More about Hotel du Vin
The Weak Link in the Chain
Having stayed at three of the other Hotel du Vin hotels (Bristol, Harrogate, and Brighton), we booked ourselves into this hotel expecting more of the same, fabulous service that we've come to rely on from this unique chain of chic, boutique hotels.
Sadly, we were very disappointed with our stay at Henley for a number of reasons: our 'large' double was tiny; the view from our window suggested building site rather than old brewery; and we were rushed through our evening meal (45 mins for three courses - phew!) without an opportunity to soak up any of the ambience that makes Hotel du Vin, well, Hotel du Vin.
Following our unsatisfactory stay, I felt compelled to write a letter to HdV HQ and am pleased to report that the response came in the form of a complimentary meal at our local HdV (Bristol). Thankfully, our experience here proved to be a welcome return to form.
As other reviewers have suggested, Hotel du Vin, Henley is (at least at the time of our stay) not representative of the rest of the chain - book with caution.
good overall, but unlucky with room
HdV has quite a following and is doing many things very well. Unfortunately I couldn't get the Studio Suite overlooking the Thames as I'd wanted and had to settle for a Studio in the main building which affected my experience. The decor/space/amenities were excellent. (The bed/pillows were so good it actually seemed to sort out a shoulder problem I'd been having). The monsoon shower was fantastic - and the bathroom in general excellent. Others have commented on the toilet - it is in a cubicle in some rooms with a door as the bathroom is open plan to the room. It's not a problem - no different in effect to a normal ensuite. But.
The room I got (Mount Langhi Ghiran) overlooks what is a building site. There is extensive work going on (scaffolding + crane) to an adjacent building. There is also a ventilation/extraction unit which goes on and off (noisily) at regular intervals 24/7. Since the room
aircon was laid back to say the least, it was actually cooler to turn it off and open the windows so you had the choice of warm and muggy or cool and noisy. There is also a pipe which has been mentioned elsewhere which runs waste from the room above. Whilst not especially noisy it isn't particularly nice at 1am. Other than this I experienced no neighbour noise.
both check in and check out was slow and not esp warm (partic in contrast to a more standard hotel I'd just come from). Despite warning them that I might arrive early but was happy to go off until my room was ready so long as I could leave myc ar, they seemed rather miffed. In the event my room was available. It was 2.45 pm so really should have been). Valet parking (which you should arrange before you arrive to be sure of a space) is £15, not £10 as stated on their site. However they did mention this when I rang to book. All in all a somewhat trying experience. You do want the place to be better esp at the rates they charge. Compared with Malmaison - part of the same group they don't seem to have nailed the hospitality side of the service. I would however give Henley one more chance if I could get a room without the problems cited above, and in cooler weather.
If going it's prob best to splash out on a room with a river view and avoid rooms like MLG for the time being.
We stayed in the Ruinart Suite which was lovely . On two floors and with a bath on the terrace outside, it was definitely worth the price and extremely reasonable compared to the type of room you can get for the same cost at other hotels. We arrived early but this was not a problem and we were shown directly to our room. We were also able to check out late on departure which was also great. We found the staff to be excellent and the service we received could not be faulted. The meal in the bistro was also great, and again we found the bistro staff to be very good. Overall a very pleasant stay and we would definitely like to try the other hotels in the HdV chain.
We arrived at this hotel after getting slightly lost round the one way system in Henley-On-Thames. We were greeted by a very nice receptionist who organised for someone to park our car for us- nice touch.
We headed up through the hotel to our Ruinart Suite. The Suite really blew us away, the attention to detail was superb, the giant bed which was very difficult to leave, the great DVD collection and HD TV, the massive rain shower, the out-door bath, the indoor bath...it was all exactly what we were after for a weekend away.
We ate in the bistro in the evening and the food was delicious. If there was one negative, it would have to be that we felt slightly rushed when eating and we could have done with the meals being paced out better.
To sum up, I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing, romantic get-away. We only stayed for one night but we found the staff to be friendly, talkative, personable and very helpful.
We will definately be going back!
Room interesting / food and staff appauling
This hotel is impressive style wise.... the architects/ designers has done an amazing job !
We had the Dom Perignon suite for the night which was expensive ( £450)... but exhausting as over 4 floors ...
Both sides of the room over looked a building site and our windows were covered with builders dust not excatly a special view....
The room design wise was great - but not really a cozy room to stay in..
We ate in the Bisto and the service and food were terrible .... we ordered fairly simple bisto food - the soup was Ok , but the Lamb shank was definatly one of those boil in the bag versions, and my souffle was flat and rubbery... the cheese plate at £7.50 contained 3 pieces of cheese you could see thru and 4 minute biscuits - at that point we gave up ! We are not huge foodies but this is crazy - we could of had a better meal in ANY of the restaurants locally ! Saying all this the atmosphere in the restaurant and bar are great !
I wandered to the back of house and saw that this is not a full kitchen - so guess they are doing a final prep job on pre- prepared food !
Breakfast is not worth taking - carton orange juice , a few cereals and a couple of bake at home crossaints! The full cooked breakfast is a standard no choice affair - and the scrambled egg tasted ,well of nothing - I am fairly convinced it was that egg mix stuff....
