The Varsity Hotel & Spa

The Varsity Hotel & Spa

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The Varsity Hotel & Spa may have rooms named after colleges, artworks based on famous alumni and donnish decanters of brandy to hand, but there's nothing studenty about it. It's set in the riverside heart of Cambridge, has a spotless health club and Elemis spa attached, and from its seventh-floor rooftop you can catch the best views in the city. Academically gifted, this one.

Highlights:

  • Excellent riverbank location in Cambridge's collegiate heart

  • Elemis treatments, Jacuzzi and spa

  • Roof terrace for yoga, events and skyline city views

Smith extra

A bottle of red or white wine in your room, and late check-out (12.30pm)

In the know

Also need to know:

All public areas are accessible to wheelchair users, all bedrooms are accessible by lift, and some have been specially adapted for mobility-impaired guests.The Glassworks Elemis spa is housed in a Conran-designed building next door (you have to pop out into the street to get there). In addition to well-priced facials, massages and beauty treatments, you can book in for reflexology, aromatherapy and waxing. Yoga, pilates and boxercise classes are held in the beamed gym and, in summer, on the hotel roof. There's also an Aveda hair salon.

Mr and Mrs Smith reviews

At last. I have a place at Cambridge, and I can look down on the rest of the world. To be precise, I’m standing gin and tonic in hand, seven floors up, on the roof terrace bar of the Varsity hotel, with views in every direction of the dreaming spires, watching people scurrying below.

Converting the roof into a stunning brushed-wood bar was a brilliant idea. As is, in fact, the Varsity hotel in general. The founders noticed that the town was missing a cool place to eat, sleep, drink and be pampered (yes, it has a spa as well). So they found a space right in the heart of the action, on the ba

Accommodation details

Address:

Thompson's Lane, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB5 8AQ, United Kingdom
Cambridge
United Kingdom

Location:

0.8 mi / 1.2 km from city centre

General facilities

  • Valet parking
  • Spa
  • Aerobics instruction
  • Concierge desk
  • Exercise gym
  • Internet services
  • Room service
  • Lounges/bars
  • Onsite laundry
  • Restaurant

Dining information

Restaurant:

Looking out over the water at mediaeval Magdalene College, the River Bar is a sophisticated split-level take on a traditional steakhouse, with warehouse-style exposed brick walls, a smart little coffee/cocktail bar and a grilling fixation.

Top table:

Downstairs by the window, looking out over the river – the view's better upstairs, but the atmosphere's a bit buzzier below.

Last orders:

The River Bar shuts for food and drink at around 11pm each night, but after hours, there's always a decanter of brandy to be plundered in the first-floor guest lounge. No lunch is served on Sundays.

Room service:

Staff will bend over backwards for you 24 hours a day, but the menu of drinks, snacks and light meals should cover most in-room cravings.

Hotel bar:

Big beefy wines and competent cocktails are served in the River Bar, but it's more of a pre-dinner drinks place than somewhere to hole up for an evening.

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