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“"Ask the locals what they think"”
Review of Royal Bath

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Royal Bath
Ranked #59 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“"Ask the locals what they think"”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

We've read through some of the comments below & feel we should try & put a balanced opinion of our recent experiences at the Royal Bath.

We looked at a four night stay in Bournemouth using a sister booking site & considered five hotels on both east & west cliff. Having holidayed in Bournemouth since childhood I knew of the Royal Bath & its reputation as a top class hotel, though I was puzzled at the change in ownership from Devere to Britannia group & I noted Britannia's ownership of the Heathlands hotel where I stayed in 1996! Undeterred, we compared prices & booked four nights for around £330.00 - the other hotels averaged around £400.00 for four nights.

On arrival I enquired about car parking & was advised by the porter that it was £20.00 per night valet parking, or we could use the pay-&-display car park on Bath Road at £12.50 per day. £30.00 is better in our pockets so we unloaded our bags & parked in the Bath Road car park - using the "RingGo" facility we obtained seven days parking for only £40.00 - but still £40.00 more than we should have had to pay.

We then checked in, & paid for room before having seen it - I thought it rather odd to pay for the room up-front but assumed it was part of the deal & that we had opened credit on our room. We were also informed that breakfast was available from 07:30 until 10:30 at an additional charge of £9.95!!! "But I thought we had booked bed & breakfast?" was my question. "Oh no - you're on room-only" was the receptionists reply. Oh well two of us at four breakfasts would mean another £79.60 on top of our room - so the other hotels quoting £400.00 for four nights was perhaps not unreasonable - our fault for not checking exactly what we were booking

We then set off to find our room, exploring the first floor above the reception, we returned to reception to ask again for directions, this time setting off in the right direction through the lounge, past the restaurants, up some stairs, finally reaching a lift that took us to the floor where our room was - 282. The room was clean, tidy, comfortable bed, large bathroom with shower, decent sized window that could be opened but not much of a view other than the room of a derelict building - in a building of this age not every room can expect to have a fantastic view. Generally speaking, the room was good, though the shower screen on the bath had a tendency to swing away from the bath allowing shower water to drench the bathroom floor - a shower curtain would have been much better.

Nights sleep: we slept very well as the bed was comfortable & included a mattress-top. However, room service tried to enter our room at 08:30 before we had even got out of bed, so the following nights the "do not disturb" tag was hung on the door until we had finished with our room for the day. Creaking floors? Yes there are, but in a hotel of its age it is to be expected, & there are many other hotels I can name that have a similar problem. Doors slamming? Yes, but that is entirely down to the lack of consideration by guests for other guests. Over all - a good nights sleep.

Breakfast: our first morning we sampled the hotel breakfast - not without difficulty. The hotel restaurant seemed unable to charge this to our room & we were told to go to the reception to pay there & then. Once back in the restaurant we picked a table & chose our food from the buffet - it was not good. Fresh fruit was limited to water melon, grapefruit segments, & mandarin segments, while fresh orange juice had to be tipped out of the dispenser as the level was so low & the contents were not replenished. The bacon was ok & plenty of it, but the sausages were poor quality frozen, deep fried so they were dark on the outside, barely cooked on the inside, swimming in fat/oil & had a strange taste. The eggs were poor, broken, cold, picked over by other guests & not replenished while scrambled egg does not keep well on a hot plate. It would not be difficult to set up a griddle where staff can cook fried eggs to customers requirements. Tomatoe ketchup? Yes it was available - from a fixed dispenser attached to the end of the breakfast counter - something I've never seen before in a hotel of this type - whatever happened to the traditional ketchup bottle? All in all, the breakfast was worth about half what we were charged - needless to say we didn't bother with the hotel again & on the second morning found a nice café in the town centre where a breakfast could be obtained, cooked fresh to order, for only a few pence more.

The remainder of our stay: we used little of the hotels other facilities as we had plenty of things to do elsewhere, though we noted the lack of patrons in the restaurant for evening dinner. On our last morning work started on demolishing the aforementioned building behind our room, it was 08:30 but the sound of breaking glass was startling, & several guest were complaining about it when we checked out.

What do the locals say? We chatted with a few locals who knew the Royal Bath in former days & said it was one of the best hotels in Bournemouth. They have a very low opinion of it now - not good!!!

And check-out? We checked out, the receptionist simply checked our room number on the system, said "There's nothing more to pay" (obviously there wouldn't be with no credit on our room!!!). I handed the key cards over, & that was that! No request for feedback, no questions of had everything been ok during our stay, nothing!

Overall opinion - great location, one of few hotels to have a decent size garden not turned over to car-parking, it's age means it is not without a few problems that some people don't expect, such as staircases, different parts of the building on different levels, a rambling layout, & of course the creaking floor boards. No hotel can carry out structural work in complete silence, & the work behind the hotel will improve the outlook from the rear rooms, & some people will complain at the smallest inconvenience, but there is a feeling in this hotel that no one cares, maybe low staff morale or poor management. Another concern is the lack of responses to comments from the hotel.

