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“Go, ape.” 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
Warwick, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Go, ape.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

A major refurbishment is due to relaunch this prime location, art deco, liner of a hotel, cant wait, I bet it will be fabulous.

At the moment though, it's like staying at a Great Aunt's grand, old house; warm and comfortable enough, but very much lived in, (some may say shabby even?) and with small, almost abandoned grounds. Added to this, she doesn't seem to hear everything you say and her old Hoover doesn't pick up everything it should. If this would bother you and you want fresh painted, shiny new everything- stay somewhere else, this isnt for you (yet!)

The view from all sea facing rooms is ever changing and pretty special when compared with the usual flat ocean horizon. Look out over the Botanical Gardens and architectural goods sheds (which are surely just years away from redevelopment into a chi-chi Cape Town style waterfront development?) and then past the busy commercial harbour yard, into the bay beyond. Here schools of big boats bob at anchor being filled with tax free fuel by shoals of small Gib tankers. Behind them is the busy Spanish port of Algeciras whose ships of all sizes arrive and depart throughout the day, twinkling as they do at night.

Not enough in a hotel view? Well see that hazy headland a dozen miles over the straits there on the left? That's Africa. Quite something.

The fresh paw prints up the exterior walls and faint whiff of pee n poo on our balcony warned us that the sign saying monkey room service was unlikely, was hopeful rather than factual.

Gibraltar monkeys (the cheeky, fruit eating variety, not the cheeky, tax dodging type) have been playing Trick or Treat on the terraces and tables of the Rock Hotel for many generations.

Every time new guests check in, the apes may be in for five days of feasting in return for photo opportunities with monkey loving couples, or get screamed at and shooed away by belt wielding businessmen, fearing for their Blackberrys. They truly must think us humans are a right risky, schizo species to live alongside and its no surprise that some prefer bag-snatching to begging and have lost patience with us temperamental tourists. They just want your food and will do almost anything to get it; rather like the Tax Free and tat shops on Main Street will do anything to get your cash. Be wary of both and you should be OK.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
CharlesDanino, Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, November 12, 2013
Dear Terry C,
Many thanks for your loyalty over the last 10 years. We hope you will keep coming back.
Best regards,
Charles
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,034 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 (311)
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

We stayed for the first time at the rock at the beginning of October 2013. Having read the reviews on trip adviser after booking, we were concerned! It is portrayed as a shabby shambles and to say we were dreading our stay would be an understatement. However, having stayed for 4 days, I can honestly say I loved the hotel.

It is what it is....an old hotel that still oozes charm and character. Yes, the paint is chipped and flaking off, I can't argue there are damp patches on the ceiling and the bath seal was a little grim but to be honest, (and I know this sounds odd!) it made the hotel charming. It smacks of days gone by, you can almost see John and Yoko walking up the front steps, envisage Sean Connery taking a martini in the bar...some really huge names have stayed here.

When we were on the transfer bus, we dropped one couple off at a hotel with a very posh marble reception....to be honest, I thought it looked horrible. I much prefer the colonial colours and comfort of the Rock hotel.

The staff were lovely, the girls at reception couldn't have been more helpful. There was only one blip...one of our family said they had left a message for us but none was waiting. My husband even went down to reception to ask but was told there was no message. Literally as I was doing a scout round the room as we were leaving to check out, I saw the small card near the phone telling us that there was now an answer phone message service. As no one at reception pointed this out, even when asked, we got the message 3 days late.

That tiny thing aside, what a fab stay. The thing that made it for me...although I think breaks it for some other people....is the monkeys who hang out with you on the balcony. Now if you love animals, you'll love the experience. If you don't, then you'll notice the monkey paw prints everywhere and the inability to eat a biscuit with your evening sherry as it will seconds before your tuck is stolen. Me, I felt so privileged to be sat next to these amazing animals. One of the alpha males just sat quietly on the railings for over an hour, he was no trouble, he just liked the company. They seemed to come down from the rock around 5 and left around 7. One youngster did make a hugely amusing trolley dash around the bedroom on a stealing spree, you can't touch them so all I could do was to follow. He was in and out with a pack of nuts in under 30 seconds, ha ha. They made my holiday. I did however see another cheeky monkey coming out of next doors bedroom while they were out...you can't leave the windows open!

I know a multi million pound revamp is due to start, I hope they don't spoil the charm. Marble and chrome just wouldn't fit. I hope they keep the carpet and comfy sofa style. It's a home from home.

The pool was gorgeous, the view from the room was gorgeous, the hotel breakfast was gorgeous, the melted cheese dish at Mama Mia's down the road was gorgeous...

If you like to pick fault, don't stay here...you could pick many. If you are just accepting of the hotel, the relaxed atmosphere and the utterly unique monkey experience, go to the Rock. I feel like I've been part of a bit of history.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
CharlesDanino, Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, November 12, 2013
Dear Ablaynu,

Thank you for your very nice and thoughful review. We had taken note of the blip you mentioned with regard to the message was left on your voice mail and not delivered to your room. We are placing a special emphasis in improving the effectiveness of such an important issue. We look forward to welcoming you back.
Best regards,

Charles
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Peterborough, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

Stayed 4th to 8th October 2013
This was our third stay in 10 years and we still love the place. OK we know it needs refurbishment but I hope they don't overcharge when its completed, in saying this its been on the cards for nearly 3 years, we forgot to go and see the new room that they have completed for the refurbishment, we meet a couple who said they looked in on it and was impressed.

