The Royal Park aspires to be a Grand Hotel and makes it in a number of ways but certain exceptions leave it just short of the mark. Like some of the other reviewer, I liked the room, the bed, the soft towels, nice bathroom & soaps, and complimentary slippers and bathrobe. I also very much enjoyed how much I didn't hear from outside my room and the high ceilings (10ft?) were very nice too. The shower stall resembles what I'd consider putting in at home when doing a bathroom renovation. All of these items were consistent with some of the other Grand Hotels I've enjoyed staying in. In addition to all these I was very happy with the dining room staff at breakfast and, for the most part, the staff at the reception desk. All are well trained, polite and attentive although one, I felt, just slipped over the line to obsequiousness. And that last always give me the Willies.
I've stayed at the Royal Park more than once now for multiple nights each time. My room was a Non-smoking King and was for the most part comfortable.
On the 'just missed' side of things for this hotel, the Internet service is lacking and the the desk area has deficiencies. My trips are for business and involved multi-night stays during which a decent high speed Internet connection would have been a real benefit. The Internet access service at the Royal Park is included with the room and both shared 10Mbps wireless (802.11B, no one I know has anything less than a 54Mbps wireless hub anymore) or - if you bring your own cable - a Ethernet port. Either way, the bandwidth was pathetic, Google Maps was excruciatingly slow and don't even think about YouTube (let alone Hulu). Even regular news sites with Flash content were slow to render fully.
Also, really strange for a premises that was constructed just recently - I think 2004 - is that you have to crawl under the desk to plug in your PC and there's only a single duplex outlet. Similarly, the Ethernet jack is under the table. (In contrast the Staybridge in Auburn Hills provided table top level Ethernet and power outlets.)
About the desk chair, it's a basic chair with four legs and an upholstered seat cushion. No wheels, no height adjustment, doesn't recline, it's just a plain old chair like you would have expected at a writing desk in the 1800s.
One last 'not quite' about the room is the TV and TV Cabinet. The TV is a Vacuum Tube model, good size screen but sooo last century. (Even the medieval era room I stayed in in a skiing village in Austria, with the hand made cabinet and room door had a flat panel TV.) Also, the doors of the TV Cabinet interfere with the other upholstered chair in the room and it interferes with the desk so you can't work at the desk and see the TV - however you can see the cabinet door - as closely as you'd like.
There is a small bar type fridge in the room that usually holds a complimentary small bottle of water, this is in addition to another bottle of water provided on the night stand. It's an odd kind of fridge in which I had trouble fitting a carton of Orange Juice or 2 Quart container of Apple Cider. Still, it was nice to have, even if I did have to lie my juice/cider down to get it out of the fridge.
My final gripe, parking. During my most recent stay there were events either at the hotel or with the Rochester light show kick off. For three nights in a row, I had to hunt around the whole lot for a parking spot. I eventually found one but way, way, away from the hotel. It's well away from the hotel and well out of eye shot, not an ideal spot to leave a vehicle overnight - might be fine while you're in for dinner or a banquet. Seems to me that overnight guests, that may be moving stuff to an from their rooms, even if it's just their laptop and files, should have some assurance of a parking spot that doesn't suck. I dropped a note to the Hotel and receive the 'helpful' suggestion from the General Manager that "Quite often in situations where parking is at a premium due to sell out status, catering events or high restaurant and lounge traffic, our guests take advantage of the valet parking alternative that is offered at a slight fee." Seems pretty convenient that his solution involves spending more money at his hotel.
I'll continue to stay at the Royal Park when in town for business, I do like the bed/bathroom, the towels, and the quietness of the room. Plus, it's really nice to be able to walk to a variety of restaurants. Still, the little deficiencies will always remind me that the Royal Park is always just 'almost' a Grand Hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Park Rochester