Newest Review: ... Dooyoo allowed one word reviews I probably would have just said 'Divine' and left it at that. Hotel Chocolat do so many different product... more
Member Name: Tarapea
Advantages: Brilliant ethics, gorgeous quality chocolate, flawless customer service
Disadvantages: It's pricey, but it's worth it
Conforming to female stereotype a bit here, but I love chocolate (and also pink, kittens, scented candles and occasional nagging). Not just any choccie will do though, I like a little bit of class in my calorie. I'm never let down and always spoilt for choice when it comes to Hotel Chocolat.
(Some information taken from Hotel Chocolat's website and catalogue - with thanks.)
Hotel Chocolat was founded around 20 years ago, by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, two people who should be praised for their efforts to ensure no chocolate craving go unanswered.
It started as an online business, but in 2004 they branched out into physical shops too. Hotel Chocolat take their ingredients very seriously and herald the 'less sugar, more cocoa' approach, which is very commendable. They are well known to be not just chocolatiers, but cocoa growers as well. Their ethics are pure and simple - sustainable benefits for the cocoa communities, and quality chocolate for the customers. Who can refuse that ethos?
The Hotel Chocolat website is well laid out and simple, yet classy in design. There's something for everyone to be found here, and they cater for Diabetics, Vegans and Vegetarians too. Hotel Chocolat follow Diabetes UK's opinion on diabetic chocolate, which is that packing the goodies with artificial sweeteners in place of sugar isn't particularly recommended as it can cause similar blood sugar problems. Instead, they offer chocolates with extremely high cocoa content and less sugar, for Diabetics to enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy diet. This honest approach to a serious issue is wonderful, as being a chocolate company they could so easily cash in on the idea of 'Diabetic Chocolate'.
You can find exactly what you're after online by navigating your way through their choice of menus at the top of the screen - Occasions, Products, Person, Genre or Corporate. Or, if you can resist everything except temptation, you can head for the 'show me everything' button and browse through every single thing the company has to offer.
Divine. If Dooyoo allowed one word reviews I probably would have just said 'Divine' and left it at that.
Hotel Chocolat do so many different products, from selection boxes of individual chocolates to giant slabs, from chocolate enrobed fruit to dipping kits, from hot chocolate to chocolate spread... I could go on, but I'm afraid I may drown in my own drool at this stage. They also offer 100% cocoa bars, for the purists out there.
I think when it comes to such a posh choc, you have to taste it to understand. Some say 'how on earth can you spend THAT much on chocolate?' and stare at you like you're in strong need of a padded cell and a 'special' jacket. Well the answer is this: once you've tried it, you can't forget it. You go to nibble a bar of cheaper chocolate and all you can taste is sugar. It tastes insipid and sickly. With Hotel Chocolat products you can taste the richness and the depth of real, quality cocoa. It's a special treat in our house, where we have a chocolate or two instead of wolfing down a whole box in an evening. It's too rich to eat in large quantities, even for chocoholics like me!
~~~The Customer Service~~~~
I've been an online customer of Hotel Chocolat for many years, and they've never disappointed me yet.
They dispatch orders quickly, and offer you a choice of standard or named day delivery, often upgrading standard orders to next day delivery at no extra charge in hotter weather so as not to risk the quality of your order. If you experience a problem with your order, the response to their online contact form is swift, helpful and always polite, something that can be quite refreshing when dealing with some of the other companies out there....
I placed an order for some of their Easter sale items this year, and when it arrived I noticed one item was missing and another had been changed for something else. This has never happened to me before in years of buying with them, and I assumed it may have been the chaotic rush of the sale that caused it. To me, the strength of a company is always in how they deal with you when problems arise - I can forgive most errors, if they're dealt with well. This is where Hotel Chocolat excell most. I dropped them a quick email asking if they could explain the exchanged item and the whereabouts of the missing one, within 48 hours I had a very polite message back explaining that the item I had ordered was out of stock so they'd upgraded it for a more costly product. Without me having to even ask, they refunded both the missing item and the price of the item that had been exchanged, all with speed and a polite attitude throughout. To me, that's customer service at its best.
For me, Hotel Chocolat offer a winning combination of the best customer service and the best chocolate imaginable.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: A quality company, offering the very best