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.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Du Vin And Bistro