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“Britannia Booking System Misrepresentation”

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Royal Bath Hotel & Spa
Ranked #59 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Reviewed June 24, 2013

I booked for our 27th wedding anniversary through Britannia Central Booking System. I was talked into upgrading the room with a champayne and dinner package for 2 nights. I was promised a refurbished sea view room which most likely would also have a balcony. I thought this would be a nice touch for our anniversary and worth the extra money.

I hadn't checked tripadvisor before I booked. We both knew Bournemouth well and knew the Royal Bath was one of the very best hotels to be in. I did however read some of the very terrrible reports just before we were due to set off and was frankly worried, but thought this couldnt be the case with us as we had upgraded on everything.

Britannia make no reference to the additional parking charges of £20 per night on top of an already full room rate. But hey it is in the very heart of Bournemouth beachfront and parking is an expensive commodity. I do not understand however why they need to charge more than the next door NCP parking at £12.50 per 24 hours or that they do not make any reference to this before arriving!

We checked in and were given one of the noisy older unrefurbished rooms at the very front of the hotel overlooking a roundabout. Not quite the romantic sea view we had paid for or been promised. We went to reception to complain and joined a very long line of other resisdents all with the same issue - not being given the rooms / view / or refurbished rooms booked in advance.

The poor reception staff were simply over run by upset people. The manager was called but did not show and after 25 minutes I was just about to abort our stay at the Royal when a member of staff came and promised us the room we thought we had booked by the following day, with an offer of dinner and champayne for that evening at a reduced room rate if we stayed where we were for that evening. We decided as it was getting late to go with this option.

We had the champayne on the terrace overlooking the garden and the sun came out for a few hours which was totally lovely. The gardens are kept very well with lots of nice sun loungers and garden furniture scattered around all very ery accommodating. We had a chat with a number of the other residents who all seemed to have had the same issue as us, not getting the room they thought they were.

That evening we went into the hotels resturant and had a very pleasent meal. The room is lovely and the food and wine was good. Another couple half way through eating their meal got up and through a wobbly somthing to do with their meal being cold and were quite agressive to the very sweet waitress. They did however not give the restuarant a chance to recify their issue which they seem to have eating over half of but stormed out and declaired they would not be paying. This seemed a bit unfair to us.

Another party of 8 very nice ladies on a hen night were also eating in the restuarant. Six received there meals all togther but two waited over half an hour before being served so the others had already finished. They very nicely pointed this out and Adam the bar manager compensated them by making some unusual cocktails which helped them over there setback of the meal.

The room we were in for the first night was large and the bed was very large and comfortable, it was noisy throughtout the night being right onto the main road roundabout. The funiture was a bit dated and did not have a safe or a fridge but on the whole was fine, but not at a rate of over £200 per night. This is £90 to £100 per nights worth and no more in my opinion.

The next morning we went down to breakfast which was ok but a lot of the food run out and you needed to wait for it to be replenished which meant the rest of your breakfast was getting cold. The sausages were however the worst I have ever seen - very greasy with no meat content. Please do yourself a favour and replace these.

The reception confirmed that we would be moving room later in the day and said they would move our bags whilst we were out. This duly happened and we were given a lovely sea view room in the Royal Suite with one of the biggest balconies which was fantasic.

The hotel is beautifully grand, perhaps a little shabby chic, this actually adds to its charm in my view. The staff are also very friendly and accommodating where they actually have the automomy to deal with people continually moaning at them primarily over room allocation.

Britannias companys policy appears to be, sell the best rooms (which are very few) to every customer which is a total misrepresentation. By taking this short sighted approach they are making the guests stay a bad experience right from the start. Not to mention they are putting terrible pressure upon their staff, not a good policy for repeat buisness! This compounds every tiny glitch to a guest thereafter making a major issue out of everything and then want to simply look to make the most of getting somthing for nothing out of the hotel and have a chance to moan whether totally founded or not.

Britannia are punching way above their weight taking over this prestigious hotel, that is a great monument to be preserved to past Victorian splendour, this company simply does not have the finness to pull it off.

Get rid of the pushy call centre, commission driven booking system, which make promises Britannia simply can't deliver to everyone.

Room Tip: Royal Suite rooms are all very nice. Any other room make sure you dont pay silly money for as they...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Elaine D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,848 - 1,854 of 2,979 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2013

Had a great weekend here. Staff and hotel are great.
I was on a stag weekend and lost my wallet in the hotel. Went to reception 6 hours later as I had already gone out for the day to see if it had been handed in. To my amazement it was, and more to the point still had all my cash and cards in it. It restored my faith in humanity and proved what honest and decent staff members are working at this hotel.
My only problem was the sausages at breakfast which I didnt like. (I'm fussy with sausages!!)

Room Tip: I was in 243 and had great views of the pier and sea.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank TheCookFamilyKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We went there with a voucher otherwise I couldn't have chosen this hotel based on the reviews, and honestly I wouldn't go back. In comparison to a gorgeous B&B we stayed in the night before the lack of luxury at this hotel was considerable. On arrival there was a distinct smell of urine as you walk through the doors but this disappears once you are in (thank goodness!). We were addressed very quickly at reception, but the receptionist although efficient was not particularly friendly or smiley which I think is quite important on greeting new guests.

