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“One of the best hotels in the UK! Forget the star rating!”
Review of Victoria Hotel

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Victoria Hotel
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Sidmouth
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed May 8, 2012

I am writing this very short review of The Victoria, a hotel that I visit regularly & spend time there during the Summer & Winter seasons about 3 or 4 times a year, mainly to encourage those readers who might be put of by the somewhat misleading recent reviews of this first class hotel!

My first stay at this hotel with my family was spent over New Year 2006 and what a marvellous stay and prelude to many more stays since then! It maintains standards of the highest order with wonderful staff who go out of their way to ensure everything is perfect for your stay, very spacious rooms - yes some of the older rooms and those that have not been refurbished are a little tired - but all rooms with the exception of around 6 facing Bicknell Valley or the outdoor pool have partial or full sea views - and they are all to a 4 star standard and very comfortable indeed. The grand public rooms are always spotless and the floral displays never fail to impress. The bar is also very welcoming and food & service in the restaurant never fails to impress. The comments about jacket and tie are somewhat futile - if you go to any decent restaurant worldwide especially New York or on a five or six star cruise ship or indeed liner QM2 a similar dress code is expected (granted not every night!). In this world full of doom & gloom what is wrong with the ladies having the opportunity to dress up and the men having to indulge and 'suffer' a tie for a few hours! The hotel surroundings more than merit well dressed guests - this is the best hotel in Sidmouth and far better than any other four or five star hotel I've frequented in the UK! The indoor pool whilst small is always kept at a pleasant temperature and when it is warm enough the outdoor pool is great with large terraces to sunbathe around the pool and have lunch or drinks.

The staff offer a commendable service on each and every visit. I always look forward to each and every visit - it's like returning to a second home. The comments about the age group of the clientele - always interesting and yes it is THE place to visit for drinks & meals and the local residents of Sidmouth frequent it on a daily basis and some of the guests staying there are of a certain age BUT at any time of the year families with young children do stay at the hotel & the age range of couples does vary throughout the year! For some Sidmouth might be too quiet & not much life hence the demographic but for others wanting to experience pure luxury and first class levels of customer service that seem to be sadly lacking in the UK of late it is a haven of peace & tranquility. That being said there is nightly entertainment each Saturday evening and a quartet play during dinner some evenings during the week and there is a varied entertainment for children during the Summer months. Quite simply the hotel caters for everyone looking for an elegant & timeless classic by the sea - it is as if time stood still - but in the very best possible way & long may it continue! Some of the other reviewers have commented on the hotel being overpriced that is somewhat suprising as their daily DBB rates are very reasonable starting at standard inland rooms up to suite level and the drink prices are in line with most other 4 star hotels in the UK.

Room Tip: Try and request a partial sea view room on 3rd floor on the East side of the hotel overlooking the E...
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank rjms74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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830 - 836 of 932 reviews

Reviewed May 8, 2012

Ok so this is an old grand hotel. Lots of staff badly managed. When we arrived we pulled up under a grand portico. We struggled with luggage through a revolving door until I asked for help only to find that someone was sitting in the office who could have helped us. Moreover the office has a window facing front so the staff could see us arriving. Our room was side sea view but quite small and had a very nice but very very small refurbished bathroom. I was very cold in the night so I got up to find the spare blanket in the wardrobe. There wasn't one! Unusual for a hotel of this grade. I had a sheet a blanket and then another sheet. Bizarre! We left the hotel at 7am the next morning and I asked or more blankets only to return to find out this had not happened. After speaking to a manager he arranged for a duvet to be placed on my bed,apparently duvets are on request only there was no info telling me this!! The sleep quality was bad, the bed was too soft, lumpy and rustled as it felt like the mattress was covered in plastic. I expect to be comfortable and warm when staying in an hotel especially when I am paying the same price for a room as i would at a central London hotel of the same grade. I was neither. The breakfast was ok my husband said the sausages were lovely. We were told we had to sit at a table which corresponded to our room number. Even though window tables were empty! Bad management again
This hotel could be so much better!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank patentattorney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2012

The Victoria is one of the grandest of the grand hotels along Sidmouth's seafront. It exudes a sense of tradition and formality, and this is reflected in the demographic of the people staying there -- predominantly elderly.

Our room was pleasant, if not overly spacious, and had a sea view. (Another reflection of the clientele's demographic was the fact that the bed mattresses were lined with plastic). Fresh fruit and chocolates awaited.

After cocktails in the bar (good and not expensive) we went to the Jubilee Restaurant for their 4-course "table d'hote" dinner. The food was of a high standard. Also a selection of house wines (available by the glass or carafe) were very good and inexpensive. And the service was first rate, efficient and friendly.

