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“Superb value but lacking quality” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Bath

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Royal Bath
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Bath Road, Bournemouth BH1 2EW, England (Formerly De Vere Royal Bath)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #52 of 70 Hotels in Bournemouth
London, United Kingdom
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Superb value but lacking quality”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

We made a last minute booking with Travelzoo, £79.00 Dinner, Bed and Breakfast + a free bottle of wine!
Hotel looked fantastic, one of the best of the early Victorian hotels set in fine grounds, in a prime location on the seafront, near all the attractions.
Check-in slow, one member of staff covering a busy reception.
Room perfectly acceptable, but nearer Bognor than Bournemouth.
Dinner poor, very limited choice and a good example of 1980s motorway cafe style cooking.
Bar understaffed with no floor service. End of pier solo singer/organist tried valiantly to be heard above the conversation.
Breakfast was good with plenty of staff!
Overall what could have been a memorable stay let down by lack of staff and a poor attention to detail. I would sum it up as under-managed!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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1,917 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (598)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

I have always thought life is too short to sit on a computer reviewing hotels in fact this is my first time, and some of the comments by previous guests are ridiculous in the extreme, some comments can kill a hotels business and sometimes unfairly in my opinion, so I was fully aware of the deluge of dreadful reviews on Tripadvisor about this hotel but decided to book anyway having stayed here many times over the past 30 years, (the last time being over 2 years previously when owned by the De Vere group).
My reasoning being that the great location and building couldn't have changed and that only the
Cleanliness (good)
Decor ( extremely dated unimaginative and tired)
Food ( Disgusting, see below)
Service (poor) remain as important factors in deciding how enjoyable our two nights stay would be.
We didn't last beyond breakfast the next day having come up with a compromise deal with a very nice and understanding manager exactly 4 hours after arriving (9PM).
We checked out before breakfast the following day. We had agreed a refund on half of our total bill which included dinner and breakfast on 2 days, in essence we lost out on about £50 plus travelling costs to visit a hotel to stay for one night and why you may ask did we leave early !.
We just wanted a midweek break where we could enjoy a 3 course meal and retire to the bar on both nights and relax.
On booking in we were told that dinner was served from 6 - 8.30pm, we opted for 8.30
We arrived at the restaurant at 8.20pm and were told pick anywhere to sit and sat for 10 minutes until we got the attention of a table clearer who told us it was a buffet dinner, asking for a glass of water we were told it was in a jug in the corner (warm) we then went to the buffet counter, the choices were

1. dry and inedible Cous cous with a dry overcooked Kofta sausage
2 watery Prawn cocktail minus the sauce with wilted unwelcoming lettuce.
3. cold quiche

1. Belly pork cooked in red cabbage, which was 75% fat which I chose accompanied by cold lumpy mashed potato and UNCOOKED broccoli and COLD GRAVY SERVED IN A WATER JUG
I HEAVED AT THE SMELL and attempted to eat it but couldn't get past a few mouthfuls
2. Cold greasy and overcooked fish and frozen uncooked chips INEDABLE
3. My partner chose the third choice overcooked cottage pie (hot but tasteless except for a hint of vinegar, HOW !
4. Greasy overcooked spring rolls and noodles

WITHOUT EXAGERATING IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO EAT ANYTHING AT ALL. I am a decorator builder and I am not a fussy eater I have never complained about a meal in my life, but theres not a café in London or school in the UK which would serve up this SLOP,

We spoke to other guests and decided on their recommendation that breakfast wasn't worth staying for, so a dreadful start to our trip
on entering the bar area we were treated musically to "rhapsody in blue, " the Warsaw concerto, Brandenberg concerto and some of the most depressing music I have heard in a public area, now that's ok in the Royal Albert hall, but easy listening and relaxing, NO.
Is all this enough to warrant going home, well yes if you want a "HOME FROM HOME HOTEL EXPERIENCE", The hotel it seems to cater for BUDGET COACH TOURS SUPERBREAK TYPE HOLIDAYS, a long way from being the only 5 star hotel outside London 20 years ago.

