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“Just What we Needed”
Review of Hotel de Vie

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Hotel de Vie
Ranked #3 of 22 Farnham B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 July 2008

We had a free Saturday night and didnt want to travel too far. I booked this hotel, direct with Roger at Hotel de Vie, based on the trip advisor reviews. He was very friendly and helpful.
We arrived early, but reception doesnt open until 3pm, so we parked and strolled into Farnham for lunch. The walk is about 10 minutes and very pleasant on a sunny day. We found a nice Italian restaurant for lunch.
Upon our return, Roger welcomed us and showed us the available rooms we could chose. We had the Lady Hamilton which was very cosy, and has a wonderful comfy bed.
We ate at the hotel, a good (but filling!) meal which was freshly prepared, and had drinks at the bar with some of the other guests. We thought the service was excellent and the prices were very reasonable.
We felt very comfortable during our stay, and enjoyed the relaxing break. We'll be back.

Stayed: June 2008
Thank GN&CB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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270 - 276 of 303 reviews

Reviewed 27 May 2008

We stayed at the Hotel de Vie having read some great reviews on here, but unfortunately didn't have quite the experience we were hoping for.

Check in was fine, the room was clean and comfortable with a nice design, staff were friendly and we had a good start to our stay. We were at a wedding for the day and everything was locked up at midnight when we returned (fortunately we had checked in and got the keys before the wedding otherwise we would have been stranded).

We were woken at 7.30 the next morning by the noise coming from the room next door (a couple that were clearly enjoying themselves). I'm not sure if our headboard was next to theirs but we felt like we were in the same room...

We went down for breakfast and thought we would order something quick and simple so we could get on our way. A couple of poached eggs on toast seemed to fit the bill so we placed our order with the hostess and sat down with a cup of tea to wait for the food. That cup of tea became 2 cups of tea as the eggs took just over half an hour to arrive. We were both slightly frustrated as it's a dish that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. When the eggs did arrive all 4 of them were very undercooked with the large amounts of the white of the (microwaved) eggs clear and glupey.

We decided to cut our losses and skip breakfast, checked out and headed into town to buy breakfast there instead (or should I say 'as well' considering breakfast is included in the price). The hostess was suitably apologetic (stating 'staffing problems' as the cause) and offered us a bottle of wine as compensation. Good sentiment but perhaps inadequate considering the slow service, raw eggs and our added inconvenience and expense of buying breakfast in town (i.e. they essentially gave a £5 discount on the bill).

A really disappointing stay. We were looking forward to a rare night away and I'm sure the standard of service we received is not a fair representation of most customers experience.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank EdAndBinnyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HdV_Owner, Owner at Hotel de Vie, responded to this reviewResponded 22 June 2008

I have to hold up my hands and accept fully that the poached eggs cooked for this couple were not cooked to their liking. Having discussed this issue with the staff on duty at the time they tell me that the eggs certainly looked fine on the outside but were a little runny inside, we made a mistake and did offer to prepare some more poached eggs cooked to their preference but they declined. My staff do dispute the ‘over half an hour wait’ I have checked our CCTV and whilst I accept how frustrating it can be having to wait when one wants to get away, their wait was nothing like 30 minutes.
There is some debate about how best to cook poached eggs you only have to google ‘poached eggs’ to read the many opinions and suggestions. We generally poach our eggs in boiling water but on occasions when busy we have microwaved them in a ramekin in a little water and olive oil. Using a microwave reduces the ability to fine tune the cooking and although we have only used this method on very few occasions we have decided in favour of using the more traditional method i.e. in boiling water 100% of the time, In fact we have invested in some individual poaching ladles which work a treat!
I don’t really understand the guest’s concern about the possibility of being stranded because ‘everything was locked up at midnight...’ that’s why we give our guests a key so they can let themselves in! We do make a point of explaining this during check in and in any event a member of my staff was in the bar when these guests returned and even offered them a drink? Again I have confirmed this by looking at the CCTV.
Obviously I am really sorry that we were unable to meet this customer’s expectation but as they say themselves this is not a fair representation of most customer’s experiences at Hotel de Vie.
Roger Williams

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2008

I arrived late, just as the kitchen was closing, and without hesitation the host offered to prepare something for me - and it turned out to be one of the most memorable meals I have ever had - perfect in every way. The kind service and convivial ambience of the hotel were a wonderful curative for a weary business traveller.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank DCinParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2008

I have stayed here a few times whilst travelling to the area on business. The theme of the hotel suggests a couples only environment but certainly through the week the hotel guests, with a few exceptions, seem to be lone business travelers both male and female.

Rooms are extremely clean comfortale and the power showers are amazing. The food is good not at all pretentious and the new 'fork N fingers' menu allows you to snack or to go the whole hog dependant on your appetite...try the sea bass. Breakfast is cooked to order and tasty although the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs is definately worth a go !

This hotel is a welcome change, very different friendly clean and suprisingly relaxing.

