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Hotel du Vin Cambridge
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Reviewed 11 November 2009

We have always heard great things about Hotel du Vin so when we saw an offer in the Telegraph we decided to give Cambridge a try as it so central and we wanted to have a look at the place. Trying to make a reservation is a bit complex - they have a central reservation office which isn't always open and when it is you are often put on hold as they are busy. We went for a 'superior' room (Penfolds - which a previous reviewer stayed in) and have to agree with just about every thing he said except the room was an okay size so wouldn't gripe about that. There was a smell of damp in the bathroom and also in the hallway outside - perhaps they have some plumbing issues... Staff were very friendly including the valet parking chap who took care of the car - a real plus in Cambrige. Dinner was good but would have expected slightly better - puddings could have been left over from yesterday and the wine is extremely overpriced. Staff seemed to be authenticley French - so much so that their English was rather limited and absolutely no help when it came to describing any of the dishes on the menu. Breakfast was fine (and yes like before toast was a bit soggy!)
Overall yes we would stay again especially if there was an offer - there seem to be several deals out there and for once it worked.

Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
1  Thank textile5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2009

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).

Bistro
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.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled on business
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1  Thank SEF2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2009

Just spent a wonderful 2 days at HdV Cambridge on our honeymoon. We had the Graham Beck room which was fabulous and very comfy and quiet. We were treated like royalty and all the staff seemed to know it was our honeymoon and made us feel extra special. The barman in the cellar was especially great as were all the waiting staff. Cracking food, great wine and beautiful building. My only critisim was the other guests! Many were rude and snobby and this just doesn't firt in with the boutique theme. The sort of people that moaned about the slightest little thing were utter morons and need to get a life. Our meal was nearly spoiled by some idiot on the next table complaning that his starter was horrible AFTER he had wolfed the lot down! Oh and the Dad of the family at brekkie who complained the toast was too limp. Grrrr! But that aside we adored it.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank timandkay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2009

I have always wanted to stay in a Hotel Du VIn and took advantage of a good summer offer at the Cambridge branch.

The hotel is well located within easy walking distance from the centre of the town. It is easily accessed from the motorway, but parking is a bit trcky as you have to leave the car on a yellow line before someone comes to valet park it for you. I was very worried I'd be ticketed - although the staff reassured me this wouldnt happen (they were right - I didnt get one!).

Check in was easy, and the staff were friendly. We had paid to stay in an upgraded room (2 grades about the 'standard' rooms - so we were told!) Our room was large but I was slightly dissapointed. The hallways leading up to the room smelt a bit of cleaning products. Our room had a view of the hotel's solar panels (I was impressed that thye had them!) but nothing else. They were also very small, making the room dark. There was a very loud vibrating noise in our room, we couldnt work out where it was coming from, but it sounded like some sort of generator. I found it hard to get to sleep because of the noise.

The bath was large and plush with nice bath lotions etc. The walk in shower was beautifully designed, but the tiles were beginning to get a bit staned from wear and dear with white marks on the floor.

The bed was amazing, huge and very comfortable.

We opted ot eat in the bistro. As expected the wine selection was first class and food decent (although i was a bit disappointed as I thought it could have been better). The thing which really got to me was that the staff were very sullen and really didnt know much about the menu. I thought this was pretty poor for a hotel which claims to have a first class restaurant. In addition, the staff serving breakfast (which was pretty decent) were borderline rude!

All in all, this hotel is great - the building is beautiful, the rooms are huge and well designed. But I really didnt think this was a 5* hotel. They are need to 'up their game' to prevent standards slipping further. If I had paid full rate for the room I would have been quite upset!

That said, I would recommend this hotel and probably stay here again myself. I am ony being critical as I had expected it to be a 5* level hotel but found it to be slightly short of this.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DanLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2009

Probably the best hotel in central Cambridge (given that the larger ones are rather tired & overpriced).

However, avoid booking any of the so-called 'garden rooms', which are on the ground floor in a small courtyard with tables positioned just outside the rooms. The sound of people sitting at the tables and chatting just a few feet from your window is very intrusive, and to avoid them peering in you need to shut the curtains even in broad daylight.

I was awoken at 2am by a bunch of wedding guests who decided to talk outside my window for half an hour.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled solo
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2  Thank bf99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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