Room Tip: 1st Floor is best for wifi
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
CharlesDanino, Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Terry C,
We feel very proud to continue to benefit from the kind loyalty of guests such as you. I will personally show you the pilot room on your next visit and hopefully you will be able to see some changes taking place.
Best regards,
Charles
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston Super Mare
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

We were quite sad to have noticed a decline in the customer service in this hotel. Don't get me wrong yes the views are outstanding, the reception staff are welcoming and the rooms are lovely and clean but I have to say that a lot of the staff are very slow and tired looking.
This is our sixth stay at the hotel and always enjoy coming to meet the staff we have got to know over the years. George on reception and Sergio are great people always friendly and very professional. They always make you feel welcome. However I must say that the breakfast staff need an injection of power to speed them up! One morning we were stood so long waiting to be seated that we just found a table ourselves. We were not even acknowleged by staff who walked past us whilst standing there like lemons! This particular morning it was bad in there. People were having to ask for spoons bowls etc and were getting frustrated with the length of time it was taking to get a tea or coffee. Some of the staff in there spoke no or very bad english which is surprising when the clientele of the hotel is 70% British. Surely you make sure the staff can communicate with guests.

I expect once the renovations have taken place it will make the hotel more appealing but I would advise to update the bar/bistro menu and also gee up the staff to make them more professional and welcoming.

Room Tip: Make sure if the room doesn't have a lock on the patio door then you prop something against it a...
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  • Stayed October 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
    • 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.
CharlesDanino, Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Telmse,
Thank you for your comments. George and Sergio will be praised for their attention to guest service. I have shared your comments regarding breakfast service with the heads of department in food and beverage. Please take this as a momentary lapse that nevertheless will be addressed and actions taken to avoid any recurrence.
I hope that we will have the opportunity to regain your confidence on your next visit.
Best regards,
Charles
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Guildford, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Where to start - staff friendly enough, but nothing special. Others have intimated that if you want a modern hotel then go there - agreed. What if you want a hotel that has decent water pressure, corridor paintwork that looks as if something has been done in the last decade, a place without old crittal windows, with double glazing, with a bath without chips out of the enamel or black marks around the bath, with sealant marks removed from the toilet where the lid has been changed, suppose you would like to watch TV in a modern format instead of 4:3. How about furniture without chips or torn arm covers, wardrobe fascia that has been broken off and no attempt to repair or extremely thin carpets (towels to match).
There are windows in the lounge of which some are double glazed others not ,yet side by side or one held in place by a length of wood. With regards wifi this is not available throughout the hotel as you might have believed.
The view is lovely across the old naval shipyard to the industrial harbour. The terrace is great to enjoy an evening drink, but there is only one lager or beer on tap, but would have benefitted from someone with green fingers. Never mind the pool area across the road was in stark contrast after renovation. The old pictures in the bar area are wonderful of days gone by and provided much interest - many involving the military in WW2 and previous military history, which so much of the place revolves around, including Gibraltar itself.
Well you decide what you want - for me I had read the other comments and expected a degree of former glory. However this was extremely faded glory, but if that is what you want you will find it here - from the crumbing concrete exterior near roof level to much efflorescence to the plasterwork in lounge area.
Best you decide what suits you by going and having a look.
For me keep the best of the past but at least renovate walls, paintwork, plumbing and windows - at least make it look as if was something special and worth preserving.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
CharlesDanino, Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Voyageur5956,
I am very sorry that the hotel did not live up to your expectations. No matter how many good or negative reviews we receive, when a customer expresses disappointment we take this very seriously, and your contribution is highly valued. The issues you have mentioned are being addressed, as our objective is to provide the best product and service possible and to enhance the iconic image of The Rock Hotel.
Best regards,
Charles
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Pontedera, Italy
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

My worst hole experience so far. They have messed up my reservation, I got here late, they said it was not their problem, and left me (after insisting) sleeping a couple of hours on a sofa.
After that, they refused to give me breakfast.
A nightmare.
Apart from that, noisy, oldish, not up to its rating and starring.
Better go elsewhere, for sure.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CharlesDanino, Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear pcav_11,
Please accept this note as an apology for the incident that you have described which certainly is an isolated one and definitely not in line with the way we treat our guests. Apparently there was some confusion with the confirmation of your booking, however, we should have provided you with an adequate and satisfactory solution.
Most sincerely,
Charles
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights, for 3 days before our wedding and the wedding night. We also had our wedding breakfast on the Terrace for 11 guests, which the Hotel kindly provided at very short notice. Our room had a large balcony with table and 2 chairs, but only 1 sunbed. The bed was emormous! (Could have got 4 people in it!!!) The bathroom was adequate. Tea and coffee provision and fruit in the room with a cafetiere which was a nice change to instant coffee. The Hotel is a bit dated, but I liked it ~ reminiscent of days gone by, and judging by the Guest book, some very famous people have stayed at the Hotel. The view from our room was lovely with main land Spain ahead of us and Morocco to the left. The pool (salt water) area is very nice, although we were a bit naffed off that our wedding guests were told they would have to pay £15:00 to sit on a sunbed (even though there were about 20 available); however there was adequate seating at tables available.
The breakfast, which we only ate on one day, was lovely and varied (with all the usual hot and cold food that one would expect). My friend and I had our hair done at the hairdressers attached to the Hotel and that was reasonably priced and very good (thank you Sebastian!).
One of the waiters in the bar was lovely (didn't get his name), and was due to have a hernia operation the next day, so hoping it went well for him, he makes a wicked Bloody Mary!!
My (new) husband and I loved it there and would stay again.

Room Tip: Ask for a balcony and sea view
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CharlesDanino, Manager at Rock Hotel Gibraltar, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear RACHELINHULL,
I really appreciate the lovely review. I am also very pleased that we contributed in no small way to make your very special occasion memorable. The waiter's operation went very well (thanks for being so thoughful) and he will be back to work at his famous Bloody Mary's next week !
I look forward to welcoming you back to The Rock Hotel !
Best regards,
Charles
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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