University Arms Hotel
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How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Minbar in room
- High-speed internet in room
- Concierge desk
- Babysitting service
- Non-smoking rooms
- Wireless internet connection in room (free)
Historical Traveler Reviews The Agricultural Hotel Penrith
Great location, comfortable room, needs redecoration with taste!
This is one of those hotels which look as though somebody decorated the communal areas with a job lot of brightly-coloured paint just because it was going cheap, and various garish completely non-matching carpets because they were also going cheap, making the hotel look seedy. Which is odd, because in most other respects this is a decent hotel, especially if you get a room facing Parkers Piece as I did. IF they put some effort into redecorating the communal areas then I would go back, otherwise I wouldn't, there are plenty of other hotels in Cambridge.
We managed to negotiate a good deal after the bank holiday. £120 per night for a 4 poster room overlooking Parkers Piece.
The outside I grant you is a little ugly, however this improves when you enter the hotel. The room was very nice, spacious and comfortable. Included in the price was a chilled bottle of champagne and some chocolates. We also had robes and slippers. The view from the room was great and it was nice to be able to actually open the windows. We also had air conditioning.
The staff were friendly and attentive but some seemed to lack the basic rudiments of the English language!
I agree with the earlier comment about the room service. It is vile!!! It was so bad that we complained to the Duty Manager which is something we would not usually be bothered to do. To his credit, he took on board our comments and refunded us. He also did explain that a new room service menu was to be introduced at the end of the month.
We did not eat in the restaurant so cannot comment on that. Having said this we did have breakfast delivered to our room twice which was timely and tasty.
The hotel is nice but it could be lovely. It badly needs some TLC. It has character (inside) but no personality. It has a perfect location for exploring the City. I would say it is great for a break in Cambridge if you can get a good deal but it is not worth the full rate at present and is more like 3 star than 4 star.
This hotel is utterly dreadful, from the monstrous street facing exterior to the repro 'plastic' canvasses in the foyer. It has been so butchered by the (in my opinion) frankly awful De Vere chain over the decades that it has now become nothing more than a gaudy, stupidly decorated charade of its former self. Give it a wide berth.
Incidentally, Bill Bryson found it "unremarkable" in his guide.
Come on Cambridge,is this the best you can achieve?
Your an internationally renowned city with some of the finest minds yet this hotel is provincal,provincal,provincal!!
Tired furnishings, inedible foods,out off depth staff,mostly east european thus little local knowledge.Room service try at your peril.
This hotel needs closing,gutting,and complete refurbishment.
If this is a true 4*hotel then the YMCA are under-rating themselves.
Great location...shame about the hotel
I was looking forward to my stay at this hotel as it is supposedly 4* in Cambridge but in my opinion it was a dodgy 3* (more like 2*) and certainly not worth the £100 per night weekend rate. The room was small, badly decorated and smelt musty (with a horrible view out on the main street!). Thankfully I only stayed one night and couldn't wait to leave. I do have one good thing to say - the location was good. If you can get this hotel for £20-30 per night then I would say go for it for the location alone. Hope this helps.
Great one night stay
Stayed here for one night. Very comfortable room, great breakfast and excellent staff [they couldn't be faulted for their attitude and helpfulness]. Location superb with a five minute walk to the centre - even better when on the second day we were able to leave the car at the hotel at no extra cost whilst we had a second wander round the town. Would recommend this hotel as an excellent choice for a weekend break.
Tired rip off
Booked in there as allegedly best hotel in Cambridge. Room was cluttered, badly furnished, inadequate power points, poorly insulated noise-wise and generally old and tacky. Rest of hotel fit same category. Breakfast was - even allowing for exchange rate - ridiculously expensive for the limited and badly cooked food. Ultimate rip was when they tried to charge me on Sunday for room delivery of previous day's Financial Times.
Only positive was cheerful front desk staff. Dreadful hotel living on old reputation.
I stayed her for one night in March 2004 on a ?70 price obtained on LastMinute, and found everything to be of good quality. I had a double room that by English hotel standards was quite large.The bathroom was more than big enough with heated towel racks and adequate hot water. There was a large writing desk with a TV, and two seperate sitting chairs with a small table. The bed was a queen and very comfortable to sleep in. Included in our rate was a full English breakfast served in the restaurant downstairs. For the money paid, this hotel represented excellent value, and would stay here again.
A fine hotel!
My wife and I stayed a whole week at the University Arms in early July, as I was working in the town of Duxford nearby. As we had not been to the UK before, we did not know what to expect, as we had heard about the hotels there being quite small. The University Arms, recommended from people at my company, turned out to be a fine place, as we had a wonderful stay. The room was plenty big, though not as big as those in the States, but if you are spending a lot of your time in a hotel in a town like Cambridge, or any other scenic location for that matter, then there is something wrong from the get-go. The room, overlooking Parker's Piece, was plenty big for the two of us, and the front office help was fast and friendly. When we asked for flannels (wash cloths) they were delivered very promptly. The service at the breakfast and the bar was extremely friendly, with the help going out of their way to explain what some unfamiliar things were on the menu, and for tips on what to do in town. They even tried (to no avail) to explain the game of cricket, which was being played on the weekends on the Piece. The breakfast, both fully cooked and continental, had a great variety to give you different choices every morning. The eggs, cold-cuts, and pastries were very tasteful. Even better than the breakfast we had in London.
I would definitley recommend the University Arms for anyone visiting Cambridge or other nearby locations. It is centrally located to the colleges and there are many restaurants of all types within easy walking distance. Try Nando's for chicken, Loch Fyne for fish, or take a short taxi ride out to the great King William Pub & Restaurant. All in all, we had a great time!
I stayed here for a couple nights in February of 2003 (about a month and a half ago). This is another hotel, owned by a revered ("De Vered"), long time full service hotel company, whose literature boasts of how great it is, but when one stays there, they find that it is ANYTHING BUT!!!! This hotel is centrally located within a few minutes walking distance of all of the Cambridge University colleges. That is about the only good thing about it. My first room was okay, but the bathroom was tiny (probably the narrowest bathroom of any hotel or motel room I have ever stayed in, and I've stayed in some small hotel and motel rooms!!). I asked them to move me to a room with more space in it, and they did, and that room was MUCH nicer, considerably more spacious, and the bathroom in that room, while still very small, was at least big enough that I could walk into it! The first room faced out onto the street, was noisy all day and very far into the evening long, mostly with college kids talking at the top of their lungs as they were walking by........ The room I moved to was on the other side of the building, facing onto the very large green (Parker's Piece), and was much quieter (although a lot of students and people walk through that park, so still lots of commotion there as well, but much better on that side of the Hotel). The staff there were all young, and they DIDN'T know what they were doing. Some of them were friendly, and the front desk staff tried to act in a courteous, professional manner. The room service food was atrocious. I ordered a pepperoni pizza from the very slick advertising brochure I found in my room, and what I received was unbelievable (some chopped tomatoes, luncheon meat, semi-melted cheese, hard, thin pizza crust---they not only don't have a trained chef at this hotel, seems they don't EVEN have any cooks! Probably the guys in the kitchen (perhaps very young guys???) just wing it!!!). And this is a full-service De Vere hotel whose literataveyard shift front desk staff members of hotels these days, even full-service four and five star hotels anywhere in the world, the two staff members here, while nice guys, didn't have a clue. I was able to get a "reasonable" rate for the two nights I stayed at the University Arms (about $130), and wouldn't have stayed there if the rate was any higher. After I checked out, I wouldn't pay $2 a night to stay there again.
TripAdvisor Reviews The Agricultural Hotel Penrith
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