I stayed at the Hotel du Vin for one night while on business trip. I stayed in Penfolds room which was small but fine for one person and one night. The bed was huge and very comfortable. There were two pillows per person and a cozy duvet. I slept very well that night. Also in the room was an armchair with a footstool, a desk, a TV and DVD player, mini bar, ironing board and iron. The TV had the 5 main channels, but seemed to only have sports on the other channels. The food and drinks in the mini bar were very expensive: a 375ml bottle of wine cost £12, a 750ml bottle of water cost £3.50 and a Mars Bar cost £1.50. Free tea and coffee were provided in the room – the coffee was ground coffee with a cafetiere and there was a small selection of teas. The bathroom was a good size with a huge bath and a monsoon shower. The washbasin looked big, but due to its design was actually small – the taps were too close to the bottom of the basin and the water pressure wasn’t great. There was also a bit of rust on the plughole. The inside of the bathroom door looked a bit neglected. The bath wasn’t a rolltop. The water from the bathtaps flowed quickly and was piping hot, so it filled up quickly. Beware that the bath is deep and there is nothing to hold onto as you get in and out of the bath. There is a heated towel rail behind the bath and it is tempting to grab hold of that as you get in and out, but you could end up burning your hand on it. There is a rubber bath mat supplied. The bathroom floor and walls are tiled with black tiles, which give the room a cold feeling. Slippers aren’t provided and I found the floor cold. There was also a noticeable damp smell in the bathroom. The hotel provided soap, full size bottles of shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, tissues and a shower cap. The towels were big and fluffy, as were the bathrobes. The room was on the first floor and faced directly into some offices opposite, which meant that the curtains had to be drawn all the time. The rooms are simply but stylishly decorated with a theme of black, white and wood. In my room was a fireplace (which looked unused) and a brick chimney breast. Magazines were provided in the room: 2 Cambridge glossies, Homes and Gardens and Instyle. There was some noise from the corridor during the night – it was a bit echoy. The hotel is in a good location – it’s about a 10 minute walk to the centre of Cambridge (shops and colleges). There are a couple of restaurants very close to the hotel (Browns and Loch Fyne).
I ate dinner and breakfast in the bistro. Dinner seemed expensive for what it was, but on the whole was good. I was disappointed that the crayfish starter came covered in thousand island dressing. The coq au vin was good and the portion was generous, the chicken melted off the bone and it came with button mushrooms and cocktail onions, which weren’t mentioned on the menu, so I didn’t need to have ordered the side order of chips (which were served in a pewter goblet!). I liked the idea that if you couldn’t manage a whole dessert (which I couldn’t) there were a couple of smaller desserts (espresso ice cream or sorbet with champagne). I opted for the espresso ice cream, which came served in an espresso cup and was excellent in flavour and texture. The small glass of malbec that I drank with dinner was good, but not worth £6. Service was included on the bill and it came to just under £40. The service was very good.
For breakfast there was a choice of continental or cooked (you can also have room service). The buffet comprised fresh fruit cocktail, cereals, yoghurts and cheese. I was offered tea or coffee and toast by the waitress. There were about 8 slices of toast and the coffee came in a large cafetiere. I was given a seat by the window which overlooked the Department of Engineering.
Despite a couple of small criticisms, I would happily stay at this hotel again and recommend it to anyone visiting Cambridge.
- 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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