I've known the University Arms for over 50 years, ever since my parents stayed there in the 1960s, so it is an old friend in a way. Last week was, however, my first visit for some years. The location is good, with fine views if you're lucky with your room, and there is still a hint of Victorian splendour about the central lounge and the rooms around it. But the overall impression was of a hotel that had seen better days.
I was looking forward to eating in the dining room overlooking Parker's Piece, but it's now the "Ballroom" and the restaurant "R17" is in a smaller modern room overlooking the street. However, our dinner there was good and nicely served.
Our room was inconveniently arranged on two levels, with 3 poorly-marked steps separating the sleeping area from the sitting area and bathroom. As a result, you couldn't view the TV from the two armchairs. The bathroom was very narrow at one end, with a very hot towel rail close to the bath. Sound-proofing was poor, with the band at the wedding party in the ballroom clearly audible until they stopped at midnight, but then the creaks from the floor of the bedroom above us were even louder.
A room-service continental breakfast was promptly served, and was OK apart from a shortage of butter.
The staff were all friendly and keen to please, and our complaint about the hazardous steps in the bedroom was sympathetically dealt with by the manager. But my old friend of a hotel now lacks the finesse that I remember.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel De Vere University Arms
- 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 with 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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