Punting on the River Cam, Cambridge

The Best Hotels in Cambridge

Travel /


Where to rest your head after a long day of punting

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more

Cambridge is a city best known for its prestigious ancient university and its stunning associated buildings. More than just a pretty face, however, Cambridge has plenty of sights to see and activities to do: from college tours to punting, markets and museums, to picturesque riverside walks and delicious fine dining. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or you fancy extending your trip and exploring further afield in the fens, here are the best hotels in Cambridge to rest your weary head.

The Daycation: Cambridge

The Best Hotels in Cambridge

Photo 1 of
A narrow pool with sun loungers

The Fellows House

The Cambridge branch of Hilton’s Curio Collection promises a luxurious, comfortable stay with its spacious rooms and apartment style suites. Located a short walk over the river from the city centre, The Fellows House is aptly located to explore the city. Within the property, though, there’s a relaxing spa with pool, sauna, steam room and gym, along with The Folio Bar & Kitchen and The Sage Cafe for delicious food. If you’re looking for a longer stay, The Fellows House’s new Townhouse Collection provides just that: a collection of four three-storey townhouses that invite guests to visit Cambridge and feel right at home.

BOOK: thefellowshouse.com / tfhmews.com

University Arms

University Arms

Cambridge’s leading luxury hotel is by far its most exciting. The 19th-century façade facing the Parker’s Piece parkland – where the first game of FA rules football was played – has been carefully restored, with stained glass windows throughout and an extra floor of suites featuring classic Edwardian interiors, bespoke furniture and private terraces. The hotel’s articulated roof line is ingenious, the real triumph being architect John Simpson’s neoclassical design: the elegant new porte-cochère on Regent Street, which heralds the building with stately impact, invites visitors through one of three handsome front doors. Guests staying in one of the 192 suitably bookish and eclectic rooms, painted in shades of Cambridge blue, enter through one of the doors. The additional two are for Parker’s Tavern, a brasserie restaurant and cocktail bar, with interiors (like the bedrooms) by Martin Brudnizki. This charming evocation of a college dining hall is graced by a menu showcasing seasonal produce from talented chef Tristan Welch. It’s the town’s hottest dining destination: old school but hip. One for your radar.

BOOK: +44 (0)1223 606066 / universityarms.com

A Foodie’s Guide to Cambridge

The Varsity Hotel & Spa

The Varsity Hotel

This centrally-located boutique hotel overlooking the River Cam (and peering into Magdalene College) has just 48 rooms – all uniquely designed and celebrating the cultural heritage of the city. With Jesus Green and the quayside nearby, The Varsity Hotel is perfectly located to make the most of the city’s tourist and foodie attractions: Kettle’s Yard gallery is just up the road, Fitzbillie’s (and its famous Chelsea buns) is a stone’s throw away, and a crisp glass of wine at the nearby Cambridge Wine Merchant’s is ideal. However, you won’t get much better than SIX, the hotel brasserie and rooftop terrace – one of the only rooftop bars in the city, boasting magnificent views (and delicious cocktails, too). 

BOOK: +44 (0)1223 30 60 30 / thevarsityhotel.co.uk

Image courtesy of Paul Winch-Furness

The Gonville Hotel, Cambridge

Gonville Hotel

For a boutique stay in the heart of the city, you can’t go wrong at the Gonville Hotel. Situated just off Parker’s Piece, the city’s top attractions are a stone’s throw away, with the train station just up the road, too. Individually designed rooms cater to guests of all needs and desires, while The Atrium bar similarly caters across the board, from fine dining to after work drinks, with live jazz performances every Friday and Saturday. The Terrace Restaurant, too, offers delicious, upscale dining from Sunday to Wednesday, and is an exquisite fine dining destination from Thursday to Saturday. For an expert, high-class guided tour of the city, ride around in one of the Gonville’s Bentleys – or, for a proper Cambridge experience, borrow a bike and cruise the city like a student. With in-room valet via an iPad, air conditioning, high quality amenities, the Gresham House Wellness rooms, and dog-friendly accommodation to boot, you’ll feel right at home.

BOOK: +44 (0)1223 36 66 11 / gonvillehotel.co.uk

A restaurant with laid tables ready for service

Hotel du Vin

Sitting snugly among the Grade II listed buildings of picturesque Trumpington Street, Hotel du Vin Cambridge was lovingly converted from old University buildings. Today, guests can enjoy 41 distinctive rooms and suites – each with a comfy custom-made bed, soft Egyptian cotton linen, large fluffy towels, and a monsoon shower or roll-top bath – alongside the hotel’s exposed brickwork, restored fireplaces, and dark wood floors. In the lounge, morning coffee and afternoon tea are served – or head to the Bistro for a classic dish. The Cellar Bar offers some of the finest fizz, or venture out into the surrounding town to see what you can find.

BOOK: +44 (0)1223 928991 / hotelduvin.com

A spacious hotel room with bed, two windows and sitting area

Hilton Cambridge City Centre

Cambridge’s largest central hotel – only a stone’s throw away from iconic sites such as King’s College Chapel, the Fiztwilliam Museum, and the winding River Cam – is Hilton’s Cambridge City Centre branch. Boasting classical British architecture, the hotel is just off the bustling St Andrews Street, with close proximity to the city’s shopping hubs, The Grand Arcade and the Lion Yard. The hotel itself houses a spacious fitness centre and the Bull & Bass Restaurant, specialising in surf ‘n’ turf with a seasonal, sustainable edge. Pop by for a wide wine selection, tasty cocktail, or delicious afternoon tea.

BOOK: +44 (0)1223 464491 / hilton.com

Image courtesy of Pellier Photography

MORE UK HOTEL GUIDES

Brighton / St Ives, Cornwall / Dorset / Edinburgh / Near London