and peaceful.
Not impressed with staff response to a fire alarm that went off early one morning. It turned out to be false but staff weren't available to help if it had been a fire or to reassure when it turned out to be a false alarm.
Good points, restaurant staff very friendly, breakfast was very good. The night duty manager very helpful in allocating the quiet room

Room Tip: Ask specifically for a quiet room when booking and probably rooms on third floor tend to be quieter
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jan295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2013

Many thanks for the feedback regarding your recent stay with us this weekend, all feedback whether positive or negative is important to allow us too develop in-house training plans
I am glad that you enjoyed your breakfast, and that the Night team were very helpful during your stay and were able to allocate you a room that you found fitting.
With regard to the fire alarm, having been on shift that morning, I would just like to ensure you that all staff were in the designated areas to assist guest out of the build, and that the reception was manned as guests were asking if this was a really or false drill, the receptionist also direct guests to the front door, the Restaurant Manager being in the front lobby also assisted with directing guests, the night porters were as trained going to the floor where the alarm had activated and then inform that was a false alarm, upon which the restaurant manager and myself asked guests that were heading outside to return in to the hotel. I can assure you that all staff are as required have been trained on fire and evacuation and that 60% had just done a refresh couser, all our training and fire files are in line and compliant with the local authorities and fire service wishes.

I hope this reassures your concerns, and may me thank you once again for you comments raised.

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Reviewed November 5, 2013

One of the worst hotel rooms in the developed world. Furniture from the '70s sit com Rising Damp. Radiator cover had been wrenched from the wall by a previous occupant desperate to reduce the temperature as the windows were locked shut. Bathroom was Dickensian, mastic sealant had been thrown at the joints rather than applied and some child decorator had managed to smear paint on the middle of a 2' x 3' pane of glass. The only modern thing in the room was the TV. Breakfast was OK but staff had to be chided into getting things going before 7am. Had the air of a mental asylum rather than a hotel, except the £110 price, which was, in itself, quite insane

Room Tip: Another hotel
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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4  Thank NRH_LON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2013

Many thanks for your review regarding you recent stay with us at the hotel, please find below my replies to your concerns raised.
The breakfast room as states in our rooms, documentation and website starts at 7am, and at weekends this is 8am, chores conducted by the staff before 7am would be the set up not service of breakfast to a guest. The standard of breakfast I found unusually as reading many reviews and speaking with guests, this is one of the most regular positive comments we gain, which shows consistency.

Regarding the room allocated too you, it is true that there are a few areas of the hotel that are out-dated and the fixtures and fittings are not as fresh as they once were, but I am pleased to announce that the recent mentioning on reviews of the refurbishment of the hotel, has been granted by the local authorised

Once again many thanks for your comments raised

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Reviewed November 5, 2013

I agree that the entrance is not very inviting but once you're inside it feels like being in the Victorian period. The room I had was not fancy but quite comfortable.
The staff is very friendly and helpful.
Location is very convenient and in walking distance to every attraction in the city.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Thank Dany H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
andrew w, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Many thanks for your comments on your recent stay with us,

The main entrance of the hotel is as one mentioned not the most inviting being 1960's design, but once inside, the hotels atmosphere is very much old stlye Cambridge.

Regarding you room on a positive I am glad you found this comfortable.

I look forward too ytou staying with us again, in the near future.

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Reviewed November 5, 2013

Managed to reserve myself a really "hot" deal for a "one-nighter" recently. Next day a contact told me that the Hotel recently suffered a fire on the top floor - so maybe that's why! Still there was no sign of that when we made camp last week. I've visited and stayed here off and on since Lord knows how long - and its best, most enduring feature, is the grand dining room overlooking Parkers Piece. Breakfast therein is always a good experience and I don't think the room has really changed over the last 100 years (and that's a good thing).

However the hotel was done no favours in the late 60's by the erection of a modern carbuncle extension. My room was in this part - huge but very tired as I don't think it's ever been updated. However that's why the deal was so good.

Staff fine, comestibles fine too - nice towels (if this is important to you).

In Cambridge (where it costs just to stand still) this place can be a bargain - so long as you stay out of the busy times.

I have heard that it's recently been bought and will be subjected to a total refurbishment - arising from the ashes (sic) as a 5* hotel. Great! That's another place I won't be able to bring myself to pay for!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank CaptnMainwaring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
andrew w, Manager at University Arms Cambridge, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

May I firstly thank you for your positive feedback regarding your recent stay with us at the University Arms.

Its is true that the hotel had received damages regarding the issue, but with the staffs quick response form training and awareness, any issues were minimal, thus not affecting the business.

I am also pleased that you felt the rate reflected the room that was assigned to you for the duration of your stay, and that the staff and linen were inline with your expectations, and that the hotel services a plus.

The ballroom as you mentioned over looking Parkers Peace allows for a relaxed and informal beginning to the day, whether business or pleasure, I am pleased to report that planning permission has already been submitted to Cambridge City Council and we are awaiting approval
Regarding the future developments.

May I thank you for genuine and positve feedback, and hopefully I look .forward too seeing you in the near future.

A Walker

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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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