Luxury awaits a stone’s throw from Cambridge Station at the recently opened boutique hotel Tamburlaine, an impressive addition to the historic University City. Tamburlaine is leading the way in the renovation of the immediate area with its sophisticated open-plan décor, drawing in locals and visitors alike.
One foot in the door and you’ll be dazzled by the spacious lobby’s never-ending double-height ceilings and spiral staircase which will tempt you to make the climb rather than take the equally magnificent lifts.
Overlooking the reception is the magical Library, a room that brims with character and provides both a convivial and intimate atmosphere. With velvet furnishings and antique books lining the shelves (a bookworm’s dream destination), this traditional wood-panelled room is perfect for a nightcap, cup of coffee or a light lunch. Businesses will also be drawn to the high-tech meeting rooms with soundproofed and interchangeable walls, accommodating from twelve to one hundred and twenty people.
The Garden Room is like a page out of The Secret Garden, offering guests an al-fresco ambiance when British weather might not permit. Deep blue velvet sofas, ornately decorated pillows and plush pink tassled armchairs fill the room, creating a comfortable and luxurious setting for a spot of Champagne Afternoon Tea. Served on free standing art-deco cake stands reminiscent of birdcage luggage trolleys, guests can indulge in coffee profiteroles and decadent brownies.
You’ll almost imagine birds chirping as you lounge amongst the lush pot plants, which blend into the exotic tapestry-like wallpaper framing the room. The monochrome tiled floor unexpectedly complements the lavish Persian silk rugs and symmetrical chandeliers. A fusion of different styles has come together to create a true paradise in the heart of Cambridge.
With such warm and welcoming service, you would never guess that the hotel accommodates one hundred and fifty-five rooms in three styles. The Classic King Room channels comfort with dark wood panelling and bespoke leather chairs. With full-length windows, the rooms are light and airy with a serene blue colour palette and delicate fine bone china tea sets.
Majestic hand-made King Koil beds with a classic tweed throw and exquisite Egyptian cotton brought to mind The Princess and the Pea children’s tale while the old-fashioned telephones and retro radios made us nostalgic for the past. For a slightly larger room with a separate seating area, book an Executive King Room. The three Dean suites on the sixth and seventh floors are the epitome of elegance with full-length windows letting in natural light and generous balconies with deluxe hot tubs promising breathtaking views of Cambridge with champagne in hand.
Marble is intrinsic to Tamburlaine’s décor, appearing throughout the hotel but taking centre stage in the bathroom. Aromas of the exclusive White Company Noir toiletries complement the all-marble bathroom and its covetable walk-in shower. Coupled with the sophistication in décor is a state of the art sound system whereby guests can connect their phones to the flat-screen LG television.
Seeking out the fitness suite on the first floor, currently only open to hotel guests, you’ll encounter a glass-panelled gallery with a view into the bar and brasserie below, giving you incentive to get your workout on before a signature cocktail downstairs. The bar is well stocked with an exhaustive cocktail list and gourmet bacon popcorn. Grab an aperitif before choosing from a selection of comfy sofa booths and leather chairs in the elegant brasserie, whose open kitchen gives guests a taste of the action. With one hundred and forty covers, and an additional fifty on the terrace, the restaurant offers a seasonal menu in a bustling atmosphere.
The wine list is no less comprehensive, with the refreshing house white complementing the main course of delicate Sea Bass atop Thai basil mash with the perfect pairing of smoky chorizo and sweet piquanté peppers. While all the desserts are tempting, the Vanilla Panna Cotta is a sure winner, served in a Champagne Coupe glass with slow-cooked rhubarb, mini meringues and ginger jelly. It’s safe to say our glasses were scraped clean by the end. Breakfast was no less luxurious, with an assortment of fresh pastries and brunch-style options available.
Aptly named after the Persian emperor in the sixteenth-century play Tamburlaine the Great by none other than Cambridge alumni Christopher Marlowe, the hotel does not shy away from its setting. It prides itself on Cambridge life, working with local suppliers to provide products ranging from wine and gin to mouth-watering tablet fudge. The staff’s uniform echoes collegial life with traditional plaids and stripes while also exuding luxury with sleek velvet jackets.
A ten-minute walk from the city centre, Tamburlaine is a perfect base to discover the city’s top sites. The Garden Room reconnects you with nature and what better way to celebrate this than with a visit to the impressive Cambridge University Botanic Garden three minutes walk from the hotel. With the new Steam Deli opening soon, commuters and passers by can grab an artisan sandwich to enjoy during a punt down the canal or a walking tour of Cambridge’s finest architecture and prestigious colleges. Jazzed up in the evenings, Steam will become a cheese and wine bar with live music on offer.
With talks of a champagne terrace to come in the approaching glorious summer months, Tamburlaine is luxury at its best, with friendly staff, unique décor and a thirst for local Cambridge life.
Visit Tamburlaine online.
Words by Hannah Brandler