The Best New Hotels in the world for 2019
The town’s oldest hotel and its newest – a coaching inn that’s been artfully reimagined by two of the UK’s top talents
Did Grace Kelly have a sense of humour? If so, you might think of the gorgeously reinvented University Arms as the Grace Kelly of hotels.
It’s got that same ravishing combination of fire and ice: the fire courtesy of whimsical interiors by wunderkind Martin Brudnizki; the ice applied with measured classical precision by architect John Simpson. But it’s marvellously witty and warm and fun into the bargain. To those who remember the old dour, turreted Victorian pile that loomed over one side of Parker’s Piece, the common near the town centre where the rules of football were formulated, the new place will seem all but unrecognisable. Though the rooms, particularly the larger ones overlooking the green, are terrific – respectful to the past without being beholden to it – it’s the public spaces on the ground floor that clinch it. The highlights among these are Tristan Welch’s sprawling, light-flooded contemporary-British restaurant Parker’s Tavern and the cosy, velvet-upholstered bar where you should absolutely order a whisky-heavy Sixth Man, sprinkled with salted-caramel dust, to be enjoyed in the adjoining library. Cambridge has been arguably the smartest town in the land since about 1209. A mere 800 years later, it has a hotel to match.
FLASH POINT The liveried bicycles in Cambridge blue are perfect for exploring the streets or making a quick getaway to nearby beauty spots such as The Orchard at Grantchester.