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“Staff turn the good into excellent”
Review of Royal Castle Hotel

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Royal Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dartmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 13, 2013

It is a truism that in the hospitality industry that staff can make or break a customer's experience. Sadly there are still businesses which don't give staff the attention they need. Fortunately the Royal Castle hotel's management - there are two other hotels on the chain so they will be worth exploring - have seemingly invested in capable, friendly and knowledgeable staff. From the receptionist, who arranged parking of our car (parking spaces being at a premium in Dartmouth) through the bar staff to the extremely efficient waiter at the evening meal I was consistently impressed by staff who were not just 'doing a job' but rather were part of a well organised and motivated team.
The bedroom was fine with a view over the river Dart. The restaurant menu was interesting, with something to easily tempt each of the four of us, with meals which were well presented and correctly cooked in accordance with the demands of the diners.
The Royal Castle's right hand side bar has the feel fair venue for locals. A good range of beers was on offer and the bar food looked of similar quality to that available in the upstairs
restaurant.
The internal decorations are worth spending time looking at: there is a number of paintings and wall mounted items which add to the 'feel' of the establishment. It is a joy to be somewhere where the designers of a multinational's marking department have not been let loose on the internal fixtures and fittings.
There is plenty of sights to see and do in Dartmouth and across the water -three ferries available - in Kingswear. Walk out of Kingswear along the coast path and after about a mile or so you can view a memorial to Colonel H Jones.

Room Tip: Worth paying a supplement for a river view. Room 14 is recommended.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

Reviews such as yours are always such a pleasure to read.... we do our utmost to provide that extra special something when it comes to customer service, and the staff are always thrilled when the compliment is re-paid! Our thanks. Kind regards from all the teams.

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Reviewed November 12, 2013

We stayed for a long weekend break in November and had a really lovely time. All the staff were very friendly and efficient and nothing was to much trouble. We ate in the grill restaurant twice and had some lovely food which was very well cooked and presented and fairly reasonably priced. Our room was very well presented, very clean and had good furnishings and a lovely river view. Breakfast was excellent and had a vast selection of quality items to choose from. Overall a very nice place to stay if you are in the area.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jgandkg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

Many thanks for taking the time to write such a lovely review. It is truly appreciated by all the staff. Best wishes from all of us, and I do hope you will come and stay again another day.

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Reviewed October 30, 2013

We got married at the Royal Castle on Friday 2nd August. I'm writing this review 3months later so have had time to reflect and am not just on a post wedding high. It truly is 5star.

We had our wedding Reception at the Royal Castle Hotel, but Lucy, one of the managers helped us to arrange the whole day as we are not from the area. Nothing was too much trouble for either her or Michelle, either on the lead up to the wedding or on the actual day. Michelle went above and beyond her call of duty to look after my disabled mum, and Lucy made us feel like no request was too silly. i kind of designed my own menu/dessert which i know may have caused the chef a bit of a headache but it really did add to the personal touch service that you get at the Royal Castle. Between the reception and river cruise the staff worked tirelessly to transport our flowers and bunting onto the boat so that we didn't have to pay for two lots of decorations. Michelle from the hotel came to the booking office the day before to help with the wedding rehearsal and to make sure everything went smoothly on the day -,which it did- thanks to the staff at the Royal Castle it couldn't of gone better.

Considering we got married at Churston Booking Hall, then hired the observation carriage of the steam train to take us to Dartmouth, followed by the reception at the hotel and then the night do on the river boat, we felt we got extremely good value for money in the absolutely beautiful location of Dartmouth. There were even dolphins in the harbour which made it even more magical. I especially like how glasses of wine/sparkling cider were constantly topped up for those who were drinking it rather than being provided by the glass. For me, there is nothing worse than seeing full glasses of wine being wasted!

