I am only going to base my review on the Bistro du Vin, at the hotel in Bristol, purely because I have not stayed in the hotel.
Having lived in Bristol for the last 12 years, and being a foodaholic, I can quite happily say that the Bistro du Vin is by far and away the best restuarant in Bristol, both for the quality of food on offer and for the whole culinary / dining experience.
I will break this review down into sections to make it a bit more legible:
The Bristol Hotel du Vin is located in the Sugar House Building, which is a number of old warehouses daing back to the 1700's. It is right in the centre of Bristol, a short walk from the Hippodrome Theatre and everything else that Bristol city centre has to offer. This makes it an ideal venue if you are visiting for a short city break.
The old building has been sympathetically restored - the original brickwork is on display throughout, along with old artefacts from the building's days a sugar factory.
As stated above, the building has been very nicely restored. Although the old building is visible throughout, the interior has been designed in a very modern manner - all of the furniture is extremely comfortable. The modern interior contrasts nicely with the age-old exterior to give an extremely comfortable and welcoming ambience to the building.
The main reception is merely a small desk, from where they will direct you to the restaurant or to your room if you are staying.
The service at HDV is absolutely first class and I could not say a bad word about any of the staff. From the moment you turn up and give them your name, you do not ever have to ask anyone for anything again. The reception staff will transfer you to the bar staff, who in turn will transfer you to the restaurant staff - and back to the bar staff again if you are like me!
The staff will only show you to your table when you are ready - you are never rushed and are made to feel extremely comfortable and at home.
Most of the staff here are French, and they really do know their stuff when it comes to food and wine. They have an extensive sommelier team who will give you the best advice on what wine to have to compliment whatever it is you are eating.
I always think that the standard of the staff and the service goes a long way to deciding how goor or bad a restaurant is - the service here is first class in every way.
I'm not going to go into great deal about the food, strange as it may seem, all I will say is that it is absolutely fantastic. HDV is not one of these restuarants that serves you tiny portions of food on a massive plate with some fancy sauces on it - the portions are what I would call "proper sizes" and will actually fill you up, as opposed to just looking pretty.
My own personal favourite 3 course meal is devilled lambs kidneys on brioche toast, fillet steak and chips for main, and a creme brulee to finish off with.
Whatever your own personal taste, there will definitely be something on the menu for you - my partner is the fussiest eater ever, but she always loves it and never wants to leave!
DRINKS BAR / CIGAR BAR:
Before you go for your food the bistro has a lovely bar area attached to it, which in turn has a cigar humidor attached to it. Both the drinks bar and the cigar bar have the most extensive menus I have ever come across, at any restaurant or bar, anywhere in the world. In both cases they have an extensive collection of drinks and cigars, all the way from normal everyday products such as Hamlets and Smirnoff Ice, all the way up to the most expensive and unique drinks and cigars you can imagine. When I was there last the most expensive item on the menu was some rare cigar which cost £11,000 - I bought 2!
Again, in both bars the service is outstanding, they will happily talk you through any of their menu options and are very able to advise you on everything they have to offer.
There is no hiding from the fact that HDV is expensive. For a 3 course meal with drinks for 2 people you should probably expect to pay about £150, depending on what drinks you have. At certain times of year and certain times of the day they will do special offers, but these are never available on Friday or Saturday nights.
In my own opinion, as a special occasion the money is worth it. If you want to treat someone to a special occasion then this is the place to do it.
As I said at the beginning I cannot comment on the hotel - all I do know is that it is not a 5 star, apparently only due to the fact that they do not have a pool or leisure facility.
The restaurant is by far and away the best in Bristol - the only place I have been which comes close is Blanc's Brasserie, but even that falls short. The food is fantastic, the staff are brilliant, the building is lovely and the atmosphere is very relaxed. You may even be able to do some celebrity spotting - Piers Morgan, Posh and Becks, Gordon Ramsey and many others have all been known to call in here.
Score? 200 out of 10!
I stayed in the one in York. I can only sing praises to this place, although would avoid the bistro only because I always avoid the bistros at hotels normally due to over price. The hotel chain has a newsletter which alerts you to special promotions and it was through on of these that I secured a room for a night in summer for under one hundred pounds.
The staff are polite and although I am very used to being looked down one (I am a young traveler who normally has to flash cash before anyone will even talk to me), the staff here treated me with as much respect at the next person. They also went out of there way to provide a special treat that I had arranged and when the item I wanted was not avalible they telephoned the number I had provided and refused to provide any information to any one but me in case they ruined the surprise.
The bed was so comfy and everything was immaculatly clean. The pillows were heavenly and the tempreature of the room was perfect. The bathroom was a design dream (even though I was only in a standard room) and the shampoo and conditioner came in such large containers that I was using them for the following week.
I would recommend them for business travellers, young couples, families. In fact anyone who wants value for money and service which you just can't seem to find anymore.
