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“Not what we expected”

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The Royal Hotel and Merrill Leisure Club
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Bray
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Having read some of the reviews we thought this hotel would be okay for our short stay in Bray for a friend's wedding. Suffice to say if I ever have to go to Bray again I will not return to the Royal.

Firstly, the décor is out of date and the lift scared the life out of me. There isn't any air conditioning, no hairdryer in the room and a very basic shower. Believe me a Premier Inn is nicer! The service was lousy overall as we requested an iron and ironing board late at night, but didn't receive it until after 9am (not first thing as promised when they couldn't find one the night before).

If you wanted a clean cup for your coffee in the morning at breakfast you had to check. The breakfast was supposed to be continental...no sign of cold meats or pastries as expected (that is not a continental breakfast so don't fob people off!) Service at breakfast was like a snail - you had to grab the staff's attention.

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Value
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Thank Ladyjv83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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659 - 665 of 1,113 reviews

Reviewed July 24, 2013

The hotel is dirty and very grubby and very smelly. I have no idea what the odors are. The bedware was very clean. There was no hairdryer in any of the rooms we booked. Wifi is not available in the rooms you can only use it in the lobby. The milk jugs are filthy, they just keep0 refilling the jugs and dont wash them. If you empty a jug of milk there are about 10 hard rings of milk in the jug yuk!!!. Cups are filthy. The staff cleaning the rooms are very nice and friendly. The staff at the desk..well if smiles make sales ---they wont make many -- which is a good job as this hotel is a dirty dump - very deceiving as the the website is the best part of it. The electrical sockets are hanging from the walls the whole place needs soap and water - paint and jeyes fluid!!

Room Tip: There was no air conditioning in the rooms and it was impossible to sleep at night with the heat. F...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Seasonaltraveller54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We had a family gathering here for one night. My room was in the Executive Wing and was actually very nice and spacious. However, it was for three people so it became hot and stuffy. We did request a fan but none appeared. We had to open all the windows and the noise from outside simply kept us awake all night. We ate dinner in the hotel and the food was decent and service in the restaurant was fine. We moved to the bar however promptly, at 11o'clock we were "kicked out" into the lobby. We were told that there would be no drinks served for half an hour and from then on the night porter would serve them in the lobby. My party were not drinking alcohol and simply wanted water but still could get no service. A number of guests became loud and abusive as a result and there was a very heated argument with staff. All this happened in front of a number of very small children who frankly should have been in bed! Obviously the hotel can't be responsible for poor parenting but there really were far too many drunk guests and unruly children staying here. The experience has certainly put me off ever returning to this place.

Room Tip: If you choose to stay here, get a room in the executive wing
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Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank aggiedo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

I have never used trip advisor before but felt that I could not let this go & wanted to warn other people so they never have as horrible a night as we all did.

My family & I stayed here on 20th July, we had 6 rooms all together and all of us had a bad experience!

Firstly, the lift is so old and is in bad need of updating, I honestly felt sick bouncing around inside it, I didn't feel safe at all & refused to use it again. After we got out of the lift we had ages to walk to our room, up lots of stairs, through creaky corridors & then as we approached our room we were met by the most aweful damp smell.

Our room was a nice size but so outdated & in desperate need off updating, it didn't feel clean, i refused to walk bare foot on the carpet, there were marks on the floor & walls, I shudder to think what they were & the bed was so uncomfortable.

Our shower was tiny, you had to bend over to wash your hair.

My sisters shower wouldn't turn off & her room was not clean either.

Their was no air conditioning or fans so we had to sleep with the window open only to be woken at 6am by the most terrible noise from an extractor fan or something similar. I couldn't get back asleep.

They around 9am house keeping came knocking on our door, despite the fact we were a departure & had not checked out yet!

Now for the worst part, our friends were in another room & the handle of their door fell off, all of their belongings got locked into their room & when we sought assistance the duty manager was so rude & seemed almost angry to have to deal with the issue. Later when they returned to their room they discovered the sheets were dirty & stained!

When they requested fresh sheets they were told to use the blanket in the wardrobe!

In all, this place was disgraceful, I felt cheated out of my money & was left with my skin crawling when leaving!

