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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- De Vere Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth
- Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth