We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. Accept | Find out more


This Month’s Hottest Hotels


Cambridge, England

BACKSTORY: The 48-room Varsity Hotel & Spa was launched in August 2010 by two Cambridge grads who reportedly came up with the idea over a cup of coffee. Since then, it has established itself as the city’s must-flop property, attracting the likes of Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz and (we are told) “the families of royal households.”

DESIGN NOTES: The hotel and spa, along with the River Bar Steakhouse & Grill, is located in a wonderfully preserved 17th-century glassworks, with bare brick walls and windows looking out on the River Cam. The overall décor, while unabashedly minimal, has its quirkier moments: elaborate swishes of wallpaper and glib reproductions of classic portraits. There are also works of local art throughout, which are for sale by the artists.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: One of the highest concentrations of brainpower in the British Isles, along with the grand architecture that accommodates it: King’s College, which dates back to the 1440s, and Trinity, founded a century later. A few steps from the hotel’s rear there’s an operation offering boat tours along the Cam, providing a duck’s-eye view of the city’s ceremonial splendor.

BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: The Varsity’s suites and premium rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, but it’s the roof terrace that offers the most commanding views of the surrounding spires, cupolas and sundry medieval indulgences. The terrace bar has become a hugely popular local hangout, and at sundown you’ll find yourself surrounded by people almost as lovely as the landscape.


One Response to “This Month’s Hottest Hotels”

  1. Alex Says:
    October 9th, 2013 at 5:52 am

    love how the themes run from the elevator, through the hallways and in to the room! The heaven lounge sounds like my idea of comfort and luxury.

Leave your comments

Warning: Unknown: open(/tmp/phpsession/sess_a0m8bdvqljjifc3gt9ofpun294, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0 Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/tmp/phpsession) in Unknown on line 0