“Immaculately run boutique hotel with supremely comfortable rooms, a small spa and convivial restaurant”
The intervening years saw an evolution from guesthouse to contemporary 92-room hotel - family-run now for over 50 years. There's a welcoming restaurant and bar on the ground floor serving good all-day bistro fare as well as high quality dining - perhaps on the terrace on a fine evening. Following the acquisition of neighbouring Victorian villa Gresham House, a delightful wellness spa was added into the mix, along with a further eight botanically themed and romantic rooms, and a garden for outdoor movie nights in the summer.
- A good range of rooms to suit all budgets
- Lots of thoughtful details in rooms including iPad concierges
- A good breakfast buffet and the excellent Terrace Restaurant; on Fridays and Saturdays there's live jazz in the convivial Atrium Bar
- Easy to get to: the railway station is a few minutes' walk away and there's car parking on site
- Lovely friendly staff who strive to go above and beyond
- Not in the very centre, it's a 10-15 minute walk to the colleges
- Classic rooms are compact
- Faint traces remain of The Gonville's former life as a chain hotel; these are being expunged over time
- Car parking costs extra
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 92 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
Most rooms are found in the main hotel building and come with a luxury liner Art Decor vibe in their padded headboards, mirrors, statement lighting and side tables. Expect Cambridge themed vintage photographs and posters, bold blues, eau de nil greens and flowery cushions in all. We loved our spacious Superior Deluxe with its in-room tub, powerful rainfall shower in the bathroom, supremely comfortable bed (all rooms have Hypnos mattresses), and view over Parker's Piece.
The adjacent Victorian villa Gresham House, a recent addition to The Gonville following careful restoration, houses the on-site spa alongside eight botanically themed Feature Rooms. Perfect for couples seeking more seclusion and space, these also have direct access to the garden behind.
Every room has a plethora of amenities including iPad concierges, USB ports, pillow menu, blackout curtains and ESPA toiletries in the bathrooms.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- DVD player
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
The star of the show is the elegant Terrace Restaurant, which faces north towards Parker's Piece, with classic bistro-style food. For lunch Mondays-Thursdays, there are 2- or 3-course set menus. In the evening we enjoyed fine fare: lobster tortellini and beetroot-cured salmon followed by cod with chicken crumb and kale veloute, and beef with pommes Anna in a peppercorn sauce. The mulled wine poached pear and some lovely vintage wines rounded off the meal.
Dine inside or al fresco on the terrace - even in winter, thanks to a convivial tent with patio heaters, blankets and fairy lights. Don't forget the Atrium Bar for drinks: we loved our Bramble (gin, lemon, chambord) and Hugo (prosecco, elderflower, mint) cocktails.
Breakfast is taken in the conservatory behind reception; select from the buffet laid out in the bar and a hot dish from the menu - such as Eggs Royale, the Gonville Grill or Pancakes with maple syrup.
There are plenty of choices for eating out in Cambridge; reception can book for you.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Gresham House Wellness has six treatment rooms, the ESPA spa menu ranges from facial treatments to massage and make-up
- Borrow bikes, tandems or e-bikes to see the sights of this historic yet dynamic town, or book the Bentley to do so in a more lordly manner
- Sights include the stunning university colleges and quadrangles (the oldest dates to 1294), the excellent Fitzwilliam Museum, and the Scott Polar Research Institute next to the hotel
- Explore the 'Backs' of the river Cam by punt; look for the covered Bridge of Sighs (St John's College) and the Mathematical Bridge (Queens)
- The square green space opposite, Parker's Piece, where the original rules of Association Football were drawn up, is popular for picnic and games
- In summer months, the hotel hosts movie nights outside Gresham House
- Take a day trip to Ely, the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, or pretty Grantchester
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
Kids are welcome at The Gonville, although this is more of a couply / special-occasion hotel. There are bikes to borrow in a range of sizes, including tandems, as well as extra beds and baby cots (complimentary). Kids under 6 breakfast for free, while those aged 7-12 are half-price.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
A couple of the Superior King rooms have a sofabed which can sleep 2 children up to the age of 12; the others in this category can take an extra bed for 1 child only. The Classic King/Twin rooms can also take a child on an extra bed.
Kids menu available for lunch and dinner; kids options available at breakfast
Kids Activities nearby:
- Zoology museum
- Parker's Piece opposite is a large green space with a skate park
- Walking along the Cam
- Clip and Climb
- Escape rooms
- Ice skating rink 5km away
Families Should Know:
The hotel is on an A road, but is set back with car parking and a driveway.
- Airport: 40 minutes (Stansted)
- Hospital: 10 minutes
- Shops: 3 minutes
The Gonville Hotel is on the edge of Parker's Piece green space, a short walk south of Cambridge's historic centre.
Fly to London Stansted and pick up a hire car from there. You can also fly to London Luton or London Heathrow. Airport transfers can be arranged.
Cambridge station is a 15-minute walk (1.1km) from the hotel; the station has direct fast connections into central London and Stansted airport (40 minutes). The hotel can offer complimentary collections subject to availability.
There is limited parking on the premises at additional cost.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- London Stansted 45.0 km STN
- London Luton 52.0 km LTN
- Beach 100.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km