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“Used to attract better people”

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Hotel du Vin & Bistro
London
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Used to attract better people”
Reviewed 11 April 2014

Having been to this hotel around 6 years ago and having good memories of a very enjoyable stay, I thought it was the ideal place to return to celebrate my 40th birthday.

We booked in for 3 nights dinner b&b in a Principal Room ("Duval"). As previously experienced, we were unable to reserve a car parking space but were told that we could park in the multi storey car park near by if necessary. However, we were fortunate enough to get a space in the car park, although somewhat disappointed that there were lots of "reserved for Mr X" boards out in the car park. Anyway, that wasn't a problem.

The reception staff were friendly and welcoming and we were soon able to relax and enjoy the views over the park from our spacious and bright room. All good, including the chocolate-coated strawberries awaiting us in our room.

One reason for choosing to return to Hotel du Vin was the option to enjoy a good quality evening meal without having to worry about getting taxis or driving. The menu still offers a reasonable selection of cuisine and the quality remains high. There's an extensive selection of quality wines to choose from with at least one sommelier available to discuss options with. So, everything so far was excellent. However, here's where things started to go wrong: there was a large table of 10 (possibly more) for dinner eating adjacent to us. They were clearly on some kind of office / work party and had by 8pm clearly consumed more alcohol than was necessary. Our evening meal was somewhat dominated by the discussion and raucous behaviour from the "party table". Still, this wasn't so bad.

We retired to our room around 11pm, not late for a Friday night we admit. However, we were awoken around 12.15am by some of the "party" table returning to their rooms having loud drunken conversations on the stairs and continuing in the corridor outside our room. Now, this is the big problem: there is virtually no sound insulation between the room we were staying in and the corridor. We had to double check that the people weren't actually inside our room! After being awoken at 12.15am, we were then kept awake for the next 30-45mins by couples from the party returning in "dribs and drabs" to their rooms. The finale was particularly special; the topic of their conversation was one that was extremely embarrassing for us, and of an extremely explicit adult nature - should children have been listening this would have been a disaster. This ruined our night's sleep and to some degree spoilt the atmosphere for us for the remainder of our stay.

The next morning, we spoke with the reception staff about the previous night's experience, and they were clearly equally embarrassed by the topic of the conversation and told us that a senior member of the management team would get in touch. This is where Hotel du Vin loses another rating star - no effort was made to contact us. We were visible and around in the hotel for most of the Saturday and indeed dined in the restaurant again that evening, and had breakfast the following morning. We thought maybe someone would be in touch, but absolute silence. We cancelled our intended 3rd night's stay, paid our £733 bill for two nights and left. Oh, we were told we could have a "free room upgrade" by the reception staff if we were to come back again.. Whilst the hotel cannot be held accountable for all its guests, it certainly needs to do something about sound proofing between rooms and corridors.

Since returning home, there's been no attempt by anyone at the hotel to contact us - so will still haven't heard from the senior management as promised. They have our contact details as we provided these as part of the checking-in process. To me, this feels like a prime example of poor management and poor customer service. Will we return? - maybe if they can improve the sound-proofing and do something to discourage the unsavoury from using the hotel.

My advice to anyone thinking about staying here, be prepared to take earplugs. There are so many positives about the hotel, but we would be very nervous about what quality of sleep we would get - something you shouldn't have to think about when you're going away for a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Room Tip: Avoid the Principal Room "Duval" if you are a light sleeper. Lovely views, but when people...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank east_london_rich
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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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (188)
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2014

We had our wedding reception at the hotel and had a 2 night stay. The reception ran smoothly and nothing was too much trouble. We practically took over the hotel as everything was inside due to it being a winter wedding. The food was of a very high standard and our guests agreed. We have eaten in the bistro on 3 other occasions and never had a complaint. Both our rooms were lovely. The location is also ideal if you want stuff today as it is a short walk away from the main town. Our experience was memorable.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Girlthing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kent,uk
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Hotel Du Vin in Tunbridge Wells. After living in TW for some 40 years it was off to return there on holiday but we made a conscious decision to stay in a top hotel as we normally would.
The room we initially were given was quite small and had damaged walls that had half been decorated . We had paid for a superior room and this room was cramped.
After complaining we were given a larger room over looking the park which was beautiful.
Breakfast was good and flavoursome and the Sunday Brunch is not to be missed, even if your not staying its worth going just for this !
Staff were polite and courteous and always willing to help.
The hotel is central in Tunbridge Wells
Parking is free if you can get a space and we were a little put out that people just visiting got priority over guests , after pointing this out I was found a space. Only to come down the next day to find my car damaged and no CCTV which was frustrating as the hotel has this in all the corridors but not outside ?
Over all was a great stay with a lovely ambiance , the rooms are clean and fresh although the carpet looks a little tired.
We are going to return in December as it was all round a positive experience .

