My wife and I have stayed at several HdV's in the past few years and have always enjoyed our stays - and so we had no doubts when we recommended and booked 2x rooms for the weekend, one for us and the other for my brother and his wife.
The front of house staff were great, very helpful and very professional - as we've come to expect at HdV.
The rooms were nice and well appointed (again as we've come to expect).
Then things became less like the high HdV standards that we've come to expect; the Bar was over crowded and so service was slow. Unusually there was no option of "Prosceco by the glass" - but frankly I could live with that. So I selected the English Sparkling Rose from the wine list, but they didn't have any, so I chose the English Sparkling White, which was very nice.
Dinner was very ordinary (although I was pleased that they held our table for us while my brother was stuck in traffic), and perhaps HdV in general needs to revamp it's thinking around dinner - it's become a bit samey.
The choice of wine on the wine list was generally very/over expensive - but we found a very nice Chablis "hidden away" in the right hand column of the food menu, and had a couple of bottles of that. Very nice! In all, Food at dinner on Friday was ordinary.
We retired back to the Bar which was now even more crowded. I ordered a glass of Chablis and was delivered a glass of Champagne!!
During the night we were all woken at 0140 by the Fire Alarm going off. I suspect that it was someone's idea of a joke, but very disturbing nonetheless, and nothing was mentioned by the staff the next morning - no apology or anything.
The next morning there was absolutely no hot water until about 0930 - again no mention by the staff, no apology, no nothing. I rang reception at 0830 to be told that the Boiler had gone out overnight - Hmmmm!!
We went to breakfast at 0930; it was painfully slow. The speed of service meant that we didn't finish until about 1100. My brothers Salmon and Eggs was cold (why do kitchens insist on adding cold Salmon to warm eggs??) We never did receive the extra toast that we'd asked for. We had to ask for more tea and coffee, we had to ask for our plates to be cleared so that we had room for the non-appearing toast.
We ate out on the Saturday night, and the front of house were again very helpful giving directions and arranging a Taxi for us.
When we returned there was still no Rose English Sparkling - so again we made do with the White =0)
At Sunday breakfast (after a hot shower) at our table it was volunteered to us that the service would be better than on the Saturday - a nice touch seeing as we hadn't actually complained on Saturday - it was supposed to be a relaxing break so on Saturday we chose to sit and watch rather than get stressed.
Unfortunately on Sunday breakfast service wasn't much better. It was still v slow, again we didn't receive the extra toast that we were offered, again we had to ask for extra tea and coffee ......
On the up side, my "full English" was very nice.
After breakfast again the front of house people were great, looked after our bags while we went out for last-minute shopping. They sorted out the complexities of sharing the payment of two bills equally across two rooms and associated bar/food bills, and they got our cars delivered to the front for us when we wanted to leave.
In essence; front of house 9 out of 10. Dinner 6 out of 10. Bar 7 out of 10. Breakfast experience 5 out of 10 at best (caveat: vg full English).
Altogether just a bit too close to "ordinary" when compared to our previous HdV experiences; Winchester, Tunbridge Wells, Poole, Bristol, Brighton, Henley on Thames ...
It'll make us think twice next time, which is a disappointment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This beautiful hotel in Cambridge city centre was a former University-owned building on Trumpington Street which has been transformed to enhance its many quirky architectural features.Forty one bedrooms and suites, some with private terraces, have been carved out of the former University-owned building, alongside our trademark bistro with the first Hotel du Vin open-style kitchen and curiously labyrinthine cellar bar. Dating back in part to medieval times, Hotel du Vin Cambridge boasts a cosy library, private events room perfect for special occasions, meetings and events. The bistro and bar are available for residents, locals and visitors alike at Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge. ... more less
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