The Vibe: Full English.
The Area: The hotel stands slightly away from the historic centre, overlooking Parker’s Piece, a green common, with its main entrance on Regent Street.
The DNA: The University Arms originally opened as a petite coaching inn in 1834. A four-year, €100 million renovation put it back as Cambridge premier address. A neoclassical porte-cochère takes cues from the architect’s earlier work on the Buckingham and Kensington Palaces and hints at the grandeur waiting inside the hotel which echos the famous colleges of Cambridge University. Cambridge Blue paneling complements the double-height ceiling and marble flooring in the lobby, while the reception desk is accented with a fabric skirt. A portrait of Winston Churchill looming behind the concierge post affirms that England’s past remains vital to University Arms’ contemporary narrative. The star of the clubby, paneled, bookshelf-filled library is the massive original oak fireplace, while the highlight of the bar goes to the dreamy swirls of the custom wallpaper meant to mimic cool marble, reminiscent of vintage book endpapers. Carpet patterns in corridors subtly call to mind the broad red and navy stripes of the official University of Cambridge tie.
Suite-Me-Up: A scholarly touch too, is added in guest rooms with leather-topped desks, striped headboards and pops of red and orange enliven the muted palette, contrasting black and white tiles and brass accents in the bathrooms. Some of the suites, all named for Cambridge luminaries, feature commodious baths with freestanding, clawfooted tubs tucked into turrets, and terraces that overlook Parker’s Piece.
Seen: Hospitality Design
Accolades: Condé Nast Traveler Hot List 2019
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 192 rooms & suites (18-45m2) (194-484 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2018 • architecture: John Simpson Architects • interior design: Martin Brudnizki Design Studio • bathroom amenities: The White Company ❌ no parking available • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible