disclosure: we were provided with a complimentary room, breakfast and dinner in exchange for an honest review
We were recently invited to enjoy a family stay at Doubletree by Hilton The Cambridge Belfry Hotel and it seemed like the perfect way to end our half-term holiday. Situated in Cambourne, 10 miles east of Cambridge city centre, the hotel would be a great base for our latest adventures.
The hotel offers free on-site parking, free WiFi as well as an indoor pool, spa and fitness centre and is only just over a ten-minute drive from the Madingley Road Park and Ride, making the city really accessible.
Check-in is from 3 pm so we used the opportunity to explore the area before arriving for a family stay at Doubletree by Hilton The Cambridge Belfry Hotel at the weekend.
The reception staff were friendly and informative and the offer of free chocolate chip cookies on arrival was enough to get my son in the mood for our little staycation.
There are set times for children to have access to the swimming pool at the hotel and these are 9-11am and 2-6pm daily. We were later checking in than we’d originally planned so we didn’t get the opportunity to try the pool out for ourselves on this visit. But it’s worth noting that towels are provided as well as lockers in the changing rooms. If you want to make use of the other leisure facilities then you can enjoy a gym, sauna, and steam relaxation room. There are also spa treatments available which can be booked through the Leisure and spa team.
Having a ten-year-old son we prefer to eat early, so we booked our evening meal for 6.30 pm (dinner is served from 6.30-9.30 pm) at the same time we checked in.
Our Deluxe King room was on the first floor offering us a view over the quad. The room was spacious, clean and the heating was perfect for us. The bathroom has a separate shower unit as well as an over-bath shower hose.
A hairdryer is provided as well as an iron and ironing board. My only niggle with the room is one we face regularly, there are three of us but only two glasses and mugs are provided. Also, we were only provided with one normal tea bag for my husband and me to fight over. It would have been nice if hot chocolate sachets had been provided, which would have gone down well with my son. Little things, but otherwise, the room was perfect for our needs.
I was a little concerned that as our room was at the start of the corridor that we’d have lots of noise issues later in the evening with people going to and from their rooms, but we heard nothing. We all slept very well indeed.
We were on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis for a family stay at Doubletree by Hilton The Cambridge Belfry Hotel. We’d been given a general information sheet at reception when we checked in and when I read it through in the room I discovered that the dinner allowance is £28.00 per person. This isn’t something we’ve come across before and as we would normally have a three-course meal it’s something I feel I need to highlight. You might find that you have to pay a little excess to enjoy your meal to the full.
The serving staff were welcoming and attentive although we weren’t offered a children’s menu until we were looking at desserts. We presumed when one wasn’t offered as we were seated that my ten-year-old son would just be given a child’s portion from the main menu. My fault for not querying this really, lesson learned. I would also have preferred my white wine to be served chilled, rather than at room temperature. A couple of issues but otherwise we all thoroughly enjoyed our choices.
For starters, my son had the Ciabatta Bread from the Sides options, the OH had Smoked Haddock Chive and Cheese Croquetta and I opted for the Asian spiced Chicken Yakitori.
For mains, my son opted for the Battered Haddock and Chips and we asked for the crushed peas and tartare sauce to be substituted with broccoli from the Sides options and mayonnaise. My husband decided on the Sweet Potato and vegetable Chilli whilst I couldn’t resist the Slowly Braised Shank of Lamb – perfect on a cold February evening. Again, everything was well cooked and full of flavour.
When it came to ordering desserts, as mentioned above, a different waitress showed us the children’s menu. We asked for plain vanilla ice-cream, my son received vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, so he ate what he liked and his Dad had the chocolate ice cream. I can never look further than Sticky Toffee pudding when I see it on a menu, and my husband asked for the Warm Treacle Tart. Both of our puddings were enjoyable.
Breakfast is served from 7-11 am at weekends and 6.30-10 am during the week. We all enjoy a good breakfast and family stay at Doubletree by Hilton The Cambridge Belfry Hotel wouldn’t disappoint. Breakfast is served buffet-style with tea, coffee and hot chocolate served at the table. We were all really impressed with the variety of food on offer, from cereals, yoghurts and fruit, cooked breakfast and pastries. I’m terrible for not liking fruit juices, but I tried the Rhubarb juice on offer and loved it. The meal really did set us up for the day ahead.
We had thought we might have a dip in the pool after breakfast but as the weather was considerably better than forecast we decided to check out earlier (12 pm is the latest check out) and head to Ely for the day before heading home later in the afternoon.
We’d had a relaxing stay, and enjoyed our first Doubletree by Hilton experience. I think the Cambridge Belfry is ideally located, close to the city, and attractions such as IWM Duxford and Wimpole Estate. It’s definitely somewhere we’ll think of to stay when we’re next in Cambridgeshire. The atmosphere is relaxed and families are welcomed. We really enjoy staycations and the opportunity to explore different areas of the country. It always makes life easier to have a base that’s family-friendly, offers a good nights sleep and free on-site parking means that’s one less thing to worry about. Have you experienced Doubletree by Hilton yourself?