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“Colonial style hotel with splendid views” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rock Hotel Gibraltar

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Rock Hotel Gibraltar
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3 Europa Road, Gibraltar   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Gibraltar
Herts, UK
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Colonial style hotel with splendid views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

The Rock Hotel has a historical reputation, set high along Europa Road with its fantastic views, and it doesn't disappoint in terms of character and service. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The bedrooms and bathrooms are large, but are in need of redecoration and modernisation. I had a preview of one of the new rooms and they will be brighter, more contemporary and stylish with luxurious bathrooms. The hotel has plenty of character and represents the old colonial style of Gibraltar. Across the road is a large marquee where a delicious Moroccan style banquet was held, near the outdoor swimming pool. I would love to return when the refurbishments have been completed!

Room Tip: Higher floors will have better views
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Stephen D, General Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear Miriam14, Thank you for your contribution. I am glad that we had the opportunity of showing off our pilot bedroom, which as you know is a precursor to all the good things that are to come as part of our impending major renovation. I was pleased to read that you enjoyed one of of our recent Moroccan themed evenings in the 'Khaima', our Moroccan marquee situated by the outdoor pool area. It goes without saying that we would love to see you return after our makeover is complete. Thanks again.
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1,068 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (322)
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English first
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Great location

Much of the previous criticism might well be justifiable but hay-ho, The Rock has a great location and the views from the rooms are mesmerising, especially on a clear day. Indeed, The Rock is probably the best place to stay despite its short-comings and we really did enjoy our stay. Also, the restaurant served up some really good food and the restaurant staff really were very professional. The Moroccan food options were delicious and the oven-cooked beef-steak was the best I have eaten; just great.
Overall, the reception staff were generally very helpful and professional, however, we are sorry to say that on arrival, we found, one individual to be somewhat officious and unwelcoming. We mentioned this at checkout and were surprised to learn that everyone seems to be fully aware of the problem and most apologetic.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Stephen D, General Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Critica I, Thank you for your kind words. As you know our decorative and infrastructural shortcomings are soon to be addressed. I was particularly delighted to read your comments about our food and indeed our restaurant staff. Regarding the one member of our reception team that seemed to be below par you can be rest assured that once identified this person shall be counselled. We hope that you will return in due course. Thank you once more.
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Pune
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Of course there are more modern and swish places to stay in Gibraltar but the Rock Hotel is a treasure, very comfortable with genuinely friendly service, nothing is too much trouble for the staff and if the furnishings are a tad dated.... So what! The charm and comfort of the hotel more than compensate for mod cons as do the duckies by the bath :)

Room Tip: Levels 3 and below appear to be refurbished, I was on 4th floor so had old metal balcony doors etc s...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Stephen D, General Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear CarolynPune, Thank you for your observations. I am glad that despite the fact that we are a little tired (but soon to be massively refreshed) you seemed to 'get' the Rock and what she stands for. These are characteristics which we shall endeavour to carry forward throughout the refurbishment and beyond. Your comments about are staff are particularly welcome. Thank you once more.
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Rochester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I first visited (and fell in love with) Gibraltar in the 1990s when I worked on the cruise liner ss Canberra. Twenty years later I still visit at least once a year with my partner, and we always stay at The Rock. In fact, we spent Christmas there last year and had a wonderful time, and we have just returned home after three nights.

Yes, it's a bit shabby, the carpets and soft furnishings have seen better days and the decor is dated. For three years now we have been told that "a multi million investment is just around the corner". There is not much evidence of that yet, but I hope when it comes it is done sympathetically and they don't ruin it as they did when the 'improved' Raffles.

The Rib Room restaurant is something from another era - Fawlty Towers meets Carry On Up The Khyber. We have never visited without being sat next to a Grand Old Dowager complaining loudly about everything she is served. This time was no exception - "Kindly inform cook that I did not care for my meal; the curry was most unpalatable" (she said, as the waiter took away an empty plate).

