We stayed here on Saturday 19 July prior to a family party in the area. The hotel is a classic modern Business hotel with golf course attached. We had an upgrade for an extra £30 to one of the Executive King Rooms which was large and with very efficient air conditioning. Room 204 on the Ground Floor. We had requested a room on the first floor when booking and were offered an exchange but stuck with this room as it was quiet. It was one of the hottest evenings of the year so far so the aircon was very welcome. I did notice quite a few people complaining as the basic rooms do not have aircon and the windows only tilt open so the air circulation must have been awful.
Some of the promised offerings for the Executive package were missing. We requested and got the bathrobes which were still in their plastic bags from the laundry. Alas, we never got the promised cookies! The room itself was clean but the empty used beer glass outside the room on the hall carpet and a used breakfast tray stayed there until the following morning.
The swimming pool was good and the surrounding areas clean. The steam room was lovely. Staff in the Leisure Centre were friendly and helpful.
A general comment about the staff: There were many trainees and they were all very willing if inexperienced. One very notable issue with the hotel was lack of staff. We found out that some were working 12 hour plus shifts. At one point in the early evening there was a bit of a fracas between a Hen Party and a group of golfers as there was one person serving in the upstairs bar and the queue for drinks was 3 deep. The golfers were using the outside area overlooking the golf course and, every time they finished their drinks, they would leave them and move to a clean table. We saw them move 3 times. ~Unfortunately they were smoking in the non-smoking area and were very loud. The staff were too busy to clean up and the whole effect was icky. This was a pity because the outside area on the first floor, overlooking the golf course has a lot of potential and could be so much better.
We had a quiet table in the Bistro area for dinner and were very well looked after by the Deputy Manager, Sumith Alahakoon and his staff. We did have a 25 minute wait when seated before our order was taken but things ran smoothly after that. As we were on the Dinner B&B package we had an allowance of £22 per person towards the meal. This covered a starter and main course each and we paid extra for the wine. Having seen previous comments about the food I was not expecting much but, actually, it was very good. My seabass was beautifully cooked and the homemade mackerel pate delicious. My hubby's pulled pork burger was tasty but rather dry. Sumith knows his wines and there was a reasonable selection. This is something he is hoping to expand in the future as he has experience in various hotels around the world and specialises in wine. It was noticeable that when things got very busy in the restaurant, Sumith was scurrying about serving customers and helping his staff. Definitely leading by example!
Checkout was polite but I spotted that we had been overcharged as the difference between the set price for dinner and wine etc had been paid by credit card the night before but still managed to appear on the bill. I had my receipt as proof but it was an awkward 5 minutes and should not have happened.
In conclusion ,I feel all the staff are trying their best in an understaffed and very busy hotel.
The hotel has 4 stars, at present I would give it 3.5 and, easily, a 4 if they could sort some of the obvious problems out.
Would I stay again? Probably – just to see if things improve a bit. We did get a good night’s sleep and dinner and breakfast was good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HALLMARK HOTEL CAMBRIDGE Location Located right on the A14, just a mile from the M11 and 5 miles northeast from the heart of Cambridge, the Hallmark Hotel Cambridge has ample parking, a beautiful golf course, 136 comfy bedrooms, flexible meeting rooms and a lovely health club - it has absolutely everything you need for a successful business trip or relaxing short break in Cambridge. A hotel that has it all Free WiFi throughout. Located just 5 miles from Cambridge city centre Plenty of parking - complimentary when booking your stay direct with the hotel. £10 over night charge otherwise. 136 bedrooms including family bedrooms for up to 5 Brasserie, lounge and bar The Cambridgeshire Golf Course - 18-hole 2 tennis courts, indoor swimming pool, fitness suite and treatment rooms Sauna, steam-room, spa bath Ideal wedding venue for up to 180 guests 10 versatile meeting rooms for up to 200 delegates Sky Sports and BT Sport now available in the bar ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Menzies Cambridge Hotel And Golf Club
- Menzies Hotel Cambridge
- Hallmark Hotel Cambridge Bar Hill, England, UK