We stayed at the Rock and the Elliot in Sept 2011 and found The Rock much nicer. Yes it's a little faded, but it oozes character and makes you feel relaxed. The lounge restaurant, terrace, reception area are spacious and command magnificent views, and the view from the guest rooms is out of this world - magnificent vista looking down on the botantical gardens with the old royal navy buildings beyond and then the bay and spains mountains across it. You can sit on the balcony or in the lounge or retaurant and admire this view and relax. The rooms are lovely and clean, the beds are comfortable, and little extra like biscuits and filter coffee are great. The breakfasts are also superb and are served in the lovely spacious restaurant. Having experience the grotty canteen at the Elliot this is another world.
As for the bed bugs reports I suspect it's mosquitto bites. The little blighters feast on me - I am told it's because they are attracted to sweet blood.More