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank meaton222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2014

We stayed here as part of a large party attending a wedding nearby. The reception staff were extremely friendly and helpful and everyone had early access to their rooms to get changed and prepare for the wedding. We had a room at the back overlooking the garden which was very peaceful, however the room was very small and cramped with the smallest shower room I have ever seen! Breakfast was very good with a wide choice and again the staff very lovely. One area that does not come up to scratch however is the bar. The service is terrible. As the only customer standing at the bar I waited for 5 minutes while 3 members of staff discussed a plumbing issue and completely ignored me. It was only when I walked away that one of them asked if I needed anything. This was my second visit to the hotel and the same thing had happened previously whereby my husband and I waited for ages for someone to serve us (they were not busy, they just chose to ignore us) and then the drinks took forever to arrive. Service everywhere else was wonderful - your bar staff let you down!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PrimKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kelvedon
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2014

This very characterful hotel proved to be warm and welcoming overnight accommodation. Unfortunately our first room was a little noisy owing to the close proximity of the main road and the absence of a secondary glazing panel in one of the three windows, but after bringing this problem to the attention of the staff, they quickly, effectively and without hesitation, moved us to another room. Throughout our stay, they were friendly, informative and attentive to our needs, always obliging and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. There was an excellent a la carte menu and an equally good plat du jour. Dinner was served efficiently and at an acceptable pace and when the food arrived, it was delicious. The room was exceptionally clean with stocked mini bar and snack bar and a bottle of Merlot on the dressing table. However, room sizes seemed inconsistent. Both our friends and ourselves booked Superior rooms, yet our bedroom and en suite were significantly bigger than our friends. I might have felt a little disappointed had I had their room.
The hotel is situated in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, so you can easily walk to the shops, Pantiles and several lovely parks.
The only real criticism I would have, is that the lighting everywhere is incredibly dim. People were struggling to read the menus, particularly in the bar area because there simply wasn't enough illumination. Again, in the bedrooms, lighting levels were poor and it was incredibly difficult to see to apply makeup or have a shave or even read in bed. Hopefully this can be remedied.
This is an expensive hotel, but one I would definitely return to as I feel the warmth of hospitality offered contributes enormously to the value of the tariffs charged.

Room Tip: For light sleepers, ask for a room overlooking the garden at the back, or a room on the top floor...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Heather C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2014

Stayed here for 5 nights and loved it. Perfectly sized room for single/couple with one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in addition to a super energising shower, good in-room facilities and very quiet.

The staff were really great, very friendly and efficient, nothing was too much trouble. Breakfasts were fantastic with a very wide selection and lunch/dinner was also really good. If you're into wine then you'd be spoilt for choice; but if not then enjoy the whole ambiance of this great place.

No negatives, other than the wifi being a pain to keep logging in to – but really a minute blip on a really good experience. Will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UKFamilySingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sevenoaks District, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

we paid £185 for the night the room was small, the bed very near to the room door. Bathroom nice. Coffee machine in room lovely.

Restaurant mediocre, but very expensive. We had steak and chips, the chips were obviously frozen oven chips.

Service in hotel good.
Breakfast was good. Fresh orange juice bottles a nice touch.

I would not stay here again. In total dinner and room came to well over £300.

Stayed in a similar hotel in the Tunbridge Wells hotel in their suite dinner, breakfast and a bottle of wine for £125. Much better value and the food was better and the room vast in comparison.

Hotel du Vin needs to be more competitive in terms of price and the food improved.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank V W
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: Crescent Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Royal Tunbridge Wells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Royal Tunbridge Wells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel du Vin & Bistro 4*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells is set in one of the town's architectural landmarks, a Grade II-listed sandstone mansion built as a private residence in 1762. We have retained its authentic detail carefully, adding our unique touch to the 34 bedrooms with antiques and memorabilia. Guests can enjoy a game of boules, dining on the garden terrace with its wonderful views across Calverley Park, or a wander through the hotel's very own vineyard. BEDROOMS: Housed within this impressive building are 34 timelessly styled bedrooms and stunning suites, all featuring luxurious handsprung mattresses, fine Egyptian linen, deep baths and powerful drench showers, plasma TVs, DVDs and air conditioning. BISTRO: Open all week, and under the tutelage of head chef Daniel McGarey, Bistro du Vin is at the heart of our hotel, a classic, French styled, elegant and informal setting for lunch, dinner, to meet, celebrate or simply pass the time. Dine on the finest produce the Kent has to offer from local heroes such as herbs and seasonal vegetables from local nursery chef's herbs, meat from Woodlands Farm and fish from Chapman's of Sevenoaks. These are only a handful of the suppliers included within our homegrown & local philosophy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Vin And Bistro
Hotel Du Vin & Bistro Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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