Room Tip: Don't bother
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

My self and my husband stayed at the hotel for one night recently, we used to stay on a regular basis years ago. What a change, we must have had the worst room in the hotel so depressing. It was only for one night so I really could not be bothered to complain. Years ago I loved to arrive at the hotel see on the same friendly staff. and loved the décor. Many an idea in my home came from the Christmas decorations at the hotel. Was absolutely gob smacked to be charged £2 for the use of the towel in the leisure centre. The large bar had no atmosphere and so needs up dated the chairs look tired. We walked across the road and ate in the local casino it was nice to see some friendly faces. Dreaded coming back to the depressing room, will not be rushing back. This hotel had it all and quite honestly could have again , but do it quick as have been asking around and there are many others in the area that have got it right. Great location ,from the out side quite outstanding but the inside and the staff another story.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

We were met at the counter by a male receptionist who was not at all helpful and it got worse because he had not explained how the card key system worked ,we were not told that you had to put the key in upside down and it took three trips to the room to get in and it took another trip to get in ,I have recently had a heart operation so don't need the stress or going up and down stairs for no good reason and he was to idol to help I also did loose my glasses while there and they were found by me after I got home lodged under the seat of the car ,the receptionist manager front of house a lady, was most helpful Regards Richard Stone

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

I booked two rooms for two nights. I read the reviews and thought I had made a big mistake.

The other members of my group were having fun at my expense before we arrived, thinking we were heading for "Faulty Towers"

The hotel was good, very good. The hotel is in the middle of Bournemouth and next to Bournemouth pier. The hotel, Gardens and swimming pool are very nice and our room was lovely, overlooking the sea. The bed were very comfortable and the bar was nice and relaxing as was the gardens, which cut through to the sea.

Agreed car parking is a bit of problem, but we left our cars at the back of the hotel on top of the hill and it cost us £3.50 a day. But Car parking is not the hotels fault. Anybody that knows Bournemouth, will tell you that parking in the summer is a nightmare.

if you want to stay in a hotel that is 200 yards from the BIC, 300 yards from the Pier and in the middle of town for all the restaurants, bars and shops - don't complain about car parking.

I don't understand the reviews and I don't understand the money that people are saying they paid.

It is not a 5 star hotel but it is a very very good English Seaside hotel in a wonderful location with many nice features

The staff were very friendly and I felt sorry for them having witnessed the rudeness of some of the guest.

My advice is to ignore a lot of the reviews and go with an open mind and get the best deal possible.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We've read through some of the comments below & feel we should try & put a balanced opinion of our recent experiences at the Royal Bath.

We looked at a four night stay in Bournemouth using a sister booking site & considered five hotels on both east & west cliff. Having holidayed in Bournemouth since childhood I knew of the Royal Bath & its reputation as a top class hotel, though I was puzzled at the change in ownership from Devere to Britannia group & I noted Britannia's ownership of the Heathlands hotel where I stayed in 1996! Undeterred, we compared prices & booked four nights for around £330.00 - the other hotels averaged around £400.00 for four nights.

On arrival I enquired about car parking & was advised by the porter that it was £20.00 per night valet parking, or we could use the pay-&-display car park on Bath Road at £12.50 per day. £30.00 is better in our pockets so we unloaded our bags & parked in the Bath Road car park - using the "RingGo" facility we obtained seven days parking for only £40.00 - but still £40.00 more than we should have had to pay.

We then checked in, & paid for room before having seen it - I thought it rather odd to pay for the room up-front but assumed it was part of the deal & that we had opened credit on our room. We were also informed that breakfast was available from 07:30 until 10:30 at an additional charge of £9.95!!! "But I thought we had booked bed & breakfast?" was my question. "Oh no - you're on room-only" was the receptionists reply. Oh well two of us at four breakfasts would mean another £79.60 on top of our room - so the other hotels quoting £400.00 for four nights was perhaps not unreasonable - our fault for not checking exactly what we were booking

We then set off to find our room, exploring the first floor above the reception, we returned to reception to ask again for directions, this time setting off in the right direction through the lounge, past the restaurants, up some stairs, finally reaching a lift that took us to the floor where our room was - 282. The room was clean, tidy, comfortable bed, large bathroom with shower, decent sized window that could be opened but not much of a view other than the room of a derelict building - in a building of this age not every room can expect to have a fantastic view. Generally speaking, the room was good, though the shower screen on the bath had a tendency to swing away from the bath allowing shower water to drench the bathroom floor - a shower curtain would have been much better.

