Open for less than a year, The Fellows House, is the Hilton Curio Collection’s invitation to Cambridge. Since Kings College was established in 1209, Cambridge’s narrow medieval streets have been dominated by academic study.
Largely owned by the 31 colleges and dominated by thousands of cycling students, this is a historic city centre that does not welcome the car. Perfectly situated, a mere eight-minute walk from Jesus Green, The Fellows House has been designed as the ultimate base for visiting Cambridge.
Park the car in the hotel’s large, well-lit underground car-park to explore Cambridge by foot. Or by bike as the hotel can arrange bicycle hire. Appropriately, there is a wall sculpture of deconstructed bicycles in reception, marking Cambridge students’ love of the bike.
Though at The Fellows House, Cambridge comes to you. By the entrance, two copper clad columns with their alphabetic jumble, celebrate Alan Turing’s code-breaking enigma machine which undoubtedly shortened the Second World War. Step into a reception dominated by the thick oils of a portrait of Cambridge’s first black African fellow, Dr Davison Nicol.
The spirit of Cambridge academia courses through this four-star hotel and its rooms, most of them apartments. Inspired interior design from Twenty2Degrees celebrates Cambridge’s academic curiosity and creativity. Throughout the rooms and the public spaces there are 163 thought-provoking quotations integrated into the art work.
Although the Folio Bar with its deep tan sofas and bookshelves has something of the aura of a College’s Senior Common Room, the bar is a place of fun and laughter with its pool table, funky jazz playlist and tempting cocktails.
On the cocktail list, inspired by the published works of Cambridge alumni such as A.A. Milne, David Attenborough, Charles Darwin, Professor Stephen Hawking and Alfred Tennyson there are some potent flavour explosions.
Although some guests arrive for a few days to explore Cambridge others settle in for longer stays to work or study. Consequently, the Folio Kitchen’s menu rings the changes with a variety of specials. Look out for the fishy catch of the day, the butcher’s choice and a pie of the day too.
Alongside the magnificent sous-vide rump of lamb, succulent beef fillet and Suffolk duck breast there are plenty of plant-based choices: squash carbonara, cabbage cannelloni, gnocchi and burrata, tempeh and slaw. At the buffet breakfast there are plenty of fruit options too.
For visitors new to Cambridge, an Alumni Tours guided walk, beginning on King’s Parade, is probably the best way to get a sense of Cambridge’s immense rich history. Did you know that King’s College was founded when appalled dons and students fled from Oxford’s scandal?
Meandering through the cobbles and colleges, the tour illustrates how great minds at Cambridge have challenged conventional thinking. Crick and Watson walked into The Eagle, the academics’ local pub, to announce their discovery of DNA. Whilst Lord Byron noted that although students were banned from owning cats and dogs, the rules did not prohibit a bear as a pet.
Walking past the labs where the electron was discovered, the colleges where Professor Stephen Hawking gave his lectures on the history of time and the library where the first edition of Cambridge alumni A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh is stored, the tour packs much into 90 minutes.
Back at The Fellows House, after walking many a mile, guests can ease aching limbs in the small lap-pool or steam room. Alternatively, there is a very well-equipped gym to build muscles for further cycling or walking challenges. Or even punting through peaceful leafy Backs, perhaps heading for the ultimate punting destination: Grantchester. A peaceful Cambridge village where Rupert Brook, Virginia Woolf and The Bloomsbury Set gathered for lunch and afternoon tea.
The majority of The Fellows House rooms are apartments, ranging from studios through to duplex apartments. Well-equipped kitchens give guests the option to cater for themselves. A cook book in every apartment with a kitchen is a thoughtful touch.
On every bedside there is a selection of reading. The Fellows House is not so much a place where you check-in but rather enrol for an education in one of the UK’s most charming cities.
The Fellows House fact file
To discover more about the walking tour visit Cambridge Alumni Tours | Punting & Walking Tours – Cambridge, UK Find out more about Cambridge at Visit Cambridge
If you enjoyed Michael’s review of his stay at The Fellows House, you’ll find more ideas for UK breaks on our Travel channel.Tags: Cambridge, Hilton Curio Collection, Kings College, The Fellows House Last modified: March 3, 2022