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Review: The Fellows House Cambridge hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

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This is our review of The Fellows House Cambridge, a brand new hotel which is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection.

We have generally been impressed by Curio Collection, which allows upmarket hotels to join the Hilton ‘system’ without giving up their operational independence or existing branding. Part of the deal is that they respect all of the benefits of Hilton Honors.

The Fellows House is aimed at long stay guests with most rooms being suites. Hilton invited us to take a look so I headed up to Cambridge. The hotel website is here.

Curio Collection by Hilton

Location

The hotel is in an admittedly odd location. It is a five minute walk from the North side of Jesus Green in a fairly residential area:

Fellows House Cambridge location

Cambridge isn’t a particularly large place so it’s only a £8-£9 taxi from the station, or you can try your luck with one of the many electric scooters for hire around the city. I’ve used Voi the past few times and have generally found it fairly ok in Cambridge which is used to lots of cyclists. You can get £2.50 Voi credit by signing up with my link here if you want to try it.

Despite being a new-build the hotel doesn’t look particularly, well, ‘hotelly’. If anything, it looks a bit studenty:

Fellows House Cambridge exterior

However, this impression is dispelled as soon as you enter and you are greeted by the lobby, which feels reassuringly luxurious:

Fellows House Cambridge lobby

The layout of the ground floor is great. Entering in one corner you are greeted by The Sage of Cambridge cafe/wine bar on the left with the lobby and reception on the right:

Fellows House Cambridge Sage

…. but you can see right through the building towards the bar and restaurant, which immediately gives you a sense of space. The lift shaft and stairway separate the spaces and mean that each zone has its own character.

Check in

Check in was quick and easy. I was given a one bedroom suite on the second floor (there are three floors in total).

Whilst The Fellows House does offer ‘standard’ hotel rooms, the vast majority are a mixture of studio and one bedroom suites designed for longer stays. This includes a number of duplex apartments.

Some suites can also be connected internally to create multi-bedroom apartments, which is more useful now that Hilton offers guaranteed connecting rooms at booking.

One bedroom suite at The Fellows House Cambridge

This is what you see when you enter the room:

Fellows House Cambridge room entry

As you can see, the corridor opens to a small table and chairs in the kitchen. The kitchen is fully stocked with crockery, cookware and all the basics you need for a longer stay, including microwave, dishwasher and oven:

Fellows House Cambridge kitchen

There is a Nespresso coffee machine, although the provided pods are a non-Nespresso eco-friendly brand.

Adjacent to the open plan kitchen is the living area with sofa(bed) and TV:

Fellows House Cambridge Sofa

The rooms are decorated in fifty shades of grey. A number of lamps, lights and Cambridge-inspired pictures give the apartment some warmth:

Fellows House Cambridge artwork

The bedroom is a separate (and surprisingly large) space:

Fellows House Cambridge bed

…. with another wall-mounted TV and a chair ideal for dumping your clothes on 🙂 :

Fellows House Cambridge bedroom tv

A built-in wardrobe is discreetly concealed by the wall-length wood (well, veneer) panelling and contains an ironing board, robes and all the usual bits.

To the right of the bed is the bathroom, separated by a sliding door:

Fellows House Cambridge bathroom

As you can see there is an open shower with rainfall and normal shower head. The rainfall showerhead was a little weaker on pressure and is a little splashy, as glass divider isn’t quite long enough.

Fellows House Cambridge shower

Toiletries are ‘Noir’ by The White Company, which was a nice touch:

Fellows House Cambridge White Company Noir

Whilst there is a small balcony-like ledge this is inaccessible. Here is the view from my room:

Fellows House Cambridge view

Dining at The Fellows House Cambridge

The Sage of Cambridge is the cafe/deli/wine bar at the front of the hotel. It is a small space but can be partitioned from the rest of the lobby for private events or meetings.

The Folio Bar and Kitchen is the main restaurant. The bar area straddles reception and the restaurant:

Fellows House Cambridge Folio Bar (2)

…. and comes complete with a pool table.

Fellows House Cambridge Folio Bar

Whilst the dining area is next to it under a large skylight:

Fellows House Cambridge Folio Kitchen

Despite being open plan, the design team has done an excellent job of differentiating the different spaces and creating varying atmospheres.

Fellows House Cambridge Folio Kitchen restaurant

There is also an outdoor space and bifolding doors that open up fully on nicer days:

Fellows House Cambridge courtyard

The Folio Bar and Kitchen is also where breakfast is served. For dinner a relatively short menu is available, with a large focus on vegetarian friendly dishes (about half the main courses, for example, are veggie).

