LLG Hotel Reviews: The Hotel du Vin, Birmingham

by Sasha Wilkins on March 27, 2013 · 10 comments

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

I am generally well-disposed towards  Hotel du Vins. They’re usually in interesting buildings, located in Britain’s more interesting towns, with comfortable and considered rooms, and really good bistros with, as you may have worked out from the name, serious wine lists.

When they first launched in the UK, they were pretty much the first proper boutique hotel chain, and they changed the way a lot of people looked at British hotels.

 Hotel du Vin Birmingham

Back in December I was booked to speak at The Clothes Show at the Birmingham NEC. Trains being what they are, and with snow forecast, I came up the night before and stayed at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham’s City Centre. (There are conference hotels by the National Exhibition Centre, but it’s only 10 minutes or so by train from town, so I went for the much nicer boutique hotel option.)

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

When I saw the size of that bed, with its handsprung mattresses and Egyptian linen, I knew I had made the correct decision. Such a shame I’m not drawn towards orgies, because that bed would have fitted a fair few people rolling around.

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

The hotel, an early Victorian red brick building, is contained with a previously disused Eye Hospital in the old city centre, now part of the newly revitalised Jewellery Quarter.  It’s the largest in the Hotel du Vin group with sixty-six rooms around a courtyard.

(I did find the hotel’s public spaces and upstairs corridors a little dark and depressing: there’s a difference between atmospheric and Stygian gloom.)

Because of the restrictions around keeping the architectural integrity of the building, no room is the same in the hotel: mine was fitted into a corner of the building, with the humungous bed at 45 degrees to the walls. I liked the generously sized stand alone cupboard, and proper writing desk, as well as the books scattered around the room. (I’ve stayed in so many anonymous hotel boxes, so I now fully appreciate anything that makes a room seem less corporate.) My only gripe was that the room was like a furnace on arrival, but I soon fixed that by turning down the radiators.

Competing with the bed as the main selling point was the proper bathroom, easily bigger than many hotel rooms I have stayed in. Plenty of cat swinging space in there.

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

There was a walk-in shower, which really did deliver the promised ‘drench’, as opposed to the gentle trickle that so many supposed rain showers specialise in,

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

as well as the  signature du Vin roll top bath, in which I gloriously wallowed before supper.

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

Decent-sized excellent toiletries are an Hotel du Vin trademark, and guests are encouraged to take them away.

Hotel du Vin Birmingham Hotel du Vin Birmingham

I have no problem with eating alone in restaurants, hotel or otherwise, and the Birmingham Hotel du Vin has a particularly nice looking Bistro, buzzy with both locals and residents, but I was in the mood to hole up in my huge room, and stick this on the door:

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

So I popped down to the Bistro to have a squint at their menu – I wasn’t that taken with the room service carte – and they couldn’t have been more lovely or more helpful, agreeing to send up my chosen supper.

Consequently I had, hands down, the most delicious meal I have ever eaten in a hotel bed. (What? I’m not the type to sit at my room desk in solitary splendour. I am so all about the duvet picnic.)

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

I had two first courses: a Warm Autumn Salad of roasted beets, pumpkin, celeriac, salted almonds with hummus and harissa (£8.95), and the Sautéed Mushrooms With Madeira cream on Brioche Toast (£6.50).

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

I slept the sleep of the just, star fished out across my gigantic bed. It really was such a waste to only have me in it. I had an early start, so I ordered up the in-room fixed price breakfast special. It was just as well-thought out as supper the night before: very good coffee and a great compote with yogurt.

Hotel du Vin Birmingham

Hotel du Vin & Bistro Birmingham, Church Street, Birmingham B3 2NR
Telephone: +44 (0)121 200 0600 Email: info.birmingham@hotelduvin.com
LLG was a guest of the Hotel du Vin, Birmingham for bed, dinner and breakfast in December 2012.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

hasdsa March 27, 2013 at 09:06
Clare (SparklySexyCool.com) March 27, 2013 at 10:32

How funny, I just reviewed the Poole one! http://sparklysexycool.com/ssctravel/hotel-du-vin-poole.html

I have always liked the Hotel Du Vin chain, always reliably good with a lovely big bath tub! xx

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Hannah March 27, 2013 at 13:33

That looks so lovely. I’m looking for a place to have an ‘up-market’ hen do in Birmingham. Do you think this would be a suitable place?

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Clare (SparklySexyCool.com) March 28, 2013 at 10:13

Hannah See my above comment – I had my 30th in the Poole one and they were fab. I would say a great place for an ‘up market’ hen do although I’m not sure if it’s a flashing plastic penis straw kinda establishment so it depends what you are looking for! :-) x

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Helena Halme March 27, 2013 at 19:16

I was involved in the refurbishing of many of the Hotel du Vin hotels (when it was still a smallish outfit), and even then Birmingham was by absolute favourite.

Helena xx

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katyboo March 27, 2013 at 19:59

We stayed there last winter for a weekend away from the children and it was lovely. If Jason and I get a weekend away it is so rare that we like to stay somewhere we know will be good, and we are particularly fussy about big beds and big baths. HDV never disappoint. We also like Malmaison.

It’s my birthday soon and I’m getting a weekend in Bristol at their Hotel Du Vin and dinner at River Cottage Canteen. Reading your post and seeing the pictures has already got me thinking birthday thoughts.

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Elisa March 27, 2013 at 21:59

whoa, that bed is HUGE.

The room looks very nice, as does the food! I am particular about showers, I hate that pathetic trickle of water they call shower in many hotels, it makes me want to throw something at someone’s head.

I am not a huge fan of baths, but that tub is pretty cool.

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NET-A-DRESSER March 28, 2013 at 10:58

Hi, I have just found you blog, so interesting! We have only stayed at Malmaison, which I think is their big sister? We stayed at the Manchester one and I have to say it was pretty amazing……everything from the room, service, and food was A Star!! Would you like to have a look at my blog. any comments welcome, also would be good to follow each other? xx

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Jill Mansell March 29, 2013 at 12:15

New follower of your fabulous blog. This all looks and sounds wonderful. Can I ask how you reach in to switch on the shower without getting drenched by cold water?
I love the Hotel du Vin toiletries and wanted to buy some but the suppliers (Arran Aromatics) sell those little bottles of shower gel for £7.99 each, which is a bit steep…

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Eleanor Jenner March 30, 2013 at 20:27

I’m in love with this hotel. Just Gorgeous.

Check out my newest blog

http://ellejenner.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/fromtherunwaytome.html

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