Cambridge in England is the epitome of a university town, packed with beautiful historic college buildings, including the famous Kings College, atmospheric cobblestone streets and the river Cam. The Cam, with it’s pretty tributaries, hosts hundreds of gondola-style punting boats in the summer. If you book a trip on these boats, you will be whisked under ancient bridges and weeping willows, to experience a unique side of this pretty town from the water.
Cambridge is a wonderful place to wander about. Little alleyways lead to interesting old bookshops or the river’s edge. The large market square hosts numerous interesting stalls. Don’t miss a pint in one of the quaint old riverside pubs. If the sun is out, many pubs have patios at the water’s edge, where you can sit and watch the punters go by.
And where should you stay in Cambridge? We have picked the top three luxury hotels in and around Cambridge that we feel are worthy places for the luxury traveller to lay their head.
If you are looking for a convenient hotel, they don’t come more convenient than the Tamburlaine Cambridge. Situated in the vibrant, new city quarter, close to the railway station and walkable from the centre of Cambridge, this newly opened hotel makes a perfect base. Cambridge is just over an hour from London’s St Pancras station so it is an ideal weekend getaway.
The communal areas at the Tamburlaine Cambridge are simply stunning. A dramatic double-height lobby with feature staircase and enormous bookcases, flows into four different food and drink areas. In charge of the kitchens at Tamburlaine is Executive Chef Alan Dann. Alan’s vast experience includes head chef positions at Michelin starred restaurants throughout France. He was awarded his first Michelin star at Lower Slaughter Manor in the Cotswolds. The Tamburlaine’s Brasserie serves locally sourced, seasonal dishes in a stylish venue with pendant lighting, an open kitchen and floor to ceiling windows. Food highlights include a grilled breast of wood-pigeon and a free-range Blythburgh pork. There is also a grill section of rare breed beef rib eye, Barnsley chop and Norfolk black chicken supreme.
A horseshoe-shaped Cocktail Bar, to one side of the Brasserie, serves an impressive range of spirits, beers and wines as well as classic and specially created cocktails. The Garden Room is particularly lovely, feeling like a Colonial style orangerie and pictured above. This room is filled with lush foliage and serves afternoon tea, Champagne and cocktails. The hotel’s deli, Steam, serves sandwiches and transforms into a wine bar serving an extensive list of wines accompanied by charcuterie and cheese plates.
Upstairs, impressive corridors lead to comfortable rooms with large beds, rainforest showers and floor to ceiling windows offering views across this new quarter of Cambridge.
2. Hilton Cambridge
This hotel is set right in the centre of Cambridge, only a short walk away from the riverside and near the world-famous King’s College Chapel. The hotel has a corporate feel and is big, with some rooms having internal views rather than looking over the surrounding streets. It is worth requesting an outward facing room. The rooms themselves are modern with air conditioning. There is a main restaurant at the Hilton called the Book Room along with a cozy and comfortable Book Room Lounge and Bar. Because of its central location, we would suggest exploring the local restaurants and bars in the area, which are far more atmospheric than the eateries at this modern hotel.
My third choice is, in fact, just outside Cambridge, in the gorgeous little village of Ely. Set in three smart town houses dating from the early 1900s Poets House can be found right in the heart of Ely. Being so centrally located, you can enjoy the local sites on foot, including the stunning cathedral. Take the tour of the Octagon Tower for some spectacular views and visit the riverside and Oliver Cromwell’s house.
The reception area at this hotel is modern and attractive. Rooms are gorgeous, spacious and offer views of the surrounding streets and the cathedral. Afternoon tea here comes highly recommended with perfect finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and cakes almost too pretty to eat. Afternoon tea is served in their modern bar, with glass walls and comfortable but elegant sofas. There is also a dining room, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.