Nights sleep: we slept very well as the bed was comfortable & included a mattress-top. However, room service tried to enter our room at 08:30 before we had even got out of bed, so the following nights the "do not disturb" tag was hung on the door until we had finished with our room for the day. Creaking floors? Yes there are, but in a hotel of its age it is to be expected, & there are many other hotels I can name that have a similar problem. Doors slamming? Yes, but that is entirely down to the lack of consideration by guests for other guests. Over all - a good nights sleep.

Breakfast: our first morning we sampled the hotel breakfast - not without difficulty. The hotel restaurant seemed unable to charge this to our room & we were told to go to the reception to pay there & then. Once back in the restaurant we picked a table & chose our food from the buffet - it was not good. Fresh fruit was limited to water melon, grapefruit segments, & mandarin segments, while fresh orange juice had to be tipped out of the dispenser as the level was so low & the contents were not replenished. The bacon was ok & plenty of it, but the sausages were poor quality frozen, deep fried so they were dark on the outside, barely cooked on the inside, swimming in fat/oil & had a strange taste. The eggs were poor, broken, cold, picked over by other guests & not replenished while scrambled egg does not keep well on a hot plate. It would not be difficult to set up a griddle where staff can cook fried eggs to customers requirements. Tomatoe ketchup? Yes it was available - from a fixed dispenser attached to the end of the breakfast counter - something I've never seen before in a hotel of this type - whatever happened to the traditional ketchup bottle? All in all, the breakfast was worth about half what we were charged - needless to say we didn't bother with the hotel again & on the second morning found a nice café in the town centre where a breakfast could be obtained, cooked fresh to order, for only a few pence more.

The remainder of our stay: we used little of the hotels other facilities as we had plenty of things to do elsewhere, though we noted the lack of patrons in the restaurant for evening dinner. On our last morning work started on demolishing the aforementioned building behind our room, it was 08:30 but the sound of breaking glass was startling, & several guest were complaining about it when we checked out.

What do the locals say? We chatted with a few locals who knew the Royal Bath in former days & said it was one of the best hotels in Bournemouth. They have a very low opinion of it now - not good!!!

And check-out? We checked out, the receptionist simply checked our room number on the system, said "There's nothing more to pay" (obviously there wouldn't be with no credit on our room!!!). I handed the key cards over, & that was that! No request for feedback, no questions of had everything been ok during our stay, nothing!

Overall opinion - great location, one of few hotels to have a decent size garden not turned over to car-parking, it's age means it is not without a few problems that some people don't expect, such as staircases, different parts of the building on different levels, a rambling layout, & of course the creaking floor boards. No hotel can carry out structural work in complete silence, & the work behind the hotel will improve the outlook from the rear rooms, & some people will complain at the smallest inconvenience, but there is a feeling in this hotel that no one cares, maybe low staff morale or poor management. Another concern is the lack of responses to comments from the hotel.

Whatever, there are better hotels in Bournemouth - I don't think we'll book at the Royal Bath again - that is if it is still around in few years time!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

Having stayed at this hotel before 2 years ago we thought we would give it another go for a long weekend, unfortunately it has gone down hill! Great location, but there are a few things to watch out for. Firstly we were greeted by a guy on reception who was very smiley but then told us "I've been here 3 years, 3 years too long". Who says that to a guest checking in? Next the room was fine, we paid for a standard room with inland view, it should have said it was right on the roundabout and you can hear all the delightful sounds of the traffic. We asked to move rooms due to the noise and was told that nothing was available. 5 mins later we asked to talk to the manager as we had checked online to see they were still selling rooms for that night, to instantly be told we could change rooms! Great customer service!! The pool area needs a thorough deep clean as there was a nice scum line all around the edge of the pool, the hand rail to get in the pool was just about to fall off, we were told it was to be fixed on monday. They also had the cheek to charge £1 for a towel. Then in the bar on a sat night I was told they don't do bloody marys, what hotel of that size doesn't have tomato juice, plus the grumpy girl behind the bar. All in all I won't be returning to this place again. Or recommending it to anyone. They said they were starting renovations, but I think they should start with a good cleaning first. Poor.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Bath

Address: Bath Road, Bournemouth BH1 2EW, England (Formerly De Vere Royal Bath)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 70 Hotels in Bournemouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Bath 3*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resort Hotel in turreted building located on 3-acre cliff-edge garden, with views over bay & Purbeck Hills. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
De Vere Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth
Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth

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