08/05/2022

By Alice Bradley, Arcadia

Situated in the very heart of Cambridge, University Arms Hotel is a delightful 19th century landmark hotel that sits in prime position overlooking Parker’s Piece green and allows guests to venture by foot or even more aptly, by bike around the city.

Making it the perfect place as a weekend-away destination, Cambridge is an ever popular stop for those visiting the UK and has certainly remained a popular choice by Brits wanting to enjoy a cultural retreat. Stepping into the grand, high ceilinged entrance of University Arms Hotel, guests are greeted by an immaculately restored coaching inn dating back to 1834. Relaunched and carefully modernised during an £80m transformation in 2018, this traditional period property has been restored to celebrate its beautiful period features.

Designed by architect John Simpson and Interior Designer Martin Brudnizki, University Arms Hotel showcases a smart quirkiness, from its traditional wood finishes balancing out more eclectic botanical furnishings and striking stained glass windows. As an ode to its academic heritage, each suite is named after famed Cambridge alumni and historically linked figures.

A stay in the Virginia Woolf suite leaves you lost for words as you enter this curated space that is fit for any book enthusiast. An array of works are placed around the suite and stacked to divide the lounge area and bedroom. With lots of space, an outstanding bathroom and rolling tub as well as prime views of the green from the bedroom, this suite charmingly invites guests to stay and enjoy their rooms for as long as possible.

Two newly opened treatment rooms have also been opened in partnership with Aromatherapy Associates to create a bespoke treatment package for guests to choose from. With massages, facials and wellness experiences available, a slower pace can certainly be enjoyed here. The award-winning treatments and products showcase the finest natural ingredients, purest extracts and essential oils, making for a luxurious and effective wellbeing experience.

Further enticing guests to stay and embrace the hotel’s offerings is the Parker’s Tavern, helmed by local Chef Tristan Welch. Serving recognisable British classics and seasonal dishes including the Summer Truffle Risotto with Spenwood Cheese and the Nut Brown Buttered Sole with Samphire and Norfolk Brown Shrimps.

Parker’s Tavern also transforms to a buffet style breakfast space in the morning’s for guests to tuck into, from cooked breakfast options, fresh fruit, smoothies and lots of pastries. During the day, a reservation for afternoon tea is also a firm favourite for guests and visitors as this cosy space transforms once again to serve a delicious selection of savouries and sweets.

There is something quite cookie-cutter about Cambridge, the formulaic buildings, the quaint charm of local cafes and shops and the academic energy that circulates around the area. Guests at University Arms can book into the hotel’s 24/7 fitness suite or onto complimentary ‘Hidden Cambridge’ walking tours, a suitable balance of active, yet educational experience that is hosted every Saturday at 11am.

The walking tours offer an exceptional insight into the historic city from the geometrical wonders of Mathematical Bridge to the golden hands of The Corpus Clock. Alternatively, make your way through the city’s backstreets and discover Cambridge by bike or boat with a punt along the River Cam. Just make sure to stop at Fitzbillies for their famous Chelsea Buns.