Back to the food. Canapés on the platform were fantastic and there were plenty. The Crab and fresh bread for the starter was to die for. We all had fish, chips and mushy peas for the main course - it was an absolutely massive portion! You got two pieces of fish each! I think the kids portion would have been enough for me! Complements to the chef and the service team as guests commented that from the top table being served to the last table (around 60 portions) it only took around 7mins. Which for that amount of food to be served still piping hot is incredible really. The dessert of Eton mess (served in an ice cream cone) was lovely, and I was told due to us being seated later than expected (through no fault of the hotels) the chef had had to redo. Which we really appreciated. We selected a cheese platter and local chutneys for the evening reception, which again was fab. Personally I would have liked some Brie on the platter but it's a minor thing. As we area own by our friends as cider drinkers we really wanted cider to feature at the wedding. Lucy was able to recommend sparkling rose cider on the platform and sparkling cider for the toast and on the boat. All produce was local which was really important to me.

Overall, if you're looking for a unique wedding venue with second to none service and food,at a reasonable price considering the average price of a wedding, I would 100% recommend the Royal Castle. My only minor disappointment, which I'm sure is not down to the hotel but other regulations, is that the river cruise finishes too early. The party was only just getting going when it was time to disembark! We really needed a couple more hours! However, I must also say a huge thank you to Steve and his crew, on the Dart Explorer, who went out of his way to pick up and drop off guests throughout the evening.

A massive thank you to all involved. It was certainly the best day off my life and a huge majority of the guests have said it was genuinely the best wedding that they have ever been too.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Jessdaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Well what can we say?! I know Lucy, Michell and the rest of the teams will be only too pleased to read your super review; and as you say, sometimes it's good to write a review a little while later to allow for greater reflection. Delighted you enjoyed your very special day, and in such style! Not sure we can take credit for Danny the dolphin though. Do come back and see us for your anniversaries, or any other time. Best wishes from all at the RCH.

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Reviewed October 29, 2013

Six of us went to the Royal Castle Hotel for the Tuesday night curry, the food was fantastic great value, real ales was excellent, good atmosthere. We would all like to thank one of the waitresses who's name is "Tamsym" such a wonderfull girl with a great sense humour. Well done Royal Castle and Tamsym , we will be back.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank baggy507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Many thanks for such a super review, delighted you enjoyed your curry evening, and your kind compliments regarding Tamsyn's service will certainly be passed onto her. Best wishes from all of us .... including Tamsyn.

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Reviewed October 24, 2013

Our stay at The Royal Castle Hotel was a gift from our dearest friends to celebrate our 70th birthdays. Our friends came too, so that was a bonus. The car was valet parked for us, as parking is limited in front of the hotel, and our luggage taken to our rooms by a porter (I didn't see a lift but maybe there was one). Wow, what a view we had from our bedroom window across the River Dart and the en suite bathrooom had the largest spa bath I have ever seen. I would certainly recommend that you book Room No 1 with flowers and chocolates, very romantic. The Sunday carvery in the restaurant that evening was excellent, also the "cooked to order" breakfast the next morning. The cereals and fruit juices were "buffet style" which meant we were able to take our time and have a leisurly breakfast which is always a good start to any day. The location of the hotel is very central for "browsing" the many boutique type shops and art galleries close by. Would love to visit again in the future as it was certainly a memorable stay.

Room Tip: Room No 1 overlooks the River Dart
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Skelaswas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2013

Thrilled that you enjoyed your 70th birthday treat, and trust your friends staying here with you, did as well. Unfortunately we cannot have a lift as the 400 year old structure simply couldn't take it, but pleased you found the stairs to the second floor not a problem for you all. Hope to see you for another celebration! Regards from all of us.

