Whether you’re a scholar or a punter, it’s difficult to deny the magical appeal that a city like Cambridge has. The gothic buildings of the world-famous university tower over passers-by as tourists listen to urban legends shared by punters as they glide through the River Cam.
Celebrating the Fellows old and new, The Curio Collection by Hilton recently launched their first outpost in Cambridge called The Fellows House. The apartment-only property features studios and one-bedroom apartments and is located just a few minutes from the city centre.
The hotel’s newly appointed general manager Julian Hudson has 25 years of experience in hospitality management and does not shy away from the challenges brought about by the pandemic. “Our motto is a ‘one team approach’. We try to support each other and communicate thoroughly as our company has a large focus on wellbeing,” he explains.
Hudson’s own idea of wellbeing involves maintaining an active lifestyle and he cites surfing and rugby among his many interests. He tells me that keeping his staff happy and invigorated about coming to work is even more important in the current climate. “It has been exciting opening up the hotel in the last few months, and I’ve found that it’s important to remember that a little treat often goes a long way too,” he shares.
LLM – Luxury Lifestyle Magazine writer Ina Yulo Stuve speaks with Hudson about his new role and what his ideal day out in Cambridge looks like.
Why did you decide to enter the hospitality industry?
I began my career working in bars, and then eventually managing them. After working in bars for a while, I decided I wanted to move to hotels, where I have been for the last 20 years.
Could you tell me more about The Curio Collection by Hilton?
The Curio Collection is a group of hotels by Hilton that focuses on individuality. The Fellows House is a great fit to be a part of this collection as its design and offerings have taken inspiration from the history and culture of Cambridge to offer a truly unique experience
What makes The Fellows House Cambridge different from other properties you’ve worked at?
I am so proud to be leading The Fellows House. The interior is simply stunning, with bespoke art pieces inspired by the Fellows of Cambridge’s colleges. The attention to detail is incredible and can be seen throughout all aspects of the hotel.
What are some of the unique experiences an apartment-style hotel provides to its guests?
An apartment-style hotel provides our guests a home away from home experience. We offer them more space and a wider variety of dining options, as guests can opt to cook using the facilities in their room or dine in The Folio Bar and Kitchen.
Having a vegan menu at The Folio Kitchen is a strong move. Why did the team decide to do this?
We felt that a vegan menu fit our brand well, and there is a strong market in Cambridge for a restaurant with a plant-based focus to its menu, whilst still offering British favourites with a twist.
What is your current favourite dish from any of the hotel’s restaurants?
Currently I’ve been really enjoying the chocolate and banana muffin from The Sage of Cambridge.
Do you have any upcoming events planned to help guests learn about the local area?
To help guests learn about the local area, we will soon be running an Alan Turing tour of Cambridge, which will combine Cambridge’s history with Turing’s dramatic life before, during, and after his studies at King’s College. As he became a University Fellow in 1935 after graduating with his degree in mathematics, this fits in nicely with the themes of The Fellows House.
Additionally, the hotel’s exterior copper columns are etched with lines of text written in the Enigma secret code, a personal touch that we hope will connect guests even further with Cambridge’s fascinating history. We also have a few other fun events coming up soon including Cocktails and Canvas, as well as Christmas Wreath Making.
What was it like working in the hospitality industry during the London Olympics?
The London 2012 Olympics was a once in a lifetime experience. I had only taken over managing the Holiday Inn Express – Stratford a few months earlier, so it was extremely hard work. However, the atmosphere and buzz around the Olympic Village was overwhelming with so much excitement. I’m honoured to have been a part of it.
If you had to suggest a full-day itinerary for guests looking to explore Cambridge, where would you send them?
When the weather’s nice, punting along The Backs followed by a visit to King’s Chapel is a great way to spend the morning, followed by an afternoon exploring the botanical gardens. I would suggest ending the day with early evening drinks in our very own Fellows Garden, followed by dinner in the Folio Bar and Kitchen.
The Fellows House
Rooms start at £170 per night for two people staying in a Kipling King room on a bed and breakfast basis.
Address: 33A Milton Rd, Cambridge CB4 1UZ
Phone: +44 1223 949499