We had a great stay at the Imperial at the end of August on a special package tailored around a display by the Red Arrows. The Hotel was a perfect place to watch the display – made even better by the bottle of champagne and tray of canapés which were part of the package.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and hope to return next year, soI simply do not recognise the hotel as described in some recent reviews.
We had a great time and only left the hotel once in the three days that we stayed. There is an outside pool with surrounding terraced areas with plenty of sunbeds, on busier days there is a small refreshments kiosk. Ideal in the earlier part of the day before the sun moves round to the hotel’s balconies.
The views from the Bar area and the restaurant are spectacular, taking maximum benefit of the hotel’s elevated position in a waterside location. There is a garden area with paths to stroll through, but because of the almost cliff like location there are many steps and steep sections. All areas inside the building that we went to looked to have been recently decorated, we did not go to the spa area.
We had a sea view room with a balcony on the third floor, it looked to have been recently decorated and was clean. The balcony had two reclining chairs and two sunbeds, the cushions provided for the chairs didn’t match. The bathroom was well equipped but lacked space to keep washbags. Towels were replaced every day when following the usual code of putting used towels in the bath not just back on the rail. The safe was just about big enough for an iPad but a full laptop did not fit. The room fittings are old, fitted wardrobes were dated in style and the easy chairs had seen better days, there was a large piece of furniture used as a TV stand obviously designed for a mini bar or fridge unit which the room did not have. The Hotel is a Victorian building and part of the charm of the place was things like the sloping bedroom floor and the door frame to the bathroom with no right angles.
We had a totally unobstructed view of the sea from our balcony, for me this was a major positive about the Imperial. All the rooms to the rear have poor views inland at the rising hill full of housing behind the hotel.
Our package included dinner and there was a reasonable choice across the two menus, one unchanging and the second with slight variations each day. The food was quite good with portions that looked smaller than they were as they were served on large plates. By the end of three courses you felt that you had had enough. The window tables have a great view across the bay, most are set for four or more. You can request a window table when making your dinner reservation; they make no guarantees but willingly removed place settings on those occasions when we had asked for a window seat in advance. Despite the restaurant being reservation only, we had a lengthy wait for a table on our first night; this was not repeated (maybe because we arrived a couple of minutes ahead of time).
Breakfast was good with a wide choice across a good range of alternatives. We followed the advice given on the notices in the lifts about better time to go for breakfast and ate around 8 each day and did not have to queue even getting one of the few window tables set for two. The guests arriving for breakfast as we were leaving, however, had delays being seated.
For us there was only one recurring downside to our stay, invariably the length of time between ordering and food service was excessive. In the restaurant for dinner the time before starters was too long and then there was a long wait for each course after that. The most extreme example is for a bar meal of sandwiches and coffee which took 50 minutes to arrive, far too long even if one was a club sandwich. The bar area was quiet at the time and there were only two orders ahead of us. This alone reduced our rating by a star.
There is a car parking charge of currently £7 per night but this is clearly stated on the hotel’s website. The free Wi-Fi is restricted by speed, for full speed access a charge is levied.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Imperial Hotel is a 19th Century four-star hotel in a stunning cliff-top location on the English Riviera. Of the 152 bedrooms, 60 are sea-facing premium rooms, 29 deluxe rooms with sea views, and 13 suites. Just a mile from Torquay train station, and 10 minutes walk from the town centre and its famous promenade, this Mediterranean-style hotel is a great base for exploring Devon and North Cornwall. Close by are sandy beaches, the Eden Project and Dartmoor National Park. After a day of exploring relax in the Health & Leisure Club then enjoy delicious food in the award-winning Regatta Restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Imperial Hotel Torquay
- Barcelo Torquay
- Imperial Torquay
- Torquay Imperial Hotel
- Hotel Imperial Torquay
- The Imperial Hotel Torquay, Devon