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“Not Impressed”
Review of Torbay Court Hotel

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Torbay Court Hotel
Ranked #17 of 17 Hotels in Paignton
Reviewed August 18, 2013

This stay was booked by my father as he searched for the most affordable hotel he could find in Paignton. Quite frankly I'd have happily paid an extra £20 to stay in a better quality hotel. Having done some brief research into the place, I was dubious to say the least, but the hotel's own website suggested a level of professionalism that whilst appeasing me, was not replicated on-site.

Apparently the hotel is currently undergoing refurbishment following a change in ownership, and I have to say, the new owners have their work cut out for them. The room I stayed in had been recently refreshed, and I cannot fault the décor or furniture, though the interior of the closet come wardrobe being painted bright pink in contrast to the neutral decoration of the room was somewhat laughable. I was impressed to see a clearly new, good-sized, flat-screen television hanging on the wall, however I can't help feeling that the money spent on things like this could have been better spent elsewhere. The bathroom was also very dated and shower difficult to adjust to a moderate temperature. I should say that I could not fault the cleanliness, however, and nothing was out of place.

Other family members we travelled with experienced a mixed bag with their rooms - my brother had half a sea-view which was nice, but my parents had a very small room and a bathroom so tight that the door had to be closed to properly access the amenities.

When I asked for an iron and ironing board (we were in the area for a wedding) the board I received was the tattiest one I've ever seen, the cover falling off, and the sponge padding beneath clearly intended for a regular-sized domestic ironing board, rather than the mammoth frame I was given.

Staff-wise, the receptionists were polite if a little disinterested, and often when we returned and needed to collect our keys there was no-one to be seen. At breakfast, the waiting staff were clearly very busy, and I would say understaffed (whether intentionally or otherwise), however they could still do with a bit of training on customer service. Most were young, so I would say the fault lies more with their management than themselves. Subsequently, breakfast itself was something of a shambles, with fruit juice and milk running out by the time we came down for breakfast (mid-service) and rarely a member of staff on hand to ask for replenishment. When our order was finally taken, the quality of the food which was served to us was really not impressive - greasy and cheap. Not impressed whatsoever.

The location of the hotel was very good, minutes away from the beach and Paignton pier, a short drive from Torquay and Paignton Zoo.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Adam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 - 216 of 296 reviews

Reviewed August 17, 2013

Just returned from a 5 day coach trip with GB tours with coach driver Daniel, who was an excellent driver and so helpful. We had seen previous reviews of the Torbay Court hotel, majority of them not very good, but we decided to go with 'open minds' and judge for ourselves. We arrived mid afternoon and waited on the coach whilst a lady, who introduced herself as the General Manager came on board to welcome us. She explained that our cases would be taken up to our rooms and gave us details of breakfast times, evening meals etc. She emphasised the fact that the evening meal was at 6.30 pm and could we all be seated promptly, so that we could be served whilst the food was hot. We all then collected our room keys from Reception which was well-organised. We were on the 2nd floor and on entering our room were pleasantly surprised to see that it had been refurbished, newly decorated, black and grey carpet and black curtains - very trendy! The room was spotlessly clean and a reasonable size, with flat screen television on the wall. On closer inspection the chest of drawers which had obviously been pine many years' ago had drawers which would not open properly, never mind close! Hotel were obviously in the process of adding wall lights, as sockets on the wall. The bathroom was painted blue on top of woodchip paper, some of the paper had been torn off, obviously to be re-decorated at some future date. Bathroom was clean with white towels and 2 small tablets of soap were provided. We had no shower but again, one is probably planned. Water in the hot tap very very hot, so had to run lots of cold water first when filling the bath! What a pity the bathroom and bedroom had not been refurbished at the same time and the chest of drawers replaced. When we had unpacked we had a stroll and found Hotel to be in good location for beach, town centre and railway station. We made our way down to the Restaurant for our evening meal promptly at 6.30 pm as had been requested by the Manager on the coach. We waited for the starter to be served and waited and waited! There seemed to be a shortage of staff on the Monday evening, but eventually we were served with our soup, which was hot. We then had another long wait for the main course and unfortunately, we think our table was last to be served with the dessert as the apple crumble when it arrived was a dish of brown stewed apple, with no crumble, served with a very watery custard, not very appetising. A lot of the coach party were complaining about the service, but obviously there had been a problem as the staff were doing their best. After the meal, we decided to enjoy a drink in the bar. Unfortunately there was a problem with the till, but I had enough change to pay for our drinks. I decided to have a glass of wine but when my husband asked for one, the gentleman behind the bar said we couldn't have one, we had to buy a bottle for £17! We could not believe this in a hotel. Luckily on our 2nd night my husband mentioned this to a lady behind the bar and I was allowed a glass of house red wine! At breakfast time we helped ourselves to cereal and toast then ordered a cooked breakfast and tea and coffee, which was served to the tables. We had to fill in a menu each morning at breakfast to order our evening meal. The service in the Restaurant did improve during the week, but what was confusing was the choice of food. One night we were expecting green beans and we were served peas, roast potatoes another night we had new and the night a beef dish was served the potatoes were sliced in a white sauce, not a good accompaniment for beef. On the last night I had ordered fish in a prawn sauce and the vegetables were braised red cabbage and swede, this somewhat spoilt the fish dish. Peas or beans would have been more enjoyable. We wondered if a new chef had been employed during our stay as a lot of guests in our coach party were not very satisfied. One gentleman on our table asked to speak to the Manager as his wife had ordered a ham salad which had arrived with a slice of ham with more fat than meat, some 'wilting' lettuce, tomato and half a plate of potato salad which had been 'thrown' on the plate, no presentation whatsoever. The Manager came over, this time a gentleman, saying she should have mentioned she didn't like it and they would have given her another meal. What a waste of food, the salad should have been properly presented in the first place, again a few people who had ordered this meal were not happy. The staff in the Restaurant were polite and hardworking and the evening entertainment was excellent. We realise the Hotel are making an effort to modernise the Hotel and our room was clean and comfortable. Enjoyed our breakfast but very disappointed with the service in the Restaurant and with some of the choices on the menu for the evening meal.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank janus274
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband and I recently unfortunately had the godforsaken misfortune of staying in this hell hole!!!!

