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La Bella Vita
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Reviews (156)
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All reviewsmemory foam mattressair confour poster bedbig tvrestaurant doortill early hoursfridge and microwaveroom was spacioussun streetfull english breakfasthotel is centrally locatedwooden beamsthe wi fiwalk in showerlovely restaurantincluded breakfasttea coffee making facilities
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113 - 118 of 156 reviews
Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

I brought my husband here for a night to celebrate his birthday. The food is amazing! Laid out beautifully with a friendly owner and waiters at dinner time. Breakfast was freshly cooked.

The hotel is in the centre of the lovely town of Hitchin. The room was spacious with antique furniture, a kitchenette and a large flat screen TV.

Checkout at 10.30 was a but early although we got this moved to 11; and the waitress at breakfast was a bit too casually dressed.

I'd certainly go back for the food.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Sikalorama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

So many unpleasant things to say about the services, the place and the owner. First of all, I made a reservation, face to face with the owner Giorgio for a long stay (9 nights) and we got a deal. The room I booked was not available when we arrived. When we were about to pay the bill he increased the price. We booked a double bedroom with breakfast. Most of the nights just one person stayed over so one breakfast was taken, although we were aware of paying for two, it was not matter for us. Breakfast time is from 09.00-10.00. Only 1 hour. Pretty weird and short time. Why? Not too many guests? That's right. My mum had breakfast alone everyday. My daughter stayed over with my mum two nights. By the way, no proper breakfast available for children!!! For kids they offer coffee or tea! No cereals, no chocolate, but hundreds of one flavor of jam. They do not have any reception and it is most of the time closed. It was winter time and my mum had to wait on the street outside for them to open the dinner room, late by the way, when it was raining. They also closed earlier because they do not have enough guests?. One advice: if your card key does not work properly, do not bother the owner at all, even if there is no staff around to help you. Just be patient and wait for a few hours. They will appreciate that by not increasing the fare when you check out. Second night the hot water did not work, but do not bother the owner at any time, he will appreciate that by not increasing the fare. The bathroom is always frozen because the heater starts working when you walk in, so no time to get it warm enough. Smart technology! To end, if you try to make any complaint the owner will invite you to do not come back anymore, instead of listening to you and to try to give better service. Unprofessional staff and not conveniently dressed.
PS.- The carpet of the room vacuumed during the stay

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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5  Thank Paulova S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We've been to the restaurant several times, over a period of five years living in Hitchin. The last ever occasion was New Years Eve '12. I don't make a habit of posting online reviews but it's been ten months and I'm still feel peeved enough to find the motivation for this one.

We had always liked the food (to be fair, it is above average) in the past and had decided we could put up with the owners overtures: his constant regaling of us with dull and rather boastful tales about his life. (His own portrait hung in the main seating area tells you all you need to know.)

So we booked for New Year's Eve. I called and he took the booking, name and time were all we discussed. Job done. We get there in the evening and before us on the table are set menus for four courses. The price, about £130 for two before a tip, was higher than we'd usually go at this place but far from the issue. My girlfriend was seven months pregnant and not eating huge amounts. Two courses at this place was enough to leave us feeling very full. We asked the waitress for the normal menu or some options.

Subsequently, we were told — by the owner, 'via' the embarrassed waitress — that it was pretty much a take it or leave it deal. I called him over and asked him to explain. Firstly, there had been no mention of any set menu when we made the booking. Second, one of us was heavily pregnant and we were in a town of heaving, fully booked restaurants — what should we do? With a dismissive gesture and sneer he suggested "Maybe Zizzi across the road?" (Not sure if this was a swipe at us, or Italian franchise restaurants in general? Probably both.) We were furious but managed to get our own coats and leave without making too much of a scene (difficult but other diners were trying to enjoy NYE).

