This is a difficult review to write. HdV Winchester has so many exceptional attributes, but, like in many modern hotels, management seems to have ignored some of the basics.
We arrived a couple days before New Year's Eve--the second half of our Winter holiday, 10 days in total. Consequently, we had a significant amount of luggage. We were shown to our Superior room and, although it seemed a bit small, it was charming--spotless, thoughtfully decorated, and welcoming. It was only when I opened the wardrobe door, we realised there were going to be problems. The hanging space available for clothing was no more than 18 inches wide-Just about enough for our winter coats. At least four times this much space was dedicated to a fridge, a safe, and a compartment for ironing board and iron. Admittedly, except for the latter (which could have been available through reception) these items were welcome, but the fridge was perhaps twice as big as it needed to be and probably could have been positioned elsewhere. As we were to discover throughout our stay, the staff was extremely responsive and within minutes, Josh had come up with a couple rickety rolling racks for the rest of our clothing (I surmised they've had this problem before). While this solved the storage problem, the instant transformation from cozy bedroom to M & S Clearance section did nothing for our mood or the charm we had felt upon arrival.
As we were going out for dinner, my wife announced she was going to tidy her makeup, then almost immediately added she was having great difficulty seeing herself in the mirror. This perhaps had something to do with the fact there was no overhead lighting in the room or the bath and the table lamps dotted around were, as always these days, fitted with anemic low energy bulbs, The result was not a million miles away from operating in a cave. Again, Josh came up with another lamp and, although this did little to dispel the gloom, the effort was appreciated.
That's the bad news--on the positive side, the GM, Grant and his staff were absolutely superb throughout our visit. We never saw a face that wasn't smiling and absolutely nothing was too much trouble. We had booked the New Year's Eve gala dinner and found it to be excellent with a delicious menu, attentive staff and a talented band for entertainment after dinner and into the small hours.
I would be remiss in this review if I didn't call attention to some of the people who made our visit a success in spite of the logistical challenges: The two Joshes in the bar, the serving staff, particularly at breakfast, and the talented team at reception all deserve recognition for keeping the standard and the mood of the hotel at a consistently high level. It was these people who bumped my rating up from average to very good. They were delightful.
We may visit Winchester again at some point and would consider returning to the HdV, but only if we could be assured of adequate storage facilities and a room with sufficient lighting to see what's going on (and each other). We don't think this is too much to ask.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Du Vin And Bistro
- Hotel Du Vin Winchester