My wife and I stayed at this hotel for one night while attending a weekend function in Bristol. The hotel was perfectly decent and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a pleasant place to stay in Bristol.
Booking: I booked the hotel through its website and, as is usual, provided a card number by way of security.
There is no proper parking outside the hotel. I left my motor on the double yellows by the door and didn't receive a ticket and, presumably had I done so it would have been little costlier than paying to park overnight in the local NCP.
Check in: on checking in I was asked to pay up front for the room plus an additional £50. I find this pretty insulting, especially from an hotel which purports to have a personal touch and seeks to distinguish itself from the usual chain offer. Don't they trust me? And if not, why should I trust them to repay to me my £50 upon departure? I do not really wish to stay in a hotel which admits guests whom the management does not trust. Besides, the hotel already had my particulars from the internet booking. When I questioned this, I was told not to worry, it was just hotel policy. I am not a moron: why is it hotel policy not to trust the guest but rather immediately upon meeting him to insult his credit? I was a bit mean to the receptionist about this: not her fault, I suppose, but the hotel should not put her in this position.
So she takes us up to the room. "Is the room ok for you", she asks, before I have stepped over the threshold. How on earth should I know? I have not even set foot in it. This is idiocy born of slavish adherence to policies rather than genuine hospitality. And what of the supposedly "superior room"? Well, it is immediately above the dining room and facing a main road, the noise from which roared through the inadequate double glazing.
We moved to a much more agreeable garret room on the third floor, a room which though inferior by the hotel's measure, was better in every respect. A better size (smaller), a better feel (lovely attic feeling), a better aspect (over an internal courtyard and rooftops), and less noise. The rooms are decorated in an "original" style, which means crushingly unoriginal, but they are not unpleasant. Very, very good bathroom, one of the best I've enjoyed, nice double-ended bath and big shower.
We dined elsewhere.
We slept well albeit after an uncertain start. Upon returning to our room at 11.30pm, there was the thud, thud, thud of pop music from a wedding being held in the hotel. Thankfully it stopped by midnight. Had we returned at 10.30pm, I would have been mightily peeved, but we didn't and I wasn't.
The decor throughout is themed around wine. The rooms are named after famous wine makers. The pictures on the walls are adverts for wine, bottle labels, pictures of vineyards and that sort of stuff. "Hotel du Vin", I know. It is taken too far. It goes beyond a joke. It is tired and hackneyed and there is also something unsavoury about the obsession with alcohol.
Breakfast was superb. I don't know where they get their bread from (I enquired as to whether it was baked in house: how stupid of me, of course it isn't, it comes in a lorry and is warmed up), but it was brilliant. And despite the orgy of wine memorabilia (some of which was rather interesting), the dining room was an extremely pleasant place to be (although I am glad I did not have to sleep above it) with nice furniture.
So this wasn't a bad stay. But don't kid yourself, it is a chain hotel and it suffers the deficiencies of a chain hotel grievously. I do not think there is anywhere better in Bristol, however.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Du Vin And Bistro
- Hotel Du Vin Bristol