The Best Luxury Hotels to Book in Cambridge, England

Clayton Hotel Cambridge is a luxury hotel with comfortable and spacious rooms and suites
Clayton Hotel Cambridge is a luxury hotel with comfortable and spacious rooms and suites | Courtesy of Clayton Hotel Cambridge / Booking.com
Callum Davies

From the idyllic views of the Backs to the palatial college buildings, Cambridge exudes class. It follows then that there are more than a few hotels in the city that cater to this sensibility, and if you’re visiting somewhere with such rich heritage, why not bed down in style? Here’s our pick of the top four- and five-star hotels in Cambridge, all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton, for an independent stay

Hotel

A sleek studio at the Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton, with floor-to-ceiling windows and wood floors
Courtesy of The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton / Booking.com

Long-stay guests to the city may want to opt for Fellows House, an apartment-style Cambridge luxury hotel. The studio and one-bedroom suites come with living areas for a spacious stay, as well as giant TVs and crisp linens. The on-site Folio Kitchen and Sage of Cambridge specialise in sustainable dining, with homespun farm-to-fork cuisine and a large selection of organic wines, while the in-house fitness centre has an indoor heated pool, sauna and steam room.

2. The Varsity Hotel and Spa, for a pampered city retreat

Boutique Hotel

A quirky one-bed guest room at the Varsity Hotel and Spa with patterned wallpaper, red lamps and a portrait above the bed
Courtesy of The Varsity Hotel and Spa / Booking.com

This luxury hotel in Cambridge has everything you could want from a boutique city-centre hotel. The 44 rooms are stylishly modern, with excellent beds and characterful design touches. Meanwhile, the Glassworks fitness centre offers daily gym classes, Elemis Spa treatments, a pool, a sauna and a steam room. Also, there are two restaurants – the River Bar Steakhouse & Grill and SIX, a penthouse brasserie with 360-degree views – as well as a glam rooftop terrace for sundowners. Complimentary bicycles are there for the taking, and you’re right in the heart of Cambridge with the river – and punt hire – just 20 steps away.

3. Gonville Hotel, for vintage charm

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

A vintage-style guest room at the Gonville Hotel with a quilted blue blanket, a padded headboard and feature wallpaper
Courtesy of Gonville Hotel / Booking.com

Right next to the historic Parker’s Piece park, the Gonville Hotel dates back to 1830, built as a house for senior fellows of the colleges. It became a hotel in 1972 and is one of the best places to stay in Cambridge. Upon entering, you are greeted by a grand reception hall that leads to the Atrium Bar, where you might hear a pianist or an in-house jazz band. The rooms strike a delicate balance between classic and modern amenities, including smart TVs and monsoon showers. However, if you want to add to the luxury, take a city tour in the hotel Bentley.

4. Clayton Hotel Cambridge, for a convenient base

Hotel

A semi-circular marble bar with leather barstools at the Clayton Hotel Cambridge
Courtesy of Clayton Hotel Cambridge / Expedia

The area surrounding Cambridge railway station underwent a big regeneration project, not unlike the one Kings Cross saw in London in the early noughties. As well as a smattering of new cafes and places to eat, this hotel opened in February 2020. Clayton Hotel is an all-rounder, with a library, a restaurant and a bar. Rooms come with sleek marble bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows. The city centre is a 20-minute walk away, and you can reach the Cambridge University Botanic Garden in less than half that time.

5. University Arms Hotel, Autograph Collection, for contemporary style

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

A charming guest room with a colourful striped headboard and a yellow lamp at University Arms Hotel, Autograph Collection
Courtesy of University Arms Hotel, Autograph Collection / Booking.com

If you want to soak up the academic culture of Cambridge without sacrificing modernity or comfort, the University Arms Hotel is the place for you. Built in 1834, it stands as a kind of neoclassical monument to Cambridge’s history. The suites are named for famous Cambridge alumni and have huge beds, monsoon showers and excellent city views. Meanwhile, the lounge is designed to resemble a student library. The city centre is accessible via St Andrews Street in less than 10 minutes, and Parker’s Piece is a few yards from the door.

6. Hotel du Vin Cambridge, for a romantic getaway

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Tables set for dining and potted plants in the stylish restaurant at Hotel du Vin in Cambridge
Courtesy of Hotel du Vin Cambridge / Expedia

Comprising five former townhouses, the Hotel du Vin Cambridge is perfectly positioned for anyone who wants to explore the colleges or visit the world-renowned Fitzwilliam Museum; they’re all just minutes away. Inside, you’ll find a hive of corridors and staircases, leading to rooms and suites endearingly named after famous winemakers. Each accommodation offers a queen- or king-size bed with otherworldly, pillowy mattresses and drench showers; some even have deep bathtubs. Savour pan-seared trout, followed by crème brûlée, with your other half at the on-site French bistro.

7. Madingley Hall, for a wallet-friendly stay

Budget Hotel

A light-filled two-bed guest room with three windows at Madingley Hall
Courtesy of Madingley Hall / Hotels.com

The 16th-century Madingley Hall proves that you can still have a luxurious overnight stay in Cambridge without breaking the bank. It sits just outside the city near the village of Madingley and the tourist-favoured Cambridge American Cemetery. There are 62 rooms with large beds and amazing views of the sprawling grounds, which are worth exploring on a warm day. However, you can enjoy them just as well from the Terrace Bar Restaurant, which offers a quirky, international menu.

8. Poets House Hotel and Restaurant, for a boutique bolthole

Hotel

Tables set for dining in a luxurious space at Poets House Hotel and Restaurant
Courtesy of Poets House Hotel and Restaurant / Booking.com

While the Poets House Hotel and Restaurant is in the neighbouring town of Ely, it’s only a 10-minute train journey or a 20-minute drive to Cambridge. The beautiful Poets House sits almost directly opposite the historic home (now a museum) of Oliver Cromwell. Each of the 21 rooms features a copper bath, an enormous flat-screen smart TV, a cheval mirror and large windows, which, if front-facing, provide a picture-perfect view of the cathedral. The Dining Room serves sumptuous meals, while the Sonnet Bar & Lounge offers a trendy spot to have a quiet drink, accompanied by weekly live jazz music sessions.

Sarah Warwick contributed additional reporting to this article.

On a budget? Check out the best cheap hotels in Cambridge, bookable with Culture Trip.

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