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“Not like it used to be”

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Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Ranked #34 of 118 Hotels in Birmingham
Reviewed 27 April 2014

We've stayed here three or four times over the last ten years and eaten here even more. It was always a treat on our doorstep for birthdays and anniversaries. Not any more. I booked an Easter deal room, three courses and breakfast all prepaid - absolute bargain for my husband's birthday. On arrival we were asked for a payment of £50 "for extras" - we pointed out that we'd like to pay at the bar and in the bistro for our drinks at the end of the night so we could leave a cash tip. Nope. £50 up front. Fine, we knew we'd spend at least that. I'd also booked an upgrade if possible. Snippy response that it was done, but unclear on how it was paid for ( appeared on the bill the next morning). So....the room.
Remember the days of Egyptian cotton sheets and fluffy pillows? Our room ( which was an upgrade ) had none of this. No cafetiere any more, just a Nespresso machine. Mini bar half empty. Thin, tired sheets, flat foam pillows, no niceties in the room, no invitation to take home the smellies ( not that I ever did). Could have been any room in any boutique hotel. The whole room was tired and patchy. Gerard Basset should never have left HdV!
Bubble Lounge full of loud office folk breaking up for the Easter weekend, dirty plates plonked in front of me as I sat at the bar trying to enjoy my fizz.
The meal was fine and we were disciplined enough ( or miffed enough, I'm not sure which?) to stick to the plats du jour that was included in the deal. The wines are now ludicrously overpriced and many of them can be picked up in any half decent wine shop. The by the glass selection is tired and formulaic - we ate at HdV Winchester in August last year and the by the glass list was exactly the same. All the individuality has gone. Our sommelier was very good, but didn't much like the fact we both asked lots of questions before choosing.he actually challenged us on our way out "how do you know so much about wine?" Does it matter? Twenty years working in the trade, but why do we need to justify it? We asked lots of questions because the prices are extortionate and we wanted to get it right!
Breakfast was good and the service exemplary. Then we came to check out... A £12 service charge appeared on our bill. We asked for it to be removed and were asked why..we explained that we like to leave cash tips to ensure they go to the right person and not into the company coffers. We explained that we had wanted to use cash the night before but weren't "allowed" to having been made to leave £50 on a card at reception. We pointed out that the service had been very good, but that we weren't prepared to pay the "discretionary" charge that had just been whacked on. The whole experience left a bitter taste in our mouths and we won't be back. Sad , as we have many happy memories of HdV back when it was very special and quirky.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank laloue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HdVMgr, Manager at Hotel du Vin & Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for sharing your comments on your most recent visit to Hotel du Vin Birmingham.

Quite clearly a lot has changed in the hotel and with the group over the years such as with procedures, group standards and senior management which nowadays might not be to everyone’s preference.

Of course as a hotel though it is our priority to ensure all of our guests are made to feel as welcome and as comfortable as possible when they choose to stay here. From reading your comments there has obviously been a number instances where we have not met these expectations and I will be investigating these further.

I am disappointed to read that you will not be returning after enjoying so many happy memories here at Hotel du Vin Birmingham and I of course hope that your opinion might change in the future. If it does and should you wish to return with the hope we have the opportunity of improving on this visit please feel free to contact me at dgm.birmingham@hotelduvin.com.

Regards – Matthew Kinnes

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1,012 - 1,018 of 1,576 reviews

Reviewed 24 April 2014 via mobile

We have stayed at HDV a couple of times before and this time like the last 2 times the room, staff and food were all excellent. Indeed, the staff at reception, bar and restaurant were all very friendly and helpful. The food at dinner and breakfast was excellent. The room was clean with a comfortable bed and a wonderful espresso machine. I simply don't get some of these reviews!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank AndyM12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HdVMgr, Manager at Hotel du Vin & Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Many thanks for sharing your comments following your visits to Hotel du Vin Birmingham. I am glad to read we have met your expectations throughout the hotel. Look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Kind Regards – Matthew Kinnes

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014 via mobile

Stayed in this hotel a number of times in the past few years, it has sadly taken a dip though.
Reception staff are not the best; a bit distracted and rushed, and not the best communicators.
Slightly rude service in the bubble lounge.
The pub du vin was shut the whole of the three days we were there, I guess it may have shut down.
Real lack of attention to detail in the rooms and the service. Next to no info in the rooms: phone numbers pinned up in an obscure place, wasn't clear what was the room service menu, no breakfast menu. Few of the plug sockets in our suite were hanging off the wall. Our ceiling made an almighty creaking sound whenever anyone moved around in the room above. Very dark room (though this is typical of HdV). One of our room service breakfasts was missing much of the crockery and cutlery, and had no milk.
None of these were really things significant enough to complain about at the time, but just an accumulation of a very large number of very small niggles that created a disappointing stay.
Staff didn't fill you with confidence that if you did mention anything, that would have sorted it in the correct manner, all a bit rushed and slightly disinterested. Some way below the standard of this hdv in the past and the hdv in Newcastle.
I had always referred to this as the best hotel in Brum, in future I might look at the rotunda or somewhere else.
Nice building and comfy bed though. And it has sky sports.
No where to do your hair and make-up at all.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank tom7p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HdVMgr, Manager at Hotel du Vin & Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments on our trip advisor page. It is disappointing to read that there have been a number of small niggles which have cumulated in a very average stay for you on this occasion. I have sent you a personal message on trip advisor to investigate your comments further.

