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“Good for the money.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Imperial Hotel

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Imperial Hotel
Ranked #8 of 20 Hotels in Ilfracombe
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good for the money.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2012

Room ok/served the purpose.
Shower was great.
Fantastic service from Oksana!!!!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tripadvice101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Lancashire, England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2012

Just returned from a 5 day break to this hotel with Alfa. Cannot fault the driver or coach company.
The hotel was clean, though desperatly in need of some repair. Our room alone had the curtain fall down, the shower door fall off, and a very dangerous, sloping area where the kettle was sited. But the room was kept very clean. In fact, the standard of cleanliness throughout was very good. The staff were polite and helpful, the drinks were fair priced, and the entertainment was quite good.
The trips with Alfa were very good value, and the driver did all he could to inform us of local history. Ilfracombe itself is small and very hilly, but central for lots of other places.
Now for the down side, and there really was one.
Our first evening meal consisted of half a bowl of soup, pre-packed salad leaves with a piece of bland ex-frozen chicken, frozen chips left warming for who knows how long, and tinned peas and carrots. All served by the handyman who had "mended" the shower door. Still not sure if he was a handyman, porter or waiter, as he did not seem able to do any of these jobs with any level of skill.
Next morning, after half a bowl of cornflakes, we then had to wait 35 minutes for breakfast. This consisted of one slice of cold toast, one half cooked poached egg, and a slice of bacon which was too salty to eat. We asked for coffee and then waited another ten minutes only to be served tea. The couple on our table asked four times for extra milk and then went round vacated tables looking for some. Evening meal was no better, very small portions of totally bland food. When I asked what the vegetable was, the waiter looked at it then told us pumpkin. It turned out to be sweet potato. We should have had a clue what to expect when the melon starter was frozen fruit with a grape on top, no melon. Maybe less playing with the tea towels on his arm and more attention to the menu might have helped.
Wednesday morning we were not willing to wait so long for inedible offerings and so settled for simply corn flakes and toast. This again took half an hour, and was not worth the wait.
Evening meal, I settled for the vegetarian option, figuring how much damage can they do to sausage and mash. Will I never learn? After a pityful starter, we again waited over 25 minutes, and then the "waiter" told me there had been "an accident" with the sausage. If I had not been so hungry it may even have been funny. Would I wait 5 minutes for another? Sure, I was used to waiting.
After almost 15 minutes, the waiter brought me my meal. The mashed potato had obviously been sitting from before "the accident" and was stone cold. And the veggie sausage was in fact a vegetable croquet, burnt on the outside and totally raw inside. Not thawed out before going in the pan. It was absolutley vile and not fit to be eaten. I asked the waiter to take it away but he left it in front of me until all the table had finished eating, which to be fair, with the amount on the plates did not take long. But the cheese board was very nice, well, for what was on the plate it was nice.
By now, enough was enough, and I was hungry. I told the receptionist what had happened, and she asked if I had been offered an alternative, maybe a salad. When I told her no, I wasn't even offered an apology and I wouldn't have accepted pre-packed salad again, she became very indignant, and tried to tell me it was all fresh. The freshest thing we had eaten all week was the cheese, everything else was frozen or out of a tin. (After having spent over 30 years in the hotel trade, I do know fresh from frozen.) She said she would leave a message for the manager and he would have a word with me the next day before we left on our trip at 9-45 am. Ha!!
Next morning, the usual small cornflakes and cold toast, no sign of the manager before we left, and a dawning realisation that he had been no-where in sight since the "meet and greet" on the coach on Monday. Thusrday evening meal was actually quite good. Decent portions, though I did have to ask for more potato as 4 small boiled was a bit mean for 2 people, and the food was hot. Different chef? I doubt it was the one they had been using as it was such an obvious change. I was told the manager had showed his face earlier in the day. Briefly. Would this explain the change in food standards? And if so, why were we left to eat rubbish the previous days when he was no-where in sight?
I know for a fact that he was aware of the problems I had encountered with the food, as a different receptionist told me it was written down in the office and she had seen it, and as he had been asked to have a word with me, it would have been nothing short of common courtesy to at least talk to me, but no, he couldn't even be bothered to do that. He appeared on the Friday morning as though he owned the building, he was loud, over bearing, and very condescending to any who tried to talk to him. For a young man, he does not show any of the skills required to be in a managerial position. He even went so far as to tell all who would listen, in a very loud voice, that he HAD to work the next evening, on the bar, as the barmaid wanted a night off.
If this had been our first holiday with Alfa, it would definatly have been our last. We would never have booked again, believing that all the holidays were of this poor standard. As it is, we have been with Alfa before and would certainly go again, as this hotel is definatly the exception and not the rule.
Even though all the menus are the same in all the hotels, the food has always been well presented, as though the staff care about the guests. Here, we felt as though we were tolerated, and unimportant. Definatly not the usual attitude for Alfa.
I was not the only person who was disatisfied with standards and portions, as i know for certain of 3 others on the same coach trip who were not happy. One person did in fact mention to the manager the small amount of soup in the bowl. His answer was "Have you seen the size of those bowls?" Yes we have, they are standard size. Maybe this is that hotels' usual policy? Or is it a cost cutting strategy? After all, once we've paid, we have to accept what we are given.
If you are booked to go to this hotel, be prepared to eat out, and expect to leave the dining room hungry, unless it happens to be on the odd day where the manager deigns to make an appearance.

