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“Ultra-central, some luxury touches, great brekkie, but patchy service”

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Hotel du Vin Cambridge
Ranked #14 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Reviewed 23 March 2014

I liked this hotel and would have given 3.5 stars if possible. It's friendly and with a nice 'designy' feel, bordering on luxury. It's wonderfully located in Cambridge (which is a small enough centre to begin with, and this hotel is as central within the centre as can be).

The front of house staff were as charming and helpful as could ever be asked for.

In advance of the stay I had some really helpful exchanges with the team there and Charlotte was great about arranging to give us a reserved area at the bar for a post-dinner party, and utterly helpful about parking and other requests.

Thus far, all very 5* review.

Upon arrival our room was spacious and well-appointed. Good room facilities, solid free wifi and nice toiletries, allied to a very comfortable bed and good soundproofing were all in keeping with the expectations - and also the price. This was not a cheap room (slightly above the Cambridge norm), but I wasn't regretting it.

The service from the rest of the team was, however, less spectacular.

When we arrived at the bar after our dinner with c20 guests the area had not been reserved for us and the staff knew nothing of my reservation. Some persuading later we had a space, but the service was terribly slow. Not horrible, nor rude - just slow and slightly inept.

Breakfast the next morning continued this 'theme of two halfs'. The breakfast itself was excellent and a real standard-setter. The buffet was generous, fresh and interesting, and included in the room rate. The cooked/menu breakfast was excellent and an utterly reasonable few pounds extra. However, the slow service went from comic to frustrating. Asking three times for hot milk to go with the coffee was bad enough, but on our second coffee the waiter somehow forgot that we had milk and the charade started again. Seeking basics like, er, butter took a long time and catching a waiter's eye was difficult - I think they'd had their peripheral vision removed, or were concentrating so hard on standing upright that there was no processing power left for observation...

The manager was great, but the staff looked as if they were slightly worried, bemused and all on their first day.

I've stayed in a number of the Hotel du Vin properties and I think that this is up to par with the others. Premium pricing, near-luxury rooms that are well designed and comfortable, managerial and front-desk staff who are friendly and helpful, and then overstretched staff elsewhere.

The price was not really "worth" it, but in the context of Cambridge (and expensive bubble with limited choice) it wasn't bad and were I to stay in Cambridge again I would look here first for availability.

Hence the 3* rating. It's not bad, it's good value for the city and location, and there are high points. It's just not awesome.

Room Tip: Street rooms are bright, and not too noisy - we were on the first floor in a studio (Marqueres) and...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank ianjindal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

We went to HDV Cambridge using the Sunday Sleepover special where if you spend £75 in the bistro for dinner you get your hotel room for £45. This was a fantastic deal and we were so excited to go there. We arrived and Reception were very friendly and they had upgraded us because they knew it was our anniversary. I was slightly disappointed when we were escorted to our room and the communal area carpet was grey, tired, uninspiring and a far cry from boutique chic. We walked up a lot of staircases to our room on the top floor which when we first arrived looked great. The roll top bath was in the living area and was great to have a soak in and watch a film and the huge rainforest shower was bliss.

The chaise had a large hole in the upholstery which was unsightly and the bed although large and comfortable was lacking in terms of pillows. They were very soft and flimsy.

The toilet and hand basin were in a small ensuite but there was a horrible smell in there from when we arrived and frankly it wasn't very clean.

On the positive side, my husband loved the Nespresso machine in our room and the meal at the bistro was yummy.

Will not be returning in a hurry.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank Pollyisabelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

Having stayed previously in Poole, Brighton, Newcastle, Winchester & Henley I was very dissapointed with the value provided by the (new) dinner b&b offer. You would think that £209 would afford you more than three main course choices (no beef, pork or chicken!?) but it didn't! On asking what was included in our rate we were told that it was £20 per head from the menu and any more would be chargeable! It used to be £50 each. This information was not provided prior to booking so the first time we saw it was when we sat down for dinner! By this time it was too late! My advice..stay there if you want but due to the penny pinching from head office (as we were told about on five occasions) don't bother with the offer it's not worth it. Also I wouldn't normally mention the pubic hair under the towel rail or the hair clip that was kindly left from the previous guest but given the fact that we feel that the offer cost us money rather than saved us I thought I would mention that too!