Kind Regards – Matthew Kinnes

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Reviewed 21 April 2014

Stayed at this hotel last night just for the night as went to see a show, omg we upgraded to the penfolds grange, 8ft bed 2 baths,2 monsoon showers, living area and gym all for us. Room was spotless, service great and breakfast was lovely, would recommend to anyone.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank kathgBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HdVMgr, Manager at Hotel du Vin & Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for sharing your lovely comments following your recent visit to HdV Birmingham.

I hope you had a lovely time at the show and I can see from your photos you were upgraded to our principal suite Penfolds Grange which even in my opinion is a spectacular and one off bedroom. Hope you to see you back again soon although I wish I could but I cannot guarantee Penfolds Grange next time.

Kind Regards – Matthew Kinnes

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

having been to quite a few hotel du vin, I was quite shocked by my stay at the Birmingham hotel. When we arrived, we were informed that we would be upgraded complimentary, for which we thoroughly appreciated. Then.... we were told that there were no rooms available to upgrade to?? we were then offered a free coffee to make up for it. When the coffee arrived, the waiter waited for a tip (hardly free coffee). The room was a 'standard' room, but it was tiny, by far the smallest room we have ever stayed in, with dingy A/C. The bedroom was so small and tight for space, we kept banging in to the bed frame whilst trying to walk around the bed. The phone was dirty, the furnishings need to be replaced, as the chair was very tired and stained. The bathroom had no shower gel, but just bath gel. The shower had mould and needs to be re-grouted. The shower kept losing pressure and temperature, and the floor floods when showering.
There were no milk on the tea tray. When watching television, the programme kept being interrupted by technical issues. When checking out there was quite a long wait, and when informed about the problems we encountered, no one seemed to care. As we have been to various other Hotel Du Vin, we were very unsettled by this experience. HDV Birmingham should speak to Cheltenham, Bristol and Tunbridge Wells to get some ideas!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Davidthomhe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

After reading some of the reviews on here I was starting to get a little worried about out stay. However, we were pleasantly surprised - I had booked a Earlybird Easter Break Package which included dinner bed and breakfast. Our room was really spacious so can only assume we must have had a complimentary upgrade from a standard room to a deluxe room. The bathroom was really quirky as it was situated down some little steps. The room was clean and tidy. Though I can see why others may say the place needs a refurb - as it is a little tired in places - I think its just well used - its certainly not pristine but its not bad either - I don't think it helps that the paintwork has been painted in black so scuffs/marks are easily noticed.
Our evening meal in the restaurant was very slow - from ordering it took 1hr 30 min to actually get our main - we did mention this to the waitress who apologised and discounted the drinks from our bill. Although the food was good - we both weren't blown away it was just average and felt a little like 'hotel food'. However the following morning breakfast was great - a lovely varied selection of good quality ingredients and our breakfasts were cooked really well.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay at the Hotel du Vin Birmingham - would recommend!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tibbs0675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Stayed for one night recently in the 'brown brothers' room, a deluxe suite. The room was enormous with huge bed, sofa, armchairs etc. It was very well stocked with nespresso coffees, herbal teas, breakfast teas, hot chocalates etc. The bathroom was fantastic - the shower was the best ever! Only thing I wasn't happy with in the room were the pillows - as flat as pancakes. Very odd. We had a go in the gym and steam room which were both well equipped. In the evening we had the 3 course plat du jour dinner - fantastic food and service and the dining room was lovely. Then we headed to the bubbles bar for a few drinks, which was half empty and very relaxing. The breakfast was wonderful too - very fresh and tasty. James was a marvellous waiter (he had to be as there was a seriously moronic person in there, making a big fuss about her eggs. Groan)

Overall, a very fantastic stay and would highly recomend it.

Room Tip: Book a suite, worth a splurge
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dopeydingolala
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

Address: 25 Church Street, Birmingham B3 2NR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham > Ladywood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Birmingham
#16 Luxury Hotel in Birmingham
#23 Family Hotel in Birmingham
#30 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range: £88 - £193 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel du Vin & Bistro 4*
Number of rooms: 66
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Vin And Bistro

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