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“Not my idea of a four-star UK hotel. Paid £160 did not sleep a wink. More of a Budget chain Style.”
Review of The Gonville Hotel

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The Gonville Hotel
Ranked #2 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
215 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
“Not my idea of a four-star UK hotel. Paid £160 did not sleep a wink. More of a Budget chain Style.”
Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

Before I go on to mention the problems experienced I think it's only right to mention that a £50 Reduction was applied to the Room rate of £160 By the manager after I explained the issues with the air conditioning unit.

After checking in as a "walk in" we were placed in a room in the top of the building - room 221.

After a very recent refurbishment, I was surprised to find the following in the newly renovated room :-

One bath towel and one hand towel provided for a Double occupancy in a double room.
No facecloths
No niceties in the bathroom at all not even a dish to put the bar of soap on.
Three unbranded bottles of toiletries.
A solid glass sliding door to the Wet room bathroom, which is Approx the size of a disabled toilet , does not completely open. One has to walk through a much smaller Opening than the door frame itself. I can only imagine in the night this could be quite disastrous!
No drawers in the room...zero!
No wardrobe in the room merely coat hangers on rail.
No topsheet just a duvet.
According to the Hotel's eco-policy (see my photo) the sheets And towels are only changed every 2 to 3 days!
Wi-Fi is virtually useless. I had to rejoin the Wi-Fi server on my Apple device at least 18 to 20 times during a one night stay! Kicked me off the server after approximately 1 minute's inactivity.

However, this is not why we did not sleep. There is an air conditioning unit inside every room which has a cut-off of 14°C. Should the temperature in The room fall below this temperature then a thunderous noise will emit from the machinery to maintain The unit from from freezing over!

I only discovered this information by talking to the manager the next morning the staff available on the night were completely unaware of this situation. If we have been told this at the time we would merely have put the heating on to raise the temperature of the room to say 16 or 17° and we could've slept!

The breakfast was very nice, The staff helpful.

At a bed and breakfast rate of £159 for a double room I would definitely not stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank J S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christopher O, General Manager at The Gonville Hotel, responded to this review, August 25, 2016
Dear Guest,

I am very pleased to tell you that all the hotel has now been refurbished and is totally different now from when you last stayed.

We would love to welcome you back soon.

Thank you for taking the time to leave your review,

Kind regards,

Christopher Ogston
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (398)
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English first
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We booked in to this hotel because it was advertised as dog friendly. THe location was great being on the soouth side of Parker's Piece in the centre of Cambridge. There was plenty of space to exercise the dog on this common land opposite but this is surrounded by main roads, so probaly need to keep the dog on a lead. The hotel itself has a walled garden where it is possible to let the dog free. This is quite unique but I did notice this open area is due to be developed as a spa complex. See how it looks afterwards.

The dog was welcome in the rooms but not in public places which took a bit of organising. We therefore at out but this was also not a problem.

Parkingh was plentiful wwhile we were there, and the staff were on the whole friendly if a little inexperienced.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank centrifugeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

I can't completely complain about the stay at this hotel but my overall feeling was that it wasn't worth the price we paid (153 pounds for a double room including breakfast) and it felt more like a 3 star hotel rather than a four star. When we arrived it felt a bit like faulty towers. Starting with the receptionist saying she had 3 rooms booked for us (we have a booking reference for 2 rooms) which she couldn't sort out until the next day when the head receptionist came on duty. No one was there to help us with our luggage as we came in loaded down (2 elderly people and myself with a young child), nor asking us if we needed help to our rooms when we were clearly struggling. Another couple at the reception were also complaining at the time. The place seem understaffed and incompetent at that time. When we got to our rooms there were no wardrobes or drawers to put our belongings in which you would expect at any reasonable priced hotel and the rooms were quite small. The answer to that was that only people staying more than 2 nights got rooms with that kind of facility and booking.com would have mentioned that on the booking (would you expect to be looking for that detail of info when booking at 4 start hotel, please!). Anyway after we complained a very helpful and competent member of the restaurant staff came to our rescue and sorted everything out for us while we were out that afternoon and then helped us changed rooms. Regarding the new rooms, I can't speak for my parents' room, but my toilet didn't flush very effectively, the shower ran hot and cold and the bathroom smelt a bit damp. Bed very comfortable and rest of the facilities fine. We had 5 meals in the restaurant during our stay and myself and my mum were very happy with all our meal and after the faulty towers start, we were quite impressed with our meals (we chose 2 starters rather than a main) and all them were very good (yes a plus!). There were a few other things about the lack of staff training to mention but I won't go into that now. I think this will give travellers enough to go on. Oh and as with other reviewers, the wi fi service was terrible.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ConcordeClare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
COgston1, Manager at The Gonville Hotel, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Firstly thank you for taking the time to leave a review.

