The University Arms – Cambridge’s oldest hotel – is on target to open in the autumn as a “world-class” venue, following an £80m, two-year refurbishment.
Owned by real estate investor Melford Capital, who bought the property from the De Vere Group in 2012, the 192-bedroom hotel is being transformed by classical architect John Simpson and interior designer Martin Brudnizki.
The owners intend to create a hotel that “matches the city’s heart and style – ambitious, beautiful and full of life”, with a design that is quintessentially English and reflects the literary and academic spirit of Cambridge.
Extensions built during the 1960s and 1970s have been replaced by a classically designed building by Simpson that complement the architectural heritage of the city. Simpson’s earlier work has included the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace and the entrance loggia and interiors at Kensington Palaces.
Meanwhile, Brudnizki is creating a look described as “beautiful and playful” across the bedrooms, destination restaurant, bar and library. The designer’s work has previously included the Holborn Dining Room and Scarfe’s bar at the Rosewood London; Hartnett, Holder & Co at Lime Wood in Lyndhurst, Hampshire; and Soho Beach House, Miami.
The owners of the University Arms believe that the transformed hotel will tap into the strong demand for more hotel rooms in the city at highlighted in the Cambridge Hotel Futures report, commissioned in 2012 by Cambridge City Council.
The University Arms will be the second major new hotel opening for the city, this year. Next month will see the launch of the Tamburlaine, a 155-bedroom hotel from the Dublin-based O’Callaghan Hotel Group.
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