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Hotel du Vin, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
If you're familiar with the Hotel du Vin brand, you'll know what to expect from this swish Thames-side property: a dash of luxury, a sprinkling of whimsy and a healthy dollop of French-influenced hospitality. Based in a building that spent centuries as a brewery - ironic, when you see the length of the wine list - the hotel has kept a pleasing heritage character while still making sure the public areas and guestrooms feel warm and inviting. The nature of the building means the upstairs areas are enjoyably mazy, with almost every room unique in size and shape. The on-site Bistro du Vin, which is full of lively design touches, is the most obvious expression of the brand's French ethos.
The Thames Path National Trail runs through the town, meaning there are great riverside walks in both directions.
The hotel is just off the banks of the River Thames, 15 minutes' walk from the popular Henley Rowing Museum and 10 minutes from Henley's historic centre and market square.
By car: The hotel is 40 mins from Oxford, around 1 hour 10 mins from London and 1 hour 45 mins from Birmingham. There is limited parking at the hotel costing £15 per day (booking recommended).
By train: London Paddington to Henley-on-Thames (via Twyford) takes around 1 hour. The station is 10 minutes' walk or a short cab ride away from the hotel. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
As a weekend break destination within easy reach of London, it's an excellent choice. The food, rooms and setting are all top-notch. The attention to detail that's been used to turn a brewery into an upmarket hotel, full of timeless charm, is impressive.
Service & Facilities
In warm weather, the large courtyard area with outdoor seating is an inviting spot for a pre-dinner drink.
- Room service
- 24-hour front desk
- Free Wi-Fi
Well behaved dogs over 1 year old may share their owners room for a charge of £20 per night, but are not allowed in areas where food is served.
The unusual design of the building means every room is slightly different, so it avoids the usual cookie-cutter approach. The River View Suites, with king-size beds, have the added bonus of top-notch views across the mighty Thames.
Standard Double, Big Double, Big Twin, Studio Suites, River View Suites, Deluxe Suites
Facilities include: Queen-size bed, handsprung mattress, Egyptian linen, deep bath and drench shower, luxury toiletries, plasma TV, air conditioning, Nespresso coffee machine
Food & Drink
The wine list, as you might expect, is long, and there's a sommelier on hand to give you pairing advice. Breakfast is an excellent à la carte affair, with everything from a full English to brioche toast.
Bistro du Vin: relaxed dining, classic French cuisine, specials, set menu and à la carte, Sunday roasts. Open every day for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Mains from £12.50.