We resolved to go home and ordered a Chinese takeaway from Magic Wok, which was lovely — you should try it if you're in the area. La Bella Vita? Not so much. With the dated decor and his rambling stories (not to mention the obvious lack of any genuine concern for customers) it — unavoidably — feels like a sad little slice of the owner's past. And he really has no one else to blame for that but himself.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
10  Thank GTBurns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We booked 3 double rooms,( one being a disabled room ) at the hotel for two nights,we were told we could have 1 night at a reduced rate providing we had a meal in their restaurant to the value of at least £25 per person, which wasn't a problem as we were celebrating my son-in-laws 50th birthday.
On arriving at 4.30pm after a long journey we couldn't get into the hotel as there was no one about, so we rang the mobile number that was on the door of the restaurant 3 times and each time told that the number wasn't available, on the 4th time which by then it was 5pm the owner answered his phone and came and let us in, there was no apology about keeping us waiting and he took us to our disabled room which had a shower over a very high bath which I wouldn't be able to get in, so he took us to another room which we had to go up 4 steps to the door and 3 steps down into the room.
We had booked a table for eight in the evening and ordered our meals, there was no problem with the starters but on the main course one meal didn't come out until the rest of us had to start because ours was getting cold and another meal didn't come so we asked how long it would be and the waitress said 'oh another two minutes' when it came they had quickly rustled up a chicken stir fry, which the waitress just quickly plonked down on the table and quickly left with no apology one of our other party had ordered the same meal and this one bore no resemblance to it at all they had obviously forgotten the meal. We asked for the bill of which the owner sent her with, so we asked for him as she said they had took the service charge off and there shouldn't have been one. He came and we said we shouldn't have to pay for the one main course so he took the cost off the bill, still no apology for the poor meal. Before leaving the waitress came and asked if we wanted breakfast and if so it would be £5 per person of which we declined. The following day we found out that it should have been included in the price of the room, so we went to see the owner and he was making excuses that it was the waitresses fault, and he would reimburse us the next morning at breakfast. As we suspected he wasn't around at breakfast and when we asked the waitress who had also cooked our breakfast, for him she said he was still sleeping, so we didn't get the £30 back that we were due. We found Giorgio the owner unable to apologise and very arrogant and after paying him £600 for our stay we are very dissatisfied customers. Hitchin is a beautiful little town and we visit often as we have family there, but none of us will ever go back to La Bella Vita

    • Value
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5  Thank 133Jacqui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

When we arrived and shown to room it was beautiful, 4 poster bed, couldn't fault. Little did we know!
we was told when we booked that the room is £45 for first nights as long as we book a table and spend min of £25 per person and second night would be £65 but tried charging us £70 for each night, when going to the restaurant there was 8 of us and the starter was amazing but when it came to the mane I got mine and waited 10 minutes before another meal came out then a further 10 minutes for the vegetables, One of the party was completely forgotten about and it was rushed together and he received it 20 minutes later when everyone had almost finished there's, with no apology just 'Oh they made a mistake in the kitchen',
When we were given the bill the waitress said we have removed the gratuities for the mistake, Gratuities are Tips and you should not be made to pay tips, so we complained and said we feel that, the meal that was so late and wrong should of been free of which after some discussion they did reluctantly. They then came and asked if we were wanting breakfast in the morning and if we do it is £5 per person. Obviously trying to get the money back from the meal.
We were told the price for the room included breakfast.and also says on there website it is included we did not say anything until morning as we were not 100% sure and wanted to check. So we did not have breakfast the first morning, when confronted the owner blamed the waitress and said he would refund £5 per person when we leave. which would have been £30, On the morning we left the owner was know where to be seen and the waitress could not give it to us,

The first night we did not get to sleep until 3.00am and the following night we did not get to sleep until 3.30am as the hotel room was right opposite a pub/night club, The owner was not bothered and did not warn us about this, he just said we always put the young ones in these rooms, well now I know why! We are not even young we are in our 40's.
It was disgusting, the whole experience was awful and we will never be returning, and would not recommend!

Room Tip: Do not go!
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Laurels H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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