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“It's winter outside and inside!”

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Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Ranked #4 of 39 Hotels in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“It's winter outside and inside!”
Reviewed 1 January 2010

This year we had opportunity to return to Hotel du Vin Bristol in December - we imagined a warm romantic time: drinking red wine nestled in the cosy sofas at the bar, followed by a candlelit dinner in their atmospheric bistro. Unfortunately we were nestled - in our woolen overcoats and scarves - yes even over dinner! To be fair - the radiators were on, but they are not sufficient for the space. So much for changing for dinner - my packed slinky black dress was replaced with two jumpers and a coat, my partner even wanted to adorn his wooly hat! Unless you like being in a fridge, I would suggest you save this hotel for summer.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Trufoodie111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (202)
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English first
Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2009

(I preface this by stating I have searched high and low for a Customer Relations address on the HDV website but there just isnt one)
We have stayed in at least 3 different Hotel Du Vin properties over the last 3 years and this was the most disappointing. my main gripe is in having to pay for a (supposedly) higher grade room at rack rate for a room that was over the courtyard and hence very noisy until midnight. I feel it incumbent upon a hotel to inform a guest in advance that here are to be 3 simultaneous functions in the hotel , because for sure I would not have stayed the night had I known - given that we had a young child who we put to bed at 8pm.
Dinner and breakfast were average. Room was comfortable and would stay again if I could be sure of getting an appropriate room.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank matmid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2009

The hotel is very well decorated, restaurant as well... However, the food is horrible, raw potatoes, cold meat, staff is rude... from waiters to front desk to managers...
While eating, you can even hear the chef screaming from the kitchen !!
It was a surprise weekend for my wife... A shame I chose this hotel

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Guiamre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
2 reviews
Reviewed 23 November 2009

The Hotel is well located and the Grade II Listed building has a character, however we really got the impression that it needs an overhaul, a clean and some interest from the staff and management. The rooms are OK, the bar area and restaurant have a nice warm feeling only let down by the standard of food and service. We had an early booking for a 6pm dinner on a Sunday and we were the only people in the restaurant when we ordered. We looked down the (overpriced) wine list and chose a wine showing a vintage of 2006. When the bottle came there was no sign of a vintage anywhere on the bottle. The starters were very disappointing with a cold crab and artichoke dish that had come straight out of the fridge and was very cold, very over seasoned with dill and generally of a poor standard, the other starter was a pigs cheek dish with black pudding that was so overcooked it was burnt and rock hard with a tasteless sauce. The bread on the menu said a selection of rustic breads and was actually four slices of French stick and some bread sticks. The butter was some sort of easy spread product that tasted synthetic. The mains were a HDV Burger that was rock solid and overcooked, tasteless and I suspect reheated. The chips had been cooked in old fat and tasted accordingly bad. After trying to eat a couple of mouthfuls we moved the whole plate to the other side of the table, where it sat for at least 15mins despite about five staff hanging around the front of the restaurant chatting. My partners dish was partridge and this was overcooked and dry. No one was interested and they tried telling us that they had to cook food longer for health and safty reasons, I even got a "sorry we are not allowed to cook it to your taste!" The lady next to us had made it clear that she had a yeast allergy so they brought her soup with croutons on the top! This was probably the worst meal and service that I have ever experienced and it spoiled our evening. We hardly ate anything and it still cost us £68 for dinner even after taking off some money for our problems. If you stay then eat somewhere else. They should not be able to get away with it.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank R500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2009

Have stayed here twice now, both times in the Veuve Clicquot room which is "best in the house" they say. It is great split level room with bags of space but with no view from the windows really, which is not necessarily a bad thing given the quality of architecture to look at in central Bristol! The first time I stayed the 'special deal price' was around £150 but this time it was £360 for the night. For that money you must have pretty much a perfect room and setting which this isn't - good but not perfect. I will never understand how hotels price their rooms - seems to be a black art.
You can easily drive past the hotel and miss it as it is set back from the road and is partly a converted old warehouse or something. Entry is through a pretty courtyard and the reception is easy enough to find. There is only parking for half a dozen cars outside the front and if you don't get in there you have to park in the NCP across the road. A quick tip - if you are lucky and ask nicely they may let you park in their little delivery area to the left of the entrance if there is a space. Worth asking.
There is a great lounge and bar with big squidgy armchairs and low tables where it is very easy to relax for a longer than you were planning. The restaurant is off to the right of the bar and is excellent - way above what you would normally expect to get from a hotel restaurant and therefore saves you having to find somewhere else to eat in Bristol.
The staff are a bit hit and miss - excellent in the restaurant but a bit offhand elsewhere. Nothing too bad and you just need to roll with it. If you were in a hurry or a bad mood they could drive you a bit mad though.
Overall a pretty good hotel and the Hotel du Vin chain can be relied upon to provide good rooms and food. I just wish the room rates were more consistent.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JeffBarnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2009

Stayed at this HDV last night... first impressions were good- a sensitively restored sugar house, pleasant inner courtyard, sweeping stair case. Unfortunately the service is really lacking... the receptionist started checking us in only to be interrupted by a colleague asking her about a date wedding booking, and they spoke about that for a minute or so leaving us standing like lemons. The exchange seemed completely unnecessary as it turned that the member of staff asking the question was the sister of the best man so you would have assumed she knew the date of the wedding!

