01/13/2020

The level of detail at University Arms, a newish luxury hotel in Cambridge, is exquisite.

From the riding stirrups contained within the chandelier hanging in the library, in reference to the nearby Newbury racecourse, to the crests of more than a dozen university colleges built into the stained-glass windows, every inch of the property has been meticulously conceived.

In the lobby, a ‘cartographic quartet’ trace the outlines of this most famous academic destination, while a portrait of Winston Churchill during his university days, from which the hotel uniforms derive their inspiration, gazes down.

Everything here has been thought through, compiled and curated, making University Arms an example of how a hotel can channel local character to create something wholly new.

As Andrew Anthony, deputy general manager of the hotel, explains: “This is the oldest continuously running hotel in Cambridge, but we have created a thoroughly modern property behind the classical façade – we seek to seamlessly blend old-world tradition with new technology.

“We trace our roots to 1834, when a 15-bedroom coaching inn opened on this site, but what we have now has been entirely reimagined and refashioned for today’s discerning guests.”

Reviewed by Chris O’Toole

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