Hotel du Vin & Bistro
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Historical Traveler Reviews Ajikura Caro Caro Toba
Check the price of the room
I booked the room through Laterooms. the price quoted was room only @£110.00.
When I checked out the bill showed £125.00. I pointed out the error and was told that the rate advertised by Laterooms was wrong and the correct rate was £125. However, they did reduce the room charge to Laterooms price. Just a small niggle on an otherwise excellent stay but still made me feel uncomfortable when checking out.
Spa excellent; ask for Madelaine. And food superb.
Good but could do much better
Well it didn't start very well when we pulled up outside the front door, with a car loaded with all the accoutrements it appears necessary to cart around to support a 1 year old, only to find narrow doors, steep steps and no doorman to help out. After a lot of prodding the receptionist did help us to our room, but it was an inauspicious start.
The room itself we found, unlike previous reviews, to be very nice. Big, nicely furnished, great bathroom. Think Soho Grand New York, and you'd be on the right track. Yet once again, the little details slipped. They provided a baby alarm - Good. It didn't work - bad.
Dinner. Obviously very popular since the restaurant was packed. We were told that we HAD to be seated for 7.15pm and that they would need the table back by 9.15pm. They provided a high chair and were generally baby friendly. Wine list superb- but with a MW as one of the lead directors, you'd expect it to be. Food expensive and competent, but not inspiring. The birthday cake I'd specially ordered for my mum at an additional cost of GBP 40 was dry. If this restaurant was in London, I'd eat elsewhere, but this is Birmingham, a culinary desert where the only Michelin star is on the side of the tyre dealer's building, so this may be the best available. By 9.15pm it was emptying out, and we were never asked for our table even past 10.00pm. perhaps that 7.15pm start wasn't that essential after all...
Breakfast was competent and expensive and relatively slow. Again not worth the money..
so in conclusion would I stay here again? Maybe, but I'd dine elsewhere, and wouldn't buy breakfast unless I was expensing it. This hotel is competent to good but it has real room for improvement.
Stark unattractive accommodation with an excellent restaurant
Lovely food with a good city location but the brutalist feel of our large room spoilt this hotel for us. We were told we were upgraded but I think this room " Courvoisier" is the one they can't sell as a deluxe. It is located on the first floor over the restaurant so you hear the entrance door banging incessantly until the room has been prepared for breakfast the next morning. Thankfully this isn't too late, around 12 30 am but bad enough if you were paying £150 +a night, clearly unacceptable. Our room sounds exactly the same as an earlier TA's upgrade, very big, in shades of brown, black, grey and white. The floor covering was a nasty shade of dirty beige/grey and I am not sure what it was made out of but it was definitely more suited to a factory than a bedroom floor.
The duvet cover was white and that was the only light relief in a room begging for colour, rich window dressings and a beautifully dressed bed. The bathroom was big and fitted out in urban stainless steeel and white tiles of the very kind used in the hospital that I had my tonsils removed in around the corner from the former Eye Hospital , now Hotel Du Vin, the Ear, nose and throat hospital !
Consequently it felt too clinical for comfort and again no colour except the lime green shower gel and violet shampoo. True the monsoon shower was lovely but in such cheerless surroundings it wasn't a pleasure to use, nor was the large slipper bath.
The bed was low and too hard to be comfortable. Don't they know us Brits have just discovered the pleasures of feather bed toppers?!!
I think they have got this style badly wrong at least in this room and my suggestion is they use some of Malmaison's style to make Courvoisier a desirable room to stay in and, please do it soon.
We have stayed at MM in the Mailbox around the corner and much prefer the comfort of their rooms but perhaps now the two brands have joined company each will take the best things from the other?
I hope so. This was first vist to the much lauded Hotel du Vin range and we we were very disappointed.
Staff were friendly and polite throughout but little things kept going wrong, eg our safe would not open or close properly, the malfunctioning DVD player was cheap and nasty and the old fashioned TV looked very out of place in this attempt at minimalist design.
The Bubbles champagne bar decked out as a Venetian Grand coffee House is very nice but very smokey and the restaurant in much the same style is attractive and non smoking so congratulations on this bold step. The contrast then couldn't be greater, opulence to minimalism in a flight of stairs. I don't understand the thinking at all.
Our breakfast was excellent with a very good selection of fresh fruit, yoghurts, honeycombe, wonderful banana cake, croissants etc or full English but please note breakfast is not included in the room rate.
Dinner was very good too.
To sum up, expensive over rated accommodation with pleasant well trained staff and excellent food with a world class cellar.
