"Is this the right place?" my wife asked as we arrived outside the Hotel de Vie. From the outside, it's an unprepossessing large suburban house. As soon as you enter, you realise that you're in for something special!
You enter from the small car park. They only have room for about ten vehicles, but that's enough as they only have eight guest bedrooms. When you enter, there's a well-stocked bar to your right, and a long dining area opening out into a sort of Living Room at the far end. The floors are wooden, and the furnishings are simple, elegant, but opulent. There are rather superb photographs, paintings and drawings hung throughout the downstairs.
We stayed in the "Victorian" room - each bedroom is themed. The furnishings were tasteful and of exceptionally high quality. The bed linen was highest quality Egyptian cotton and the eiderdown was feather-filled. There were four rather luxurious pillows provided on the King-sized bed. The room has a capacious wardrobe, a dressing table and bedside tables. All the furnishings are of high quality and in good repair. The bathroom was equipped with a large bath and an extremely powerful shower.
The chap who designed and equipped this hotel had obviously stayed in many hotels himself, and had decided to eliminate all the minor annoyances that we all usually suffer. Everything works flawlessly. There's FREE high-speed wi-fi (extra in many establishments - often very expensive), and every room has a direct-dial telephone: you can give the number out and receive calls directly to your room. Outgoing telephone calls from your room are free to 01, 02 03, and 07 numbers for calls up to 30 minutes! You can even call mobile phones at no charge! Their rates for international calls are not extortionate either (unlike most hotels).
Breakfast is included in the room rate, and the staff ask you to "book" your required time so that they can have everything ready (freshly cooked) for you. They also take your order for breakfast, but I wouldn't suggest straying far from either the traditional "Full English" or the Smoked Salmon options - both are superb!
Tea and coffee are "serve yourself" affairs, and they have a very wide selection of teas and coffees to choose from. The beverage facilities are available - free of charge - in the bar area 24 hours a day. If you fancy a hot chocolate at 3am, you can indulge yourself! There is also a fridge there with milk and fruit juices - again just help yourself to whatever you want.
Beside the bar, there's a table with snacks - nuts, crisps and sweets - which you are invited to take. These are also free. We had a beer and a wine upon arrival (I had the wonderful local beer and my wife had a glass of superb Sauvignon Blanc). With these we had crisps and were surprised and pleased to discover that these snacks were free!
The attitude of the owner of this hotel is a refreshing change from the norm. He (and his wife) don't want to charge for every little thing - they want you to enjoy the hotel and recommend it to your friends. It's not a cheap stay (when compared to a Bed and Breakfast), but it's warm, welcoming, stylish, quiet and friendly. It is undoubtedly one of the best hotels I've stayed in - it's not huge or grand or gilded, but it's just a lovely place to visit, and so different from the usual that you'll certainly want to return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel de Vie is a small boutique hotel of 8 en-suite rooms, just a short walk from the historic Farnham town centre, Farnham station, and a host of other local attractions. Hotel de Vie, Farnham, provides comfortable accommodation, with great staff, freshly cooked to order breakfasts, powerful showers, and lots of free snacks, hot drinks and treats. Affordable luxury in a friendly and relaxed environment that many guests keep coming back to. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel De Vie Farnham, Surrey