Hotel du Vin Exeter

In search of a luxurious base in Exeter, TLE checked into Hotel du Vin Exeter. With arresting architecture, fabulous food and plenty of quirky extras (check out the library) we couldn’t get enough of Hotel du Vin’s newest property.

Property History


Hotel du Vin Exeter is an imposing, red brick building set in the former West of England Eye Hospital. It may have been through the wars, but it looks as regal as ever as a stylish 4 star hotel. Less than 10 minutes to walk to the centre of Exeter, Hotel du Vin Exeter is perfectly located for sightseers and shopaholics alike.



The exterior of the building is very grand, as is the beautifully designed entrance. Inside it’s tastefully decorated and – a firm favourite of mine – everywhere is clearly signed (there’s nothing more frustrating than bumbling around not knowing where things are).

Downstairs there is a slick bar area, stylish restaurant and a very inviting library. There are a few fun nods to its heritage too, such as a wooden boarding stating ‘patients may be visited on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays between 2.30pm and 3.30pm’.

Check in and welcome


The reception staff seemed to be based in a back office, upon arrival they brought a laptop out into the large reception area to check us in. The process felt a little clunky, but the welcome was friendly and concise and we were provided with clear directions to our room.

The Room


We were in room 105, a junior suite. Pride of place was the king-size bed swaddled in crisp white bedding. The room also featured original artwork, a chic slate sofa and a dressing table complete with an Eames-inspired chair.


There were two – yes two! – separate bathroom areas. The first room featured a monsoon shower, sink area and separate loo.


The second, and my favourite, was flooded with natural light and designed with bright white metro tiles. But the star of the show was the stunning free-standing bath. The REN products were dreamy, though irritatingly secured in place which while understandable, felt slightly less luxurious!


A bottle of Côtes du Rhône, a Nespresso machine and very comfortable robes were a welcome addition to the room.

Spa and gym


The REN spa offers all sorts including bespoke facials and deep tissue massages. I didn’t have any treatments, but I did have a wander around the spa which looked very neat and clean. The adjoining gym is compact but ideal for getting in a quick run if the temperamental British weather won’t allow for an outside frolic.

The indoor/outdoor heated pool is beautifully designed. Despite the log burner in the indoor section, the temperature was still a little cool for my wimpy ways and I only lasted about 10 minutes!



Hotel du Vin Exeter Bistro is an elegant space and the open kitchen, bold red seats and hanging pendant lights give it a real dose of personality.


The menu is inspired by simple French home-style cooking with a focus on seasonal ingredients. We had the tomato consommé with roasted heritage tomatoes and some rather lovely basil tapioca to start – an innovative dish full of interesting textures. We were then treated to a surprise dish of roasted broccoli and cauliflower with a silky smooth puree which was incredible.



For mains we split the stuffed piedmontese peppers and sweetcorn and courgette cakes. The salsa verde on the latter was incredibly flavoursome and really elevated the whole course.


This was washed down with a glass of Brooklyn lager, recommended by our very friendly (and American) waitress. Last up I had the salted caramel fondant which was a delicious and decadent ending to a fabulous meal.


I’d thoroughly recommend making a booking at the Bistro if you stay at Hotel du Vin; we were here on a Thursday night and it filled up incredibly quickly.


The breakfast is also a real treat. You can help yourself with continental options and freshly squeezed juice. You can also order from the hot menu which includes brioche French toast, smoked haddock and eggs benedict. Having the breakfast tastes of a seven-year-old, I ordered the banana and chocolate crepe. No regrets – it was incredible.

Final Thoughts


There is only limited parking available at the hotel, so if none is available when you arrive (as was in our case) you have to park at the nearby public car park. You can get a slightly discounted permit from reception, but you’ll need two – one for the evening and another for the morning. A very minor point of course, but a slight wrinkle in an otherwise luxurious experience.

If you are looking for a stylish base for exploring Exeter I would definitely recommend Hotel du Vin Exeter. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, the onsite restaurant is not only convenient but also very high quality and there are plenty of tempting extras such as the spa, library and pool.

Contact Details

Address: Magdalen Street, Exeter, EX2 4HY

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