Stay Here: Varsity Hotel & Spa, Cambridge

There are extremely few locations that are as beautiful as Cambridge. Using its windy cobbled streets, chocolate-box cafes, and pubs tucked down roads as wide as breadsticks, the town is becoming popular for weekends away. And for good reason. Where else are you able to try to go to punting, marvel at the world-class university, take a trip to the botanical gardens and see one of the best collections of ancient and modern art in the european union in the Fitzwilliam Museum? Need your next staycation fix? The Varsity Hotel and Spa should be surface of your list.

Varsity Hotel & Spa: The Lowdown

Within punting distance from the centre is how you’ll find the Varsity Hotel & Spa; a boutique-style venue located on the edge of the River Cam with 48 uniquely designed rooms, each celebrating the cultural heritage from the city.

To call the Varsity just a hotel could be selling this place short. A Cambridge destination by itself, there’s full-service facilities such as the Glassworks Gym & Spa featuring a SPA pool overlooking the forest, plus sauna, steam room and Elemis treatments; the gorgeous rooftop terrace, and not one, but two restaurants – Six Panoramic Restaurant (if you’re feelin’ fancy) and River Bar Steakhouse (think the best prime beef, saucy sides and a very good wine list).

Varsity Hotel & Spa: The Rooms

Smart, sleek and understated, each room has its own only style and personality. Ranging from the Graduate Double room with its walk-in shower to the Fellows King Rooms, filled with King-size beds and bathrooms with underfloor heating, and not forgetting the Senior Fellows Suite featuring a private terrace, free-standing bath with direct views onto St John's College Chapel, and a separate lounge with snazzy floor-to-ceiling windows, there’s accommodation to match every price point and occasion.

We stayed within the cosy Graduate Double Room boasting a stylish and timeless interior, these types of its central location, it had been surprisingly quiet. Pops of colour combined with luxe fabric and patterned wallpaper gave the rooms a modern feel without detracting from the historic nods found throughout the hotel. Complete with a cloud-like double bed, a large (actually huge) shower, Elemis Toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities, and fancy dressing gowns and slippers, The Varisty exceed to create your hotel stay an unforgettable experience.

For those inclined to join the en masse of scholars who choose to visit around Cambridge on two wheels, your accommodation also offers complimentary bicycles. Failing that, we advise booking set for a massage in the neighbouring spa even though away a special afternoon poolside.

Varsity Hotel & Spa: Eat and Drink

During our stay, we made a beeline for the River Bar Steakhouse following a promise of ‘only the most tender, full-flavoured steak, using the finest prime beef’. Housed in an 18th century bonded warehouse, the restaurant is really as much concerning the views and vibe as it is about the food.

With Pinterest-worthy interiors (by pointing out exposed brick walls, leather banquettes and wooden tables), industrial lighting illuminated the restaurant, as the large windows gave a snapshot from the River Cam below. Service was friendly and attentive without having to be overbearing, and the staff were on hand to steer us through the menu. Special because of the waiter who recommended the calamari. Nothing leads us more joy than lightly-battered, deep-fried squid rings having a garlicky aioli.

Visiting a steak restaurant and never opting for its hero dish always feels a little odd, so we ploughed on and ordered the Rib-Eye Steak with rosemary salted chips along with a mixed leaf salad. This highly desired cut of meat deserves top billing because of its full flavour and soft texture. Thanks to its rich marbling of fat, the steak, as large as a paving slab, was succulent and tender (so much in fact that a butter knife might have sufficed). The sides didn’t disappoint using the chips potato perfection; crispy, golden-brown sticks that were fluffy on the inside. The food was knock-your-socks-off delicious but try once we might, we couldn't find room for dessert.

Breakfast as you’d expect was an indulgent affair with the early-morning greats available. A buffet reminiscent of those you find on vacation – there was from cooked items to cereals, pastries, and an almighty selection of bread, and other things (but we don’t have the word count to say it all).

Varsity Hotel & Spa: The Verdict

Modernity in the heart of antiquity, The college Hotel and Spa is a real treat for any weekend away in Cambridge. Within easy reach from Cambridge Stop (and only an hour from King’s Cross), leave the main city behind… even if it’s only for an evening or two.

You may also like