Inspector calls hotel Graduate Cambridge but gets low rating despite ‘excellent’ location (and not just ‘undrinkable’ coffee)
- The inspector pays close to £ 300 for the B&B, even though the restaurant is closed
- It’s for a private party, ‘but it’s not private at all,’ he says.
- He says the bar menu is expensive, his room is “small” and the bathroom is “tiny.”
- Remember … The inspector pays your way – and tells it like it is …
This is such a good idea that you wonder why no one else thought of it years ago. Start a hotel group called The Graduate that concentrates its efforts in American university cities like Berkeley, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan (plus 28 others) and then crosses the pond to settle in Oxford and Cambridge.
We checked into the latter and are surprised to be paying close to £ 300 for the B&B, when the place is still fixing (opened only in September) some wrinkles, and when the restaurant is closed so I had the receptionist on the phone. called a private party.
There is nothing remotely private about it. The entire ground floor is consumed by the shrieks of a live band comprising an electrified violin and an overly loud saxophone.
One of the rooms at Graduate Cambridge, which features a “cheerful” headboard
We do our best to find a quiet corner, but after ordering from the pricey bar menu (£ 10 for four small anchovies, £ 26 for a steak already cut into six small slices) it is a relief to escape to our room.
But not without first assimilating it all. The hotel’s location on the River Cam is great, but how can it call itself a “boutique hotel” when there are almost 150 rooms in one of Cambridge’s ugliest buildings (formerly the Hilton Doubletree)?
Still, we like the punt games on the walls (Scudamore’s Pitching Station is practically next door) and we admire scientist Rosalind Franklin’s model of the DNA double helix that hangs over the front desk.
But the ceilings are so low in the bar and restaurant (where we eat breakfast) that a basketball player would have to duck.
The idyllic spot where the River Cam runs past the famous King’s College
Sailing in Cambridge is the best way to take in the sights. Pictured is a Scudamore clearance station near the Graduate hotel
Our room is small, the bathroom tiny. There’s a cheery headboard, a laminated chest, a comfy armchair, and a framed letter written by Isaac Newton (now that I think about it, Stephen Hawking’s face graces our hotel’s plastic key).
Breakfast coffee from a common pitcher cannot be drunk. “I wouldn’t,” warns another guest. But I do and he’s right. After which I order a double espresso for which there is an additional charge.
Things are not going well in the box either. They charge me for a double gin and tonic, which I never had, then I notice that £ 21 was added for parking at the construction site behind the hotel. “He would have indicated this in his confirmation email,” says the receptionist. It did too, I found out later, but someone should have marked this the night before, right?
The Graduate Cambridge, Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RT. Doubles from £ 161. For more information, call 01223 259988 or visit gradadoshoteles.com.