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Hotel du Vin, Cambridge 

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Trumpington Street
England CB2 1QA
Tel: 44 1223 227330
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

Right in the heart of this great university town, across from the intimate Fitzwilliam Museum, the 41-room Hotel du Vin occupies several historic houses—parts of which date back to the Middle Ages—and offers a dose of offbeat English-country-house hospitality. A stylish renovation reveals some of the building's original brick-and-beam construction, and rooms are handsomely kitted out with dark-brown Axminster wall-to-wall carpeting, armchairs upholstered in velvety rust-colored fabric, and oak-framed beds. Every guest room is different—some have sunken private terraces, others bay windows with window seats—but all come with black-and-white photographs, matte-black tile bathrooms with heated floors, an electric kettle for making tea or coffee, and access to the hip basement wine bar. The only off note is the hotel's mediocre restaurant, an Anglo take on a French bistro, with frantic service.

—2008 Hot List

When to go: The vitality of Cambridge follows the students' course schedule, so to find it at its best, come in the spring (April and May) or fall (September and October).

Which room to book: For a quiet superior double, request Quinta do Portal (all rooms here are named after wines), or for something special, go for one of the rooms with a private terrace.

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