Architect heading up University Arms Hotel’s two-year £80m refurb plans to make it ‘best hotel in Cambridge’


The architect heading up the two-year £80m renovation of Cambridge’s oldest hotel has said he has plans to make the venture ‘the best hotel in the city’, once completed in the autumn.

Architect John Simpson has said the development will make the area ‘much more lively’, when the new-look 192-bedroom University Arms Hotel launches within the next few months.

Owned by real estate investor Melford Capital since 2012, the building has been undergoing its biggest makeover in 50 years, and drafted in architect Simpson and interior designer Martin Brudnizki to head up the project.

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Now In a video interview about the two-year revamp, architect Simpson said: “I think it would be a great addition to the public realm, and would also get the continuity of Regent Street working again as it once did in the past, so that it becomes a much more lively area. We’re hoping that by doing that, this could become the catalyst for that whole section of Regent Street to come up in the world, and actually look a lot better and work a lot better.

“Cambridge is short on hotel rooms. One of the objectives here was to make the most of this hotel, a hotel which historically was quite significant in Cambridge and has become rather tired in recent years. And the idea is really to try and create this hotel so it becomes the best hotel in Cambridge again – create something which both the University Arms and the city can be proud of.”

The Cambridge Hotel Futures report, commissioned in 2012 by the local council, highlighted the shortage of hotel rooms and the strong demand from visitors.

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Zoe Monk

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