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“Do not go !”

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Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Ranked #9 of 13 Hotels in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
Winchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Do not go !”
Reviewed 8 March 2014

I don't normally go in for reviews etc but simply had to share complete dissatisfaction with our experience at what is described as as top hotel in the Winchester area.
It was my wife and I anniversary, we don't get to eat out much these days, what with a young child but when a friend offered to baby sit we thought we would push the boat out a bit, well I wished we had stayed in harbour and gone to the 'chippy,
Table booked for 8.30, arrived early for a drink at the bar but so packed took almost 20 mins to get served, at about 8.50 I enquired as to dealy with , only to be miraculously shown to our table. Menus followed very quickly only for bread to take about 20mins. Starters, I ordered chicken liver parfait which I think was biked in from tesco, my wife ordered sauteed mushrooms which turned out only to be drier than the burnt toast which accompanied my parfait. Almost a full hour later mains arrived, my wife ordered a very mediocre baked cod with lentils (green salad extra) whilst I went for the moules mariniere. The actual mussels were OK and was provided a spoon for the liquor, unfortunate then that it was only slightly less salty than the north sea. Did we stay for pud or coffee, well a trip to the late night garage for a mars bar seemed a safer bet. Insult was only added to injury when following payment of the bill we found out that my wife's mother and father had already put £50 on the tab for us to have a good time, luckily they realised this mistake at the end and refunded us the money. Would I recommend the Hotel du vin, I think not.

Room Tip: Don't stay here
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Justin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

We arrived on a busy Friday night, for a one night stay, to a warm and friendly welcome. We were shown an excellent comfortable room ('Willi Opitz') and went downstairs and had a very pleasant meal - a very Hotel Du Vin experience.

However, when we went back to our room we realised that there was sound of rushing air coming from behind the wall, We were told, when we rang reception about it, that this was the flue from the kitchen extractor fan. It went on until c.1150pm. It started again briefly, waking us up a couple of times during the night, including at c.130am, and then continuously from c.630am, presumably when breakfast preparation started. We had a very poor night's sleep.

(The flue did not affect any other room on the same floor. It ran between the wall of our room and the back of a cleaner's cupboard on the landing.)

The breakfast was excellent. Our complaint about the room was dealt with very sympathetically.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GBennet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2014

My experience of the hotel was great. I came here for a conference, and spent two nights here. I was upgraded to a superior room which was large and comfortable. The bed in particular was a pleasure to sleep on. The staff were consistently helpful and professional throughout the time I spent there, and let me leave my bags there until quite late on the day I had checked out. The barmen were also friendly and made a mean martini, and even though they did make me and my friend a 'Zombie' at the end of the night, which may have been a mistake, it was a glorious mistake at the time. There is a

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bathreviewsmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2014

My wife and I booked a 1 night stay at the Hotel du Vin in Winchester in order to celebrate her birthday. Everything (room booking and dinner reservation) was booked online and whilst we received confirmation of the room booking, our dinner reservation was not mentioned. Thinking it might be a good idea to confirm the dinner reservation, I telephoned the hotel at about 1130 on the Friday morning. I had no success getting anyone to answer the telephone in the bistro or when I selected the "existing booking" option. I tried several times without success and once I was simply cut off. Eventually, I got through to the front desk and confirmed everything. Not a good start.

We had booked a "Superior Double" on the Dinner, Bed & Breakfast deal at a cost of over £200 for 1 night. We were shown to our room and it was, I have to admit, a lovely-looking room. Relaxing in the room before heading out for a drink when my wife noticed a stain on the duvet (white duvet with a white duvet cover - the stain showed through very clearly). Dark in colour, it was probably red wine, but could quite easily have been blood. A closer look at the duvet revealed a number of what looked like small pieces of paper inside the duvet cover. We pulled back the cover and reached in to retrieve the nearest piece of 'paper' - it soon became clear what had been done. The duvet was covered in stains and someone had come up with the brilliant idea and getting some white adhesive labels (address labels?) and sticking them over the stains!! Needless to say we phoned reception and asked that the duvet be changed whilst we were out (which it was, but with the duvet cover on inside out!)

We headed into dinner and were promptly handed our menus and the wine list – everything looked fantastic. When we were brought some water, I happened to mention to the waiter that we were on the DB&B deal. He hastily brought us the Plats du Jour menu and another waiter had to explain that we could still order from the A la carte menu, but that there would only be a £20 ’allocation’ towards the cost of the food. There are no examples of the Plats du Jour menu on the website (I realise they change regularly…), but I am certain that if there was, the take-up on the DB&B deal would fall away dramatically – the gulf between the two menus is huge and, given the choice, one would opt for the A la carte menu every single time. Interestingly, we stayed at Hotel TerraVina (in the New Forest) just before Christmas and their Dinner Bed & Breakfast offer enabled us to choose absolutely anything from the Al la carte menu, which, quite frankly, is what you expect. Given that we knew that the night was going to cost about £250 (with wine), we stuck with the Plats du Jour menu; the food was completely unremarkable. On the upside, the bistro had a good atmosphere and looked ‘just right’.

