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“Never fails to impress”
Review of Royal Castle Hotel

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Royal Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dartmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 January 2014

Having stayed here many times over the years, in fact since Nigel Way took the place over about 30 years ago, the same excellent standards have never fallen. The place is unique and credit must go to Nigel, his daughter Becca, and the brilliant staff and management. We have just returned from a 2 night midweek break having taken advantage of his ' January sale ' and although as a couple of recent reviews have criticised the essential maintenance underway, disruption was minimal, and the deal was priced accordingly. The place was buzzing as usual, great atmosphere and food quality good and well presented. If anyone can find anywhere better in this part of the world, I'd like to know about it !!

Room Tip: River view rooms are nicer than ones at the rear, although on this occasion, the views were quite re...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank johns12014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Our grateful thanks for your lovely compliments, and the fact we gave good value-for-money in light of the essential works on the hotel facade. Our staff always do their utmost to provide excellent service, and long may it continue! We look forward to seeing you again another time. Best wishes.

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689 - 695 of 1,064 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2014

We stayed at the Royal Castle Hotel for two nights in mid January. Christine, the Receptionist, was absolutely brilliant, warm, friendly and extremely helpful. She helped us prior to our stay and during. She really made our stay! Our room was clean, cheerful and nicely decorated. We had a super-sized Jacuzzi bath in the bathroom, which was a nice surprise and a bit like a swimming pool!

The service throughout the whole hotel was attentive and on the ball. We ate both nights in the pub area of the hotel as most of Dartmouth's restaurants were closed for their winter break. The food and ambiance was lovely. We sat by the open fire and ate good English food. Most of the clientele were locals and everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

There seemed to be a lot of people staying there on one or other 'deal' that the Royal were running in January and most of the people we stoke to on these deal had been coming back for many years.

A lovely experience and a beautiful place to stay. We felt like we had been away for much longer than two days - relaxed, calm and happy.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
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Thank FMM0612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Thnak you so much for your super review, and we are of course thrilled that you enjoyed your short relaxing break. Please do check out our website for special offers, particularly out of season. Hopefully we will see you again. Regards from us all.

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Reviewed 15 January 2014

Firstly let's just give some validation to my ability and competence to comment on this hotel

16 years of staying as guests for weekends - and main holidays- special treats and theme weekend etc

6 years as a 2nd home owner (not cut the final strings to the 2nd city yet) and eating in the Adam Restaurant /Harbour Bar for snacks and lunches .

All the above is in between travelling widely (see some of my reviews) so i can place this establishment and compare against many.

I do not recognise the hotel or staff in any of the previous negative comments - I would rate this hotel a high 9 out of 10 for service- food- staff and management attitude, I would go as far as to state who ever selects and trains the staff could teach the Hotel industry a thing or two about customer service.

However on the odd occasion over the years when we have called attention to any slight defect what' so ever be it a hotel or service - the issue has been dealt with quickly and in a very positive manner - the mark of a good organisation.


At no time in the previous article has mention been made of complaint being VOICED to the Bar Management \ Reception Staff \ Duty Manager or Mr Way the very approachable owner - This establishment isn't cheap and I would not put up with a service in any way that was not value for my hard earned money - so why would you not raise the alleged issues straight away - if you where so driven to go to print - pick up the telephone and speak to the hotel team.

We all have the right to raise issues - but we also have the right to give valid support to an establishment that has provided continued quality service

A hard to satisfy customer - But fair

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Patridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Your lovely words and compliments were so well received here. How wonderful that we have managed to maintain our level of service over all 16 years of your visits to us! We shall endeavour to do just as well, if not better, in the future. We know we will surely see you again one day, and look forward to welcoming you back. Regards from all the teams.

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

The website now says "essential maintenance" - it didn't when we booked. It actually means the whole frontage of the building is covered in scaffolding, which in turn is covered by opaque plastic sheeting. There are translucent windows in the sheeting so if you have booked a river view room you will be able to peer at the river with the same satisfaction as if you were looking through thick net curtains. Worse still, there are several platforms in the scaffolding, allowing a team of painters to stand immediately outside your bedroom window as they carry out works. So it's dark with no privacy. If you want to see daylight it would be better and cheaper to book a non-river view room.
Unfortunately we didn't know about the scaffolding when we took up the January sale offer. Purely by chance, my husband phoned the hotel to book a dinner table 48 hours before our arrival. He was asked "Did they tell you about the scaffolding?". No they hadn't and it was too late to book anywhere else. We thought it didn't sound too bad but were hugely disappointed when we saw it for ourselves. In fact we got our money back even though it was a non-refundable offer, as we hadn't been told about the work when we booked. Now that the website tells you about it I doubt there will be any more refunds.
I would just add that the Royal Castle receptionist said these works are carried out every year and the purpose-made printed sheeting (looking just like the hotel's normal frontage) does make me think it comes out with the same regularity as the Christmas decorations. Remember to ask when you book.
Luckily it took only minutes for the lovely ladies at the Harbourside Apartments to find us a lovely flat with a fantastic view and a balcony overlooking the river - even better.

Room Tip: If the scaffolding's up, don't choose a "river view" room.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank ABJ_Devon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

We are so sorry that we were unable to notify all our residents of the scaffolding and mesh as part of the January works - we truly didn't receive a date until too late. However, we are of course delighted that you still came to Dartmouth and found suitable accommodation. Do hope that you will return to us one day. Regards from all the staff.

