Cambridge’s Varsity Hotel plans to build a basement swimming pool have been granted planning permission by Cambridge City council. The development garnered almost unanimous support from city councillors and residents.
The £2.5 million investment will see the creation of an additional basement level to the multi-storey hotel. This will provide changing room facilities and a “hydrotherapy pool”, which are proposed to be “ancillary uses” to the main hotel.
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Matthew Mahmood, Operations Director for the Varsity Hotel Cambridge, told CambridgeshireLive:
“We’re very keen on the project, we did a survey and lots of people wanted it for a while. It’s a big investment for us. We feel it will really add value to the customer experience.
“It’s a unique project. There are going to be some stand out features like underwater music whilst you’re swimming. I think it’s a really good development for Cambridge”.
The hotel has been proud to stress the proposed hotel swimming pool and spa will be open to a “broad demographic”. The pool will also use ozone, rather than the noxious smelling chemical chlorine commonly found in public pools.
There were some lone voices of opposition to the hotel plans from some residents: Some were concerned at the potential “increase” of traffic on Thompson’s Lane affecting residential properties near the hotel.
The Varsity Hotel is owned by former Cambridge University student Will Davies, an entrepreneur. Alongside its 44 bedrooms, the hotel is home to a roof terrace and bar, plus two restaurants, Six and The River Bar.
Mr Mahmood added: “Although the cost of the project is budgeted at two and a half million, we believe the price will probably rise closer to £3 million, we believe it’s worth it, no city centre hotel currently offers what we are planning”.
“People are now looking for more relaxation post Covid- it will be a great opportunity for people to really chill out”.