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Help me pick hotel for special reward weekend

Help me pick hotel for special reward weekend

May 9th, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #1  
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Help me pick hotel for special reward weekend

Hello!

A few of you might be aware of my current personal challenge to lose weight. ("Why would we be aware of that?", you may ask and the answer is that I'm fundraising for charity on the back of it and many Fodorites have already contributed at http://www.justgiving.com/kavey). But that's not why I'm posting. I've recently hit my first mid-term target and the reward I set myself was a weekend away in a UK hotel with the dear husband.

I'm now trying to find a suitable hotel and having quite a difficult time of it.

What am I looking for/ what do I like?

I like the look of both the Hotel Du Vin and the Malmaison chains, particularly if we can get one of the rooms with either double sized tub or tub in an open plan room. Certainly, I'm looking for somewhere with a modern look and feel rather than traditional/ chintzy. I like spacious rooms, comfortable and large sized beds, peace and quiet (decent sound insulation from traffic/ other guests), a luxurious bathroom - must have a tub.

I'd like to be able to enjoy a meal in the hotel's own restaurant on one of the two nights we are there so looking for an in-house restaurant that's both high quality and good value.

Budget? Not fixed but ideally about £150 per night BB. Less is better. More is possible for a place that makes my jaw drop open. We can always drop to one night instead of two if cost becomes an issue.

As for when we'd go - that's not set in stone and will depend on availability of the hotel we choose. I'd like to do it sooner than later though. It will be over a weekend, either Thu and Fri nights or Fri and Sat nights.

Am not hugely fussy about where we go but current destinations on the wishlist include the Lost Gardens of Heligan near St Austell in Cornwall (I have free entry for two for the next couple of months), Wakehurst Place in West Sussex (ditto on free entrance)and the University of Oxford Botanic garden (ditto again). I'm also happy to visit any city with sufficient attractions to merit a visit.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
Kavey is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 06:29 AM
  #2  
 
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Oxford has recently opened a Malmaison in the old Castle that also has a brassierie. You may want to check that out. I'm not sure what the rates are but it could fit your limit.
JoeTro is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Joe, yeah I like the look of it. I've already been browsing the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin sites so am mostly after alternatives in similar vein. Thanks for responding though!
Kavey is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 07:30 AM
  #4  
 
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Edinburgh ?

I think you are in London, so could maybe get reasonably priced flights from BA, bmi or Easyjet ? bmi currently has an offer of flights from £29 each way, all inclusive.

The Malmaison is down in Leith, by the water in the old port area - where I moved last year ! I know I'm biased but the area is really nice, especially in summer, and has lots of good pubs & restaurants. The Malmaison's own restaurant isn't the best but there are really *lots* within a 5 minute walk - including 2 Michelin-starred ones ! (Martin Wishart is the best - especially if you have the 7 course tasting menu ) Leith is 1.5-2 miles from the centre but there's an extremely good bus service.

The Malmaison is the old seamean's mission. I haven't seen any rooms myself but friends checked it out and said they are very nice - some are bigger than others though. I think they'll usually do a deal if you ask, assuming it's not a busy time like Hogmanay or festival time. I think my friends were being offered nice rooms at around £100.

(2 girlfriends, staying with us at the time but thinking about coming back with husbands and kids in tow = )

I've stayed in the Malmaison in Newcastle and that was nice. Thinks - I think they've actually now been bought by Hotels du Vin, haven't they ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 07:37 AM
  #5  
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Oooh, yes, not a bad idea at all!!! Thanks Caroline!

And it's been about 2 decades + since I went to Edinburgh as a tourist.

I had a feeling one had bought out (or merged with) the other but couldn't remember but I think you're right that they are know owned by one entity but will continue to be branded/ marketed separately.

Hmmm... will look into this seriously as although the flights will add to the costs both the hotel room and the food are likely to be less than in or near London and offset that slightly.

Oh, and despite living in London, I'm open to London hotel suggestions too!

Kavey is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 07:45 AM
  #6  
 
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Kavey, not sure if this is helpful, since I haven't completed my hotel research, but I'm visiting the Channel Isles (Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Herm and Alderney) in November, and one of my primary interests is the Jersey Zoo. Could be a nice place for a weekend, but the hotels look a bit too traditional.

The zoo looks incredible.
thit_cho is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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Glad to be of service Kavey. We could even meet for a drink if you like - I can see the Malmaison from my flat !

If you want to eat at MW, BTW, especially for dinner Fri/Sat, book asap. Their new tasting menu (available as veggie or non-veggie) is to die for... In fact I'll e-mail you it, shall I - just to tempt you further ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 12:29 PM
  #8  
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Michael, that's another interesting idea... would have to look at costs of getting there though. Will look into it.

Caroline, oh yes please and would be lovely to meet for a drink if we do come up to your way.
Kavey is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 01:33 PM
  #9  
 
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congratulations on the weight loss. how about posting some tips in the lounge???
lincasanova is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 01:57 PM
  #10  
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Thanks...8.5 kilos so far.
I could do but I've not posted in there so wouldn't it be odd?