I was very sorry to learn that you were disappointed with your recent stay with us.

It seems that on this occasion we failed to create a great first impression which I can assure you; this is not our usual high standard or what we are known for.

Our reception team only have access to limited information regarding reservations particularly when made via a 3rd Party as part of our responsibilities under the Date Protection act . Rightly therefore the matter was referred to our Reservations team to deal with the next morning.

I too was disappointed to read that no one offered you help with your luggage and rest assured I have already re iterated with the team the importance of this issue. Meanwhile please accept my apologises on behalf of the team.

I was pleased to see that the Assistant Restaurant Manager was helpful in moving rooms and that you found the new larger rooms to be comfortable.

With regards to the toilets they are environmentally friendly ones and although they have a powerful flush they do fill slowly so not to disturb other guests late at night.

I did however ask our Maintenance team to check them but nothing untoward was found and they were performing as expected . We did find however that a small piece of lime scale in the shower head filter was responsible for the poor performance of the shower

With regards to the Wifi I have to tell you that despite Cambridge being an area where you would expect a great WiFi service this is not the case. Infinity has not reached here yet and no cable operator will offer businesses such as ours a connection.

We have found a solution which is currently being put in place but currently we are experiencing variable speeds and we are in the hands of Open Reach to cure the problems. I am pleased to tell you however, that we are now experiencing an improvement. We understand how important this is to our valued guests.

I am pleased that you did have an enjoyable experience dining with us and that every meal you had was very good, our New Head Chef Nick is certainly making a great impression with his new menu.

Please know that I will be passing on your comments to the rest of my team and we will be making improvements were needed.

We do value your feedback, thank you again for taking the time and letting me know of your recent experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Managed to check-in early, which was just what we wanted.
Staff friendly and responded to any request.
Ground Floor room was just what we wanted.
Room excellent with walk in shower.
Breakfast was nice, and set us up for the day ahead.
Booked online, and hotel was just as expected from web details.
Free Parking and good location in addition to web write up swung it for us.
will definitely return when in Cambridge again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 12MartinP12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

Nice hotel, very clean, good location, room was very nice, clean, comfy bed, free wi fi.

Staff friendly and helpful, had room service, only waited 5-10mins for drinks.

Breakfast was nice, again staff friendly.

Car park was free which was nice.

Would recommend and stop again.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MH1891
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2013

I spent one night here while attending an event at a Cambridge college and wanted a reasonably priced place to sta. I got a good deal online including breakfast in the morning for a double room with wet room. The description on the website was clear that this was indeed a wet room and there was no bath which I was more than happy with. The bedroom was on the smaller size but perfectly big enough for the one night, and remarkably quiet considering it overlooked the main road. A major plus for this place was the free parking which more than makes up for the fact it is that little bit further away from the main attractions but still less than 15 minutes walk. All the rest was as expected and the breakfast was much better than anticipated and worth the extra. The only few niggles that caused me to drop the star would be the sliding door to the wetroom, this did not stay shut and I need to prop it to prevent steam entering the whole room and likely setting off the fire alarm. The parking is quite tight and limited with quite a few spaces not for the faint hearted, I would imagine that there might be times where there could be no where to stay. Finally, the lift was rather slow and a jolty experience, I like to take stairs where possible but they were rather hidden away, being only one lift there was sometimes a wait or a tight squeeze. Overall a good choice for exploring Cambridge, especially that little bit further out from the hustle and bustle with the advantage of parking.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank aschoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

This hotel is perfectly located in the city centre but not in the busy part. The park buffers the hotel from noise.

The room is comfortable with tea and coffee, hair dryer and toiletries. We were round the back and it was so quiet as requested.

Breakfast. Great choice and bright and airy in the Atrium.

The best thing is free parking too and friendly staff. Lovely time.

Room Tip: We asked for the back.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PennyHighWycombe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gonville Hotel

Property: The Gonville Hotel
Address: Gonville Place, Cambridge CB1 1LY, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cambridge
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cambridge
#6 Family Hotel in Cambridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gonville Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned and run 4 star 84 bedroom hotel, with recently refurbished public areas and rooms. Virtual concierge system in all rooms via Apple Ipads make service requests easy by the touch of a button. Free Fibre Optic high speed Wifi throughout. Limited on site car parking for residents. Located in central Cambridge overlooking the famous Parker's Peice a 25 acre open park, near to the rail and coach stations. Ideal for visiting the many Historic University buildings and close to the main shopping areas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cambridge Best Western
Best Western Cambridge

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