On arrival, the receptionist with black hair (and obviously no qualifications) grunted the direction of our room to us. And then, when we entered our room.. WELL..... I thought I'd stepped back in time to the 60's! Although a great era of my life, I didn't wish to be transported back. We'd had a long journey and were gasping for a good cuppa, however... one tea bag between two people? How does that work? We asked the blonde receptionist (to our amusement, we later found she was the manager) who also grunted that she would sort it out, so we went back up to the joys of our room. Our view consisted of scaffolding, which was a joy to look at after the decor in our room, which indeed was very shabby with exposed wiring, the shower a mere drip in an avocado suite. After unpacking we realized there was hardly any room to put our clothes so we had to put some back into our suitcase!!
My husband and I then decided we'd have a rest and a lay down.. It would have been more comfortable if we had slept on a bench on the seafront as it was so hard and the headboard was not connected.. Diobolical!!

THE FOOD. Well what can I say??
Evening meal - was bland, tasteless, and not at all eye catching. I had the vegetable curry, all it seemed to have in it were peppers with a big flat ready salted crisp on top (I presume this was a poppadom?) Hideous. My husband chose the beef that looked like a dog's dinner straight from the tin. And breakfast doesn't even bare thinking about.

The only good thing about our whole trip was the waiting staff, who under great strain still managed to make the best out of a bad job, especially the young waiter (I think his name is James? - Sorry if I've got that wrong) who was extremely helpful and pleasant. I was disgusted when I went to give James HIMSELF a tip, but was told they have to share with other members of staff, who I would have preferred to not have my money, so unfortunately James had to miss out.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Joyce W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

I have recently come back from a 4 day GB tours coach trip. The outside of the hotel was pleasant, you can see it has been recently repainted. The reception staff were very welcoming. The room itself number 20 was good. Bathroom suite was dated and there were two random plastic boxes covering wire ( don't know if they were live) However the room itself was clean and the beds very comfortable. On to the food. Not the best i have ever had but quite acceptable. The waiting staff are great and I loved their sense of humour! Also the barman was very jovial, they all worked so hard. Our room was near to the evening entertainment. I would have joined in but was too comfortable in bed! Needless to say it finished promptly ar 11 and didn't worry me after all people were enjoying themselves on holiday. So if someone was to ask me if I would stay there again my answer would be why not

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank rwilliams62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMKayley, General Manager at Torbay Court Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Your comments are very valuable to us since they help us to improve our quality and services at the Torbay Court Hotel. We are constantly striving to offer excellent value and service in the hotel.
We do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Torbay Court again in the future. The quality and standards of the hotel are continually reviewed and a full refurbishment of the hotel is well underway so the standards are constantly improving

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Having booked this stay some time ago, we were very concerned about what to expect, having read some of the recent reviews. However, we were very pleasantly surprised. Yes, the hotel is a bit dated, but there is a lot of refurbishment going on. Parking is a bit of an issue because of building work going on across the road. This is not the hotel's fault. Having said that, we managed to park each day on the forecourt, without a problem.

