I stayed here for 3 nights while attending meetings held in the hotel. The public rooms and meeting areas are nicely decorated and the service was excellent. My sleeping room was a disappointment though. I am American and used to our modern hotels, of course, and knew that this hotel was a converted country home over a 100 years old, so did not expect it to be like a new Westin! However for the price, I expected it to be more updated or furnished in a finer style. My room was on the third floor (no elevator) and the staircase up to the floor was narrow, ancient and slanted --- very difficult to navigate with luggage.
The room was a decent size and was very clean. The furniture was dorm room-like and old and nicked up. The bed was squishy and was outfitted with a non-fitted bottom sheet that kept coming untucked and a comforter. That's it, no top sheet (maybe this is an English thing, but I don't remember lacking a top sheet in other European hotels). The room was warm, but I was too cool with nothing and too warm with the comforter. Ugh, had to sleep with the window open, but it was only allowed to go up about 3 inches. The plumbing in the entire hotel was such that I had to flush 2 or 3 times to get "everything" to disappear. Again, this may be one of the things one needs to expect in a charming older property. The free wireless internet was nice that it was free but it was terribly slow. TV channel offerings were limited.
I ate dinner the first night in the dining room and the food was fine, though pricey (so was the wine). I wished they offered small salads as an appetizer on the menu. Was very impressed by the waitstaff in both the dining room and the bar. Very friendly and efficient. The breakfast offerings were good and plenty to please all. The food and drinks offered for meeting attendees in their break area was enjoyable -- LOVED the fresh squeezed OJ and the cookies! Both days for lunch, we were offered thin sandwiches, tiny salads (both days with fish on them, which many in our group did not care for, anchovies on the Caesar and tuna fish on a mixed green salad) along with meat kabobs and mini sausages. We all were longing for more salad and veggie offerings across lunch and dinner. I also wished they would replenish the water and glasses in the meeting room and would've left the fruit and desserts for us to enjoy for the afternoon, but they would whisk them away at the end of lunch. Several in our group were grumbling about the lack of availability of Diet Coke....a staple in the American female diet and important source of caffeine!! Available only at the bar for a tiny bottle for 2.75 pounds...yikes!
All in all, The Royal Berkshire is a lovely old building with a great staff on beautiful grounds. If they invest in updating the rooms with new carpeting, furniture etc and upgrade the bedding, this could be a real gem.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to offer such a detailed review after your recent stay with us.
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It is great to read that you found the all staff and service to be excellent and appreciate all the wonderful qualities of a historic mansion house dating back to 1705.
There is no doubt that the building and beautiful grounds have many quirks, though over the last 18 months (since the hotel became an EH Venue) we have already made many changes and will continue the ‘rapid’ refurbishment and investment from early in the New Year.
You make some great points about food and beverages, which I will discuss with my management team. We are always delighted to receive feedback (both positive and negative) and will always make considerable effort to make any changes to improve our offering.
I hope you can stay with us again on your next visit to the UK.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.