I might not be able to get online much next few days so please forgive delayed response to further suggestions?
Kavey is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 04:06 AM
  #11  
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Any more ideas?
I think I have the day off tomorrow so can start working through and finalising!
Kavey is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 12:34 PM
  #12  
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Just wanted to let you all know that I decided in the end to book a single night at the Forbury Hotel in Reading for this Sunday past (my husband's birthday so two reasons to celebrate).

Reading has nothing of interest to me but for a single night trip I wanted somewhere not too far from home AND where the hotel itself was the destination.

I booked on Friday night so got a late rate plus negotiated an upgrade for same price. And all rooms are on their website so I could pick the actual room I wanted too! Also had a deal on for breakfast and I booked valet parking as well. Oh and they offered a complimentary romantic turn down service which I accepted and didn't tell Pete about.

The hotel itself is right in the centre and yet still in a quiet little corner of it's own. The public areas and corridors are very grand and there's a stunning 3 storey glass chandelier hanging in what was the old lift shaft within the stair case!

Our room was gorgeous - spacious, extremely funky and well decorated, a huge and fantastically comfy bed, a big squishy sofa with coffee table infront of a large flat screen TV and DVD player (and several DVDs and music CDs provided), a desk and chair (with various business tools and internet connection), another chair, a stool/ case rest, a table with two chairs and none of it all crowded in oh and with the most wonderful en-suite bathroom with huge bathtub (big enough for two), walk in shower (ditto) and lots of space. Oh and inside the wardrobe a fridge with complimentary soft drinks and water, tea and coffee making facilities etc. And on the coffee table a gift bag with Molton Brown toiletries, a cute colour-changing rubber ducky for the bath, some slippers, some vanilla-scented candles and a few other bits. We loved the room!

We had afternoon tea (as we missed lunch) in their restaurant/ bar. Then we whiled away the afternoon in our gorgeous room reading, having baths and showers, watching films...

Dinner in their restaurant was excellent. Pete's foie gras starter was perfect. My pork belly was to die for. And Pete had the waiter select his cheeses, having expressed a preference for strong, strong cheeses - the waiter did him proud with an amazing selection of 6 fantastic cheeses in perfect state of ripeness!

On return to our room the bed was covered in rose petals and we'd also been left more gifts (this bit was a surprise for me too!) of more candles, some rather posh incense sticks and holder, more toiletries and associated toiletry kit bag and bits! Wow!

Breakfast was very nice and our deal meant we could order whatever we wanted for a fixed price.

We had some problems checking out (and observed that several other couples had the same problems) in that there were several items on our bill that weren't ours. Including a whole extra dinner and wine! The receptionist even said she wondered about how we'd eaten two meals in one night - I bit back a retort about why in heck she didn't check it for accuracy herself then given that I could see our signed chits sitting on the desk next to her hand! It took them a loooong time to correct this (first try they made it even worse and added some items from the guests who'd been in the room the night before us). They did give us complimentary drinks as we waited and we also took the chance to take a tour of the Grand Suite, which is stunning.

Altogether a wonderful treat and I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Kavey is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 12:48 PM
  #13  
 
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hi, Kavey,

i was wondering what a "romantic turn down service" was - do rose petals have the same properties as comfetti???



glad you found somewhere worth going in Reading - i never did.

good luck with the rest of the challenge,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #14  
 
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Thanks for the 'weekend trip report' Kavey; its sounds terrific and is one for bookmarking.

And congratulations on the weightloss. Keep it up. Since September last year, I've dropped 34 pounds and have set myself a goal to drop another 11 by the end of September to get to an overall weight of 170 lbs. I'm 5'10 and carried my former weight well but I've taken up running and am really enjoying both the sport and the new me. Even took my shoes and kit to Turkey and Budapest on vacation last October and ran twice each between Selcuk and Ephesus in Turkey, and around the Danube in Budapest. I feel great (as must you) and unfortunately none of my clothes fit anymore, which I suppose is a good problem to have, albeit an expensive one, especially where suits are involved.

Keep it up
Mathieu is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 01:39 PM
  #15  
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Ann
What properties does confetti have?

Nothing of interest in Reading but the hotel itself is worth a visit if you're looking for somewhere to sit and read magazines, weekend papers, books, watch DVDs etc etc.

Mathieu
That's a great achievement and good luck with the ongoing programme! My biggest weakness is exercise - I really need to make myself do more and more regularly. It's something I hate so I find it hard!
Kavey is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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hi, Kavey,

my very hazy recollection from too many years ago is that it gets EVERYWHERE.

>

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 01:50 PM
  #17  
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Ha haaaa!
Ann, actually, I cleared the rose petals off the bed before we got in - they were slightly crunchy (dried, I guess) and I didn't think the crumbs of crushed petals would be too comfortable!!!
Kavey is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 11:21 PM
  #18  
 
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Thanks for writing this up, Kavey - it sounds fantastic !!

Make sure to get in touch if you come to Edinburgh on another occasion.

Warm regards, Caroline
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 01:40 AM
  #19  
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Caroline
I really loved the idea of a weekend in Edinburgh but I couldn't find any good deals on flights and when I factored in the costs of airport car parking, flights, accommodation and meals it just came out too expensive.
But we'll get there eventually and would love to meet up for that coffee when we do!
I'm off to Islay next May again but I'm afraid that's on the opposite side so we'll not likely be coming via Edinburgh for that either!
Kavey is offline  
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