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank PeterD191271
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

My lovely wife treated me to a weekend night away without the three monsters (our sons) - brother-in-law staying over - all looked good.

The hotel is a bit ragged round the edges and in need of a re-fresh - soon. The staff are variously engaged or arrogant - so average for an "average" hotel calling itself boutique.

My wife had booked a dinner bed and breakfast package for £295 - that's not a bargain basement "budget" deal by any stretch. However; Dinner. The set menu was VERY limited - only three items in each of starter, main and pud - but "for a small supplement" (an unspecified supplement by the way), we could choose off the à la carte menu....so we chose a burger and a rib-eye. Cutting to the chase, on check-out, we were charged a supplement of £25 - given that "normal" mains (i.e. not from the grill) ranged from £14 to £22 and the rib-eye from the grill section was £26.50 (the burger £15.50), it did feel like an opportunistic wringing of the most out of us and.....the bill at the end of the meal was wrong, confusing and we went to bed not knowing how much this "small supplement sir" would be. I will not even go into the "Cherry Clafoutis" which was so foul and cold that they promised to deduct it from the bill - they didn't.

So maybe a different title for this review, might be "Could have been good; really wasn't"

Room Tip: Rooms on the road are bright and noisy at night
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NewDogOldTricks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

We decided to try the HDV after it being highly recommended by my brother and his wife, who have stayed here previously, and we weren't disappointed.

The location of the hotel is perfect, being located right in the historic centre of Cambridge and we opted for the valet parking which meant getting there and back easy.

The hotel, being a former college building, is full of charm and character. We upgraded to a superior room, which was called Graham Beck, and it had its own courtyard and front door...it was more like a small house from the outside than a hotel room.

We ate at the bistro and the food was excellent, as was the breakfast the following morning.

The cellar bar is the perfect place to be for a few drinks....quirky, great atmosphere and a real hidden gem in Cambridge.

The service was excellent, room good, food superb and all in all we had a very memorable stay and would definitely return.

Probably a bit over priced, but when a hotel and city break was this good, I can live with that.

Room Tip: We stayed in Graham Beck and its very private and quiet.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank simon j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2014

The hotel looks excellent and the food we had was also excellent, we had been told on arrival we had been upgraded, as I had requested but this turned out not to be correct, and the champagne that I ordered for the room with happy anniversary on it, said happy birthday, they did give us the champagne. Just one small thing full English for has to have beans but this did not. Breakfast was a good spread,

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Martyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2014

The hotel is starting to look and feel tired and service never quite as good as it should be for the money paid; similar story at most Hotel Du Vin I have been to in the last 12-18mths.

I just don't think they can justify the money charged and are certainly not reinvesting in the hotels.

Again service was below standard in the restaurant (made up for by the bar staff).

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank OrangeThoughts
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 Cambridge

Address: Trumpington Street, Cambridge, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 36 Hotels in Cambridge
Price Range: £140 - £276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel du Vin Cambridge 4*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This beautiful hotel in Cambridge city centre was a former University-owned building on Trumpington Street which has been transformed to enhance its many quirky architectural features.Forty one bedrooms and suites, some with private terraces, have been carved out of the former University-owned building, alongside our trademark bistro with the first Hotel du Vin open-style kitchen and curiously labyrinthine cellar bar. Dating back in part to medieval times, Hotel du Vin Cambridge boasts a cosy library, private events room perfect for special occasions, meetings and events. The bistro and bar are available for residents, locals and visitors alike at Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge. ... more   less 
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