Fellows House Cambridge Folio Kitchen menu

I decided put my shellfish intolerance to the test and went for the scallops starter:

Fellows House Cambridge scallops

And I’m glad I did! You’ll be pleased to know they didn’t cause me any trouble. For the main I went for the lamb:

Fellows House Cambridge lamb

…. which again was delicious, the combination with couscous worked very well.

And finally, brownie dessert:

Fellows House Cambridge dessert

The restaurant staff were especially good – very friendly (one of the staff members had come over from the local branch of The Ivy) and with smart uniforms.

Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the same light and airy setting. The buffet is mainly made up of hot items:

Fellows House Cambridge breakfast buffet

…. with a small number of continental items available too, including a limited selection of cold meats, cheese, cereals and pastries. You can also order eggs or waffles from the kitchen directly.

The breakfast is not the largest spread and will feel a little basic for some, especially given the rest of the hotel.

This is our review of The Fellows House Cambridge, a brand new Hilton Curio Collection hotel. The hotel website is here. Location The hotel is in an admittedly odd location. It is a five minute walk from the North side of Jesus Green in a fairly residential area: Cambridge isn't a particularly large place so it's only a £8/9 taxi from the station, or you can try your luck with one of the many electric scooters for hire around the city. I've used Voi the past few times and have generally found it fairly ok in Cambridge which is used to lots of cyclists. You can get £2.50 Voi credit by signing up with my link here if you want to try it. Despite being a new-build the hotel doesn't look particularly, well, 'hotelly'. If anything, it looks a bit studenty: However, this impression is dispelled as soon as you enter and you are greeted by the lobby, which feels reassuringly luxurious: The layout of the ground floor is great. Entering in one corner you are greeted by The Sage of Cambridge cafe/wine bar on the left with the lobby and reception on the right: ...but you can see right through the building towards the bar and restaurant, which immediately gives you a sense of space. The lift shaft and stairway separate the spaces and mean that each zone has its own character. Check in Check in was quick and easy. I was given a one bedroom suite on the second floor (there are three floors in total) The hotel has approximately 4 room categories. Whilst Fellows House does offer 'standard' hotel rooms, the vast majority of rooms it offers are a mixture of studio and one bedroom suites designed for longer stays. This includes a number of Duplex apartments. Some suites can also be connected internally to create multi-bedroom apartments, which is more useful now that Hilton offers guaranteed connecting rooms at booking. One bedroom suite at Fellows House Cambridge This is what you see when you enter the room: As you can see, the corridor opens to a small table and chairs in the kitchen: The kitchen is fully stocked with crockery, cookware and all the basics you need for a long-stay, including microwave, dishwasher and oven: Adjacent to the open plan kitchen is the living area with sofa(bed) and TV: The rooms are decorated in fifty shades of grey: Whilst a number of lamps, lights and Cambridge-inspired pictures give the apartment some warmth: The bedroom is a separate (and surprisingly large) room: With another wall-mounted TV and chair ideal for dumping your clothes on: A built-in wardrobe is discreetly concealed by the wall-length wood (well, veneer) panelling and contains an ironing board, robes and all the usual bits. To the right of the bed is the bathroom, separated by a sliding door: As you can see there is an open shower with rainfall and normal shower head. Whilst the rainfall showerhead is a little weaker on pressure although the normal shower head is fine. I will admit it is a little splashy, as glass divider isn't quite long enough. Toiletries are 'Noir' by The White Company, which was a nice touch: There isn't much of a room for a hotel. Whilst there is a small balcony-like ledge this is inaccessible. Here is the view from my room: Dining at The Fellows House Cambridge The Sage of Cambridge is the cafe/deli/wine bar at the front of the hotel. It is a small space but can be partitioned from the rest of the lobby for private events or meetings: The Folio Bar and Kitchen is the main restaurant, and features a darker, cosier bar area: ...complete with pool table Whilst the lighter, area dining area is next to it under a large skylight: Despite being open plan, the design team have done an excellent job of differentiating the different spaces and creating varying atmospheres. The Folio Bar and Kitchen is also where breakfast is served. For dinner, a relatively short menu is available, with a large focus on vegetarian friendly dishes (about half the main courses, for example, are veggie). I decided put my shellfish intolerance to the test and went for the scallops starter: You'll be pleased to know they didn't cause me any trouble! For the main I went for the lamb: Which again was delicious, the combination with couscous worked very well. The restaurant staff were especially good - very friendly, and one of the staff members had come over from The Ivy. They are given a very smart looking uniform as well. Breakfast Breakfast is served in the same light and airy setting. The buffet is mainly made up of hot items: With a small number of continental items available too (including a limited selection of cold meats, cheese, cereals and pastries) You can also order eggs or waffles from the kitchen directly. The breakfast is not the largest spread and will feel a little basic for some, especially given the rest of the hotel. Pool and gym at Fellows House There is a small pool and gym on the ground floor of the hotel. The pool is currently booked out for 1 hour slots due to Covid. The pool is nice, although you'd struggle to swim lengths here: There is also a sauna and steam room in the pool area. Next door to the pool is the gym, which has a few running machines as well as some dumbbells: Conclusion Despite the slightly odd residential location and its unassuming exterior, Fellows House makes a good impression. The public spaces are classily designed and set a high standard for the rest of the experience. Staff are always friendly. At one point I overheard the reception staff deal with a guest complaint very well and do an excellent job of recovering the service. Fellows House is an excellent choice for families or anyone staying in Cambridge longer term. The suites and apartments offer a little extra space vs a normal hotel room and you get all the extra bits and bobs you need if you want to prepare food. Hilton's new connecting room guarantee helps in this regard, too. Outside of the holidays I imagine it will appeal to visiting university students and staff who need accommodation for weeks rather than days. Room rates start at £161 per night for a standard king room or 59,000 points for a weekday night in September. You can see more, and book, on the hotel website here.

