We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Tinned fruit and sold out of peanuts!”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of The Gonville Hotel

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
The Gonville Hotel
Ranked #2 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Berwickshire
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Tinned fruit and sold out of peanuts!”
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Our visit coincided with University graduations so the hotel was busy. Room immaculate, good decor. Cooked breakfast fresh and very generous. However - first impressions count - unoccupied reception desk in the middle of the afternoon, new arrivals obliged to hang round until they are spotted by folk in 'the back office'. A seemingly wooden scripted speech follows regarding location of lift, room key, car parking permit, breakfast etc. A similar expressionless speech is given as we were seated for breakfast, it feels like you are receiving an unsolicited sales phone call.
We went to the bar for a cider each, glasses were wet and dripping, no beer mats on the table so wet laps all round. Our request for peanuts was a terse 'sold out'.... not exactly a rare commodity, infact some hotels actually have bowls of nuts on the bar! Fruit at breakfast was all tinned, despite it being summer and fresh fruit plentiful. Trollies loaded with cleaning equipment and fresh laundry were trundled through the breakfast area forcing guests to wait for a gap in the traffic holding their toast and fruit juice etc from the buffet.
Such a disappointment as the hotel is charming and clearly recently refurbished to a high standard.. but staff attitude towards guests totally lacks any spontaneity, with the exception of one older gentleman serving us breakfast whose friendly and helpful service only highlighted the rest of the staff's apparent disinterest. A friendly smile and genuine welcome costs nothing - and ensures a return visit..... some serious staff hospitality training is needed here I think.

Room Tip: Ask for room at the back if you want to avoid the noise from the street and recreation ground across...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bigbarb
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, July 7, 2013
Dear Bigbarb,
Thank you for your feedback,

Please accept my sincere apologies for the poor first impression you received of the reception area. Unfortunately the current design of this area doesn’t help us in creating a good first impression and is something we are aware of.

I am pleased to say that future planned refurbishment work of this area will really help address this and will hopefully become more open plan.

However saying that we certainly don’t want our staff to be "wooden", we are known as a “hotel with personality” and providing excellent service is something we train and encourage our staff to do. I am sorry that on this occasion you did not receive that.

I have taken your comments and will be using them to provide further training with our team.

We have recently taken on some new members of staff and therefore they have yet to adjust to our usual high standard of doing things.

We decided not to put bowls of nuts on the bar for hygiene reasons, which is why you didn’t find any, however we do sell nuts which are individually packaged although it appears that this was not dealt with properly and the response you got was not very helpful. This is something we will also be addressing.

I can assure you that there is fruit freshly prepared for the breakfast buffet as I have often seen them prepare it. It is not all tinned as you suggest.

I was pleased to see that our New Restaurant Manager Richard made a good impression, you can be assured that he will be implementing training in this area too, although comments about the service are often positive.

Please know that I have also discussed your comments to the housekeeping department with how they navigate around the breakfast area to service the rooms close by.

It is a shame that these comments were not brought to our attention at the time as we may have been able to have turned this around into a postive for you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,654 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    799
    587
    195
    45
    28
See reviews for
221
768
86
347
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (381)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
CA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2013

I had some problems finding the hotel initially due to me relying on my TomTom's idea of where the hotel was... I got taken within spitting distance, but unable to find the way in to the hotel entrance (I think I got stuck in a cul-de-sac by the rear of the hotel). That's certainly not the hotel's fault at all - I'm simply suggesting that visitors to the area may want to get a close-up hard-copy map printout to augment any GPS, just in case mine is not the only GPS that delights in teasing you with "I can see it from here - now how the heck do I get there" kind of behaviour.

The rooms themselves were nice and clean (if not all that spacious - but what do you expect in such prime real-estate area where each square foot of space is worth a fortune ?)

Breakfast was included in our booking, and was good, standard fare. For dinner, they indicated that if we wanted to eat in the hotel, we should book a dining spot as soon as we checked in ; since we were still jet-lagged from a flight over from SFO and not in any condition to decide what time we would feel hungry, we opted out of their dinner. There are so many eating places within a stone's throw that we didn't lack for choice.

Ther were some humorous touches in the bathroom (sounds odd, doesn't it ?) such as soap labeled as "so nice, you'll want to steal TWO", etc., that added some levity.