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Reviewed October 23, 2013

Four of us stayed at the Royal Castle Hotel then went on to their sister hotel The Lutterell Arms at Dunster for an entertaining murder mystery evening and we all had a great time, all the staff went that extra mile to make our stay so enjoyable. The food, service and rooms were all excellent.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
Thank andrew d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2013

Many thanks for your lovely review - delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay with us as well as our sister hotel at Dunster. Do hope we will see you again in the future - don't forget we also offer themed evenings, such as 'Fawlty Towers' and 'Allo 'Allo in addition to our Murder Mysteries! Best wishes from both hotel teams.

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Reviewed October 19, 2013

We had a lovely four night stay at the Royal Castle Hotel.

Parking cars is not easy in Dartmouth so we left ours at home. What better way to arrive than by steam train, with the stunning first glimpse of Dartmouth as you descend the hillside high above the river? Then we entered Dartmouth itself by ferry from Kingswear. The landing stage is literally right in front of the hotel.

We were warmly welcomed at check in and our bags were carried for us up to our room. The room (number 18) was magnificent, with a comfy settee and armchair either side of the picture window, which in turn had a glorious view over the harbour and the river. The furnishings were first class, with a spacious bathroom and bath with Jacuzzi.

The public areas of the hotel are all very tastefully done. On our first night at dinner, there was a little accident (a piece of orange plastic in the soup), and the staff handled this in expert way.

We were wondering whether there would be enough to do without a car for a week, but we need not have worried. It is easy to get around with the help of the numerous boat services which frequently leave from the quay outside the hotel. In fact, we ideally could have done with another two days, as there were several things we did not get time for (like a few hours for Totnes, which can be reached by boat, or the South Devon Railway, which runs from Totnes, or the paddle steamer which looked fun).

The scenery in the Dart Valley, and along the coast, is absolutely beautiful. We went for a walk along the coast to Coleton Fishacre, a National Trust property, The walk was wonderful, if rather strenuous. On another day we walked along the river upstream to Greenway, and caught the boat back. We got a boat to Tones and back (but sadly no time to look around), and we also spent an afternoon at Dartmouth Castle.

All in all excellent, so why not five stars? This is a matter of personal taste, but we were not enthusiastic about the atmosphere at breakfast. The room was completely silent, apart from the scraping and clinking of cutlery. No music, no chatter, no laughter. And we had to wait a very long time for the cooked breakfast (which was excellent) to arrive. After the first day, we decided to take our breakfast each day in a little cafe round the corner, which we found much more to our liking.

Overall though we were very pleased with the hotel, which really does occupy the very best spot in Dartmouth, and is so convenient for those arriving without a car.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank michaelholley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2013

Well what a super comprehensive review - many thanks. Yes, you are quite right, to travel by train into Kingswear, and then ferry across the Dart, is a truly beautiful way to arrive at the Royal Castle Hotel. As you say, plenty to do here for a week, and getting around by foot, boat, train or bus is most enjoyable. Delighted you were pleased with the service and the room decor. Apologies about the plastic, and also the lack of atmosphere at breakfast - our food served in the morning is legendary, so disappointed you felt the need to eat elsewhere. A lot of guests wonder why we are not rated higher than 3 stars, and sadly we are unlikely to ever be graded higher as we cannot have a lift installed - our 400 year old structure simply couldn't take it! Do hope we will see you again for another holiday to do all the things you couldn't squeeze in this time. Kind regards from all of us.

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Additional Information about Royal Castle Hotel

Address: 11 The Quay, Dartmouth TQ6 9PS, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dartmouth
Price Range: $149 - $293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Castle Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning Royal Castle Hotel is in the centre of Dartmouth with its cobbled streets, intriguing shops and famous restaurants and bars. Looking out over the River Dart, this 17th-century building offers bright, airy rooms, free Wi-Fi and a stylish restaurant. There are 25 en suite rooms, all of which are individually decorated. Many of the rooms have river views, four-poster beds, spa baths and 15 of our rooms have air conditioning units as well. Every room has a TV, radio and tea/coffee making facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Castle Dartmouth
Hotel Royal Castle
Royal Castle Hotel Dartmouth, Devon

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