As someone who is more used to B&Bs, I can confirm that it was well worth shelling out the extra for this wonderful treat. Great room with a vast bed, lovely understated decor, and excellent (but unobstrusive) service. Loved the two bars too (Champagne bar and Cellar Bar) which both had a great atmosphere.
The only slight hitch I could find was the breakfast staff who were rather vague/disorganised, but it really didn't detract from the overall great impression.
A good experience if I could only forget the SPA
We booked a SPA weekend at the hotel together with our friends. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the bubbles bar team were especially efficient.
The bedroom was big however the decor was gloomy and dull. The bathroom again spacious but not totally user friendly. The hot towel rail was very close to the WC which resulted in occasional reminders! Also the hotel only provides bathrobes in one size. Unless you were a standard size you have to make do with a towel for comfort.
The food in the Bistro was very good and the ambience made for two enjoyable dinners.
The only real downside was the operation of the SPA. The staff here were not the most helful of the hotel and I was refused a treatment because of the medication I was taking. Instead of being a relaxing weekend there was an element of stress that detracted from the overall experience.
If the management could bring up the standard of the SPA to the rest of the hotel this place would be one of the best hotels in town.
Luxury and relaxation
Took advantage of HdV's B&B deal from their own website last friday night.
We were upgraded from a standard double to a deluxe double (2 grades up), which was a lovely surprise. I only discovered our upgrade on check-out, as I couldn't quite believe that the room we were in was a standard room I questioned the receptionist, and was informed that the room was a deluxe. Was a little surprised that the hotel hadn't made a big show about substantially upgrading us, but that fits with their polite, discreet, laid back style of service, which I found so refreshing.
The room was spacious and stylish, with a comfortable firm bed, cd and dvd player (with cd's and dvd's to borrow from reception for free), and cafetiere for making real coffee. The bathroom was enormous, with a freestanding roll top bath, and a huge walk in monsoon shower.
Also made use of the steam room (very smart) and played pool in their billiards and pool room. A relaxing stay, quality facilities, stylishly presented, relaxed attitude.
Loved every minute
Just got back from a weekend here. Loved it from start to finish. The rooms are huge, the bed is big enough for four and the most comfortable thing you'll ever sleep in. The staff are obliging and discreet. The roll top baths are wonderful, but the 'monsoon showers' are the biggest treat! Considering a room here costs just a tenner or so more than Malmaison, I'd stay here every time in preference (and I'm usually the Mal's biggest fan!). Highly recommended.
Modern luxury and real character in a City Centre location
I was intially extremely impressed by the decor of the lobby of the hotel and the sense of space afforded by the tranquil courtyard.
My deluxe room was a good size and the bathroom (s!) were tremendous with a freestanding bath and the best shower I have ever tried.
The bed and linen were of excellent quality. I didn't get up in time for breakfast but lunch and dinner were both great. The wine list wwas a bit boggling but the sommelier was very helpful.
I would recommend this hotel for both business and pleasure.
Ecole du Vin
This is part of the small Hotel du Vin chain of hotels which are run by a group of wine loving directors. As a result, they run weekend wine tasting courses at this Birmingham outpost of the group.
My stay was for two nights in a standard room, which had all the ameneties I have come to expect from these excellent hotels: a wonderfully comfortable bed; a huge, walk in waterfall-like shower; and, very good sound proofing.
The service was outstanding (possibly something to do with being on the wine tasting with one of the hotel's directors!). The spa and gym in the basement was impressively kitted out for a city centre hotel and helped me work off some of the excesses of the table!
Food from the Bistro was very good, with large portions. My only complaint would be that it is a bit too rich as it gave me rather bad indigestion the next day.
I'm due to go back for a short stay soon so I shall be interested to see if the hotel has kept up the service.
Just came home from a trip which included 2 nights at the Hotel du Vin. The hotel, a converted hospital, is centrally located-- within walking distance of Birmingham's Arts Center, City Hall, museums, bars and restaurants. The rooms have kept some details of their original building, especially in the bathrooms, and are modern yet comfortable in decoration with spacious-enough rooms compared to most boutique hotels I have stayed in. The warm and friendly atmosphere created by small details and a very efficient and welcoming staff keep this place from being coldly ultra-trendy. The restaurant is ok--not fabulous (due to somewhat overambitious and unevently executed food), though as one would expect from the "Hotel of Wine" with a good and rather well-rounded wine list. Would stay here again, and would recommend it to others!
TripAdvisor Reviews Ajikura Caro Caro Toba
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