University Arms Hotel
An Autograph Collection Hotel
What it is
The grande dame of Cambridge since 1834 is a thoroughly Anglophile experience, with a locavore tavern devoted to British fare.
What it isn't
Equipped with a spa. But with ultra-soothing rooms and exultant foodie experiences on site, you won’t miss it.
What we think
Like Cambridge, Mass., Cambridge, England is a mecca for the highly educated (and highly demanding). So it tracks that University Arms, just a 15 minute stroll from the circa 1209 campus, is as top shelf as it gets. Take the rooms, designed by Martin Brudnizki with a 2018 remodel by architect John Simpson—home to leather-topped desks, chandeliers, and tufted armchairs that seem tailor-made for reading Austin into the wee hours. We love the cozy color palette—muted, primary school hues—and the fact that many rooms are wee, which makes them feel especially historic and “Olde England.” After a few pints, you won’t notice or care. Don’t leave without taking afternoon tea; the menu includes crayfish boat sandwiches (with lemon herb mayo) and poached pink rhubarb on ginger cheesecake.
You're here because
The hotel maintains a fleet of Tiffany blue loaner bikes, and you’ve been fantasizing about riding along the River Cam with the wind in your hair. Bonus: staffers will create a picnic basket tailor-made for you.
Every unfounded rumor about British food being terrible is as old as the Queen’s jewels. At Parker’s Tavern, dishes include roast Denham Estate venison with chestnuts and beetroot puree; honey and thyme slow-roasted Norfolk duck; and, for dessert, a Duke of Cambridge Tart, with candied citrus and brown sugar. You take a sip of your sherry, and vow to start your meal with their British cheese plate (Bix soft; Bosworth Ash goats; a tangy Cheddar) and end with their soft-whipped ice cream. Calories don’t count across the pond.
Restaurants & Bars
Parker's Tavern - Classic English cuisine
Parker's Tavern Bar - Modern mixology served in a vintage cellar
Abutting Parker’s Piece, a 25-acre park where soccer was reportedly invented. The hotel is just a few blocks walk from Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and the 12th-century Round Church which is, yes, round.