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“Perfectly acceptable”

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The Imperial Torquay
Ranked #22 of 85 Hotels in Torquay
Reviewed 5 August 2013

I stayed at the Imperial a few times some years ago on business, when it was 5 star. I was very impressed, so decided to take my wife for our wedding anniversary, not realising it had changed hands since my last visit. I then read the reviews - with some trepidation, but did not experience the problems others had. Perhaps the management read the reviews and took action.
We had a premier room with a balcony, sunbeds and an amazing view of the sea. OK, so the paintwork was a little shabby, but the room was large and very clean. We used the indoor pool which was a little disappointing - the changing room had a very strong smell of drains, and the pool surface could have been cleaned more regularly - I did not like finding long strands of dark hair floating about (not mine - which is short and white!)
Dinner in the hotel was well-cooked and tasty, but could have done with more vegetables. It was surprising that the menu had no prices, and it appeared from our bill that each dish had different prices - but we did not know this beforehand. There was some delay in our starters arriving - 40 minutes is a bit excessive - but the rest came quite promptly. I was dreading the breakfast, based on some of the reviews, but found that even at the busiest time there were enough staff and that the hot buffet was regularly replenished, Hot drink orders were taken when we were shown to our table, and arrived promptly. A good range of cold food and pastries - with proper jam, not the little plastic packets many hotels provide.
All the staff we encountered were pleasant and friendly.
Another niggle was the expensive parking. I can see the need to deter non-resident parking, but £7 a night is exorbitant.
But all-in-all a pleasant stay, although a little expensive - but the view was worth it!

Room Tip: premium rooms have wonderful sea views
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank c0ttingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,592 - 2,598 of 3,077 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2013

Was a bit apprehensive due to some negatives, but our take on this place was: Lovely location, with a pet friendly attitude, lovely gardens, great kids facilities. We did not use these due to our age! Nice outdoor pool, plenty of space outside & in for "Bar activities" Bar menu good & service was excellent & quick despite a large wedding happening!
Our room was on the garden level, handy for the aged pup! Nice little balcony with 2 sun beds overlooking the splendid sea view. In the evening we took the room chairs out there to chill & watch fireworks.
OK this is probably not a 4* hotel, (other than the price!) they are skrimping on silly things like cheap toiletries & loo rolls which lets it down a bit, never the less we will return for short breaks. Can't comment on the dining experience, other than breakfast which was pretty good, buffet style plenty of choice. They could review the £7.00 stealth parking charges, but otherwise I can't complain.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GraylingDorsetUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Lovely hotel by appearance, good quality breakfast but dinner was shambolic, no organisation at all, staff could not understand English, waited two hours for soup, three different waiters asked what we would like for starters. Food cold, decided to eat out on last evening.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank OggieUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

we went with another couple for a birthday weekend, long journey down due to traffic, got there at 2.15 room not ready, got to the rooms they were very disappointing they were filthy our room had a very bad smell very poor quality there was dust and mould in the rooms and was expected to pay £278.00 for room and b&b for two nights! our room even had a bogie on the wall! wall paper peeling off the walls and ripped curtains, I think we were put in the staff quarters!, I went to reception to complain they offered me a different room but would have to pay to upgrade, I went to the new room with the general manager, it was a bit better, went back down to reception to pay only to be told the room I was shown had been booked out!!,
went back up to our room to wait with our friends who also had complained, manager came back and after a while we were found another room but had to upgrade an extra £50.
the manager was very good as were all the staff there we were given a complimentary meal with wine on the Saturday night which was nice but I would not have liked to pay the cost of the meal felt it was very pretentious with a lot of supplements!.
good amenities did use both pools and had drinks in the bar.
would stay again but make sure we book the rooms shown in the pictures and not the slums!

Room Tip: suits are nice, basic lower value rooms don't bother.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank aliswimmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Stayed as a family of 4 in a premium family room for 2 nights in their hotel sale deal.

Location
Within 10 minutes walk from the harbour area and most attractions, this hotel and the lobby and dining areas are very impressive. Very grand and palatial. Parked in onsite car park (£7 per night).