Eventually got checked in, and went to our room (wasn't shown like some HDV). Rang the reception as we had been given a double rather than twin that was clearly stated on our booking. Said they would call back after speaking to the manager... waited five minutes and no reply. Called again, also pointing out the window was broken and the aircon wasn't working- both issues as room very hot. Lady sounded frustrated with us and said someone would be up. Eventually a friendly chap turned up and introduced himself as duty manager. I asked for a change of room and he said that most rooms had broken windows- sash cords had snapped and it was a grade 2 listed building and fixing them was proving troublesome etc and that the heating system was on a winter setting so it could only blow out hot air. Expressed dissatisfaction, which prompted the offer of a free drink at the bar- at least some compensation. The duty manager did a great job making up twin beds and putting a fan in our room... I wasn't surprised he did this task himself as most of his staff seemed incapable of doing anything- in parallel to the room fiasco we had previously asked the reception to push our bistro reservation back to 8.30 twice without success and ended up calling them ourselves to do it!

Because of all of this hassle, didn't get to have a shower before dinner- annoying. Had dinner at 8.30 which was ok, not up to HDV's usual standards but ok. Food arrived before wine order taken, lamb was meant to come with roasted root veg but these turned out to just be carrots, that kind of thing.

Eventually got to have a shower after dinner- on the plus side the shower in the bathroom was great, and the room had cooled bit with the fan and us wedging the window open with a HDV photo frame which happened to be lying on the bedside table... maybe for such a purpose!

Before going to bed wanted to check my emails on laptop and internet won't connect. Decided not to bother to phone reception given lack of service to date and try again in the morning. I slept ok but my dad slept poorly- way too hot, not helped by scalding towel rail and tiny window, and the significant road noise from having window open- tip if you do stay here get a room overlooking inner courtyard, not front of hotel.

The following morning the lift is broken- starting to get the feeling nothing really works in this hotel! Went to reception to enquire about wireless and after calling their ISP they confirm it is broken. But don't do anything about it.

Breakfast pretty good. Check out went smoothly thankfully. The only compensation for all of this grief was the low price- just 48 quid b&b with a sunday night 'passport' deal where the room gets discounted by your age- and as my dad is 70 got 70% off. But if I had paid anywhere near rack rate I would have been really ticked off and demanding a word with the manager.

I've been to most of the HDVs (the Cheltenham one in particular is excellent) but this one really lets the side down. Our experience was so way off the HDV experience trumpted in their literature it was laughable. Such a shame as the hotel has the potential to be great- the billiards room and lounge are stunning and the rooms reasonable. All it needs is some TLC, some common sense and some serious training of staff. Hope they read this and take the feedback constructively.

Stayed October 2009, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Jay78uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2009

Oh dear! You could damn this hotel by saying it's all fur coat and no knickers. But that would be ungenerous. The staff were all excellent, friendly, helpful, and the receptionist I dealt with was the best I have ever come across. Anywhere.
But there are problems.
1:They fully admit sat nav systems don't find their establishment. That's disaster because the one way system in the area was designed by somebody with a grudge against the rubic cube. For some reason the postcode does not register on most satnav systems so you must rely in the reception desk acting as flight controllers to guide you in.
2: When you get there you discover that they have virtually no parking facilities and that they expect you to park in a nearby stacker car park. In my case that was not on. Foreign number plates and a car loaded with just the sort of things that people like to "borrow" not to say a couple of laptops, a week's clothes and various other valuables from cameras to binoculars. No way we were going to unload the car for one night's stay. Having made the position clear by saying I would not check in but cancel and pay the price suddenly a locked car park was found in part of the hotel. Wonderful but only space for three cars. So don't get you hopes up.
3: Our room was large but not a lot worked well. Lighting is sparse and difficult to operate - bedside lights switched off at the plug. TV so far away from the bed that I wished I had the binoculars safely locked away in the car. Sexy bathroom complete with monsoon shower. Pity it seemed it had never been serviced. First the mixer valve needed extremely precise adjustment - -otherwise freeze or fry - and then the shower head was somewhat askew and shot water down and up and looked best not touched in case it fell off.
4: Food is very ordinary and really only saved by the excellent and friendly service. It is too expensive and is formulaic in the extreme. Certainly it does not encourage you to try the top end of the wine list. But then neither does McDonalds though of course they make no pretence.
5: Finally, no porter available, the lift was creaky in a scary way and on leaving the room the following morning the door handle came off in my hand and though replaced fell again as I closed the door.
Altogether a Fawlty Towers experience.
On the plus side it's a quick run from M32 to M4 so you can shake the dust of Bristol off quickly.
It is truly hard to believe that this chain of hotels have been awarded the Guardian/Observer Best Hotel Group award. The group website does not say when this happened but I doubt it covers this year as the experience we had in a sister establishement makes this one look like the four stars it is not. and I could not bear to write about it.
Simp[ly put in our view this is a chain to be avoided.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DoublinPair
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

Property: Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Address: The Sugar House Narrow Lewins Mead | 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:
#2 Green Hotel in Bristol
#3 Family Hotel in Bristol
#3 Romantic Hotel in Bristol
#3 Luxury Hotel in Bristol
#4 Business Hotel in Bristol
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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