You can’t charge £249.50 for a room and not know which side of the building it’s on.
We expressly asked not to be on the busy main road leading to Cambridge station and opposite a massive construction site — yet sure enough, that’s where we’re put.
The woman on reception says she’s only been in the job four days, so we don’t blame her. But where is the manager to make sure everything is running smoothly, especially as this is a new opening and the first venture in the UK for the Dublin-based O’Callaghan Hotel Group?
The newly-opened Tamburlaine Hotel (pictured) is the first venture in the UK for the Dublin-based O’Callaghan Hotel Group
When we take a seat at the bar and order two gin and tonics, a male member of staff suggests we go straight to our table because he’s expecting a large group to come in.
‘Can’t we just sit here and order while we have a drink?’ I ask.
‘It would be best if you went to the table,’ he says.
No large group arrives. And nor do our drinks — until finally we flag down an Italian waiter who takes pity on us.
Cambridge, according to the Inspector, is not well-served by hotels and the PR blurb calls this the ‘most exciting hotel opening in years’ — but it needs to prove it
It’s he who helps us when our chips arrive under-cooked (he takes them back); when our white wine is room temperature (he replaces it promptly); when my wife asks for a ribeye steak with nothing else on the plate and it comes with mushrooms and tomatoes (he apologises).
When we asked for some background information on the Tamburlaine Hotel we found it is named after a play by Corpus Christi fellow Christopher Marlowe and there are 155 rooms, suitably described as Fresher Rooms, Scholar Rooms, Dean Rooms and so on.
Our Fresher is big, with a floor-to-ceiling window, king-size bed and marble bathroom. It’s comfortable and spacious, as is the downstairs of the hotel, with a double-height lobby and a welcoming mezzanine level.
But, despite some original art and well-stacked bookcases, the whole ensemble feels strangely corporate.
Cambridge is not well-served by hotels and the PR blurb calls this the ‘most exciting hotel opening to come to Cambridge in years’ — but it needs to prove it.
27-29 Station Road, Cambridge CB1 2FB
Doubles from £200