Hotel du Vin in Harrogate is the first 5 star hotel to be opened in the area, a surprising fact given that it is apparently the 3rd most desirable place to live in the country!
Since opening it has become increasingly popular with locals, travellers and celebrities. The building was completely renovated and is now a very darkly lit but very atmospheric place to be. Harrogate is surrounded by protected land known as the Stray and as a result is one of the most picturesque places to visit, the hotel overlooks part of the Stray and their are fewer finer sights (especially when it's snowing).
The hotel bar is relatively small but the restaurant seats well over 100. The drinks are pricey but superb quality and after all it is a 5 star hotel. We often go there as a treat either for just drinks, dinner or on a few occasions to stay over (despite living about a mile away!)
There is a quiet room downstairs to chill out in, there is a pool table with a major slant on it (you have been warned!), and an incredible cigar room.
As for the rooms, we have stayed in the most expensive and the cheapest rooms at this hotel. We booked the function room for my 30th birthday and everything was done with such class. That night we stayed in the Dom Perignon suite, you have special key to use in the lift which goes to the top floor where the suite is. The bed was at least 7 feet wide and could have slept 10, there are his and hers baths with a view of the stray and a walk in shower that would house a rugby team (not that I would want that!). As a treat it was superb and worth the money (about £300 a night). On other occasions we have stayed in a room overlooking the rear of the hotel which again was nice and relatively cheap (£60). More recently we had booked dinner there and had also booked a cheapish room, on arrival we were upgraded immediately to a better room overlooking the stray. It pays to let them know when booking a room that you will be dining with them; you are more likely to get an upgrade.
The food is excellent although as you'd expect you don't get massive portions but you can tell it's all locally sourced. The cheese board is worth trying. Decent meal for 2 with wine will set you back about £70.
All in all a fantastic hotel that really makes you feel special
Although the food in all the hotels of this chain is of the same quality, the same cannot be said about the rooms in Poole or the location of the hotel.
The bedding is always perfect but some of the bathrooms frankly do not live up to the hotel chain's reputation. Sometimes you get lucky and have a bathroom bigger than the bedroom and other times it's quite pokey and uninviting.
The layout of the hotel is also quite higgldy piggldy and some of the rooms are actually on the ground floor directly on the street, which isn't particularly cosy and we had to ask to be relocated. It is also quite hard to find your room until you are used to it, the layout is really very confusing!
The centre of Poole, which is a stone's throw away from the hotel is *very* down market and the Poole harbourside also attracts many tourists, which doesn't fit the general clientèle of the hotel.
The staff as always are very stylish and most pleasant and the food is of the same high quality we have come to expect of this brand. It's a shame they don't give discounts for repeat customers!
This is a review of the Hotel du Vin in Bristol.
This is centrally located (5 minutes from the Hippodrome) in Bristol in a beautiful old warehouse that has been converted. Brilliant conversion keeping old exposed brickwork but marrying it up with loads of glass etc - really nicely done.
The rooms are great - VERY comfortable beds, a great great shower and everything spotlessly clean. think crisp white linen and beautiful wooden bed frame.
The food is fantastic. Breakfast outstanding - dinner menu brilliant (think sea bass on a bed of puy lentils, rare rib of roast beef in a red wine jus etc. etc.) - none of this is cheap but it is luxurious.
Great bar area with huge leather sofas and a cocktail menu to die for - they also have a small courtyard area outside, lovely library for functions for an after dinner relaxing drink. The sommalier knows the wine menu so well it is brilliant; you will always get wine to complement your meal perfectly.
Obviously the wine list is fab; it's what they do, and the service is immaculate from sommalier to chambermaid.
The hotel is located so you can "do" the city centre including @ bristol (the science museum), the now trendy harbourside development, the imax cinema - if its still open - and it is only a stone's throw to the cathedral - brilliant traditional choir - go and sit in a 5.15 evensong every weekday if you can.
Expect to pay £150 for a double room for the night. Oooh so worth it if you are looking for a bit of luxury.
They are aiming for the luxury market - elegant classic yet quirky, unique and not stuffy or old-fashioned. The food is modern french-style bistro and top quality, the rooms are lovely without a hint of chintz.
This is easily the best hotel in Bristol and has to be one of the best in Europe (seriously its that good!) The hotel is a series of converted warehouses from the 1700's which have been converted into "loft style" bedrooms. The rooms are fairly modern and minimalist with lots of exposed brick walls, wood and white cotton. Each room is named after and sponsored by a vineyard or winehouse and i stayed in one of the champagne suites (well worth the extra) called the Pol Roger. This was a duplex room with the bathroom on a split level 2nd floor terrace. The staff were really friendly and the restaurant was out of this world, with what must be one of the world's most comprehensive wine lists. The sommelier will recommend the perfect wine for your meal which will top of a wonderful stay in an awesome hotel.