I arrived towards the end of breakfast service and it was a little chaotic, to be honest. Only one member of staff appeared to be clearing tables which meant that no tables were ready and plenty needed clearing. Some of the food stations needed topping up as well – things were looking a little sparse.

Here is what I had:

Fellows House Cambridge breakfast

It was fine but both service and selection could be better for a hotel of this standard and will hopefully improve as the staff get into the swing of things.

Pool and gym at The Fellows House

There is a small pool and gym on the ground floor of the hotel. The pool is currently booked out for one hour slots due to Covid.

The pool is nice, although you’d struggle to swim lengths here. Here is a PR photo because it was busy when I went:

Fellows House Cambridge pool

There is also a sauna and steam room in the pool area. Next door to the pool is the gym, which has a few running machines as well as some dumbbells:

Fellows House Cambridge gym

Conclusion

Despite the slightly odd residential location and its unassuming exterior, The Fellows House makes a good impression. The public spaces are classily designed and set a high standard for the rest of the experience.

Staff are always friendly. At one point I overheard the reception staff deal with a guest complaint very well and do an excellent job of service recovery.

The Fellows House is an excellent choice for families or anyone staying in Cambridge longer term. The suites and apartments offer a little extra space vs a normal hotel room and you get all the extra bits and bobs you need if you want to prepare food. Hilton’s new connecting room guarantee helps in this regard, too.

Outside of the holidays I imagine it will appeal to visiting university students and staff who need accommodation for weeks rather than days.

Room rates start at £161 or 59,000 points per night for a standard king room for a weekday night in September. Given our 0.33p target valuation for Hilton Honors points, you may be better off using cash whilst cash rates are still low.

You can see more, and book, on the hotel website here.


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Comments (33)

  • Harry T says:

    Doesn’t look too bad. Considering the University Arms is 20-30k Bonvoy a night and looks to have a better location, hard product and breakfast, I don’t think I’ll be persuaded to try this unless the rate is very good.

    • BJ says:

      Agreed, not stayed at either but the Bonvoy option is more compelling. I actually like the look of this hotel though. Suites are better than rooms, I like bright and airy places unlike most hotels which are too dark, and 50 shades of grey makes a change from 50 shades of cream and brown. But both £160 or 59k points seem too much for a hotel in Cambridge for a leisure stay, I’rather burn the cash or points elsewhere. Fir exampke, Bankside for under 50k these days.

      • Harry T says:

        Broadly agree. The Uni Arms prices around £200 a night most of the time, so points are a good deal (I’ve only used healthcare rates). Uni Arms rooms aren’t a bad size, even in the lower tiers, and the colour scheme is quite bright.

    • Tariq says:

      I agree while UA remains underpriced on points. Not sure I’d rate their breakfast better than this though… unless it’s improved substantially since the Coronaphobic service offered last year.

  • Flyingbee says:

    The location might seem a bit weird but I imagine that it will be an attractive option for people visiting Cambridge Science Park which is just down the road by the A14 and home to many companies. That side of Cambridge doesn’t have great hotel options for the business traveller so it will be a welcome addition for them.

  • kitten says:

    fifty (50) Shades of Grey ….Now where have I heard that before?

  • Alan Ayres says:

    Excellent detailed review of this new addition. As a Hilton Diamond member, I’ve always used the Hilton Doubletree Cambridge Belfry – free parking! Sadly this hotel has left the Hilton brand.

    I chortled at the idea that any student or academic could afford £161 a night for a long-term stay! In which world? Isn’t this hotel aimed at business guests working at Cambridge Science Park?

    Small point: at the end of breakfast service, I’d prefer to see a ‘sparse’ selection of hot food than see more of it put in the bin afterwards, to avoid waste.

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