|Cambridge is not only a hub for high technology companies, it is also a mecca for tourists. In the city’s fiercely competitive hotel sector any service that makes the stay of guests more enjoyable or productive is highly prized.
By becoming one of Cambridge’s best-known boutique hotels and with guests more intense than ever before, The Helen Hotel spotted an opportunity to put itself one step ahead by re modernising, refurbishing and enhancing this little hotel to achieve the accolades it now prizes.
The Helen Hotel, established since 1997, has become a relaxing, well-appointed retreat for business travellers, visitors from overseas and many college undergraduates and their parents. The building dates back to around 1850 and is situated on the south side of the city in close proximity to the railway station, various University departments, Homerton College, and the infamous Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the largest teaching hospital in the UK, famed for its renowned research, and for the advanced surgical procedures taking place daily. Within a 20 minute walk will take you into the centre of the city where leisure, shopping amenities, the river and meadows, The University Botanic garden, are found together with a unique contrast of architectural buildings each with their own enclosed peaceful courts. Alternatively for those who prefer something on our doorstep one will find The Cambridge Leisure complex featuring bistro type restaurants, a fitness centre, a bowling alley and a newly built cinema complex. Many colleges originally held the balls during the month of May, sometimes in the week preceding year-end exams. Today, they take place in May Week, which usually starts on the second Thursday of June following the end of exams, and which includes Suicide Sunday.The First And Third Trinity Boat Club May Ball held by Trinity College is the most famous of the May Balls, always held on the first Monday of May Week, and its tickets are the most sought after. Others would argue St. John's May Ball to be the best May Ball: Time magazine once described it as the "7th greatest party in the world". There is a strict dress code at these, and all of the May Balls. They are all black tie with the exception of Peterhouse and Magdalene which insist on white tie. Other desirable balls are held by Clare, which has some of the most beautiful gardens in Cambridge, and Gonville and Caius, regarded by the Times newspaper as "the most beautiful College in Cambridge". Trinity, Clare, and John's are situated directly on the River Cam, along the Backs, as are Queens' and Trinity Hall. As a result, when several balls are held on the same evening, the river is lit up in different colours from the lights and the fireworks, creating a memorable backdrop to the evening's festivities. Peterhouse and Magdalene hold biannual white tie balls (alternating years, most recently Magdalene in 2005 and Peterhouse in 2006).Other annual balls are held by Jesus, Robinson, Hughes Hall and St Edmund's, and has recently been resurrected as an annual event in Downing. Corpus Christi, Christ's, Gonville and Caius, Homerton, Queens' and Sidney Sussex hold May Balls every two years. Most balls are themed, though Trinity's and Peterhouse's are notable for their lack of a theme.