Just back from 3 nights at the Derwent, not a bad hotel but not brilliant either. On arrival I parked in the car park to the side of the hotel, next to another TLH hotel, The Victoria. There were approximately 8 spaces which, I thought, for such a big hotel was totally inadequate. On checking in, the receptionist, although very friendly, didn't ask for my registration number or offer any information on the car park. I found out 2 days later that there was a much bigger car park at the back of the hotel which would have saved me a lot of effort in parking and trying to get out of the tiny spaces!
The rooms are great, spotlessly clean and décor is more than adequate. Best thing was the shower though, hot and powerful. However, the corridors are horrendous, narrow with uneven floors which made it very difficult for my 84 year old mother to negotiate. The floorboards are also VERY creaky, which doesn't bode well for a good night's sleep when people are coming back to their rooms in the early hours. Also, there was a good 1.5 inches shaved off the bottom of my bedroom door which let the corridor light in and didn't help the noise situation. Added to this was the fact that every time my neighbour had a shower or flushed the toilet it was like a tornado had hit the room. I could also hear the conversations of people next door and across the corridor.
The ground floor rooms are good, nice comfy sofas in the foyer, dining room nicely furnished and the social areas are quite nice. Didn't try out the pool but it looked good.
The food didn't start well but got better as time went on. The breakfasts were definitely not up to scratch, I had undercooked fried egg on the first morning and the sausages were awful, like Tesco value sausages. The second day I just had scrambled egg and some toast which was ok but on the last morning decided to try the cooked breakfast again minus the sausages. This time my fried egg came complete with eggshell. I was amazed as the hotel warns guests about norovirus and has a hand sanitizer at the entrance to the restaurant but eggshell contains the salmonella virus, surely mistakes like this should not be happening?
The evening meal was better, although the fish cake on the first night was really bland. The chocolate and orange gateaux made up for it though. Plaice and chips on the second night was adequate but the last night meal of poached cod in white wine sauce was really good, credit to the chef for that one.
Now to the weak point of the hotel - the entertainment. I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of this type of hotel but I booked it as it is easier, when holidaying with a pensioner, to stay on the premises rather than go out looking for something to do in the evenings. Started ok with a few games of bingo, then we had a guy called Kevin who came on and - well - I don't really know what the act was. It seemed to consist of asking people for requests and playing them on his laptop. Oh he also blew up a few inflatables and made 'jokes' about them. To give Kevin his due, he seemed a really nice guy and was very popular with the guests, I just don't know what he was supposed to be doing. Anyway, he was miles better than the next act, a comedian, who has to be the unfunniest comedian I've seen in a long while (and I've seen loads of them, famous and not so famous). He said he wasn't going to be like modern comedians who swear all the time (not strictly true) which is fine as long as you're funny. Perhaps it's just me as other people were laughing like drains all through the act. I was worried when he came on and said he was like Jethro, another unfunny comedian. The next night was much better when the young people from the entertainment team put on a 'Viva Las Vegas' show. They were all very talented, great singers and dancers and I was quite impressed. Only weak link in the show was another comedian, Steve, who was great when he was singing but again, the comedy let the hotel down, another unfunny comedian. The last night Kevin was back with his 'act'. He was better this time, dividing the room into 2 teams and having them guess the intros to songs. Good fun but Kevin, please realise we're not all pensioners and also, that not all pensioners like this type of music. I'm not a youngster but I was so looking forward to some Rolling Stones, Beatles, T.Rex, Roxy Music etc etc, I'm sorry but Frank Ifield and Helen Shapiro don't do it for me (or lots of other middle aged people and young at heart pensioners).
For me the saving grace of this hotel is it's staff who were excellent throughout our stay. Special mention to Mike, our waiter who was brilliant, and to the young members of the entertainment team.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Part of TLH Leisure Resort, this lively 3 star hotel has access to an extensive range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, together with nightly entertainment and dancing. Enjoy indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a luxury spa, gym, huge indoor games arena, daily kids club and a daily activity programme. Bowling and dancing holidays a speciality. Close to sea front and town centre, ideally placed for exploring the English Riviera and beyond. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Derwent Hotel Torquay
- TLH Derwent Hotel Torquay, Devon