A very classy venue indeed. Another example of Decimus Burton architecture in TW and possessed of a fantastic wine list, high quality staff (lots of French people, inevitably) and a lovely garden to the rear with views to Calverley Grounds.
I visited recently to celebrate a friends wedding and they decided that, fantastically, the Wedding Banquet would be a good old Ruby Murray. I guess it would have been easy for the chefs to turn up their collective noses but hey(!), they served up some eye watering classics. Good on 'em. Feeling flush & wanting the best? Visit.
The only grumble is a lack of parking. There's a multi storey over the road but it is usually full of shoppers during the day. If you can afford to visit, why not get the chauffeur to drive round the block a few times? Job done.
We visited the Tunbridge Wells branch of Hotel du Vin on Boxing Day following a late afternoon performance of Jack And The Beanstalk at the Assembly Hall Theatre. I have been to the chain's hotel in Brighton and though the food and ambience are very suited to a Christmas celebration, the main reason we booked was it's close proximity to the theatre.
Our group consisted of my parents, my sister and her husband and their 8 year old daughter.
The receptionist was genuinely welcoming and guided us to one of the lounges for pre dinner drinks. So far, so good. However, a French waiter, who clearly had aspirations of working in a far grander establishment, came to take our drinks order. He was abrasive and condescending and arrogant . He greeted us with "Yes. What do you want?" I asked for a drinks menu. "Yes, but what is it you are actually after?" he demanded. We were clearly a mixed group. Our order could have included hot beverages, soft drinks and alcohol. I suggested a wine list and a cocktail list. He then tried to suggest we all have champagne based cocktails and went into great detail describing all the ones on offer, starting off with Bellinis and then going on, and on, and on. It was an overly involved barrage of unwanted information. We quietly let him finish, smiling and nodding politely, and I repeated that we'd really like to see a drinks menu. He returned with menus and then asked "And what direction do you wish to go with the wines?" I said if we decided to order wine, we'd do so once we'd been given the chance to see the dinner menu. Looking disappointed, he remained, making his presence felt, as we chose our pre dinner drinks.
We waited for over 20 minutes for our order of three wines, two fruit juices and a lemonade. The place was very quiet. Our order was very undemanding. The wait was just too long. Finally I walked across the lobby and into the virtually empty bar, where the waiter was wiping and stacking glasses. I asked how our order was coming along. He failed to recognise me and said "What would you like?" I repeated the order, but this time when I said lemonade, his face curled into utter confusion and disgust. "Lemon...?" he struggled to say, as if he'd never heard of it.
I'm sure he considered himself Tunbridge Wells's finest sommelier, but on this occasion his customer was an 8 year old girl, and she fancied a lemonade.
By this stage I'd had enough. I told him his misjudging of the situation was beginning to spoil our evening. I returned to reception and asked to see a manager. When I relayed our experience the manager, unprompted, said "Was it the French waiter?" as if this wasn't the first time a customer had been pushed too far by this guy.
But from then on in all the staff were a delight. Chatty and interested. The food was like high grade pub grub. I had French onion soup (over salted), beef and ale suet pudding with boiled spuds and wilted spinach (stodgy and meaty and delicious) and chocolate fondant with hazelnut ice cream (nice, but no better than an M&S dessert). They charge £35 for two courses and £40 for three with sides at £3.75 each - one side is ample for two people. Our bill came to £307.
I wondered if our pre dinner drinks would be taken off our bill. They weren't, and gratuity had been added. We won't be returning.
Situated not far out of the main part of Tunbridge Wells, Hotel du Vin is an absolute credit to the town. This is a premium hotel where individuality matters.
The 34 rooms are named after drinks and all bar 4 come with roll-top baths and showers (the remaining 4 just have showers).
The beds are made up with crisp Egyptian cotton sheets and are incredibly comfortable.
For me, the thing that makes a difference is the service. Attention to detail is superb from the free loan of CDs for the rom, through the fresh coffee, through the attentiveness of the staff at every opportunity.
Breakfast is good - Continental or full English (including the oft forgotten kippers and so on).
Compared to many HdV's the dining room here is small but it still retains the charm that HdV have fought so hard to recreate.
The little bar is a gem - cosy leather furniture, glass in hand, cigar from the selection. perfection!
Great rooms excellent service. what a wine list :) .... just the place to propose to my girlfriend. if I hadn't got stuck on the M25 for 3 hours and missed the jeweler's lol
Only complaint was that it was to hot
Popular after work bar with local 'suits' and a lovely terrace and garden for afternoon tea. Restaurant is dependable but un-exciting. Locally sourced produce features prominently. Good home-baked breads and a solid menu - difficult to criticise! We tend to reserve it for 'special occasions' and the odd business lunch. Very good sommelier and wine selection.
Never stayed at this hotel but attended a morning seminar. Lovely decor and friendly staff. Good coffee and pastries.
Nice decor, great central location, good continental breakfast (additional to our room rate).
Room very small, they changed duvets for feather free ones when we asked but had no pillows. Said they would change for second day but didn't.
Room very small, so kept catching shins on side of bed (owch!). TV reception poor even though flat screen, better off with my old radio which I always take with me.
Staff very pleasant, but you get impression basic systems are a bit uncertain, and staff work hard to compensate.
Lovely place to take friends that you'd like to impress, beautiful building, friendly staff, great food. Only negative is that it is starting to look a little tired around the edges and could do with some money spent on it. There IS a difference between shabby and chic !!!
This is a beautiful looking hotel. The rooms are confortable, stylish and the whole place has a real luxury feel. Throughout my stay, the service was excellent. Every member of staff went out of heir way to ensure I was confortable and really made me feel special. The food in the restaurant was also excellent and very reasnably priced for the quality. Highly recommended.
Apart from the size of the room not big enough to swing a cat, the hotel is nice. The food is good and the location is excellent.
The Decimus Burton architecture has been preserved and this hotel has a nice garden overlooking Calverley Grounds. Lovely and beautifully presented food, a real treat for Sunday lunch. Recommended. Level access and convenient disabled loo all on the ground floor. Of course it has a lovely wine list too!
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