The room
This was sold as a premium family room with sea view suitable for 2 adults and 2 children. However on arrival, the room only had a large double and a single bed only. Went to reception who agreed to supply a folding bed. This was delivered and made up within a few minutes.
The room itself looked nothing like the one on the hotel website and the decor looked tired and dated. However the bathroom was quite modern and everything was very clean. Patio outside had 2 sunloungers and a very nice seaview. The door entry card was troublesome. Neither of our 2 room cards worked reliably and we got locked out of our room on our day of departure. Website states that the room includes mineral water - but we never saw any. Creaking floorboards from room directly above were quite distracting especially when sleeping.

Staff
Reception and dining staff were very business like. Very polite but not particularly friendly. However the cleaning staff were very nice and friendly.

Dining
Buffet style breakfast in the dining area was on the whole quite a pleasant experience. Lovely views over the bay. Great selection of hot food well cooked and maintained. Best cooked breakfast I have had in a long time. Usual annoying toaster which produces toast that is hardly browned. It badly needs adjusting. Fed the bread through a second time - perfect! Both coffee machines produced only a small amount of cappucino for some reason, so settled for white coffee instead. No fruit yoghurt - only plain yoghurt available. No teapots to put tea in.

Summary
Not bad all things considered but too many niggles. I could overlook the slightly dated room decor if the niggles I mentioned could be resolved. I'm not a perfectionist and in fact would stay again if the deal was right. But would not use the premium family room as it wasn't really anything like we expected from the website photo. The Puma website could really do with more photos to ensure that you get a clearer idea of what to expect. Puma website sale made the deal competitive otherwise I would have come away feeling that I had been overcharged. This hotel has a lot going for it location wise but it is letting itself down.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank mugsy1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

when checking in after our 4 hour car journey it took the staff 20mins to sort our room out , absolute joke. When we got into the room there was no extra bed for my son which took 3 phone calls before they brought one, which should already of been there as we booked and payed for 2 adults and 1 child. the bar snacks were way over priced and bar staff were miserable and very slow.
There was a party of 11 of us all together so we all sat together for dinner, only problem was yet again, very slow service between courses which resulted in us being stuck sitting at the table for 2 and half hours! so was too late to do much else after! The same thing happened the second night!

At breakfast the staff stood around while our table was overflowing with dishes and plates that needed to be taken away. So yet again a stressful experience with yet again poor service!

The final straw was when it came to checking out, which again took half an hour even when being served by the " Reception Manager ", due to me and my sister being handed a bill for £613 !!!! when all we actually owed was £7!!! .They had added other peoples room charges , drinks and food onto our bill ! You can imagine how pleased i was by this!!

The hotel itself lovely, especially as we had the penthouse suite, but all the staff need to go as they seriously let it down.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank helenkyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

We stayed for two nights B&B through Puma Hotels. Unfortunately, we did not have a great room. Quite small and a view of the car park. No air conditioning was a problem due to the extremely hot weather, though to be fair they did provide a floor standing fan which helped a little.The water pressure was exceedingly low making showering a real trial. There is no in room mini bar.You would expect better in a four star hotel. Paying for parking on top of the room rate was a disappointment.
However, the staff were very helpful, and we enjoyed our stay, as the breakfast was excellent. The views from the restaurant were magnificent.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GOLFFLUSH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Imperial Torquay

Address: Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Torquay
#9 Business Hotel in Torquay
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#11 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
#26 Romantic Hotel in Torquay
#30 Family Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: £58 - £164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Imperial Torquay 4*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Imperial Torquay is a 19th Century four-star hotel in a stunning cliff-top location on the English Riviera. Just a mile from Torquay train station, and 10 minutes walk from the town centre and its famous promenade, this Mediterranean-style hotel is a great base for exploring Devon and North Cornwall. Close by are sandy beaches, the Eden Project and Dartmoor National Park. After a day of exploring relax in the Health & Leisure Club then enjoy delicious food in the award-winning Regatta Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Imperial Hotel Torquay
Barcelo Torquay
Imperial Torquay
Torquay Imperial Hotel
Hotel Imperial Torquay
The Imperial Torquay Devon

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