I will NEVER stay here again!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank Charlie-bear2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Very rude male manager. Rooms hot and stuffy no air con or fan. Lots of noise from night life. Lots of stairs, very old rickety lift. Chairs stacked in fire escape area. On the plus side very helpful attendant in the public car park and nice touch by staff tucking child's toy in to bed.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank Geri71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Hotel has a new manager (only there a couple of months) who hopes to upgrade everything - he really would need to.
Just spent two weeks. Hotel is old out of date, much doesn't work properly and on one occasion my conference room had to be vacated because water was pouring through the ceiling. I spoke with a guest who had the same problem in his room and the amazingly friendly staff are let down by one male one female.
Male (duty manager) when asked why I couldn't be given the room with a walk in shower (mobility problems) that the general manager and several others had promised me all first week, told me a pack of fairy stories about others having booked earlier and needing it more (!) he then said I could book into another hotel or take the room with a bath - it was like Fawlty towers. Well at least it has given me a conversation (and training course) piece as an example of the worst possible customer service I have experienced in a very long time if ever in an hotel.
Rooms (even when they moved me to one with a shower) small cramped and unbelievably hot - ok it is a freak heatwave but part from cheap plastic fans (broken and held together with sellotape) there is no other solution except one lovely receptionist brought me a huge jug of ice and I made Wimbledon neck ties (ice wrapped in the towel round my neck) it helped. Rooms are also noisy and all the comments about not very clean are true - I bring my own pillow and tea tree and lavender sprays anyhow also I wouldn't dream of walking on the carpet without some form of cover on my feet so I coped with the window as wide open as possible (so all the street noise) and certainly no bed clothes until about 4,00 a.m. It was not conducive to good nights sleep but in fairness they couldn't control the temperatures and when most summers are rainy it would be wrong to complain about such wonderful outdoor temperatures.....they really need contingency plans however.
The irksome thing is that the company I was working for had be provisionally booked into another much nicer hotel about 7 miles away for the second week but on the Monday of the first week I asked them to see if they could keep me in the Royal as it was convenient for working......that week I at least had a decent sized room with WiFi but no walk in shower - than heaven for the very good leisure centre where I went every morning at 6.30 for workout and had my shower and changed there.
Food - the evening meals are OK, except perhaps for the Caesar salad starter where I discarded most of the lettuce - I wouldn't have fed it (rough limp brown stained outer leaves that you automatically discard) to a rabbit.
Fish chowder was nice but I have never seen it made with crab sticks before - it just made it feel cheap like so much else of their foodstuff. Having said that they have a special each day at 20 Euros for two courses and it seems to be pretty good value as it includes coffee also. I had it twice - once even though I had melon as a starter, it was too much for me but the salmon main course was lovely. The second time, husband and I shared and it was ample and he enjoyed the roast beef and roulade.
Breakfast was OK but cheap. The orange juice is the cheapest you can buy I am sure and the fruit salad is mainly tinned, one morning there were two sad rather brown very small bananas but no other fresh fruit in the two weeks except the small amount in the fruit salad. I had to go to the supermarket to get fruit to keep in my room. Bread is cheap white pan and if you want eggs bacon tomato beans sausages and hash browns, its not too bad but again the sausages are cheap with only a nodding acquaintance with pork.
If you are hungry and want a filling breakfast as it is a buffet I guess it is fine but I would have preferred less items but better quality. It is such a shame because Ireland has some wonderful local produce.
We had sandwiches for lunch every day and they never varied, (not very nice) processed cheese, (quite nice) sliced ham or (quite nice) sliced chicken breast but on ghastly cheap white processed bread - and a personal hate, the fillings never reached the corners and that was it - no salad, nothing just two slices of white bread and a bit of meat or cheese - oh sorry, just remembered, there was one other choice, a salad mix with mayo, it was OK!
The restaurant staff are all extremely nice, mainly students - there is an amazing lady who has been there for ever and she is very efficient and manages to get everyone served quickly. The hotel was completely full while I was there the first week, loads of coach tours and I heard nothing but complaints as I walked around, overheard comments in the dining room or spoke to people in lifts or in corridors, the second week there were also lots of tours and again complaint after complaint.
The manager tried his best and there was another very helpful male assistant manager and a lovely lady function manager but try as they did, I just had to keep checking everything every day, Coffee and biscuits due at 11.00 first week but at 11.20 on more than one day I had to walk from conference room to reception (no phone in room eventually I had them on speed dial) which is quite a long way (with mobility problems) to get them to get it sorted, then we didn't get any biscuits, one small jug of milk between 20 people and so on - each problem requiring another trip to reception. They also used to provide two jugs of iced water - for 20 people in a heatwave!
By the end of the second week everything was arriving on time and there were adequate quantities - but even then I needed the room laid out differently for the last couple of days and they changed not my room, but the one next door. Thank heaven I was there each morning 1 1/2 hrs before I was due to start to make sure I could sort out any problems
Before I realised it was going to be so bad, my husband arranged to join me at the end of the week and we were going to spend the weekend there so we could have a look round the area but one person (me) in a pokey double room with minute bathroom and walk in shower that was either cold or blazing (think the thermostat went while I was there as it hadn't been so bad at the beginning of the week) just about coped - but add a second person and it was just unbearable. We were in a room into which the sun blazed until 9.00 p.m (how could you complain about that!) but the room was so pokey, the bed, wardrobe and vanity unit took up all the space there was just room for a chair at the vanity unit and another which unless it was stuck in the corner, you couldn't walk round anywhere else, so after a sleepless night with temperatures I am sure in the 30's until at least 2.00 a.m when it slowly started to cool he absolutely refused to stay another minute.
I have tried to give a balanced view to this review - while I would never stay there again, there are some good staff who try to help, it must be frustrating for them to have such a difficult environment. I have also tried to point out the good aspects but have to say even now, the whole stay was overshadowed by my treatment when booking in for the second week.
I always make a point of being polite and accommodating but I will stand my ground if I need to and did so on this occasion - I chatted in a friendly way as you do when booking in and reminded the receptionist I had been allocated a room with walk in shower. She deliberately put me in a room without one and did not say anything. I went to the room, immediately looked in the bathroom and phoned down. I was told to hold on - after 9 minutes I went back to reception and found her booking in a bus tour of about 40 people - not a problem but she should have told me and asked if she could ring me back in 30 minutes. When we did start to talk she tried to say my booking was for a disabled room and this was a disabled room - as I pointed out a grab rail in a bath doesn't make a disabled room and anyone with more mobility problems than me wouldn't have made 7 steps down, three steps up etc - as it was I couldn't managed that with a suitcase and had to get a porter because there is no such thing as a luggage trolley - they wouldn't be any good anyhow because of the continual up and down stairs on each floor, nothing is level.. It was irritating and upsetting being treated like an idiot and as though I was a nuisance which is exactly how I was made to feel. I do not like making an issue of my mobility problems, I believe in being known for what I can do not what I cant and to have to keep making a point of it is actually very upsetting.
I thought I would be better speaking to the duty manager - as at least three had spoken to me the previous week about my room with a shower as so few rooms have them - sadly although I had seen this one several times and passed the time of day, he had not been involved in that - and when I reminded him I had been resident the previous week, he obviously didn't remember me......you would have thought that in his position he would have at least made the effort to say that they did! Part of the rest of the conversation has been noted earlier so I will say no more - everyone who stays will form their own opinions of the hotel and as I say you cant fault most of the staff.

