A boutique hotel may not be the first place that you think of when you are looking for somewhere to stay with your dog, but there is absolutely no reason to compromise on luxury when you visit Cambridge thanks to The Gonville Hotel’s dog friendly policy and facilities.
This was our first trip to Cambridge with Elsa so it was great to have a base within the city centre.
We’d been warned about the cost of parking in the city, but The Gonville Hotel has a small car park for guests to use for a more reasonable fee, although it does get very busy. Luckily, another car was leaving just as we pulled in so we managed to get a space.
(An alternative is to park at Queen Anne Terrace Car Park which is only a short walk away.)
On arrival we were welcomed at the reception desk and checked into our room. I was a tiny bit anxious when we were directed to the second floor, but getting to and from the room with Elsa was quick and easy via the glass elevator. This was a completely new experience for her and although she wasn’t entirely sure about the motion, she was happy enough to travel up and down this way.
Our Superior Double room was very spacious, elegantly decorated and equipped with everything that we needed for a comfortable stay from air conditioning to bathrobes, slippers, tea and coffee making facilities (including a coffee pod machine), luxury toiletries, high-speed Wi-Fi and a ‘Virtual Valet’ via an iPad with 24-hour room service. Dogs also get their own bowl and complimentary treats in the room.
Elsewhere in the hotel, dogs can accompany guests into the bar and lounge as well as the garden. The grounds are immaculately maintained and offer a good amount of space for dogs to explore.
The hotel even has its own designated dog bin, so you don’t have to go searching for somewhere to dispose of any mess!
For dogs that need a bit more space to burn off their energy, the hotel is situated opposite a 25-acre green common called Parker’s Piece; a site that is also regarded as the birthplace of the rules of Association Football. Further afield you will find even more open, green spaces like Coe Fen and Sheep’s Green, although there are livestock grazing in these areas so dogs are best kept on a lead. With such beautiful and lush scenery it’s easy to forget that you are in the middle of a city.
One of the highlights of staying at The Gonville Hotel is the opportunity to explore Cambridge in one of their chauffeur driven Bentleys...
The Concierge picked us up from the front of the hotel and took us around the city in the silver 1958 S1 Bentley.
As he drove us through the narrow streets, Elliot pointed out various landmarks and gave us lots of interesting details about the culture and history of Cambridge.
This really helped us to get our bearings and see lots of things that we would have easily missed on foot. It's a great way to explore the city, whatever the weather!
Bentley tours and chauffeur services are complimentary and offered to all hotel guests, including those with paws, but booking is advisable.
Back at the hotel we went in search of some food and found a cosy spot in the bar area where we could relax and enjoy the live music with Elsa. We spent the rest of the evening here and really enjoyed the food. They have a great selection of homemade dishes including classics like fish & chips and sausage & mash. Despite being busy, the waiters were all very attentive and the level of service was excellent.
The hotel has a lively atmosphere and there was a steady flow of guests and non-residents passing through the bar, many of whom were going out into the garden where the ‘Enchanted Cinema’ was screening The Greatest Showman. The Gonville Hotel regularly plays host this outdoor cinema so it’s worth seeing if you can get tickets - this would be another great activity to enjoy with your dog in Cambridge, even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
There is also a spa within the grounds called 'Gresham House Wellness' offering a range of facials, massages, scrubs and beauty treatments. This one is for humans only so you won't find any 'paw-dicures' or 'bark-massages' on the menu!
The next morning we decided to take advantage of room service and had our breakfast delivered. Everything was still nice and hot when it arrived and we really enjoyed being able to take our time. It also gave Elsa the opportunity to recharge her batteries before the busy day ahead.
This hotel is the embodiment of understated sophistication and sets the bar very high by offering a combination of inclusive luxury services, comfort and convenience that you won’t find anywhere else in Cambridge.
This was one of our most enjoyable and memorable hotel experiences, and we would encourage anyone who is looking for dog-friendly accommodation in this beautiful city to look no further than The Gonville Hotel!
Gonville Place, Cambridge CB1 1LY