For the record, our meal was fine - we had the table d'hôte - three courses for £24 (including a glass of sherry on arrival and coffee at the end). I started with German potato salad served with crispy pancetta and pineapple (a strange mixture and quite a large portion at the top of a meal). My main course was medallions of fillet with Madeira jus and foie gras - which was super, followed by a selection of puddings (from a trolley with a squeaky wheel). Just a few comments on what I thought could be done better: the crescent side plate of vegetables was very dated and did not particularly enhance the meal, and given there were only four other tables occupied, it was a shame to be sat against an inside wall when there were empty tables at the window with magical views across the Bay of Gibraltar.

On the other night we ate at the hotel we dined in the Barbary Bar - which is the less formal end of the operation. In summer, the bar opens onto a Wisteria covered terrace with the most wonderful views across the Bay towards Morocco. With the crickets chirping, candles flickering, ships bobbing in the bay and the air heady with the smell of summer, there is no finer place to enjoy a meal. Sadly, the January weather wasn't quite up to alfresco dining, but we enjoyed our meal none the less. I had prawns pil pil followed by steak and ale pie (note to chef - the pie filling was lovely, but in a 4* / AA Rosette hotel can we not have a proper pie, not a dish of pie filling with a frozen puff pastry lid plonked on top, like one would get in a British pub?)

We breakfasted at the hotel just once - and whilst the quality and range of the breakfast buffet is superb, £16 pp for breakfast is a bit steep. In fact, we were going to have it brought to our room, but I then spotted there was a room service charge of £15 pp, which would have resulted in two English breakfast costing over £60 – which is extortionate however you judge it!

Overall, we love Gibraltar and we love The Rock, but there are many smaller service-related issues which do let it down. When you arrive at a hotel at 3pm you don’t expect to be asked to wait 45 minutes for housekeeping to finish preparing your room. And having waited 45 minutes you don’t expect reception to forget to inform you that your room is ready. When you upgrade your room and pay a surcharge, you don’t really want to be told that you will have to move your own luggage as the porter has gone home. You shouldn’t have to ask four times over 24 hours to get an ironing board delivered. Our complimentary fruit basket was never delivered, and despite asking housekeeping and reception for it, it never appeared. The telephone did not work nor did many of the TV channels. None of these things really matter, but not the quality of service one should expect from a 4* hotel.

Having said all of that, The Rock has a wonderful, elegant grandeur which we love; and rather like a dotty of aunt living in fading elegance, it’s lovely to visit her once a year to relive better times and golden memories.

  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen D, General Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear ak23566, Thank you for your well-written review which I read with a smile. Naturally The shortcomings will be discussed with the relevant departmental heads and remedial action wuill be taken. I cannot reconcile your comments regarding the £15.00 per person service charge for a room service breakfast and I wonder if you may have mis-read the information. There are a couple of observations that I would be delighted to give further comment on but I would need to drill down on your booking in greater detail than your Trip Advisor name would allow. Perhaps if you e-mail me presonally we could open up a dialogure if you so wish. Thank you for the warmth in your final paragraph and a personal thank you for painting the 'Od Dowager' image which, as I say, made me smile! Thanks again.
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Sherborne
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed at The Rock for 5 nights in January. The panoramic views are splendid. The hotel is dated but that is part of its charm. The lounge is more 1930s Sidmouth than 2013 Mediterranean, but that's not a complaint. I agree with the previous reviewer that there was no information on how to use phone or tv, and the wi-fi reception was annoyingly intermittent. The reception staff were offhand but other staff were good. Gibraltar doesn't have many hotels and I would go to The Rock again in preference to the others.