Whatever, there are better hotels in Bournemouth - I don't think we'll book at the Royal Bath again - that is if it is still around in few years time!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MrThundercat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Finchampstead
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

Having stayed at this hotel before 2 years ago we thought we would give it another go for a long weekend, unfortunately it has gone down hill! Great location, but there are a few things to watch out for. Firstly we were greeted by a guy on reception who was very smiley but then told us "I've been here 3 years, 3 years too long". Who says that to a guest checking in? Next the room was fine, we paid for a standard room with inland view, it should have said it was right on the roundabout and you can hear all the delightful sounds of the traffic. We asked to move rooms due to the noise and was told that nothing was available. 5 mins later we asked to talk to the manager as we had checked online to see they were still selling rooms for that night, to instantly be told we could change rooms! Great customer service!! The pool area needs a thorough deep clean as there was a nice scum line all around the edge of the pool, the hand rail to get in the pool was just about to fall off, we were told it was to be fixed on monday. They also had the cheek to charge £1 for a towel. Then in the bar on a sat night I was told they don't do bloody marys, what hotel of that size doesn't have tomato juice, plus the grumpy girl behind the bar. All in all I won't be returning to this place again. Or recommending it to anyone. They said they were starting renovations, but I think they should start with a good cleaning first. Poor.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank cafmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Bournemouth hotels

Chichester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2013

We stayed here recently as attended a wedding in the hotel and it's quite ridiculous that the cost per night is so high compared to the quality of the room / hotel! The following are the negatives we experienced:

* At check in they tried to charge us an extra £10 on top of the agreed upon wedding rate for the room when checking in. We could easily have paid the extra money if weren't concentrating - no apology or explanation was offered.

* BOTH key cards failed to work in the door the first time.

* The room door had slipped on the hinges and required a shoulder barge to get in each time.

* Bathroom was in dire need of refurbishment - the bath was coming away at the wall showing gaps and there were stains inside the tub.

* The room lacked air con and being street view we had to keep in shut in order to actually be able to reduce noise. Therefore the room was stupidly hot the whole night to the point we slept on top of the duvet and still found it unbearable.

* There was no fridge in the room or bottles of water. On phoning reception at 2am to try and order some water (we would have happily paid a tray charge due to the 'heat' point above!) we were told that they don't do any kind of room service at all and so no way to get any kind of drinks. Given the state of the bathroom we didn't really fancy drinking tap water. In the end I got dressed at 6.30am to leave the hotel to buy drinks outside, I asked reception where was closest and was told I could buy water from the bar....so why could they not have done that at 2am?! I left and drove to the petrol station up the road.

* Room service knocked on our door at 8.45am on our checkout day. Others in our party staying in the hotel had visits at similar times by room service demanding that they check-out of their rooms by 10am despite having an official 11am check-out.

* The cooked breakfast was okay - albeit swimming in grease / fat and with accompanied by watered down orange juice.

We would definitely NEVER return here. Please don't continue to throw your money at a hotel that simply doesn't care about the quality of your stay! The fact that when I was checking out there were 2x other parties waiting to speak to the manager to complain shows the general feeling of customers.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Zanian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gosport, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

On arrival we treated ok the staff are mostly foreign, car park charging is horrendous at £20 per night and is cheaper in the local car parks where the rest of group parked with no problems. I gave an average score for this one reason "the room" it was brilliant, clean and spacious and views over towards the pier and above the gardens BUT it ended there.
Prices in the bar are the norm for a hotel but the food was horrendous, we thought at £14.95 for a 3 course (some supplements) would be a good deal for our 50th birthday celebrations for 18 people but all of us were disappointed, i had a Plaice in breadcrumb which was flatter than a credit card, i saw dried chicken of some sort and steaks that didn't really meet the extra supplement charged for them, being a chef of many years and catering manager i have to say this was the worse food i have encountered and the hotel only got away with it due to no one wanting to complain because of the celebration. My parents stayed at a better hotel and were treated better, the staff at the Royal Bath would not even let my wife print of a receipt for our flight the next day, poor poor poor, but we got a nearly blank piece paper for our car parking fee.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the sea seemed to be better, 538 was very good.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rangeninja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

It looks great from the outside but we wouldn't stay here again. Our room was average for a double room but the bed, in particular the mattress needs replacing now. We had a great view of the garden we were in room 51 but we couldn't get to sleep until the people above us went to bed and all the floorboards in the building make a horrendous noise. Unfortunately they couldn't even get the basics right - at breakfast we asked for some hot water as we have decaf tea, they brought us warm water! The fried eggs have a skin on the yolks, the sausages are the really cheap ones that taste almost sweet, the bacon was OK. The evening meal was very bland on the Friday night so much so that even though we had paid for an evening meal for the Saturday night, we went over the road to Prezzo's. Some of the staff were very helpful but most had poor command of the English language. This could be such a great hotel with just a few changes but at the moment I wouldn't stay here.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MiloandFizz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Great location but poor on almost everything else.

If I had to sum this hotel up, it was a disappointment.
Fantastic old building but tired. Room was brand new but so small and poorly designed it was a joke.
Staff generally very friendly and helpful but management very poor.
I had a problem with being overcharged and it took over two weeks and multiple phone calls to get it sorted and no one called back despite many promises that I would be.
My advice, go somewhere else because the owners and management need a wake up call.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank ShihanUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2013

we were robbed of £10014 pounds for six nights, dirty tiny room, filthy bed, complained but complaints shrugged off, have taken pictures and now letter going to Trading Standards as they are lying saying its 4star we were told it has no star rating when we questioned staff, We are so disappointed it was my first holiday in 4 years and was looking forward to a bit of spoiling and nice food it was help your self only no other restaurant open.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jeannette d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Bath

Property: Royal Bath
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:
#12 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#15 Luxury Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Bath 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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