By Frances Cottrell
As Spa towns go, Cheltenham is by far my favourite, with the Montpellier area the epitome of all that’s gorgeous about the town. Just two hours from the centre of London, it was a perfect and very welcome mini break.
On Parabola Road, a stone’s throw away from Cheltenham Ladies College, the 100 year old building housing Hotel Du Vin is a fine example of Regency architecture in this leafy stretch of town.
The Hotel has 49 rooms, a bistro, spa treatment rooms, a terrace for alfresco dining and a big, handsome lounge bar, peppered with modern touches like the wine-glass chandelier. The interior is rich with dark colours, texture and heavy upholstery.
There are 17 double rooms, 12 superior rooms and a collection of suites to choose from and each has custom made, plush beds, stylish, comfortable furniture and contemporary design around the rooms’ many existing architectural features.
We stayed in a deluxe suite, which was a seriously impressive room. A separate lounge room in the style of a study was a nice touch, but the bedroom really delivered the wow-factor. A ‘drench’ shower set in a huge, slate-tiled wet room overlooked the generous freestanding bath. This in turn was set next to an enormous fireplace, and overlooked the rest of the bedroom including a beautifully carved, king-sized four poster bed.
Impressive floor to ceiling windows were dressed with fine-looking curtains, and a separate bureau with arm chairs, a coffee table and a tempting array of glossy mags made the suite almost impossible to leave.
Hotel du Vins make for a great overnight stay for those looking for comfort and a touch of luxury, and the complementing restaurants (the Bistro du Vin sister business) are befitting for such a venue. Warm and inviting, the menu is classic and French-styled and the wine list, as you’d hope, very strong.
Food was uncomplicated but good and highlights included a creamy, buttery Tartiflette. Local sourcing is very important, and the produce certainly hinted at an attention to detail. We opted for steaks for our mains, and a good selection of breeds and cuts were available, and very well executed.
The staff were impressively friendly, and despite being a tad lacking in knowledge, they more than made up for it in enthusiasm and generosity. They really added a touch of fun to the occasion.
The hotel offers a good-looking private dining room which I was assured made for a great working environment and was often booked by corporate groups. Touches like The Sinners’ Enclosure (a private dining room decorated with comic illustrations inspired by the race course) give the hotel some personality and individuality.
Perfectly positioned in a beautiful town, it is well worth a visit. For further information, visit the Hotel du Vin Cheltenham website.
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