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Best Western Duke Of Cornwall Hotel
Ranked #11 of 21 Hotels in Plymouth
Reviewed April 15, 2012

We stayed here in March and certainly did not get the same room as the other reviewers. The hotel is tired, but sthill of a reasonable standard. That's a shame because it is a greatvproperty and could be a great hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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860 - 866 of 993 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2012

I always worry how on Earth the owners (in this case Best Western) make big, old, faded-grandeur, high-maintenance hotels like this turn a profit in such down-at-heel provincial towns. There can't be a massive business trade flux, and tourists will prefer the moors or Cornwall and the north Devon coast.There is a ceiling to room rates imposed by the local economy too.The Naval Dockyard is in terminal decline, as the Navy itself contracts to a mere ceremonial flotilla, a vestigial Senior Service.

So you are left scratching your head, and courting conferences and the wedding trade. Indeed nuptials are what brought us here over the Easter weekend.

The hotel location is near but not in sight of the famous Plymouth Hoe, and is mired in post-war reconstruction surroundings of council estate tower blocks, brutalist sixties modernist civic buildings, and rather tawdry Victoriana B+Bs. The roads are green and blow with tumbleweed from lack of traffic. Bleak.

This grand Victorian Gothic building dating from 1865 has not been treated kindly inside by the Fire Regulations or Health and Safety. Tragically, the once elegant, sweeping and open central Staircase, into which the rooms drained their occupants like an funnelling whirlpool from each floor, has been cruelly partitioned by fire walls and doors, destroying the designer's intended effect and sclerosing and distorting the heart and impeding the natural ebb and flow circulation of the hotel.

The rooms inside are decidedly average. The mattresses are poor quality and my back suffered as a result. The bath room was recently upgraded but not the rest of the room. Sensible I suppose if you are cost-conscious as an owner.

The room was cold when we took residence. This became a recurrent theme as they seem to turn it off centrally as much as possible, only resuming when guests complain. It's like a game of cat and mouse...

In the Duke's defence, Easter is a tricky time of year to get the heating right in such large establishments. It's not warm enough to dispense completely with central heating, but not cold enough to justify being blasting on full-time, and guests will have conflicting needs according to their personal constitution and resilience. The fuel bills must be an enormous fraction of the operating costs too. So they have my sympathies here.

The bar and bar food was just about acceptable, the wine list very limited though - we were essentially forced to order champagne. Not the worst thing to be forced to do, I grant you. The menu in the bar was the usual fish and chips, burgers, Cumberland sausages, etc all served with salad "garnish". The clientele were notable for how shockingly inelegant and poorly dressed they were. The bar tender/night manager was helpful and industrious, marshalling his younger charges with military authority.

Breakfast - the lady in charge of this deserves a special mention, she was characterful, very pleasant and obliging and easily the brightest point in the whole Duke of Cornwall experience. Senior Managment take note please - a bonus and promotion is due!

Now, breakfast in provincial hotels is always a hilariously funny exercise, up and down these Isles. Invariably, there are one or two desperately inhibited late-middle aged couples sat in exquisitely uncomfortable silence, seemingly not knowing where to look, and praying for it to be over quickly and without need to talk, or for the floor to swallow them up. Every clink of cutlery on china seemingly evinces a wince of embarrassment. They dread the ritual "good morning!" from other guests who sit nearby. Then you puncture their hideous, ever inflating balloon of self-consciousness, ending their torturous and silent ordeal by ordering and conversing perfectly normally at your own table. Some will be grateful for the merciful release, still others will stare with a mix of envious resentment and disapproval at your social ease.

The wedding catering was really surprisingly good, especially considering the volume of cooking required, whole local trout being fresh and excellently prepared, while the chicken was perhaps less successful. The service was as good as could be expected, again marshalled by the same chap who runs the bar and is night manager. I liked his dry sense of humour too. Perhaps bonus is due too here!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank lotuseater888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

I stayed there on March 2012 for three nights.

A very nice place where to be. On your next visit in Plymouth, this should be your hotel.

Very nice rooms (So cosy inspite of the lack of double-glazed windows). I was on the second floor, in the front of the hotel but I did not noticed the traffic on the main road. So quiet ! No comment about the bathroom : just perfect and so clean.

Great food, humm ! Their pastry ... Never heard of smoked herring before (though I like smoked fish). Now, I eat it in Belgium !

The staff was very friendly. Coming from many countries ! Students as well, from France and other countries.

Guy PIERLOT
Belgium

Room Tip: Three nights on the second floor. Very quiet inspite of the lack of double glazed windows. That is a...
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Pierlot-Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2012

My daughter chose to get married at the Duke of Cornwall on the 31st of March 2012. From the initial booking right through to the ceromony and beyond the staff were pleasant and very helpfull.
We had booked a family suite for the night of the wedding, a room large enough for myself and my wife and our three kids, on a bed and breakfast basis; everything was fine the room was light and spacious, the breakfast was fantastic.
The food on offer as part of the wedding package exceeded my expectations, well cooked and decent sized portions. Well done Duck of Cornwall Plymouth!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank bigbaz10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DukeofCornwallHotel, Manager at Best Western Duke Of Cornwall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 2, 2012

Dear bigbaz10

Thank you for your great review. We are delighted that your daughters wedding went well, and we wish you all the very best for the future.

