We stayed here for 3 nights between Xmas and New Year, and the hotel was excellent.
The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. Our room was clean, comfortable and spacious (even with three of us in it). The position of the hotel is very good - right on the sea-front and a 5-10 minute walk to the main centre of town, where the harbour, shops and most of the restaurants are.
Because this was an existing hotel that Premier Inn took over it has the best of both worlds. The building has the character that many Premier Inns lack, but as it was refurbished fairly recently (in 2008 I believe) it is really smart & tidy and the room feel modern. Also, the restaurant and bar are integrated into the main hotel, rather than being in a separate building next-door, which is the usual set-up for Premier Inns.
We had dinner in the restaurant one night. The food and service were excellent, although we were told when we ordered that a special offer being advertised on the Premier Inn web site and in the hotel was no longer running (but still being promoted!). The separate bar was always busy, but we always found a table. The bar staff were very efficient and it was always easy to get served, even when it looked busy at the bar. It has a good, lively atmosphere rather than the sterile feel most hotel bars have.
There is ample car parking; there were always plenty of free spaces in the hotel car park during our stay, and I'm fairly sure the hotel was full. It's pay & display but you can get a free pass when you check in to the hotel. There is an enormous public car park next door, but I doubt if you would need to use it.
My only real objection is the "rooms from £29" campaign that Premier Inn have been running. We paid more than double this amount for our room and there was no sign of any £29 rooms when I booked. I also booked a room at a Premier Inn near home for visitors over Xmas, and despite a large "£29" on the front of the place, I was charged about 3 times that amount. This "dodgy" promotion has tarnished my view of Premier Inn and the non-existent special offer in the restaurant (see above) has reinforced an image of them (and other companies in the Whitbread group) as not being entirely honest with their customers. Apart from this I would not hesitate to use Premier Inns again, but this has put me off.
It's also worth being aware of a clause in the Premier Inn booking conditions that allows them to charge the prevailing room rate when you stay regardless of the price quoted when you book (so if you book in advance then they raise their prices, they can charge you the higher amount when you turn up). I'm not sure if they would actually try to do this, but they must have put it in their booking conditions for a reason.
It really is a shame that the hard work and professionalism of the staff in the hotels is undermined by sharp practices from head office.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In a listed building set on the glorious Torquay coastline, with amazing views of the English Riviera ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Premier Inn Torquay Hotel Torquay
- Premier Inn Torquay Hotel Devon