The best Cambridge hotels
Nicely placed on the edge of Parker’s Piece common, and a five-minute walk from the heart of Cambridge, the Gonville is an independent four-star hotel. Contemporary decor is softened by splashes of colour; the 84 bedrooms have baths or wet rooms, Green & Spring toiletries and free wifi. Room service is operated via iPads. The hotel has a fine dining restaurant, Cotto, and a more relaxed option, Atrium Brasserie & Bar.
The atmospheric Cambridge outpost of the small Hotel du Vin chain is a perfect match for the historic town centre. Fashioned from old university buildings, the interior is attractively moody, with exposed brickwork and dark wood floors. The 41 rooms and suites have comfort to the fore; most have roll-top baths, a few have private terraces and all have free wifi. One of the suites even boasts a mini-cinema. The hotel location is a good one, just across the road from the Fitzwilliam Museum.
A good choice if you want to combine town and country, Anstey Hall is about two and a half miles from the city centre, in a Grade-I listed mansion surrounded by parkland. There are 22 bedrooms, 13 in the original house and the rest in a stable block annexe. Each room has a Nespresso machine, period furniture and classy artwork; some have roll-top baths, some drench showers, and there are four-posters in many of the bedrooms. Wifi and parking are free, and there’s an honour bar for guests.
A rustic bolthole just outside Cambridge, the Crown & Punchbowl has a lot of charm. It’s a seventeenth-century pub, with five stylish bedrooms; all have Nespresso machines, free wifi and Liberty & Green toiletries. Modern British dishes are served in the gastropub downstairs, which also has a variety of real ales on tap. You can walk into town in half an hour along the towpath, and the inn is just five minutes’ drive from the Science Park.
This branch of the international hotel chain won’t win any prizes for individuality, but it can’t be beaten on location. It’s bang in the middle of Cambridge, meaning that almost anywhere in the city is within walking distance. The 198 rooms are, like the public spaces, contemporary but bland; all are well-equipped to a four-star standard, complete with complimentary wifi. Family rooms are available. There’s a restaurant and a fitness centre, too.
The pretty gardens of this four-star hotel are a real draw, especially for guests with dogs, and in warm weather it’s possible to dine outdoors on the terrace. Hotel Felix is situated a mile and a half from the city centre in a handsome Victorian house, not far from Girton College. Bedrooms in the original house have period features (as well as modern bathrooms with White Company toiletries); extensions to the original house hold more contemporary rooms. Parking and wifi are free, and there’s a choice of eating and drinking options at the hotel.
Owned by Best Western, this hotel started life as a watermill. Adapted and extended, the complex now has 51 rooms, 11 acres of landscaped gardens, two restaurants, a bar, a spa (with indoor pool) and a fitness centre. And a helipad. Rooms are modern and have free wifi; some have four-poster beds and whirlpool baths. It’s a ten-minute drive to the centre of Cambridge for those not arriving by helicopter.
A small family-run hotel in a Grade II-listed Georgian building (the original Newnham College), overlooking the green sward of Parker’s Piece. The 22 bedrooms are bright and modern, with feature wallpapers and colourful soft furnishings. All have free wifi and toiletries, tea- and coffee-making facilities and flatscreen TVs. There’s also a guest lounge. The town centre is a short walk away.
Tamburlaine brings a bit of glitz to Cambridge, with a style that mixes striking modern features (chandeliers, a spiral staircase) with old-time comfort (open fires, velvet sofas). There are 155 bedrooms, decorated in soothing tones with floor-to-ceiling windows and marble bathrooms; suites have private terraces. Various refreshment options run from the relaxed Steam Deli café to the fully fledged Tamburlaine Restaurant. The hotel is close to the railway station, near the Botanic Garden, and a short walk from the centre of town. Wifi is free throughout.
The modish Varsity makes the most of its central, riverside location with a smart rooftop terrace bar and brasserie that provides views over the historic city. Rooms – named after the colleges – are contemporary in style, and come with iPod docks and complimentary wifi; some have balconies. The Elemis Spa has a sauna, a steam room and a hot tub, as well as a list of bookable treatments. There’s also a gym and a range of fitness classes (free to guests).
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