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.
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 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:
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:
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:
The rooms are decorated in fifty shades of grey. A number of lamps, lights and Cambridge-inspired pictures give the apartment some warmth:
The bedroom is a separate (and surprisingly large) space:
…. with another wall-mounted TV and a 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. The rainfall showerhead was a little weaker on pressure and is a little splashy, as glass divider isn’t quite long enough.
Toiletries are ‘Noir’ by The White Company, which was a nice touch:
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. The bar area straddles reception and the restaurant:
…. and comes complete with a pool table.
Whilst the dining area is next to it under a large skylight:
Despite being open plan, the design team has done an excellent job of differentiating the different spaces and creating varying atmospheres.
There is also an outdoor space and bifolding doors that open up fully on nicer days:
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:
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:
…. which again was delicious, the combination with couscous worked very well.
And finally, brownie 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 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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (October 2021)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card comes with a limited time bonus of 60,000 Amex points (converts to 120,000 Hilton Honors points) until 2nd November 2021.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)