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“Superb Staff Cannot Do Enough For You”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Imperial Hotel

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Imperial Hotel
Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Ilfracombe
Northampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Superb Staff Cannot Do Enough For You”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2012

We stayed from Sunday 20th May for 6 nights half board.. When the coach arrived all cases were taken off the coach and quickly arrived at our rooms. There was no extensive queue .to pick up room keys. The room we had was small, but very clean, and the shower/toilet beautifully .tiled. When we arrived for dinner we were served quickly and in a friendly way. There was no-one waiting unduly long for food. Our waitress was Laura, and she did not stop working throughout dinner. All meals went smoothly, and never took longer than about an hour for all courses including coffee. The bar was serviced by a Romanian girl called Anca, who would even bring your drinks over to where we were sitting. Our room was beatifully cleaned every day. Staff at reception worked hard. All staff commented on how much they liked their jobs, how good the management was, and how well they got on with eachother.
The food was plentiful, but sometimes not as appetising as it might have been, but overall very edible. The entertainment was fine. The TV in our room was something out of the ark, with no remote, and a screen the size of a postage stamp. The location of the hotel in Ilfracombe is central and close to everything.
Overall a very pleasant hoilday!!!!!
Julian and Sheryl

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a flat-sceen TV
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Julian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 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 (94)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Shropshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
319 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2012

I travelled with Alfa to the Imperial for a short break this May. The hotel is nicely situated near the promenade and opposite the theatre. I had a single room and it was quite small but very clean with a nice bathroom, the view was of other rooms and nearby flats so not very inspiring but I didn't spend a lot of time looking at it!

On the negative side. the rooms are a little tired and could do with a coat of light paint to make them seem bigger and brighter and the bedding needs updating, who uses blankets these days. However those are small 'gripes', overall I had a great stay.

The staff were absolutely excellent, the manager and everyone on reception always had a friendly greeting whenever I passed by, the staff in the dining room were lovely, polite, professional and cheerful. I was seated at a table with 4 other single travelers and that was so much nicer than being seated with a couple (as has always happened before) and feeling an intruder. We all hit it off and became friends over our stay, I hope they enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed theirs - well done Imperial staff for paying so much attention to seating people.

The entertainment was what you would expect for this sort of trip and it was pleasant enough although not totally to my taste. There is plenty of room to sit in the lounge and bar with lots of comfortable chairs and sofas. The food was fine, nothing spectacular but all very edible, hot and well cooked with a good choice and generous portions. Daily newspapers are available from reception.

All in all I would go to the Imperial again and I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Ilfracombe.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are quieter, sea view rooms are at the front by the road and in some rooms (so oth...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank shropshiretraveller9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2012

Excellent, friendly and helpful staff. Really enjoyed our stay. Clean & tidy rooms. Good breakfast.

Room Tip: Had a seaview room. Really spacious.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Julie I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atherstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2012

Stayed at the Imperial Hotel in Ilfracombe whilst on coach holiday with Alfa. This was the second time myself, my wife and my mother in law used Alfa. We had previously stayed at the Regina Hotel in Torquay. The Imperial was very clean and comfortable, and my wife and I had sea view room which overlooked the Landmark theatre and the park. The service was fantastic and we had several excursions. We visited the Tunnels beaches which was fascinating and the whole holiday was very enjoyable.

Room Tip: all rooms seemed to be of a high standard.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Howard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2012

We paid £72 b&b for a seaview room. We were in room 303 which had excellent seaviews and was well worth paying the money to upgrade. The bedroom was nice and the bathroom was new with a large shower. Breakfast was lovely and served quickly.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CardiffCardiff69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
q
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tripadvice101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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.
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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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