So stay at the hotel , enjoy the amazing beds and rooms - but eat at the local resturants if you want to eat well
A perfect way to spend the weekend
I regularly stay at the Birmingham Hotel du Vin on business and recently decided to treat myself and my girlfriend to a weekend at their hotel in Henley. The Birmingham hotel is superb, and Henley is no different!!
We booked one of their studio suites Comtes de Champagne, which we were told by the receptionist that showed us to our room in was Taittinger’s top-notch bubbly!! The room was amazing, split over two levels with the bathroom and lounge area upstairs, it even features a bath outside on a balcony with fantastic views over the river…….perfect to enjoy alongside a bottle of the aforementioned champers!!
We arrived quite late on the Friday and decided to just hit the hay, probably one of the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, very comfy bed with snuggly feather duvet. Breakfast was great both mornings, as with the Birmingham hotel they offer cooked to order full cooked breakfast, a rarity these days as in most hotels all you get is a buffet where everything has been sitting out for half an hour before you get it!! My girlfriend is vegetarian so unfortunately was unable to savour such a treat but was impressed by an amazing selection of fresh fruits,yogurts, home made granola bars, muesli etc.
We spent the day exploring the town which before going back to the hotel to relax in an area called the snug, filled with comfy sofas and a bookcase full of books on wine,cigars and cheese…….my 3 favourite things!! Dinner on Saturday night was excellent, I chose the confit lamb tongue to start and chargrilled calfs liver for main, my partner had a watermelon, beetroot and feta cheese salad to start which even I envied and a stilton soufflé for her main course and the sommelier recommended 2 exquisite bottles of wine to enjoy over the course of the evening. The selection of desserts was very impressive but by this point I was ready to retire back to the snug for my Armagnac and a cigar!!
Would I go back, OF COURSE!! Beautiful hotel, brilliant food, amazing wines and the thing that really makes hotels great, the knowledgeable, helpful and friendly staff.
Nice hotel, nice town, good main courses, pretty bad service
First impressions when you arrive are very good. Nice converteed brewery. The big double room very nice with a bathroom on a seperate floor. Nice details such as free magazines, tea, coffee, toiletries, ect. Nicely decorated.
It is noisy as it is an old building so wouldn't recommend it for a quiet weekend.
restaurant looks very nice and the main courses we had were beauutiful, Service was bad- never brought a dessert we ordered, the red wine was cold, the waiter smelt of BO and they forgot to bring a dessert we ordered. The truth is that it didn't ruin the night and if anything was quite amusing. But a £80 it should run better than this.
Anyhow, overall, very nice if you have a voucher to stay there but at £180 a night, not sure if i would go back.
Enjoyable stay at HDV Henley
We booked a 2 night stay in one of their 'big double' rooms at the HDV through Mr & Mrs Smith (£145 per room per night). The location is a little hard to access with a tight entrance into the dropping off area. However we were greeted by a staff member and our bags brought into the hotel before the car was valet parked (£7.50 per day). We were slightly disappointed that our Mr & Mrs Smith benefit (bottle of champagne) wasn't offered and had to be asked for, which is slightly embarassing.
Our room was 'Hush Heath', a fantastic room fitted with a great free standing bath in an alcove overlooking the inner courtyard. The room was nicely decorated with king bed, huge bathroom with a lovely powerful monsoon shower and tons of 'adult size' toiletries from Arran Aromatherapy. Whilst the rooms have walls about 2ft thick, we did however notice some noise from the corridor under the door.
The first evening we dined in the Bistro where the food was superb quality, good sized portions, if a little expensive. Extensive wine list (as you would expect from a Hotel du VIN!), but again, quite expensive. It was around £85-£90 for a three course dinner for two persons with wine.
We found all the staff to be courteous and very helpful, especially at reception and the valet parking works well. In conclusion I would return again and recommend it to others.
Disappointing Sunday Lunch
My partner and I have just had Sunday Lunch in restaurant. It was half full, the staff had to be asked 3 times for bottle of mineral water, Maitre D had old stain on jacket, waited long time between courses - sat at 2.00 left at 4.30. We were offered other peoples meals 3 times, had to catch our tea as it went past us offered to other diners. Were given wrong tea, our bill was wrong - it missed off food and only charged for drinks. Pleasant large room Restaurant, staff - some smiley but not managed and lacked direction. We live In Henley - have lunched/dined here 4 times since Hotel opened. Regret we have probably given up and won't go back now.
Poor Sunday Service
Having just read the review of someone who visited the same day as us (18th Feb) I feel compelled to write. We were out visiting Henley and popped in the Hotel du Vin for an afternoon snack. We have visited Winchester HDV many times for dinner and it has always been surperb. We also stayed at Hotel du Vin in Bristol which was lovely. I cannot tell you how disappointed we were with the service in Henley - it was a real let down compared to the other establishments. The restaurant was pretty empty. We waited for a long time to get a small plate of chips which came with an inedible dip. Weak coffee was served and when we complained this was dealt with a shrug of the shoulders.
Sorry to say that HDV need to take a look at what is going on in Henley and sort it out.
Hotel du Vin, Henley
Preparations for the Regatta.
The Wind in the Willows gallery.