A lot of us around the world are currently experiencing something new. Something we never thought we would. The feeling of coming out of hibernation. As though we’ve woken up from a long sleep. Stretching and blinking against the sun, trying to figure out in our befuddled state what’s changed and what’s still the same. One thing we can tell you is the Varsity Hotel Cambridge is still here. And judging by the past couple of weekends, more popular than ever.
Humans don’t hibernate. Not really. We don’t slow our metabolism, drop our body temperature way down and sleep through winter. But it still sometimes feel like we do. Ever walked out of a matinee cinema showing (remember those?) and being amazed that it’s still daylight outside? Or woken up dazed and confused not knowing whether it’s am or pm or how you got home? That feeling that your mind is stuck in treacle and everything is just a little…off. But you can’t quite put your finger on how and why. That’s what many of us are feeling right now.
We all know how and why this happened, of course. We had to go into lockdown and perhaps even isolation from all direct human contact for weeks or months. Sure, we tried to stay active and make best use of our downtime. But somewhere along the way our motivation dwindled, and we started to lose track of things on the outside.
Then in what seems a blink of an eye it’s the middle of summer and everything is starting to open back up. Slowly. Cautiously. And we haven’t figured out what then “new normal” is going to be like just yet. What has changed? And what’s still the same?
Well we can tell you that the Varsity Hotel is both. We’re still here and our reopening has gone very well so far. But there have been changes as well. Some in response to the pandemic, in accordance with governmental standards and advice. All visitors will now be required to provide details in accordance with government contact tracing regulations. And a strict one way system is in operation to minimise contact. Though you’ll be glad to know that this involves taking the lift up and stairs down, not the other way around.
But we also took advantage of the enforced closure to spruce up our rooms. Painting, fixing and adjusting a thousand and one little things that typically have to wait for a full refurbishment. When the hotel reopens in full our regular guests will be pleased with the many little changes and improvements we have made.
Both our Six Panoramic Restaurant and River Bar Steakhouse are back open, though only at the weekends for now. We have erected clear plastic safety screens to divide any tables too close to each other, for the safety of our customers. However, this has not cut into our table count. In both venues there is presently no standing or sitting at the bar and no bar service. Freeing up bar tables for the use of our diners instead.
Our lovely open air Roof Terrace is also open once again, just in time for the weather to improve. We all hope. However our Glassworks Gym and Spa will be the slowest of our businesses to emerge from hibernation. Many of the services it provides are naturally going to be among the last restrictions to be relaxed. But as soon as we get the chance we’ll be there for you once again. See you soon.