Cambridge’s University Arms is the place to go for a safe and stylish staycation.
As more of us opt for a staycation following the pandemic, it’s natural to feel nervous about planning a getaway. I’ll admit I felt the same when I decided to enjoy a night in Cambridge post lockdown, however upon check-in at the University Arms, that anxiety slipped away.
My husband and I were greeted by friendly reception staff who wore either a visor or mask, and there were gold hand sanitisation stations, perfectly in-keeping with the hotel’s luxurious décor, at all entrances. Though valet parking is currently suspended, a member of the concierge team, who wore a mask and gloves, showed us to the car park and escorted us back to reception.
Polite notices are present at the elevators, explaining a policy of ‘only one person per lift unless you are from the same household’. The sanitising package in our rooms was a nice touch too.
Armed with our masks and gloves, we wandered around the city. Alternatively, you could borrow the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, all of which are disinfected after each use. There is a one-way system in place in the city’s streets and most visitors were abiding by the rules. It was refreshing to see people al fresco dining, socially distanced of course, and punts up and down the river. It offered a sense of normality; a sign life is returning to normal in a safe manner.
We chose to dine at the hotel’s restaurant, Parker’s Tavern. The restaurant is a must try. Think hearty meat dishes, British classics and tasty Norfolk fish. Open to guests and non-residents, half the tables have been removed to allow more space for social distanced dining and the restaurant staff wear PPE. There’s also a newly launched al fresco dining space on Parker’s Piece featuring bright coloured deckchairs and tables dressed in pristine white tablecloths.
University Arm’s décor and grand stature is impressive. Immaculately designed with shiny brass, historic fireplaces and buttery tan leather. If you’d prefer not to venture out into the city, the hotel alone provides a blissful hideaway. The rooms are spacious, beautifully designed and in-keeping with Cambridge’s rich history. The terrace rooms offer spectacular views over Parker’s Piece and a free-standing bathtub – simply divine!
At present only rooms with natural ventilation are being used. The stationary has been removed and each room is left for 24 hours between guest departures.
General manager, Ian James, gave an insight into the extra safety measures in place, all of which happen without disturbing the guests. This includes hourly bathroom and luggage cart cleansing, and a nightly disinfectant spraying of all the surfaces.
If you’re currently undecided on your staycation destination, then look no further than the charming city of Cambridge. The University Arms have you covered for a safe and blissful night’s sleep and the independent businesses will welcome you with open arms…from a two-metre distance of course!
Disclaimer: Eastlife’s editor, Emma Kemsley, stayed at the University Arms in August 2020, post lockdown 1.0, however the same safety precautions will be in place.