It's a pity that our stay was marred by torrential rain, but I can't blame the hotel for that!

As you will see from other reviews, the hotel requires male diners to wear a jacket and tie in the restaurant. In this day and age, this is a ridiculous requirement for people who are supposed to be enjoying leisure time. Why not get everyone to dress up in Edwardian costumes? As long as they stick to this (and it will be interesting to see when they give in) the hotel will continue to feel like an old people's home. Pity, because otherwise it's pretty good.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Victor V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2012

We chose this hotel as we were accompanied by my 93 year old aunt. Our stay was very enjoyable however it is overpriced for a 4 star hotel. They even charge for a morning newspaper! They appear to be catering exclusively for the elderly (we are in our late 60s but 'young at heart' and felt 'out of place'!

The beds appear to have 'incontinence' mattress covers on them which made sleeping very uncomfortable and hot! There was only one Disabled Parking space which was never available! In view of the fact that the majority of the hotel guests were elderly, this was unacceptable.

On the positive side the food and service in the Restaurant was excellent as was the position of the hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank S L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

We stayed at The Victoria for the first time last Wednesday having lunched in their splendid dining room, overlooking the sea front, on three previous occasions. This is a really well preserved Edwardian hotel with lovely polished staircases, huge sofas and lots of elegant if rather old fashioined touches that add to the overall charm of the place.

What a change to have a big room with loads of wardrobe space, a huge comfortable bed and a nice little bathroom with the usual freebies. There were some unexpected "treats" thrown including mineral water, a bowl of fresh fruit and a little box of hand made chocs.The indoor poor and jacuzi are pleasant but not breathtaking. Parking is fiddly and the lift is pretty inadequate for a big hotel.
However,the service everywhere was friendly and efficient, the breakfast was outstanding and nothing is too much trouble. I would certainly recommend The Victoria, not quite 5 star but not far short and for an English seaside hotel, a real hidden gem.
PS Probably not suitable for families with young children......more Raffles than Butlins!

Room Tip: Seaview rooms a must
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank OKChap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

We stayed in The Victoria Hotel in March with my husband and father in law. I have to say the hotel is in a nice location overlooking the sea and after changing rooms as we were not impressed we were given a nicer room. Most of the staff friendly, but the restaurant manager I found be be very miserable and got simple things wrong like giving us the wrong wine 3 times and this happened on two nights and no apology what so ever and then when he served it he sloshed the expensive wine into the glasses We ended up having a la carte a few nights rather than table d' hote but be warned it was very expensive more than some michellin restaurants we have eaten in and we stay in hotels alot and the food was not 4 star so very dissappointed with the meals at dinner but breakfast good. This hotel I found to be geared very much to older people and you could tell. In all Sidmouth town is quaint and is only 10 minutes walk which is along the promenade. Its a shame as for a 3 night break turned out to be very expensive.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank r_petite34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

Well what can I say. This hotel is trying very hard to be extremely up market it’s a faded grandeur 4*. In fairness it is a very well-run establishment, rooms are nice, clean, though small (standard). It did feel as though they were catering exclusively for the older generation (we are in our 60’s but young at heart). They insist that men wear jacket & ties in the restaurant, oh OK, but are not allowed to take them off whilst eating dinner, excuse me does anyone wear them at home to eat dinner these days!! It’s very formal and stuffy, if it was a little more relaxed I’m sure it would have been more enjoyable because it’s in a nice position in beautiful Sidmouth

Room Tip: If booking a standard room ask for a sea view, there are a few standards ones with a nice view.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Winks6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrendHotels, Area Director at Victoria Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2012

Thank you for your review. Although a higher proportion of our customers at The Victoria Hotel are of a certain age, we do our best to cater for all age groups. With reference to our dress code policy, we offer an alternative dining option in the Lounges where the dress code is more relaxed. We thank you again for your feedback.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Victoria Hotel

Address: The Esplanade, Sidmouth EX10 8RY, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Sidmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Sidmouth
#2 Green Hotel in Sidmouth
#2 Romantic Hotel in Sidmouth
#2 Family Hotel in Sidmouth
Price Range: $270 - $329 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Victoria Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in 5 acres of manicured gardens, the Victoria welcomes guests with a unique blend of hospitality, comfort and style. Perfectly located on Sidmouth's beautiful seafront esplanade, for many years the Victoria has been owned and managed by the Brend family - Devon and Cornwall's leading family hoteliers. Much loving care and attention has been lavished upon this fine establishment and it's no wonder that it enjoys a reputation as one of England's finest hotels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Victoria Hotel Sidmouth, Devon

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