To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser review: A decadent option for hot chocolate lovers

Our Rating :
£95.70 from
Price when reviewed : £100
inc VAT

While it may be a little pricey, the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser’s chocolate-y creations will satisfy even the most demanding of sweet tooths


  • Attractive and thoughtful design
  • Makes delicious, velvety hot chocolates
  • Plenty of variety on offer


  • Expensive for what it is
  • The own-brand flakes could be better

We all love a properly prepared, deliciously rich hot chocolate. However, making one at home can often be too laborious, should you choose to make it on your stovetop, or disappointing and chalky, should you opt for an instant powdered version. The Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser is a hot chocolate maker aiming to deliver both quality and simplicity. It operates similarly to a jug-style milk frother, melting chocolate flakes while whisking milk to a fine texture. The results are undeniably delicious, but the high price of this appliance and its accompanying flakes mean that it will only likely be of interest to serious chocolate fans or those who can’t get enough of their little luxuries.

Check price at John Lewis

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser review: What do you get for the money?

The Velvetiser retails at £100 and is a fairly straightforward piece of kit. In the box, you’ll find the jug itself, the base stand, a lid to prevent spatter and spills, the frothing whisk and two white ceramic cups. The outer body of the jug is metallic and comes in three colourways: white, copper and charcoal. The interior is metal with a non-stick coating, while a weighty handle offers a textured grip on its side.

The Velvetiser is simple to operate: once filled with plant or dairy milk to the “max” mark, you add a Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate sachet or chocolate flakes of your own choosing (although Hotel Chocolat maintains that you should only use its flake sachets in the machine) and press the appliance’s sole button. Two-and-a-half minutes later, you should have a serving of hot chocolate ready to go.

Looking at potential rivals, you’ll find that some of the best milk frothers offer similar hot chocolate-making capabilities to the Velvetiser. For example, the Dualit Handheld Milk Frother (£70) makes pretty solid hot chocolates, with its other attachments creating perfectly textured milk for lattés, cappuccinos and flat whites. It’s cheaper than the Velvetiser, too.

If fiddling with frothers isn’t for you and you’re looking for a more robust multifunctional option, a pod coffee machine might be a consideration. Many Tassimo models, such as the My Way 2 (£65), accept special Tassimo discs for hot chocolates, with branded tie-ins available from Cadbury’s, Galaxy and more available alongside the classic range of coffee options.

READ NEXT: Best coffee machines

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser review: What’s good about it?

Marrying form and function very nicely, the Velvetiser pairs an outwardly attractive design with some neat touches that make it pleasant to use. I reviewed the charcoal model with brass trim, and found the dark exterior and metallic edging looked elegant on my countertop. In terms of design features, I welcomed the robust, weighty feel of the Velvetiser and the texturised handle. The latter offered a very solid grip when moving it, while the small pouring spouts on both sides of the rim mean that it’s suitable for both left- and right-handed people.

Once you’re done looking admiringly at your Velvetiser, you’ll be pleased to learn that it offers plenty of room to tailor your cup of cocoa exactly as you like it. First, you choose between dairy milk and plant-based options, such as oat or almond milk, after which you have a wide range of Hotel Chocolat sachets from which to make a choice. In the Everything Selection I tested, I was treated to options such as Salted Caramel, Hazelnut Praline, Orange, Mint, Ginger and Chilli, as well as more traditional picks such as Milky 50%, Vanilla-White 36%, Classic 70% and Dark 85%. Other selection boxes include flavours such as Black Forest Gateau, Peanut Butter and Dark 100%, and there’s a whole latté-based line, too.

Once you’ve selected your preferred milk and sachet, simply hit the button and let the Velvetiser do its thing. A first taste saw me pleasantly surprised – the texture of the hot chocolate lived up to the appliance’s name, while the flavour was tasty and rich. I then went off-piste, going against Hotel Chocolat’s advice to use just its sachets, using freshly grated Green and Black’s, Twirls and other favourites instead.

And it’s here that my tastebuds were in receipt of a real treat. High-quality, freshly grated chocolate delivered a much richer, cleaner flavour than the Hotel Chocolat sachets, with the Green and Black’s chocolate in particular lending itself to crafting a deliriously decadent and super smooth hot chocolate drink. Note, though, that chocolate should be in its finest form possible, either chopped with a knife or using a grater. On my first attempt with a bar of Twirl, the pieces were a bit too large, and seemingly clogged the whisk and strained the motor.

Although undeniably delicious, it’s unlikely that the majority will be making and drinking a rich chocolate drink every day, so it’s pertinent to ask: does the Velvetiser do anything else? Well, it does a decent job of frothing milk, although in much the same manner as a milk frother. Nevertheless, if you have a way of making espresso, then the Velvetiser will do a solid job of upgrading that to a latté or a mocha should you fancy it.

READ NEXT: Best Nepresso machines

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser review: What could be better?

In terms of the downsides, the glaringly obvious one is price. Despite its ability to function as a serviceable milk frother, £100 remains quite pricey for a dedicated hot chocolate maker. If you’re a hot chocolate aficionado, or just someone happy to spend that much on a non-essential appliance, there’s no doubt you’ll be thrilled with the Velvetiser. But the majority are likely to feel a pang of financial regret following their purchase, especially when taking into account that ten packs of Hotel Chocolat sachets retail for just over £13.

That takes us neatly to my next quibble: the sachets. While available in a commendable array of flavours and cocoa percentages, they’re expensive and simply don’t taste as good as freshly grated chocolate. I understand that the Hotel Chocolat flakes are prepared in such a way so as to melt cleanly, thereby protecting the overall health of the machine itself, but I always resent any appliance that locks you into having to purchase pricey first-party sachets, pods, fillings and so on, while claiming that third-party products or simpler, cheaper solutions just won’t do. While it’s difficult to determine the long-term effects of using grated as opposed to Hotel Chocolat chocolate in the Velvetiser, in the short term, it hasn’t been an issue.

Check price at John Lewis

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser review: Should you buy it?

I’ll make no bones about it: on ditching the sachets and grating up some high-quality milk chocolate, the Velvetiser delivered the tastiest and, yes, most velvety, hot chocolate I’ve ever experienced. And, aside from its well-executed main function, the Velvetiser looks elegant and features a nicely textured handle and pouring spout that make it a pleasure to use to froth up regular milk for coffees, too, which adds to its potential for everyday use.

However, you can’t get away from the fact that the Velvetiser is expensive for what it is, and that’s before you take into account the added cost of the slightly disappointing yet pricey Hotel Chocolat sachets. Cheaper, more versatile options such as the Dualit Handheld Milk Frother (£70) or Tassimo My Way 2 capsule coffee machine (£65) get close enough to the quality of the Velvetiser while saving you some cash.

All that said, if you simply want the best at-home hot chocolate you can get and cost is a secondary factor, then the Velvetiser is very hard to beat.

Read more