About the only negative I have for this hotel was the cleanliness in some public areas. Going up and down in the glass-walled elevator, you get a great view of dozens of dead flies lying on areas that the cleaning staff probably don't see in their normal rounds. Not a big deal, but just enough to take some of the 'shine' off of the hotel's otherwise clean appearance.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gordon_mc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens Greece
Level Contributor
110 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We were coming to this hotel to celebrate our daughter's graduation from Cambridge. It is very well placed for the city centre, only 10 minutes walk away and some of that across a park. The hotel has been through a refurbishment and all looks pic and span.
The check in process went smoothly enough and the room seemed delightful at first, until we realised it was so minimalist that the total hanging space boiled down to one rail with 'hook on' hangers that often fell off. There was not a single drawer or shelf. This gives a very clean uncluttered look, but is impractical when you are staying for more than one night (we were staying for three and had to live out of our suitcases). That said, the TV was easy to navigate, the bathroom (a shower and loo) clean and functional, with plenty of soaps and shampoos.
BUT, on our first full day we returned really tired at 3pm to find our room not made up. Disaster, as we wanted to sleep. I had to wait at Reception a full half hour before the general manager turned up (I had to get the receptionist to call him three times altogether). When he did come he made it right by putting it right. The room was done post haste, we received a bottle of sparkling wine and a bit off our bill.
You can judge hotels by how they handle a mistake. They handled this well - so all credit to Best Western's customer service training.
Breakfast is ample and good and served (generally) with a smile. Abraham, one of our breakfast waiters proved informative and interesting and I met to give him special mention. I hope this will suffice. Had we need to, we would certainly consider staying there again.

Room Tip: You can ask for a room with a view across the park. It is slightly noisier I imagine, but the view i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnEnglishmanInGreece
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, July 7, 2013
Thank you for your review, it was a pleasure to meet you during your stay, again please accept my sincere apologies for the slight delay in getting to reception.

I did in fact go straight to your room with the housekeeper and spoke to your wife to ensure that your room was serviced straight away for you. However was not informed you were waiting at reception until the third phone call.

Thank you both for being so understanding, it can often be a challenge at this time of year (one of our busiest) to get the stay over rooms serviced early, especially if someone in the housekeeping department is absent. However all hands were on deck to ensure minimal disruption to our valued guests.

I am pleased that this did not spoil your stay and that you were able to have an enjoyable time here to celebrate your daughter’s graduation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We went to this hotel for a family lunchtime get together and cannot fault the service or the food we had on the day. The staff were attentive, the atmosphere was relaxed, and everybody enjoyed it so much we have decided to re-book for next year!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Porkpiehead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, UK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2013

We stayed two nights, the staff were lovely, friendly and efficient. Hotel & room were nicely decorated, excellent shower, bed very comfortable. Our only reservation was the limited amount of storage space in both the shower room and bedroom. We didn't eat there as breakfast would have been rather expensive for more food than we would eat. Very good location within easy walking distance of the City Centre, which has lots of cafes/restaurants as well as the sights.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MaggiePreston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We stayed 2 nights in June and have visited several times previously. Our room was clean and very comfortable and the bed excellent - a great night's sleep. A member of the housekeeping staff knocked on the door during the early evening to check if everything was satisfactory. Earlier when found we were a towel short, I reported this on the way to the car and the towel was delivered before I got back to the room.
We went for a meal in the restaurant with some trepidation as I have Coeliac disease and my wife had a problem requiring a fat free diet, so eating "out" can be difficult. The serving and kitchen staff produced delicious food for us by slightly modifying their menu and fully met our dietary difficulties. When there was no suitable desert, a fruit salad was produced. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal and had no adverse after effects - so they fully covered our dietary problems.
Breakfast could be selected from the standard items available to meet our diets, plus the restaurant also had available gluten free bread and sauages, however you need to bring your own gluten free cereal if this is needed.
All the staff we have met have been polite and helpful, and will acknowledge us when passing them in the corridors.
The hotel also has a free car park - a major consideraton in Cambridge, and with the city centre being less than a 10 minutes stroll away this is a very conveniently sited hotel

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

The hotel is extremely clean and comfortable, our breakfasts were delicious, well presented and served.
The staff were wonderful. We were greeted with a smile at reception when we booked in, and this continued through out our stay. The staff, without exception were friendly and efficient.
The only downside, and it really was not that important to us, was the WIFI connection in the room was none exsistant.
Thank you to everyone at the Gonville for making our stay in Cambridge. See you next year .

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GEH90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Cambridge hotels
0.8 mi away
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
#1 of 36 in Cambridge
2,217 reviews
0.1 mi away
Regent Hotel
Regent Hotel
#5 of 36 in Cambridge
399 reviews
0.4 mi away
Hilton Cambridge City Centre
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.5 mi away
Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge City Centre
2.2 mi away
Hotel Felix
Hotel Felix
#8 of 36 in Cambridge
1,114 reviews
0.3 mi away
Hotel du Vin Cambridge
Hotel du Vin Cambridge
#13 of 36 in Cambridge
854 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Gonville Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Business Hotel in Cambridge
#1 Green 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and Evoline ltd so you can book your The Gonville Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Cambridge Best Western
Best Western Cambridge

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing