The Montpellier Chapter Hotel
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Car park cost £51.40 On the M11...A10...A505 (Royston, Baldock)...A1...Hatfield Tunnel...M25 Stopped at the Oxford "Services" -(Starbucks, Burger King etc); we shared a BLT sandwich, mum had coffee and I had an iced frappé = $20 - nothing like having a "captive" audience! There are mobile food and drink vans at road sidings that are on the side of the road ...
Yes I have two days off, then am moving flats, and then another day off so when I should be thinking about packing and cleaning, I'm thinking of trying to fit in one more quick trip before it all. I've been itchy sitting around in cafes for the past three/ four days struggling to sort out my life by searching accommodations, flights, and everything else for my upcoming few months. Today around midday after checking what I'd be to catch a train to Swansea in ...
... gave the house tremendous character.
For dinner we walked 3 doors down to the "Prince of India" where the meal was so good the first night that we ended up having dinner there 3 times in a row! It was packed solid every night--and they ran a take out service simultaneously!
During our short visit to the Cotswolds we had time to visit and explore Stow-on-the-Wold (aka SOTW) and 3 other villages ...
What a day!
Last things first. We spent almost nine hours watching 12 acts - some solo, some ensemble, playing everything from slide guitar to the saw, with ukuleles in each - all completely amazing. Nine hours on the edge of the seat. The Town Hall was completely packed with a thousand people who were gob-smacked, including Max and me.
I won't bore you with ...
... and it's tenses, past, present, and gender related un vs une, is very confusing. What makes something masculine opposed to feminine. Like a cigarette, girl or boy? Un or une? Le or la or les? Enough of French lesson, I'm confusing myself. Then I've been invited to lunch by Tor and her friend Karen (policewoman who retired who's do we went to few weeks ago) at the Hilton - Puckrup, so I head out there. Goodness "Ladies that lunch" - love it!! Back in to pick kids up, then into ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Montpellier Chapter Hotel Cheltenham
Good value if you get the bigger room
I didn't really care for this hotel when I first arrived. I had heard it was trendy, eclectic, shabby chic -- does that mean that someone just slapped together some interesting stuff and hoped for the best? Sounds like my own, amateur approach to decorating. If there was a designer sensibility at work here, I couldn't spot it.
Our bedroom was on the first floor and had a bay window; I think it was one of the larger rooms in the hotel. Plusses: the bathroom was pretty good, and for once, I had decent lights for reading.
The hotel grew on me, though. For 95 quid a night, it seemed a relative bargain. The staff were friendly (a bit too relaxed. When I ordered a sandwich in the conservatory, the young man actually sat down with me while I placed the order. Maybe I should have bought him a drink or something!)
I don't think this is a destination hotel, but if you're in Cheltenham, you could certainly do worse. The hotel is well located, within walking distance of the main shopping district and some good restaurants.
Vastly improved under new management.
The management changed some 18 months ago and it shows!
A Mr Maguire is now in control, he previously managed a Michelin starred establishment, and there is now a vastly improved level of positive synergy between quality and cost.
I fully agree with a previous reviewers comments:-
Stay there, you won't be sorry!
Extremely uncomfortable night
I stayed one night in a single room (No 119) which was very small and much smaller than equivalently priced hotels. More importantly however was the constant noise resulting from fixtures on the outside wall relating to either heating or air conditioning or some form of electro-mechanical installation. This noise was intolerably loud and continued throughout the night. indeed one could detect a resonant vibration on the outward facing wall created by the noise. For £75.00 this was very poor value.
Hotel of the new generation
We were intrigued by the prospect of the Kandinsky and looking forward to seeing it it matched it's hype. It not only matched our expectations, but exceeded them. This is a great little hotel in the chic and walkable Montpellier district of Cheltenham, only minutes from the centre. After the standard service at 4 stars around the world, the terrifyingly-trendy style of this place comes as a surprise - but after a couple of minutes this soon became very welcoming and relaxing. The staff were uniformly friendly, attentive and anxious to please, but managed to make it look effortless due to the chilled ethos of the place.
Another recommendation is the decor. The bedrooms are clean, tidy and comfortable. Our's was not the largest, and was extremely hot for a humid Summer weekend. A fan helped, but some would complain about the lack of AC. However, downstairs the decor is characterised by careless elegance and a dishevilled chic; the sofas, chairs, and tables that fill the inter-connected network of rooms were inviting and relaxing. The conservatory was a particularly nice spot. Unlike some hotels, these communal spaces were inviting and comfortable - making up for the smaller room we had upstairs.
The evening restaurant / morning breakfast room also continued this theme, with attentive staff and understated decor. We had an antipasta selection for the evening, and the pizzas looked good too. The breakfast was good, and (a MAJOR bonus this), the staff were not tidying the food away 10-15 minutes before the end fo the stated breakfast times... and stragglers were welcomed in rather than scorned and refused!
In contrast to other reviews here, we were on the second floor and heard nothing of the club in the basement. Overall, although this is an extremely and self-consciously trendy place -targetted squarely at today's zietgeist and its fad for boutique hotels- this place manages to pull it off and we enjoyued our stay greatly. We'd return without a moment's hesitation and, indeed, will search out others in this chain.
A mix of good and bad
The decor is definitely eclectic. The staff are friendly but very laid back. I checked into a double room which was on the top floor but wasn't satisfied with the small bedrom space or small double bed. Layout on the top floor seems to be tight - possibly only to the rear of the hotel? I was changed (without much ado) to a better room on the second floor. Same decor but much roomier with a very large double bed.
Restaurant was booked out 'til late but we (party of 6) were offered a lovely room as an alternative and service and food were good - apart from the latte coffees which were very weak (as were their replacements). Prawn starter didn't appear fresh, although presumably it was from a freezer.
Draught lager in the bar was gone off the first time we tried (rather odd for a 4 star). Another keg was ok.
Other negatives? One of our bath towels was distinctly wet. It hadn't been changed prior to our arrival.
Overall, the staff slip up in a number of (small) places but it is a very friendly and relaxed hotel with decent food.
Exceptional - Beyond Words!!!!
Kandinsky - As good as being HOME - some 3,500 miles away from home.
I stayed at the Kandinsky in February 2004. Unfortunately the first 3 days were spent being ill - very ill. And this is where my review begins. The Kandinsky staff - upon learning of my illness - took every care and thought into making me as comfortable as possible -cold cloths, comfy bathrobe, breezy fan and not to mention the ice water at my bedside - and checking up on me until they were sure I was feeling better - I cannot say thank you enough for your kindness!!!
****************************************** When I was back to feeling myself - I was able to experience the Kandinsky's
**Exceptional Food ***Exceptional Atmosphere ****Exceptional Staff *****Exceptional Stay
I'm so glad to have found such a treasure to add to my travel diary and look forward to many more stays at the Exceptional Kandinsky.
Jennifer Toronto, Canada
Cheltenham girl born and bred - London girl of late, I've sampled some of the best hotels in both places, but nothing has been, or I imagine ever will be quite like Kandinsky... The louge/bar area is just a breathtaking but totally chilled out joy. Filled with gently chattering 25's-45's, the atmosphere is laid back and relaxed, giving a feeling more akin to the tail end of a dinner party in the early hours than that of a hotel lounge at 5 in the afternoon. The bar comprises a low table and what looks like 2 wardrobes as drinks cabinets, and the staff, young, friendly, helpful, but possibly a little slow - though it was terrible busy.. An elegant mix of antique sofas, armchairs, rugs and chandeliers with the high ceilings, wood floors, guilt mirrors and huge palms brings a tangibility and immediacy to the term, 'shabby chic'. Kandinsky is a must for anyone who... no, just anyone.
Full of promise, but failed to deliver
The hotel is centrally located, surrounded by magnificent Regency architecture, and with its own carpark. The quirky modern decor, with marionettes in the reception, informal bar, and tasteful furnishings make this an interesting as well as comfortable venue.
The spacious bedrooms with small, but adequate, bathrooms are delightful. All have attractive coir matting, rugs, and top-quality bedlinen; and there are king-sized beds available.
The main dining-room is reasonable, but a little stark for an intimate soiree. However, there is a lovely private dining-room for small parties, adjacent to the bar. What a shame that this is directly over the discotheque and the room reverberates to the bass and drums at weekends, making conversation uncomfortable. Light sleepers may well be kept awake into the small hours as most of the bedrooms are located above the club.
Generally English hotels do not offer memorable culinary experiences.
Our party of eight was forced to have the same set menu, with no choice of starters and puddings, and only two main courses from which to choose.There are many better restaurants in Cheltenham than the Kandinsky's.
The staff are young and very pleasant, but also laidback. An entire round of eight drinks was ordered and never served! Those in a rush should avoid this hotel. Checking-out is unbelievably slow, with long queues and a distinct lack of efficiency.
Sadly this hotel has all the right ingredients, but the management (which was not in evidence during our stay) is clearly weak.
This is the perfect hotel for a romantic getaway with great food, service and a fantastic menu of cocktails! It's eclectic and luxurious without a smidgen of pretention. Would definitely recommend it.
A fantasy world
This is a truly wonderful hotel. As you walk into the reception there's a feeling that you might have accidentally arrived in the home of an eccentric antique collector, until the smile of the receptionist assures you that this is where you're actually staying for a few nights. You cannot pigeon hole this hotel, other than in being ecclectic in it's style but thoroughly wholesome and hearty in it's food and service. It's the antithethis of corporate schmooze. I can't believe any of the staff have ever been on a training course or hotel school, yet they all have perfect manners. There's a fine restuarant (with pizza oven), virtually self service drinks table, cocktail bar/disco downstairs, soft porn in the mens loos. I've not been to any of the other Alias hotels, but I look forward to discovering they are as brilliant as this place. Richard