We went back to our room after dinner and my wife wanted to wash her make-up off before bed. She ran the hot tap, but when the water was still running cold 5 minutes later, she boiled the kettle and filled the basin instead. The following morning the same thing happened with the shower – I left the bathroom and went to watch the news whilst I was waiting for the water to warm up!

The tipping point probably came at breakfast the next morning when we were told that our booking only entitled us to a continental breakfast and did not cover the option of a cooked breakfast. I honestly didn’t believe what I was being told, so I went out to reception and asked the receptionist – she confirmed that the information was correct. The Hotel du Vin in Winchester, surely one of the most expensive hotels in town, does not offer its guests a cooked breakfast when they book a room on a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis? Really?

My wife, who had made the booking herself, was, understandably, highly upset by this point. Not long after we checked out and, thoroughly deflated, headed home. Our trip to Winchester, which was meant to be a celebration, will be remembered for stained duvets, disappointing food, a lack of hot water and the relentless pressure on guests to spend more – they want paying guests to book the Dinner Bed & Breakfast deal, before then ordering from the A la carte menu at dinner and paying extra for a cooked breakfast. I last stayed at the Hotel du Vin in Winchester many years ago and it’s disappointing to see how much standards have slipped since then. From start to finish, a hugely dispiriting (and occasionally unhygienic) experience...

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Greg M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014

This is a difficult review to write. HdV Winchester has so many exceptional attributes, but, like in many modern hotels, management seems to have ignored some of the basics.

We arrived a couple days before New Year's Eve--the second half of our Winter holiday, 10 days in total. Consequently, we had a significant amount of luggage. We were shown to our Superior room and, although it seemed a bit small, it was charming--spotless, thoughtfully decorated, and welcoming. It was only when I opened the wardrobe door, we realised there were going to be problems. The hanging space available for clothing was no more than 18 inches wide-Just about enough for our winter coats. At least four times this much space was dedicated to a fridge, a safe, and a compartment for ironing board and iron. Admittedly, except for the latter (which could have been available through reception) these items were welcome, but the fridge was perhaps twice as big as it needed to be and probably could have been positioned elsewhere. As we were to discover throughout our stay, the staff was extremely responsive and within minutes, Josh had come up with a couple rickety rolling racks for the rest of our clothing (I surmised they've had this problem before). While this solved the storage problem, the instant transformation from cozy bedroom to M & S Clearance section did nothing for our mood or the charm we had felt upon arrival.

As we were going out for dinner, my wife announced she was going to tidy her makeup, then almost immediately added she was having great difficulty seeing herself in the mirror. This perhaps had something to do with the fact there was no overhead lighting in the room or the bath and the table lamps dotted around were, as always these days, fitted with anemic low energy bulbs, The result was not a million miles away from operating in a cave. Again, Josh came up with another lamp and, although this did little to dispel the gloom, the effort was appreciated.

That's the bad news--on the positive side, the GM, Grant and his staff were absolutely superb throughout our visit. We never saw a face that wasn't smiling and absolutely nothing was too much trouble. We had booked the New Year's Eve gala dinner and found it to be excellent with a delicious menu, attentive staff and a talented band for entertainment after dinner and into the small hours.

I would be remiss in this review if I didn't call attention to some of the people who made our visit a success in spite of the logistical challenges: The two Joshes in the bar, the serving staff, particularly at breakfast, and the talented team at reception all deserve recognition for keeping the standard and the mood of the hotel at a consistently high level. It was these people who bumped my rating up from average to very good. They were delightful.

We may visit Winchester again at some point and would consider returning to the HdV, but only if we could be assured of adequate storage facilities and a room with sufficient lighting to see what's going on (and each other). We don't think this is too much to ask.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Warthog01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2014 via mobile

Had a lovely stay but did have to upgrade as the standard room was tiny with a tiny bed. But the superior room is fab and with a great huge bath in the middle of the room and a 50" tv ! Dream cone true. Staff have been brilliant. My only complaint is due to the building being old I could hear next door walking up and down so not a great nights sleep. I do think a bottle of water should be included in the rate.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eleanor S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We've stayed here several times before and always had a lovely stay. Previously we've stayed in the cottages, but this time we stayed in one of the rooms within the hotel for 2 nights.

The room was quite small but it was nicely decorated and comfortable. The hotel is always happy to accommodate requests in advance for things like fresh flowers, champagne, strawberries etc to be in the room upon arrival.

The bathroom was definitely a positive feature. We had a standalone bath and a walk-in monsoon shower, which was very nice.

The one downside to this stay was that whilst we were out during the day the cleaners went into the room and took my dress protector which I had left on a chair. I was very upset about this and complained to the manager, who apologised and offered to re-imburse me for the cost of a new one, if I sent them the receipt. I was satisfied with the way the manager dealt with the issue, I do feel upset though that a piece of my property was taken from the room.

Regardless of this, I would still stay in the hotel again.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank O_D_Reed
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: 14 Southgate Street, Winchester SO23 9EF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Winchester
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Winchester
#7 Luxury Hotel in Winchester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel du Vin & Bistro 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Vin And Bistro
Hotel Du Vin Winchester

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