Tuesday, 31 May 2011
I'm a Holiday Inn girl. I'm happy if a hotel offers me a bed, working shower and maybe a packet of stale biscuits. Well, Hotel Du Vin have changed that attitude and left me with a financially ruinous new addiction. It's pricier than a Travel Tavern but it's clear what you're getting for the extra money: beautiful rooms that you won't want to leave. Don't bank on doing any sightseeing once you've checked in.
The Cambridge Hotel Du Vin - there are hotels across the country - is in a converted university building with lots of character and quirky touches. The original fireplaces have been kept in several rooms, while another room has its own well. You know you're going to be spoiled when you walk in to discover a huge freestanding bath, a bed as big as your flat and real milk in the fridge instead of UHT "milk". You can bathe, watch telly and have a proper cuppa all at the same time. That is my idea of heaven.
The hotel has several lovely touches. There's a wine tasting room which would make for an awesome hen night, cigar shack outside so you don't have to smoke your fags in the rain, and service that is friendly and thoughtful without being obsequious (I arrived home to an email saying I'd left my phone charger in the room but not to worry, they'd already posted it back). Plus you can get a bacon roll from room service for £6 any time - perfect if you roll in at 3am having forgotten to buy dirty meat.
Treat yourself with dinner at the bistro, and leave room for pudding so the very serious sommelier can come over to recommend you a dessert wine. Finish up the next morning with a basket of pastries as big as your head, and walk it off with a wander through some colleges and a lazy punt along the river. Rooms are priced from £155 for a standard to £255 for a suite that comes with a private cinema.