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“Not living up to the potential ....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel du Vin & Bistro

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Hotel du Vin & Bistro
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Church Street, Birmingham B3 2NR , England (Ladywood)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #43 of 138 Hotels in Birmingham
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Not living up to the potential ....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

"Afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin?" "Yes please - sounds great.".
Pulling up in front of the building and all looks good. The disappointment starts when I try and find my party. The service desk is hidden in the darkness - perhaps that is why they didn't consult their bookings and instead directed me to the bar and not the resturant. This set the tone for the rest of the experience.
The venue is good but the service is poor. If afternoon tea was stretching because there were a number of groups in then they need more staff. Overall seven people - fve of whom were having the same thing - seemed to be too much for them.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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712 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012 via mobile

Very centrally located in heart of Birmingham walking distance to lots of shops and bars. Entrance a bit dark with poor lighting. Lobby v rustic. Room enormous and bathroom like a ballroom! Lots of food and drink options but do make a reservation! No lights on when entered room so not best welcome given wet and dark winter day! Great magazines but tv channels v limited for such a hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Preston, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

This hotel is fantastic, both for staff and food. We can't praise it enough. We had a meal in the resturant on Sunday Evening. We both had the kidney starter, steak and then crepes with orange.All courses excellent. Can't wait to go again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I can't quite put my finger on it, but HdV Birmingham just doesn't work. Okay, I will put my finger on it, if you read on...

The quality feel and character of other hotels in the chain is lacking in this reincarnation. And I'm a huge fan of HdV normally. Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Poole and Cambridge. All great. This one, however, feels like an hurried low budget bolt-on. It's a bland facsimile of the more original and established hotels.

So what has gone wrong? Location-wise, Birmingham sticks to the formula perfectly well - conversion of an interesting historical building in a convenient towncentre locale. It's an old eye-hospital. Maybe this has some bearing on the somewhat gloomy atmosphere, but I want to stick to the facts. And so to my first moan.

The lighting at this hotel is dreadful, both in the public areas and in (my) room. The building itself is potentially quite elegant, but the natural features it has to offer are not enhanced by skilful lighting. Rather, its slightly dour feel is made worse. A chilly unwelcoming lobby with reception desk tucked out of sight and all the paperwork to be done in about 2watts of lighting from two inadequate standard lamps on the desk. Style over function, except not even that stylish.

In my room on the 2nd floor (the Louis Guntrum if you are interested to know), there was just one smallish window in the corner that was part of a lightwell. So the room was dark. The decor was demur muted colours as usual and a great kingsized bed (credit where credit is due). The ceiling was very high with just three little spots, having little effect. The problem was that the lighting in the room itself was so inadequate, I could barely read the literature left there. Admittedly the bulb in one of the bedside lamps had blown. So I was one lamp down. But the shades on them were dark, and with the new low energy bulbs - it was just too dark altogether. I had to remove a shade from the remaining lamp so that the uncovered bulb allowed me to read more comfortably. (I put it back afterwards. I know I could have phoned reception to have a bulb brought up, but I'm there to relax and cocoon, not to be housekeeping.)

The Bistro is 'on formula' - quite similar in decor to TWs HdV, but adding nothing new in character or specific to the history of Birmingham. Dried hops adorned around the windows? Hops are part of Kent's history and appropriate in the Tunbridge Wells hotel, but Birmingham's? Not so sure. Surely a little more imagination and attention to detail would give Birmingham's hotel its own proud identity.

The artwork throughout the hotel is abysmal - really poor. Bland framed prints, all quite small. Dotted around in a perfunctory way. No original oil paintings or murals here. Dire.

The bar was okay - nothing remarkable, but the barmen were nice enough. In fact, generally the staff at the hotel were fine. Although a manager in the reception area twice rudely interrupted the lady on Reception who was talking to me as I collected the key to my room after my evening out. He didn't want her to talk to me, he wanted her to answer the phone, although another person on reception could have done so, maybe even he could have?! It seemed to me he had his priorities wrong as surely the personal touch with the customer is more the traditional HdV quality service.

Another little gripe? Oh, okay then. The newspaper I ordered for the next morning did not turn up. I asked for it at Reception as I wanted to read it at breakfast. They kept me standing there whilst someone was sorting it out, until I gave up and asked them to bring it in to the Bistro where breakfast was being served. At this point I can breathe a sigh of relief and say that the breakfast was up to the usual high standard. Such a pleasure, the HdV brekkie.

A brief mention of the glass ceiling atrium with its conservatory furniture. Terrible. A wasted opportunity to make this space fabulous, but the wicker furniture floats around lost in this vast chilly space. To work it needs warming up - some kind of open fire, sumptuous sofas and gorgeous lighting to create an intimacy which is totally lacking. Don't get me started on the feeble fake plants hanging apologetically from a ceiling ledge. What the hell are they doing in a HdV? Disgraceful.

Checking out I had no problems, but I had to wait ages for two people ahead of me who both had issues with their bill. I can't comment on that as mine was straightforward.

So that's it. A rather uninspiring HdV experience. Such a shame and a big disappointment for a huge fan such as myself. Having said all that, perhaps HdV still compares well with other hotels in Birmingham city centre as even a 50% functioning HdV can be better than many hotels. A few changes could really bring this hotel into line with it's superior brothers and sisters.

I hope this sick patient gets the treatment it deserves!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Lichfield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012 via mobile

Stayed here in April and I thought its about time I wrote a review on this place. I had a positive experience as the staff were lovely and we were looked after well, the decor was beautiful as well. I enjoyed the afternoon tea and I shall return when I'm in Birmingham again

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Stayed in this hotel for one night on a business trip. The decor was very elegant - with a lovely atrium that you can have coffee in.

Bedroom was nicely decorated and a good size. All the rooms named after wines. I was put in a room with a Juliet balcony originally, but it I think the previous patron had been smoking in it, so they moved me to another room with no quibbles.

Bathroom was brilliant - with a huge rainforest shower in the bath and decorated with dramatic tiles.

We had a few drinks in the 'Snug?' and then dinner in the restaurant. Great wine list (unsurprisingly) and good food too.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had a room for the night as we were eating close by and decided to make a weekend out of it. The room we had was a good size with the bed very nice. The bathroom was massive, almost as big as the bedroom, the monsoon shower for me was great, the wife was not so sure has she did not want to wash her hair two days in a row. We had a slight issue with the blind in the bathroom but a call to the reception and this was soon sorted.

We had breakfast the next morning and this was very enjoyable, service was quick and clean, checkout was handled efficiently and we were not kept hanging around.

A great hotel.

Room Tip: If you can, upgrade to the executive room, might be extra, but the size of the room is better.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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: Church Street, Birmingham B3 2NR , England
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Birmingham > Ladywood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Birmingham
#16 Luxury Hotel in Birmingham
#34 Family Hotel in Birmingham
#34 Romantic Hotel in Birmingham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel du Vin & Bistro 4*
Number of rooms: 66
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Vin And Bistro

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