“ 55-57 Arbury Road / Cambridge / CB4 2JB / Tel 0044(0)1223350086. „
I was working down in Cambridge a few weeks ago and the company thoughtfully pre-booked me accommodation at the Victoria Guest House on Arbury road. Rather more thoughtlessly, I was working at the opposite end of the city, so convenience was not their prime consideration.
Arbury Road leads off from the inner ring road and is, in fact, relatively handy for the city centre (the north side, at least). Still, I'm getting paid for sitting in a traffic jam, so what do I care?
The guest house occupies two former semi-detached Victorian villas in an area of similar houses. It's a fairly busy road and parking is quite limited.
As I said, I was pre-booked so it was only a matter of turning up at the door and introducing myself to the owner who was very welcoming. During the course of our chat, he gave me some local info then mentioned there was a beer festival on Jesus Green all that week then asked, if I was I interested in real ale?
The room was a good size (it was actually a family room), with a double and a single bed (a cot was also available but I didn't use that). Worth a mention was the crisp white bed linen which was spotlessly clean and had that freshly laundered aroma. The decor was fresh and bright in a lemony sort of way, with a thick, dark blue carpet. All the furniture - wardrobe, two chests of drawers and bedside cabinets were of pine, and not the cheap stuff either. There was absolutely oodles of drawer space - I stopped counting at around 11 (that's 11 drawers, not 11pm). There was also a horrible old wicker chair thing which I rested the urge to use.
The room had two good sized windows, although these looked out over the busy road and traffic noise was a bit of a problem. The room was well provided for with radiators and there was an old Victorian fireplace although that was long since defunct. The room was also supplies with a fan, extra blankets and pillows, and a hair-drier.
A disappointment was the TV. 4 channels on a tiny screen plonked halfway to heaven. You could get a cricked neck watching that...well you could if there had been any sort of reception. The picture was almost non-existent.
The bathroom (or more accurately, the shower room) was small and tight although it was very clean. The shower had plenty of hot water, but the pressure was a bit low. Dove and radox toiletries were supplied, and the towels were plentiful and of good quality.
Breakfast was of the more than adequate variety. The breakfast room was large, bright and airy and again, decked out in pine furniture. Every known brand of cereal seemed to be present, along with yoghurts, fruit and such. They did continental as well as full English with vegetarian options. I settled for the full English and I have to say, they didn't skimp on it at all. I found that it kept me going most of the day.
In conclusion, I thought this guest house was very good. Comfortable, welcoming and friendly, any downsides were minor and were outweighed by the positives. It was a little noisy at the front of the house, but I'm sure it would be much quieter at the back. There's not an awful lot in the immediate area - only a few local shops with a Hungry Horse pub about 500m distant. It's about a 15 minute walk to the city centre, although it's on a major bus route. All in all, I was very happy with my stay.
I can't say about prices as I didn't pay for it but a quick swatch at their website informs me that a single room starts at £25. I was in a family room which starts at £65.