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1  Thank ladytraveller1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2008

Arriving into Hotel de Vie was like walking into a paradise. Unassuming from the outside, the interior was beautifully (and whimsically) decorated. The public areas were comfortable and inviting and the rooms were fantastic! Clean and tidy, with nothing out of place, our bedroom was a perfect place to read, sleep, work and play. The high speed wireless internet access was wonderful, not to mention the other complimentary services like morning coffee delivered to our room, made-to-order breakfasts, plush towels and high quality linens -- it was royally decadent! Pleasant surprises were around every corner and under every bed. We enjoyed Hotel de Vie to the fullest and would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Rapaura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2008

Wanting something a little more individual and different from that offered by the usual hotel chains, booked the hotel for a one night business stay. Certainly got that.
Good points first - modern hotel very tastefully decorated with no expense spared on fixtures and fittings (loved the artwork throughout). Stayed in the Lady Hamilton Room which featured an unbelievably comfortable bed with high quality bedding. Bathroom, shower, etc all of a far higher quality than would normally be expected with a room of this price. All staff very friendly and helpful, particularly co-owner Jim.
Interesting points - Turned on the flat screen TV in the room to be greeted with the welcome page for a hardcore fetish porn movie. Not sure if the DVD comes with the room or had been left by previous guests?? (it's still in there anyway....).
Looked down to see the fetish magazine before opening one of the drawers to find a fetish paperback book. I then glanced up at the ceiling to see a sky hook: it was only in the morning when I noticed a chest under the bed containing a 'sex swing' (with handy laminated positions sheet inside) that the connection was made.
Each to their own: whilst I'm sure that the hotel is ideal for any couple for whom this sort of thing floats their boat, as a business traveller who's wife was at home this wasn't really what I was after on this particular occasion.
Not so good points - whilst the restaurant is, like the rest of the Hotel de Vie, very tastefully decorated, I would strongly recommend eating out whenever possible. The steak ordered for dinner was stringy, overcooked and resembled in both colour and texture a piece of cardboard which had been lying in the fast lane of the M25 for a week or two. Although I later learned that a chef is currently in the process of being recruited, it is clear that, whilst the owners are doing their best in the kitchen, they are far from qualified chefs. It was a tad disconcerting to have the owner-cum-chef standing over me as I cut into the steak as he 'wasn't sure it was cooked correctly'. The peas were severely undercooked, matching the fries perfectly.
Dessert consisted of a Sainsbury's-own creme brulee (I know as I buy them on a regular basis for a fraction of the £4 charged).
The cooked breakfast could only be described as average. In line with the general hotel theme, nice sausage though!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank GB54321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HdV_Owner, Owner at Hotel de Vie, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2008

It feels me with horror to learn that any aspect of a guests stay with us has been unsatisfactory. Firstly I would like to thank the reviewer for his compliments about the hotel and staff. After reading the review we checked the DVD player & the DVD mentioned was no longer there, it was not supplied by us. The ‘Fetish’ magazine was actually a copy of Scarlet, an adult orientated publication for ladies, maybe described as a female equivalent of a ‘lad’s mag’ and is available in one or two of the major supermarket chains. Love Swings.... yes most of our rooms come with a Love Swing tucked away discretely under the bed in a box, there for our guests use at no extra charge!

With regard to the food, Jim my business partner was covering for me during this guest’s stay with us whilst I was on holiday. I have read our guest book and there are only positive comments about the food during Jim’s ‘tenure’ I can only apologize for the apparent poor standard of this guest’s meal. Jim did ask him if the steak was cooked to his liking (as the guest mentions in his review) and was told it was fine the guest also ate all of the food so we had no idea at all that he thought the steak was anything less than satisfactory. Obviously we would have bent over backwards to put things right had we been given the opportunity at the time. We only use Certified Aberdeen Angus rib eye steak and we have had frequent praise about the flavour and quality of our steaks. I can also confirm categorically that although I am sure that the Sainsbury’s crème brulee are delicious we do not buy ours there!

Our food is well prepared, tasty, unpretentious, interesting, varied, generally regarded as very good value and in keeping with the ethos of the hotel, served with a certain degree of informality. If you go to our website and click on the food tab you can download our menu. There are plenty of restaurant options within a 10 minute walk of the hotel some of which we recommend personally. I do hope that should our guests choose to eat out they do so without being influenced by this guest’s unfortunate experience. I should add that I have been cooking at the hotel since we opened last year and that we have now recruited a part time chef to help us cover all meal times.

It is also worth mentioning for the purpose of balance that this guest stayed and ate at the hotel with a colleague and Jim received an email from his colleague a couple of days after their stay, where, amongst other kind words he congratulated Jim on ‘doing a top job with the evening meal and breakfast’………

Roger Williams

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Reviewed 6 May 2008

A great place for a romantic/intimate weekend. Perfect for couples.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank boywho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel de Vie

Address: 22 Firgrove Hill, Farnham GU9 8LQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Surrey > Farnham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Farnham
Price Range: £99 - £135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel de Vie 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel de Vie is a relaxing adults-only Boutique Hotel/B&B with eight luxuriously-fitted bedrooms and is popular for both couples and Farnham business travellers throughout the week. The freshly-cooked breakfasts and fast, free wifi are included in the room rate. Only a short walk from the historic Farnham town centre and Farnham station, Hotel de Vie regularly wins TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for consistently being one of the highest-rated hotels in Farnham. The child-free policy gives a quiet and sophisticated elegance to the lounge area which is only open to residents, so guests can enjoy the private bar and restaurant and get away from the stresses of everyday life and work. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel De Vie Farnham, Surrey

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