I [Jason] took over Hotel de Vie around 18 months ago, in September 2010 (so the hotel is effectively ‘under new management’). The hotel had been Hotel de Vie for nearly 3 years prior to that (opening Sept 2007). Prior to that, the building was run down, boarded up, and empty.
Many people in the area don’t know we’re here (we don’t look like much more than a large house from the outside). Of those that do know of us locally, some seem to have the wrong idea of who we are. These myths are now starting to damage our business, which is why we’re trying to work so hard now to counter the misinformation around town, and stop any myths perpetuating any further.
Read our actual reviews on TripAdvisor where you can see through more reviews than anyone else in the area (even those hotels with considerably more rooms). You can see that we remain the number 1 choice of accommodation in Farnham and the surrounding area.
Of course we still work really hard to ensure we continue to improve, and we listen to the feedback of all the guests we can to ensure we continue to get better.
If you’re local and you’d like to take a look around for yourself, please come along to one of our open house events, get the real tour, and to speak to us directly. You might also be able to try our range of 16 quality coffees, 12 organic teas, and maybe even a slice of fresh cake!
You can also read the genuine reviews on our website, which are copied from the handwritten versions in our guestbook (available to view directly).
The continued growth of Hotel de Vie
So many businesses seem to be struggling financially, but yet here at Hotel de Vie, we continue to have a steady stream of bookings throughout the week (both male and female guests visiting the area on regular business, and guests having some relaxing time away for a short break with their partner). Our occupancy is typically 5% up on the previous year, month on month, ever since the recession hit.
We’ve taken on more local staff, and the number of guests we have each night continues to improve. Even if our car park can seem empty from the outside, our our lounge area seems quiet downstairs, we often still have a full house of overnight guests.
We now also have a significant number of regular guests, who’ve tried other accommodation providers in the area, but now always come back to Hotel de Vie rather than go anywhere else.
We work hard to ensure our guests are comfortable, treated as individuals, and of course we focus on all the usual things a hotel should (such as great beds, powerful showers, fresh breakfasts, etc.). It’s not rocket science (although our training procedure is very detailed), we just take on the right people to do the right job, who treat our guests with genuine respect at all times, and take pride in their work.
We also support our local community
We’ve cut out most of the products from our wholesale suppliers, to buy directly from local shops and businesses in and immediately around Farnham (even though it often costs us more financially, we believe we get a better product and service).
Our electricity is a 100% green tariff (and our gas should be soon too). We reduced our landfill waste by more than 85% in the first 8 months of trading alone. And of course we ‘buy local’, wherever we can.
Even though we have our own restaurant and licensed bar, we still have a 6 page list in each room of local restaurants and pubs that we recommend to our guests. Every week, we know that on average our guests spend more than a £1,000 in Farnham alone (this outside of our hotel, and just in the local community).
We are also offering the lounge area of our hotel to local community groups, free of charge.
The Myths and Rumours
Unfortunately there are a few people around Farnham town who seem keen to spread mistruths about Hotel de Vie. We’re not sure when or why this started, but it seems that for some people, the fiction is more fun to share than the fact.
I took over in September 2010, and have now developed the hotel to consistently be the number one accommodation in the area, based on independent feedback alone.
We couldn’t have reached this position if anything untoward was going on.
We are also working with our guests, friends, and colleagues, to ask around town to find out who may still misunderstand what Hotel de Vie is really about (through mystery shopping, casual conversation, and market research).
Spreading untruths about the hotel, which is damaging our business, is defamatory.
We want to further engage and support our local community, but to do this, we need to feel confident that our guests will feel comfortable in the local area too, and not have to defend where they’re staying.
Whatever you may have heard, however many people you may have think you’ve heard it from.. please look carefully at our website, read what we’re really saying, and speak to us directly if you have any further questions.
We are a regular luxury hotel (which is highly regarded on TripAdvisor, from reviewers from around the world). We couldn’t have reached number 1 in the area if we tried to cater exclusively for any particular small minority groups.
We accommodate a range of guests throughout the week (predominantly business travellers on weekdays, and leisure travellers at weekends), and we do not discriminate. Our guests are treated as individuals, not just another room booking.
This high ranking is as the result of continued efforts at quality, professionalism, great customer service, cleanliness, etc. We don’t write the reviews ourselves, nor do we ask friends to, nor pay other companies to do so, etc.
Some further information answering the other ‘arguments’ we occasionally hear, can also be seen below:
- Chinese Whispers
- No smoke without fire?
- Our no children policy
- The swings in our rooms
- The artwork on our walls
- Why our front door is locked
- Reading between the lines
If you have any other questions though, please just contact us directly, and meet us in person.
We’re confident that if you take the time to speak to us, and visit us directly, you can understand the truth about Hotel de Vie.