Our room looked as if it had been recently refurbished. There was a new flat screen TV and the room was thoroughly cleaned. Air con - or use of a fan - would have been useful. It is quite noisy early in the morning from the seagulls, but again, not the hotel's fault.

I found the food to be excellent, although my wife (a vegetarian) did get a bit fed up with peppers being in virtually every meal! Breakfast was wide ranging - cereals, toast, 'Full English' etc. I was lucky enough to have eaten 2 each day, because my wife was vegetarian, so I ate hers!! Nevertheless, the quantities served for one were adequate - especially with the other alternatives as well.

Evening meals were superb - and a good quantity. The only issue we had was slow service at times. This was not the fault of the waiting staff - who were brilliant and friendly - but of the system where usually everyone seated had to finish a particular course before the next one was brought out.

We didn't take advantage of the entertainment, but there is bingo every night and then a singer, etc. after. It is a very short walk to the beach.

Overall, we were very pleasantly surprised and enjoyed our stay. It was very good value for money.

Room Tip: Room 56 was good with some sea in view. Noisy seagulls though!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bigwhelk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMKayley, General Manager at Torbay Court Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thank you for your lovely review of the Torbay Court Hotel. We are delighted we exceeded your expectations and that you enjoyed your stay with us.
I shall pass your great comments regarding our staff on and hope that we will see you again soon

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Just returned from a 4 day holiday at this Hotel, was greeted by excellent friendly staff,which was a good start, but the bedroom was disappointing, very small,no air con it was very hot, room no 7 on the first floor, not good, awful view of old tarmac roof which had seagulls living on waking us up 4 am every morning sreaming at their young chicks, and we did not get to sleep too early because the music from downstairs entertainment sounded like they were playing in our bathroom, there is no phone in the rooms so god help you if were ill, but to add to this the food was not good at all very very bland and boring, the waiters were the best part of this stay at this hotel, they were just so nice and helpful, deserved to be working somewhere better..

Room Tip: Certaunly not No 7 on the 1st floor
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Silverlou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMKayley, General Manager at Torbay Court Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Your comments are very valuable to us since they help us to improve our quality and services at the Torbay Court Hotel. We are disappointed to hear that your room or the food did not meet your expectations as we are constantly striving to offer excellent value and service in the hotel. However, should any problems be reported to our staff we are always happy to offer alternatives or correct any problems immediately when it is brought to our attention.
We do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Torbay Court again in the future. The quality and standards of the hotel are continually reviewed and a full refurbishment of the hotel is well underway so the standards are constantly improving

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

The hotel is very dated and in desperate need of refurbishment. We booked 2 single rooms with shower and they were both very poor indeed. The shower is a mixer tap from the taps in the bath not a proper shower as I expected. I managed to get mine to work but my friend was unable to use his. . I had called the hotel previously as I had read some bad reviews and they assured me that they had undergone extensive refurbishment since those bad reviews. Sadly this was untrue. In their favour the staff were very friendly and they did offer me vegetarian sausages for my breakfast but sadly the food was not up to the standard I would expect. My friends cooked breakfast consisted of a small spoonful of beans, one sausage, half a tomato and half a rasher of bacon with a fried egg. If the rooms had been half the price then it might have worth it just to have somewhere to get our heads down but I wouldn't go there again in a hurry.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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3  Thank Tattyegg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMKayley, General Manager at Torbay Court Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thank you for writing your review. Your comments are very valuable to us since they help us to improve our quality and services at the Torbay Court Hotel. We are disappointed to hear that your room or the food did not meet your expectations as we are constantly striving to offer excellent value and service. If any problems are reported to our staff we are always happy to help and we have a maintenance team available to fix any reported problems immediately when it is brought to our attention.
Our full English Breakfast consists of sausage, bacon, egg, beans, tomato and fried bread and we also offer porridge, smoked haddock, kippers, a range of cereals, juices and fruits etc. Should a problem be brought to our attention we would always offer an alternative.
We do hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the Torbay Court again in the future. The quality and standards of the hotel are constantly improving as we continue to refurbish the hotel.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Torbay Court Hotel

Address: Steartfield Road, Paignton TQ3 2BJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Paignton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Paignton
Price Range: $78 - $99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Torbay Court Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 58
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Also Known As:
Torbay Court Paignton
Torbay Court Hotel Paignton, Devon

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