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

Having worked in the hotel trade and a stickler for hygiene I would like to refute pp's review. Using the RC regularly, eating in the bar about once weekly and in the restaurant about monthly I can only state that the levels of food hygiene and cleanliness in this establishment are exemplary. The staff, under the guidance of the management, are punctilious about all hygiene measures and the food prep area and bar are one of the cleanest I have ever witnessed. The staff wash hands regularly and always prior to handling food for service. The food is of excellent quality and the staff are the most friendly and professional I have observed.
There is no need, as pp asserts, to wear gloves for food service - it is a creeping Americanism. If not taught to don gloves surgically there is a greater risk of contamination than from good social hand washing with soap and water.
I have never before reviewed an establishment but felt compelled in this instance in the light of this seemly unfair and incorrect review.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank MisterDrPhil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann I, Front Office Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

Our thanks for your lovely review, especially the compliments on the good hygiene standards practiced by our bar food staff - it's much appreciated. Clearly you are a reguar customer, and as much, may you continue to be for a long time to come! Best wishes from all of us.

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Reviewed 8 January 2014

From our seats in the Galleon Bar, we were quite clearly able to see the food preparation area and the staff within. Three people were involved in the unbelievable scene that unfolded in front of us, which, despite the potential repercussions, provided macabre entertainment. The actions could have been the stuff of a Food Standards Officer training film, of what not to do in a kitchen. Suffice to say, we didn't order lunch.

I imagine the cold food, such as salads, sandwiches, ploughman's lunches, etc. are prepared here. Hot food seemed to emerge from another kitchen - sight unseen.

Basic hygiene requirements were severely lacking and the safety of food served, questionable. At no time, over a period of about 45 minutes, were staff observed to wash their hands or clean any worksurfaces or utensils. Gloves, hats and aprons were not worn by anybody.

What the staff were observed doing was this:

. Collecting dirty glasses from the bar, fingers in the glasses, before immediately then preparing food with the contaminated hand
. Poking an ear hole with a finger before then taking a baguette with the same hand and preparing it to serve to a customer
. Passing a hand through hair and playing with strands of hair, whilst preparing food
. Using a cordless phone, stored in a trouser pocket when not in use, coughing over the mouthpiece and hand, before preparing food with the coughed-on hand
. Picking food from a customer's plate whilst preparing that plate to be served and eating it
. Taking sliced meat from a fridge container, cutting a slice in two, and throwing a piece back into the container; hands unwashed, knife used for cutting all other foods, not cleaned; worksurface, similar
. Using a cloth to wipe a liquid spill from the bar floor, without washing the cloth before or after, and later using the same cloth to cursorily wipe the coffee-making machine
. Cash till used intermittently whilst preparing food

I would be interested to read a response to my observations and trust that what I witnessed will not be defended; it cannot be defended. I hope the management may be prompted to retrain their staff and undertake a wholesale review of the establishment's food hygiene.

Suffice to say, enjoy a drink at the bar, take-in the undeniable atmosphere of the place but don't be tempted to order any food; not, that is, until things have changed at The Royal Castle.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
6  Thank P P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryan B, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2014

Dear Sir or Madam,

We appreciate your feedback as we are constantly striving to improve all aspects of our business. Although we feel that some of the points you have raised about food hygiene are valid, we would like to point out that our five out of five rating from the food standards agency is a sign that we take food hygiene very seriously and have been recognized for our efforts. All of our food preparation staff hold a certificate in Basic Food Hygiene. As an extremely busy venue our staff are required to multitask and undertake several roles during a busy service period. Only members of management carry cordless phones of which, as I’m sure you can understand, are an essential method of communication in such a busy environment. The staff preparing and serving food are well aware they should wash their hands before starting their shift and I assure you they wash their hands throughout their shift. Our washing up area is out of sight from the Galleon Bar. We carry out staff training sessions on a weekly basis and we assure you that reiterating our food hygiene policy to our staff will be included.

Wishing you the best of our attention at all times

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Reviewed 4 January 2014

Bit of a nostalgia trip. Visited for lunch in the main bar with family, now all old enough to come in as non-residents. Food great although some of the portioning of the cheese/ploughman's platters was a bit confusing. Food great, great location, beer kept well. Hotel unchanged but clean and not looking tired. Looking forward to the day we can come back and stay again as we did many years ago.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Baszunia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryan B, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2014

Thank you for the return trip to the hotel. We do try our best to keep the hotel looking in 'tip top' shape and will be redesigning a couple of rooms in the hotel in the early part of this year. Our head chef, Ankur Biswas, does his best to source the best ingredients for all of our dishes.
We hope to see you staying with us again very soon

Kind regards

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Additional Information about Royal Castle Hotel

Address: 11 The Quay, Dartmouth TQ6 9PS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Dartmouth
Price Range: £114 - £213 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Castle Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning Royal Castle Hotel is in the centre of Dartmouth with its cobbled streets, intriguing shops and famous restaurants and bars. Looking out over the River Dart, this 17th-century building offers bright, airy rooms, free Wi-Fi and a stylish restaurant. There are 25 en suite rooms, all of which are individually decorated. Many of the rooms have river views, four-poster beds, spa baths and 15 of our rooms have air conditioning units as well. Every room has a TV, radio and tea/coffee making facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Castle Dartmouth
Hotel Royal Castle
Royal Castle Hotel Dartmouth, Devon

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