Thanks again and I hope we can welcome you back in the near future.

Peter Adams
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

This is my hotel of choice in Plymouth. You get efficient, speedy check in, a nice clean room and bathroom and an excellent breakfast.
This hotel welcomed my dog with as much grace as they welcomed me. If you are looking for a quality hotel that accepts your dog - this is the one to choose!
I will definately be back for a third stay soon.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DukeofCornwallHotel, Manager at Best Western Duke Of Cornwall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 2, 2012

Thank you Karen C...

Glad to read that you and your dog had a good stay. You are of course welcome back anytime!
Thanks again....

Peter Adams
Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

Arrived sunday 18th March .for a 3 day dinner + b/b. Excellent position for the Hoe . V good friendly service. especially in the restaurant and the food was great !! . Our room on the 4th floor No 415 was excellent, clean, lovely decor good views and nice bathroom . One let down was the ground floor bar service could be improved. and in the restaurant a buzzing noise , we were told it was from the lighting system , hopefully they have now fixed it .Overall really good so would go back again.

Room Tip: 4th floor superior room 415
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Robert D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DukeofCornwallHotel, Manager at Best Western Duke Of Cornwall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 2, 2012

Dear Robert D

Thank you for your review. Glad to read that you enjoyed your stay and I hope had a great birthday!

Kind regards,

Peter Adams
Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2012

Stayed on business, great Victorian building,

Positives - loads of character. Friendly reception, room nice and hard wired internet good & fast as was wifi, quality of restaurant food better than average for Best Western (curry-spiced seabass with spinach, mmmm!), in fact this hotel is way better than the other chains in central Plymouth. Will probably stay here again as it has character & style and is good value too.

Let downs - its glory is definitely fading, worn carpets, grubby lift, chaotic restaurant service, and most heinous - stingy portions! Although the cooking is good, my starter of scallops was just three little fellahs sat on on tiny bed of pureed peas with a smear of smoky bacon jus. Very tasty but gone before you could say 'smoky bacon jus' - not cheap either. The dreamy sea bass main - again cooked to perfection, but I needed a snack later that evening. Come on Duke of Cornwall, its decent enough fusion stuff but its not nouvelle cuisine!

I mentioned the chaotic restaurant service - personally I had a pretty good experience and the food arrived promptly, but other tables were grumbling about waiting time, one lot got up & left, and another kept getting the wrong things - was I just lucky? I'll go back and try it again anyhow.

The D of C could be a great hotel with better attention to details like these - maybe the boutique hotels that are rumoured to be opening soon in Plymouth will force it to raise its game?

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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Thank gadsabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Best Western Duke Of Cornwall Hotel

Address: Millbay Road, Plymouth PL1 3LG, England (Formerly The Duke of Cornwall Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Plymouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Plymouth
Price Range: $96 - $166 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Duke Of Cornwall Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the heart of Britain’s Ocean City, the Duke of Cornwall is a stunning period hotel brimming with character and style. Built as Plymouth’s first luxury hotel in 1863, the Duke has been lovingly preserved and enhanced so that its unique Victorian Gothic splendour can still be enjoyed by guests today. The hotel’s 72 rooms are all individually designed with thoughtfully-selected designer wallpapers and vintage furniture, creating a chic look that does justice to the building’s striking architecture. With a range of bedroom sizes and styles available, from comfortable en-suites to indulgently romantic four-poster rooms, there’s accommodation to suit everyone. The Duke’s luxury extends to its impressive culinary offerings. Fine dining is available (for guests and non-guests alike) in the comfort of the hotel’s elegant restaurant. With an AA rosette and a dynamic team of chefs, its dishes look and taste sensational. Light lunches and a generous choice of drinks are available in the lounge, with its welcoming bar and, in the colder months, a homely log fire. If you’re planning a wedding, party or business event, the Duke is the ideal choice. With a wealth of experience in organising celebrations and group events, a range of room options and a full set of facilities and equipment, the hotel has everything you need to ensure your event runs smoothly. And with the backdrop of the Duke’s stunning decor and features, you can be sure your guests will be impressed, whether the occasion is one of business or pleasure. As well as the merits that await guests within, the Duke also offers a fantastically convenient location in the centre of Plymouth. The hotel is a short walk from the city’s abundance of shops, restaurants and bars, as well as the historic Plymouth Hoe, Sutton Harbour and the Barbican, with their spectacular sea views. And it’s a mere stone’s throw from two of the South West’s finest entertainment venues, the Theatre Royal and Plymouth Pavilions – making the hotel the ideal overnight stop-off or meeting place if you’re catching a show. Whether you’re visiting Plymouth or it’s the city you call home, you’ll find the Duke of Cornwall a pleasure to experience. With its fascinating history, friendly but professional service, and breathtaking style, the Duke is truly a gem in Britain’s Ocean City. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Plymouth
Duke Of Cornwall Plymouth
Plymouth Best Western

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