Room Tip: We had a sea view and it was worth paying for the upgrade.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Maureen053
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eliothotel, Guest Relations Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2012
I am sorry that you were disappointed with aspects of your stay at the Imperial Hotel. The maintenance problems in your room were not reported to anyone until the third day of your 5 day break and they were repaired immediately after you reported them. The tea and coffee making facility is on the dressing table which does not slope.
I have noted your comments about the food but of the 17 questionnaires that were completed by the other passengers on your coach – 95% marked the Food as Very Good or Good. Yours was the only questionnaire that said otherwise. All of the fruit apart from fruits of the forest and raspberries is fresh as are the vegetables except for peas, corn, broad beans, parsnips and green beans as in all of our 20 hotels in the Leisureplex Group. Deliveries are twice a week so nothing is over 4 days old. All the meat is cooked in house and freshly prepared. Our overriding company policy on portion sizes dictates that any guest can have as much as they want. However, we expect the clients to make their request known (to the waiting-on staff) and any reasonable request will never be denied.
The service in the restaurant is usually criticised for being too fast as we operate a system of staggered sittings so that the guests do not have to wait too long to be served. On average each sitting is on their main course before the next sitting arrives (20 minutes later.) To wait for more than 10 minutes is unheard of, unless of course someone arrives too early for their sitting in which case they have to wait until their allocated time. Unfortunately one evening there had been an accident in the kitchen and the Chef dropped some sausages on the floor which resulted in a delay while fresh sausages were cooked. The Manager of the Imperial is also the Area Manager for Devon and Cornwall which involves travelling around his area. In his absence there is always a management team on duty and any one of them can help the guests with any queries they may have. He was in the hotel on Monday, Thursday and Friday so was only actually away for two days of your stay.
I am sorry that you were disappointed with aspects of this hotel but can assure you that this hotel achieves excellent quality results from the guests, the AA and our in house inspections. I see that you have travelled with us before to different hotels and look forward to welcoming you to another of the Leisureplex hotels in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rugby
Level Contributor
40 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2011

My partner and I stayed at the Imperial for a 5 day Christmas holiday with Alfa travel. We had a really enjoyable time. As with all Leisureplex hotels that Alfa use, this one was as good, if not better, than the 3 other ones we have stayed at. Nothing was too much trouble. Every meal was served hot, quickly and with a smile. Reception was clean, inviting and efficient. The rooms were clean, comfortable and warm. (we turned the radiator off). The entertainment was very good, we did quizzes, bingo, and christmas themed games. Father Christmas came with a present for everyone, and another present was on our table on Christmas day. Ilfracombe is not a place for the less mobile and the hotel does have steps to the front door and internally between split level floors. There are an awful lot of creeky floor boards along the corridors and waiting outside the lifts. Some rooms also have very thin joining walls. But don't let this put you off as it is only a minor point. We will definately go back again. The staff gave us a wonderful christmas and we won't forget them.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room away from the entertainment.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank harold55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bexhill on sea
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2011

We have just spent an enjoyable four nights in the Imperial Hotel on an Alpha Turkey & Tinsel.
Bedrooms were clean and comfortable. Food was plentiful and tasty.
Service was second to none, couldn't fault it.
Nice big lounges, plenty of room to spread around.
Hotel is in a fantastic position, opposite the Landmark theatre with lovely walks around.
Didn't get a sea view, but then we are seldom that lucky!
Liked Ilfracombe, the hills are part of it's charm, but probably not suitable if you are not that mobile.
Wish the little souvenier shops in the harbour would stay open up until Christmas though as sure they lose out on the coach trade by not doing so.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank catwomanBexhillOnSea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2011

Wife and self stayed at this hotel a few months ago, it was the usual Alpha coach type good value Hotel, we paid extra for a front bedroom which was very large facing the sea and theatre and in good renovation. We heard from several other guests that they had booked standard rooms and were disappointed, some had even to open the window and look upwards to see the sky.
The restaurant was on the first floor built into the side of a hill with very little natural light, the meals were adequate with friendly staff. The lounge/entertainment room was large with good outlook to the sea front, noisy when the bingo/entertainment started.
There are several steps to enter the hotel, plus althrough the town centre is only approx 200 yards behind the hotel the road up is very steep and those with walking problems may find this hotel a problem. The few hundred yards walk is more much more gentle downhill to the harbour.

Room Tip: Pay extra for front facing room
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bryan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2011

Spaciousl lounge area overlooking the Landmark Theatre. Hotel is central heated making rooms uncomfortably warm. Had to borrow a fan to cool down at night, bearing in mind it was the end of october. some entertainment put on but not of a high standard. Uninviting restaurant with no windows although food was up to standard. A take it or leave it hotel in my opinion. Give the town a miss as it is a little run down

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank stephen f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2011

I stayed at this hotel previously and was appalled by the manager's attitude - he even lied to Alfa when I put in a complaint about no radiator in room 207 - although the brochure states 'all rooms centrally heated' - when I pointed this out to him - he sent a mobile heater up and said 'well it is now'!!!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kalimManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Imperial Hotel

Property: Imperial Hotel
Address: Wilder Road, Ilfracombe EX34 9AL, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Ilfracombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ilfracombe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Imperial Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imperial Hotel - Ilfracombe [3 Alpha & AA Three Star]. Situated in one of the best positions in Ilfracombe, overlooking Wildersmouth beach, and the splendid Landmark Theatre and Conference Centre, close to the High Street and only a short almost level walk from the harbour. 104 rooms with central heating and bath or shower and WC. All rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, internal phone, hair dryer and TV. There is a large restaurant, bar, comfortable lounge and dance floor where entertainment is provided most evenings. Lift to all floors (stairs to some rooms on split level floors). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Imperial Hotel Ilfracombe, Devon

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