We found our room and although it had everything you needed, it was all quite dated with little luxury. Our ground floor window was approximately 2m from the window of a reception room which was holding a wedding as we arrived. luckily we were heading straight out otherwise the noise would have been very annoying.The bed was comfy, but all the furnishing looked dated and tatty with chipped paint a discoloured bath.

The cleanliness of the room was fine, but when things are so old they always seem a little grubby.

On waking in the morning, we discovered that the floor boards in the room above us were VERY old as the tiniest movement caused them to creak badly so it was as if there were many of people constantly walking around which was very disturbing and there was no chance of going back to sleep so we decided to go for breakfast.

The cooked breakfast was quite nice compared to our expectations, but the ketchup wasn't a good quality and the cereals were stale and certainly not branded, which is a very simple thing but makes quite a big difference to the taste.

The staff were very helpful and efficient throughout our stay and the doorman was lovely and really friendly and constantly checking we were ok. Maybe the receptionist could have learnt a few things about cheerfulness from him!!

I saw a couple of nicely decorated areas which looked lovely but are obviously reserved for special occasions, if only the rest of the hotel was done in a similar was, it would be a much nicer and inviting stay and I would be tempted to return.

We also went to the pool/ spa area which was clearly newer than the rest of the hotel and it showed. It seems very nice and modern although it was a little disappointing that there was only one staff member working and the cafe/ bar was not open as it if was off season even though it was June.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms 51 and 52 as they are on the ground level by the gardens but RIGHT next to a reception r...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Charlie6126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

I recently stayed in the hotel with some friends, having previously stayed there some years ago. I have to say that I am quite shocked at how the standards have slipped since we last stayed there. The rooms are looking pretty shabby & in need of a refurb and the service is fairly sub standard. The worst thing though is the breakfast - it was absolutely appalling! The choice was non existent and the quality was so bad it was laughable. The limited range of cooked food was so overcooked that it was burnt & hard and the tea was grey and tasteless. I have never been to a place that can't even produce a mediocre cup of tea..... Overall I find it very hard to believe that it is a 4 star hotel and think we are unlikely to stay there again. On the plus side, the gardens are lovely and some of the bar staff helpful but I think this was overshadowed by the bad points.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
3  Thank Jingo33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

The visit to this hotel did not start well. When we got to the room there was an overpowering smell of damp and a musty smell. There was evidence on the ceiling of a water leak from above. To be fair to the reception after some persuasion by myself we were given another room. Whilst it was not smelly it was at the front of the hotel which was very noisy and if you kept the window shut it was vey hot as there was no air conditioning. The room was clean but the bath needed cleaning as it contained the previous occupants hair!! All fixtures and fittings were very tired and need replacing. Breakfast on Saturday June 22 was poor the buffet ran out and it took a long time to be replenished, Sunday was better but only just!!! To sum up the visit it was very disappointing and the hotel is very very tired and in need of extensive renovation. It is not very royal these days!! My advice is choose somewhere else!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank djc011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Took my parents of 82yrs of age (mothers birthday ) for a posh treat blow the expense we thought. I read the reviews and thought ah well you cant please everyone there were a few decent ones ( more bad than good) but the good were glowing so of we went..........OH DEAR a very expensive mistake.
Room was pre booked as my mother is disabled requested a ground floor room (was booked six weeks in advance was told we had it) on arrival we were given a second floor room
.....no remote for telly took 4 requests in 2 days to get one .......minimal tea/coffee making facilities ............poundshop toilet paper...........and the food well what can i say bland tasteless and cold, flask tea and coffee, what a shock to the system thinking we were going somewhere posh and refined i have stayed in better guest house .........on a good note the bed was very comfy and the porter Gary very helpful and cheerful .

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank karen c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mike R, Public Relations Manager at Royal Bath Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 3, 2013

I was saddened to read about the issues that you experienced whilst staying at the hotel for which I do apologise. I have spoken to housekeeping in reference to the facilites in your room and I shall be making sure that these do not reoccur in the future. We have recently apoointed a new head chef who is already turning the kitchen and restaurant around, also alongside our new Restaurant and Operations Manager who are there to strengthen the team and staff and standard immprovements. Thank you for your comments in regards to the comfy bed and our lovely porter Gary, it is only through feedback that we can improve our service and standards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

My wife and I recently visited the Royal Bath on two separate occasions, in each case the experience was identical. While the building is clearly impressive and the health & spa area worked well, the overall service received was truly poor to non-existent. Car parking took 30 minutes, car collection also took (nearly) 30 minutes, afternoon tea was a shambles, dinner fell well below our expectations (we had pre-ordered a vegan meal, but it was nowhere in sight), breakfast buffet was reasonable. Above all, we were shocked to hear so many members of staff complaining about their own management and about the change of hotel ownership, while every single manager we spoke to paid lip service to our constructive complaints.
Very disappointing, never again!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Keith R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Bath Hotel & Spa

Address: Bath Road, Bournemouth BH1 2EW, England (Formerly De Vere Royal Bath)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#17 Luxury Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range: $37 - $156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Bath Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened on Queen Victoria’s coronation day in June 1838, The Royal Bath Hotel was the first hotel in Bournemouth and embodies the finest traditions of first class comfort and hospitality, so naturally it has a fantastic position on the sea front. Nestled in secluded grounds, with outstanding views across the bay, this classically styled hotel is one of a kind. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
De Vere Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth
Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth

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