Room Tip: Must have a sea view!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen D, General Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear AthosDorsetSherbourne, Thank you for your critique. I apologise that you were not given bedroom facilities and hotel information. We actually give a more than comprehensive guest directory on check-in, which gives an alphabetical listing of all the hotel facilities and more...I am afraid that owing to an administrative confusion we found ourselves temporarily out of stock of this item and whilst we did provide an interim solution, this seems not to have found its way to you. I was encouraged to read that the Rock would still be your hotel of choice when visiting Gibraltar. Thank you.
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

The Rock has a long history of accommodating travelers to Gibraltar and in places it shows. The exterior has seen better days as have all the carpets and much of the soft furnishings. The reception were very helpful and it was a nice touch to serve a sherry on arrival. The room was ok an 8 foot bed was a little over the top!! tea and coffee was available which is a British thing and you did get a feeling of the "old Colonial" about the place. Restaurant served good food 2 courses and wine £21 per head however breakfast at £15 wasn't as good value. Keep your windows closed as even in winter the monkeys were seen climbing over the building and have been known to make an unexpected visit!!
The menu stated that restoration of the building was due to be "embarked upon" however the menu looked a few years old and so I dont know how up to date that comment is.
The hotel is next to the cable car which is very handy for the trip up the Rock, the walk down is very pleasant and well worth it

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Off-season travel comes with both perks and pitfalls. One pitfall of stating at the Rock Hotel was the lack of any hotel information. The only information was two copies of the room service menu. No information on how to dial out, or even to contact reception or room service. There was no information on the TV guide or what other housekeeping services was available. When I queried the front desk, they said they were "out", and the very kind receptionist wrote down on a receipt ticket two numbers (reception and housekeeping) to dial.

Yes, all rooms have a sea view, but you can only view the sea if you are standing on the fairly small balcony as the balcony's walls are fairly high.

Most of the staff were pleasant and helpful, and many seemed genuinely pleased with a 15% tip. There were a couple who seemed a bit annoyed with simple questions such as how to get a taxi or where to find tickets.

While a classic, the peeling/cracking exterior paint detracted from the otherwise charming aspects of the hotel. It does have a very nice promenade with arboredums and nice breezes. Granted off-season is when maintenance begins; however, according to other posts--the peeling paint has been there for more than one season.

It also takes a little time for the hot water to kick in. Once it does, its hot. You just need to plan ahead for any showers or baths.

Great location--right across from the Alameda Botanical Gardens. You can walk right to the cable car (watch out for closure during the off-peak season!), and a longer stroll down to the Casements.

As the cable car was down during my visit, I took the 20 minute uphill walk to the Nature Reserve and Jews Gate. It is a vigorous climb.

While overall not bad, I cannot afford a 4 star rating.

Room Tip: If you can get above the second floor, the views are much better. Also, for those who like to take...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen D, General Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear CAEccles, Thank you for taking the time to contribute. The explanation for the lack of information is responded to in a subsequent review. Please accept our apologies. You will know by reading a number of my other responses that we are on the brink of a multi-million pound capital injection that will put paid to all of our decorative and infra-structure issues, whilst bringing a number of new, outstanding, features to the hotel. I hope that we have the pleasure of a future visit once our refurbishment is complete.. Thank you once more.
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Additional Information about Rock Hotel Gibraltar

Address: 3 Europa Road, Gibraltar
Location: Gibraltar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Gibraltar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Rock Hotel Gibraltar 4*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built on Gibraltar's western flank with stunning views across the bay, it has been welcoming guests since 1932. As the colony’s premier hotel the guest book is littered with famous names as diverse as Sir Winston Churchill and the Two Ronnies! Tastefully renovated, it has the character of a bygone era with the facilities of a modern 'Grand Hotel'. Traditional afternoon tea is served in the lounge and the hotel’s Rib Room Restaurant is recognised as one of the finest places to dine in Gibraltar. The atmospheric Barbary Bar and adjoining wisteria covered terrace are wonderful places to be on a summer’s evening, both are delightful meeting places, the latter a popular venue for weddings. The hotel’s pool area and gardens have an air of tranquillity, yet the centre of town is only a 10-minute downhill walk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gibraltar Rock Hotel
Rock Gibraltar

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