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“Great Location, Great Break From It All” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Imperial Hotel

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The Imperial Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #46 of 94 Hotels in Torquay
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Great Location, Great Break From It All”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Make sure to get a sea view as high up as possible
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernice H, Manager at The Imperial Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear MercOwner,
We are delighted you had such a lovely time at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay and so pleased you were able to experience the Red Arrows in such an amazing setting. I am sure you will agree Torquay with its own micro-climate is one of the worlds most beautiful places more so on a Sunday. I have noted your comments about food service timings and will ensure the immediate improvements are made.
We look forward to welcoming back to the hotel in near future.
with kind regards,

Bernice Heard
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (562)
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Devonshire
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

The Imperial Hotel has lost much of its grandeur of times past. The location is superb with wonderful views over the sea, Torbay and surrounding areas.
I was looking forward to going to this hotel with a friend. We enjoyed a swim and steam room experience in the spa but everything was in need of attention. Hardly any of the lockers in the swimming pool area had keys that worked and the wrist bands were missing on most. The shower was just about okay! I just felt that everything was jaded and in need of an upgrade. Having visited numerous 4* hotels in Austria I felt the standard of many areas of this hotel were not 4*.
We went to the bar for lunch and waited for over three quarters of an hour to be served our snacks. They were quite nice but nothing exceptional. The service was really poor and when our food eventually arrived the napkin and cutlery was just left in a pile and not placed beside each of us. Sauces and vinegar etc. was in sachets like you would get in a roadside café! Certainly not four star. The dining area was virtually empty so I have no idea why we had to wait so long.
The reception area of the hotel is very grand with marble floors and chandeliers but there did not seem to be any real atmosphere. We hardly saw a soul in there!
I recall this being a 5* hotel, I can quite see why it is only 4* now.
It would be wonderful if this hotel had a make-over and replaced all the tired and worn fitments etc. It has a unique position and merits a total upgrade within the areas we visited.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernice H, Manager at The Imperial Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear WalkingWizard,
Thank you for your review we are very pleased to hear you enjoyed the views and the location of this grand lady of the English Riviera. We are sorry you felt the hotel was in need of an upgrade. Puma Hotels have been managing this property for just over a year now and have made great in-roads to improving the product and services on offer. We have a commitment to continue this over the next few years.

Thank you again for your review and we hope you will consider staying with us again.
with kind regards,

Bernice Heard
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Torquay, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

Beautiful View from our Suite with a nice balcony, very good fitments & furniture BUT everything worn & tired !! curtains old & frayed, arm chairs thread bare, old bathroom, such a shame love the Old World look but not the Old Worn look .... Sorry.... on the plus side very good breakfast & helpful staff. Parking very expensive.

Room Tip: Sea View 1st floor or higher. Garden Rooms looked very nice as it appeared you had access to the gro...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernice H, Manager at The Imperial Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear Dianne F,
Thank you for your review, I don't think we will ever get enough of those stunning seaviews from this Hotel. The Restaurant, Lounge Bar and many of the bedrooms enjoy this spectacular scene.
We are sorry you felt more could have been done about the aesthetics of the hotel, Puma Hotels have a commitment to improve the product and services we offer and I can assure you with every visit you will see the impact of this promise.

thank you again,

Bernice Heard
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Torquay
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

My husband & I enjoyed a lovely week all inclusive at The Imperial & were lucky to have fantastic weather.Our room was large with stunning sea views & a nice balcony.Food was delicious ,however service in the restaurant was hit & miss.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernice H, Manager at The Imperial Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear Tanya K, Thank you for booking one of our all inclusive breaks at the Torquay Imperial Hotel. 7 days of good food, good service and great views, we are delighted you were able to enjoy everything about the hotel.
Hope to see you again next year.

Best Wishes,
Bernice Heard
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Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I expected a 4 star hotel, i got maximum 2 star and i pathe price of a 5 star hotel (139 GPB a night expected a room with view not to the service areal and windows which were not possible to close! There was no hair dryer in the bathroom, not even a toilet brush! Everything costs extra (parking areal, breakfast)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernice H, Manager at The Imperial Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear Holger B, we are sorry you felt disappointed by your experience of the hotel. Our best rate offers are available on our website pumahotels.co.uk. which offer inclusive of breakfast prices as well as adding on dinner or spa treatments as an example.

Our Hotel meets the AA criteria for a four star hotel we are sorry you didn't find this during your stay.

kind regards,
Bernice Heard
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Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I have just arrived back from The Imperial and I will not be going back. I have stayed in the hotel 4 times in the past but when The Barcello chain were running the hotel not Puma. We upgraded to a sea view room which on a plus had by the looks of it been refurbished and updated which was good and the room was very clean but avoid rooms 47,48 and 49 as your sea view will be obstructed by 3 huge trees so you cannot see much view at all and pray that there is not a function going on as the function hall is just 10 steps away from our rooms (we had all three rooms as there was 6 of us). As an upgraded room I was expecting robes and slippers (The Barcello chain provided these) but no robes or slippers and Puma could not even manage a shower cap!. The food, well lets put it this way you needed a magnefying glass to see it so for the price it was not good value for money. We also ordered a bottle of wine which took nearly half an hour to arrive. The breakfast was very disapointing, the sausages had a funny tang to them, the bacon was raw and when I asked for soft boiled eggs they were hard boiled. All very disopointing so if you have been before with the Barcello chain please avoid this hotel as you will not go back again.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms 47, 48 and 49 as the sea view is obstructed by trees and too near to the function room.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernice H, Manager at The Imperial Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Dear Emma C, thank you for your review. Besides the great views of Torbay the Hotel is set in beautiful gardens and the trees you are referring too have been in the grounds for over a hundred years, they are protected by law and to be quite honest stunningly beautiful and offer respite from the sun on the hot days we experienced this summer. The rooms you mention are close to the function suite however I understand there was no function on during your stay and therefore did not impact on your experience, these rooms would be allocated to party goers should there be a function on. We have upgraded our toiletries to a better product by a British company plus we give more in terms of quantity of our Gilchrist & Soames range. Shower caps are on request as this is not an item all our guests would use. We still offer bathrobes and slippers in our Premium and Deluxe rooms and again, would have been happily provided.

We are sorry you left disappointed,
with kind regards,

Bernice Heard
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Torquay
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

The Hotel was nice, a bit run down for a 4 star Hotel, needs up dating in parts. The food was lovely and service in the restaurant, not so good in the lounge bar. Great view from our room, over looking the bay but the noise from the generator was heard throughout the night. Some of the staff were friendly, but some do need to improve their manners.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Imperial Hotel

Address: Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Torquay
#8 Spa Hotel in Torquay
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#20 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
#30 Romantic Hotel in Torquay
#31 Family Hotel in Torquay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Imperial Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 152
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

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