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“Not bad, but not as good as it likes to think it is”

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Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Ranked #4 of 39 Hotels in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 16 November 2012

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.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms overlooking the road, do ask about weddings and parties.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank JJRodger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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982 - 988 of 1,273 reviews

Reviewed 6 November 2012

I've not only stayed and dined at HDVs around the UK, my niece actually had her wedding reception at the Winchester hotel so I am pretty much hooked on the concept. I love the location of the Sugar House - bang slap in the Centre of Bristol within walking distance of Christmas Steps, the old harbour, Queens Square and all that Clifton has to offer.
Sure, it's pricey but the rooms are of a high and individual standard - marvellous walk-in showers - and I have had many convivial dinners in the restaurant. There is even a pool room for those who fancy a late-night game.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Gill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

Booking essential to eat here. We went on a Sunday for their lunch offer menu and well worth it. Soup to start with and then a French market stall wiht ham carved off the bone, seafood galore. Main courses very tasty. Good service. A place full of atmosphere, glasses and bottles everywhere.
All ages there to enjoy the food.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank vikingo47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2012

I was recommended to try Hotel du Vin by a colleague. My husband and I enjoyed a stay in one of the top floor rooms with a lovely roof terrace (big enough to easily house three small tables and plenty of chairs). Overall we had an enjoyable and restful time; the hotel is also a good location to access central Bristol on foot - especially the Old City and the Floating Harbour. .

Plus points - plenty of space, friendly and helpful staff, cosy public areas. Our room had an enormous and well appointed bathroom with free-standing bath and a big walk through monsoon shower and plenty of hot water and nice toiletries. Decent free Wifi, big flat screen HD TV and Bose iPod dock ..i.e. all the things you normally expect in a boutique hotel. Large comfy bed, and plenty of space for a settee and two chairs plus a separate desk area, and a chaise longue in the entrance area. Clever curtain fittings which folded to fully cover the windows. Unlike some boutique hotels the decor was stylish without being OTT. As one might expect with an HDV - an excellent range of wines and other drinks was on offer in the bar and in the room.

Areas for attention: the bedroom was very dark - to the extent that the large black three door wardrobe was tricky to find stuff in. It really needed more light brackets especially in the entrance/dressing area. It was also quite warm even with the AC on. We had a nice, if rather filling, dinner on the first evening, but breakfast was a bit hit and miss; tables not always cleared promptly, for example. We were staying for leisure, but if staying for a business trip the service was sometimes slow. I found the continental buffet more than adequate - but while there was plenty of fresh fruit,cereals and interesting breads, it lacked any cold meats or cheeses and often was not replenished frequently enough. The cooked breakfasts were also variable - I had very good eggs benedict one day with perfect poached eggs, but on another day my husbands poached eggs seemed reheated. The mushrooms and bacon were very good, as was the butter.

There is (very) limited parking outside the hotel - the NCP is nearly opposite and the hotel provides a 25% discount.

Room Tip: If you are easily disturbed by traffic noise avoid rooms to the front of the hotel, although it is g...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Graysgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2012

My wife and I loved this place and almost everything about it. We have stayed in HDV's in several locations and are yet to be disappointed. My only negative points are firstly the location, and secondly a couple of staff who whilst not being rude, were verging on it. to qualify these points, in truth the location is superbly central but whilst it is slightly protected from it, it is near a very busy road indeed and you felt like you needed a shower within yards of leaving the hotel; and the 2 staff I mentioned were in fairness not the norm and the rest of the employees were faultless.

On the positive side, all food and drink was superb, the rooms are beautiful and that feeling that you are somewhere a bit special is definitely there.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Marsh_hopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2012

I've been a big fan of HDV ever since the first one opened in Winchester and now stayed in six of the different properties. This was my first time in Bristol and it felt like things were slipping. Service in the restaurant was iffy, food at a group work dinner in the private dining room in the evening really underwhelming and my bed uncomfortable and creaky. HDV is a brilliant concept and all my previous stays would have been at least 4 out of 5. But this one didn't hit the mark. Hopefully it was just a blip but my confidence has been knocked

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank BrownNutOnion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2012

I'm a fan of the du Vin and Malmaison group and will always choose them if they are in or near the place I need to be. So attending a gastronomic weekend with a group of restaurateurs, vintners and chefs in Bristol called for a reliable hotel, so I chose the du Vin, located a short taxi ride from the SS Gt Britain (the first night's dinner) and a few minutes walk from the Marriott (the second). the du Vin group is linked with Virgin air miles, you book a room and get some extra air miles, great! So I went online early this year and booked (online) a superior double room for that little extra space and comfort.
As I work in the hospitality trade I always think it a common courtesy to re-confirm my bookings by phone a week or so before I travel, lucky I did!
For some reason, they had booked me into one of their pricier suites (not what I had booked online) and the only alternative they could offer me was one of the noisy rooms at the front. So the weekend already wasnt going to start off well.
I arrived in a torrential downpour after a long days work and a horrendous journey with an hour or so before I had to be ready for dinner, reception staff were less than helpful so i struggled in with my luggage through the pouring rain myself, i had to leave the car on a cash hungry parking meter while i checked in and found my room, fortunately, I was lucky that within that hour one of the hotel parking spaces outside became free otherwise I would have had to use the NCP park some way away, but that still meant having to go outside again in the rain and move my car, and all the time the clock was ticking down towards being ready for the evening, so no relaxing before dinner for me!

Yes, the rooms are dark but that's the style of the hotel chain, but the room I didn't book but had to use was noisy, very noisy and so not a good nights sleep. We were able to move to a different room for the second night, but that always means more disruption to an already frustrating stay.
Overall although the team did their best and tried to to rectify the problems, our weekend stay didn't come up to the usual high standards I've received from the du Vin group in the past, and to add insult to injury I didn't get my Virgin air miles credited to my account!

Room Tip: Which ever way you book a room, check and double check before you travel that what you have booked i...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Andy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel du Vin & Bistro

Address: The Sugar House Narrow Lewins Mead, Bristol BS1 2NU, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Bristol
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Bristol
#2 Green Hotel in Bristol
#3 Romantic Hotel in Bristol
#3 Luxury Hotel in Bristol
#4 Business Hotel in Bristol
Price Range: £115 - £231 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel du Vin & Bistro 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Vin And Bistro
Hotel Du Vin Bristol

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