The Royal by Rex is an excellent hotel. We stayed for ten nights in March (2014) and had a great time. The rooms are spacious and tidy, the staff are friendly, helpful and polite, and the hotel's location is fantastic: the beach is on the doorstep, Rodney Bay's shops, bars and restaurants are a short walk away, and the Friday night street party at Gros Islet is only ten minutes in a taxi (you have to go to this!).
Although we didn't have dinner at the hotel due to the range of nearby restaurants, the food that we did have was excellent. There was a pretty good selection at breakfast, from cereals and pastries, to saltfish and freshly cooked omelettes. I would, however, have liked to see a bigger selection of fruit, given what part of the world we were in (you get melon, pineapple, grapes and bananas), and then there was the tea (lipton's), which as anyone from the UK will tell you, is about as exciting as a wet Tuesday in Blackpool (in January). An upgrade to English Breakfast wouldn't go amiss.
There is a little bit of noise around the hotel at night from the amphibious residents. It took me a few days to zone out the endless "bleep bleep" that provided the soundtrack from sunset to sunrise, but that was nothing compared to the "squawk squawk" of the Virgin flight crew who spent the day either by the pool or the beach, endlessly talking shop or yelling out their cocktail orders. I should say that my irritation here stems from the fact that I work in the aviation industry too, so when you are trying to get away from it all and are surrounded by reminders of work, it gets on your nerves a little.
But back to the hotel... This is a really great place to stay. Yes, it could do with a lick of paint here and there and there were refurbishments to the pool area taking place when we were there too, but it doesn't detract from what was a great holiday. I think the credit for this goes to the staff. From management to Housekeeping, we were very well looked after. And we genuinely got the impression that they wanted to know what more they could do to improve. At the Manager's weekly cocktail party for example, many of the senior staff spent time chatting to us about our room, our thoughts on the food, and our overall experience, and they even got the drinks in too! Everybody went out of their way to be helpful. For us though, the star of the show was the barman, Troy (I hope you are paying him well, Richard!). As well as being a pretty creative mixologist, he has endless knowledge of the local area and beyond and greeted us every day with a handshake, a smile, and often a Bob Marley song too! He really made the pool bar a great place to sit and enjoy lunch and a cocktail. Top marks.
Overall: positive positive, positive. I would highly recommend it.