Room Tip: Executive rooms are larger and have wifi. Rooms at the front of the hotel face into the setting sun...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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Thank oldladytraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

After 2 1/2 weeks in Europe June 2012this was the first facility we wished we did not book.

Where to start.? In order to get to the front desk from their parking lot you had to walk a couple hundred yards up and down steps with your luggage.

Elevator was meant for no more that 2 and felt as if it was ready to breakdown.

Once you leave the elevator the long walk to your room has you going up steps, several times, which was not friendly to a friend who was travelling with us.

Only saving grace was David the night manager

I tried to turn the shower off but had no luck and called the front desk. Maintenance came up immediately and I learned that you had to turn the water on for the tub to take the pressure off the shower in order to turn it off. Maintenance only words were "It is an old system"

We had 2 rooms for 5 of us and although not cots the beds slid across the room when you sat on them. Head board was bolted to the wall but the beds slid across the room. Two of our party pushed thier beds against the wall so the could only slide one direction.

We stayed in 2 places in France and 4 in Ireland and this is the only place we regretted.

There website is fantastic. I wish the facility came even a little close to the reality.

Loxahatchee, Florida

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 787brianm787
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Royal Hotel and Merrill Leisure Club

Address: Main Street, Bray, Ireland (Formerly The Royal Hotel Bray)
Location: Ireland > Province of Leinster > County Wicklow > Bray
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Bray
Price Range: $90 - $183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Royal Hotel and Merrill Leisure Club 3*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A very warm welcome to The Royal Hotel & Merrill Leisure Club, one of the largest hotels in Co. Wicklow with a proven reputation in hospitality excellence for many years.We pride our selves as being children and famliy friendly . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Hotel Bray
The Royal Hotel Leisure Centre
Bray Hotel Royal Wicklow
Royal Hotel Wicklow

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