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The Imperial Torquay
Ranked #23 of 86 Hotels in Torquay
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We visited the hotel for our silver anniversary and our stay there was perfect. The hotel is absolutely stunning, the room was fantastic with an amazing view of the entire bay area. During our stay all of the staff were very friendly and approachable, they always maintained a highly professional and efficient manner and were always willing to help. The food available at the restaurant and the lounge bar is first class and delicious. The hotel grounds are beautiful and well kept and provide another relaxing element to the overall atmosphere. The hotel is situated within a short walk to the main Marina and seafront area which has an abundance of facilities/amenities. This hotel is perfect for different types of trips but for our purposes it was perfectly romantic.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank 45Keith2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn G, General Manager at The Imperial Torquay, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for your recent review of your stay at The Imperial Hotel.

I am so pleased that we were able to help you celebrate you Silver Wedding Anniversary in such a romantic way. It's always nice to hear such lovely comments, but when we have helped our guests celebrate such a special occasion it is even more rewarding to hear.

I have passed your lovely comments on to my team and would like to thank you again for your kind review. Hopefully we will be able to welcome you back to the hotel in the future, and help you celebrate more special occasions.

Regards

Gwyn

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2,051 - 2,057 of 3,010 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2014

We had a deluxe balcony room with wonderful views. The room was large, clean, and a bit old fashioned, but had lots of storage space, and a large flat screen TV with freeview. The balcony was large and had two sun-loungers and two small tables.The bathroom had been renovated and was modern, and well equipped but only had a shower over the bath, good quality though. Buffet breakfast was consistent with other 4* hotels, good selection including smoked salmon,The free wifi is not worth having, very slow and drops out constantly. The food was wonderful, and plentiful. We had half board and booked early to get a good discount. The staff were helpful and we had no problems, there was a duff bulb over the sink unit, and it was replaced within the hour.
car parking is £7 a day, but we were informed of this on the web site.

Room Tip: pay for a deluxe balcony room. 2nd or 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank consub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn G, General Manager at The Imperial Torquay, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for your recent review of your stay with us here at The Imperial Hotel.

I am pleased that you had an enjoyable stay with us. Our priority is the comfort and enjoyment of our guests so it's always nice to hear such positive feedback.

Thank you again for your kind words and I look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel in the future.

Regards

Gwyn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

My husband and I stayed in this Hotel, here is my review:

THE HOTEL: The hotel has full of character, charm and history, it is facing a marvellous bay. It has its own swimming pool (but not heated). The scenery is breath taking with well-kept gardens. Yet the hotel management seems to be doing not much to honour and promote the incredible history of this Hotel. Instead, they seem to be happy to trade on the former glory. The lobby, halls and dining areas all look opulent enough to reflect the ambience of splendour from the past era of the hotel but some of the rooms desperately need renovation.

I checked the history of this hotel in the internet and found some old photos of the Hotel (Please see the photographs of the Hotel from 1930’s ).

The hotel always had the grandeur and magnificence from the day it was built. Once, it was the only 5 star hotel in Torquay. It was built to accommodate the distinguish guests of the Russian Royal family Romanovs (hence the name ‘Imperial’) who fall in love with Torquay on their visit to Queen Victoria. They had decided to build a summer residence for themselves in Torquay but the place was not big enough to accommodate their guests hence the Imperial Hotel was built. According to the legend, later, Lillie Langtry (an American actress and the mistress of the Prince of Wales, ("Bertie", later Edward VII) used to meet him in the hotel’s grounds. He once complained to her, "I've spent enough on you to build a battleship", whereupon she tartly replied, "And you've spent enough in me to float one" . Also later Agatha Christie (one of the most famous English author in the world) loved to come to the hotel (almost daily) to write her (3) books despite the fact that she was born and bred and had her own house in Torquay.
Well, with all this marvellous history (and more) you could at least think that the management would do something about it. Sadly no.. there is only a small plaque on the door of the lobby to see the name of Agatha Christie without much information.

THE LOCATION: The location is excellent. Within minutes, you are in the Torquay marina. ‘The Living Coasts Sea-Life Aquarium’ ( which is 5 - 7 minutes walk from the hotel) and ‘Torquay Museum’ should be in your list of places to visit. In the Torquay museum, they have ‘the Agatha Christie Gallery’ which includes furniture, books, pictures and even fireplace from Mr Hercule Poirot’s beautiful London art deco apartment.

ROOMS: The ground floor rooms are large, it has a terrace facing the sea or garden. We were given one of those rooms but although the room had character (an old wall-to-wall cupboard, a very large and comfortable bed, a small terrace with a sea view and vintage furniture), it desperately needed renovation. The bathroom was the worse, the toilet could not flash, the wooden casing of the bath tub was broken, the tiles were cracked. We felt that (knowing perfectly what the state of this room) the Hotel should not have given us this room, after a day of waiting we were moved to 3rd floor instead. The rooms on the 3rd floor were much smaller but they were newly furnished, and looked much better.

FOOD: We dined in the restaurant, the service was average, the portion sizes were fine but the food was simply bistro, nothing special. They do not have much wine variety but the ones that we had were good.

SERVICE: Sadly, it is not satisfactory. Reception and concierge was slow to respond, lack of empathy was in the air, we felt that our requests were met as a matter of obligation rather than out of willingness, kindness and consideration.

BAR: The hotel has a very large bar area, but the drinks and the cocktails were average. We did not get nibbles with our drinks, we had to ask for it.

NICETIES/ GESTURES : There was none. There are no chocolates, no bottle of waters, no fruit baskets, no bar and the cafetiere in the room was less than average.

BOTTOM LINE: A beautiful historic hotel, wonderful settings and location but the rooms needs renovation. Also the service and food quality should be improved.

As a guest, you are given an impression that all it is expected from you to arrive, spend money and leave without really feeling and experiencing the beauty of this historic Hotel.

Would we come again? Unless it is improved perhaps not.. Because it would make me rather sad to see that this marvellous hotel is being managed like a cheap bed & breakfast yet costing a lot of money for the guests.

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms are much better...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
10  Thank bernadette b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn G, General Manager at The Imperial Torquay, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. I am truly sorry your experience was not a positive one and rest assured all points raised will be addressed in order to improve our service and product.

With regard to the splendid history of our hotel, I am concerned that you feel there is no information available to our guests relating to this. We have information on all of our welcome letters and in the menu in the restaurant highlighting some of the key historical points.

It is regrettable that you did not make us aware of your discontent during your stay as we could have tried to change your experience.

We are constantly looking at ways in which we can improve the standard of service and the product that we offer, therefore, welcome all feedback from our guests.

Please do let us know if you visit the area again as we would like the opportunity to show your experience during your last visit is not our normal standard.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 29 July 2014

I'm led to believe The Imperial is under new ownership and as such is in the process of going through a lot of changes, not least with the staff who are obviously still a little wet behind the ears. We booked two rooms, one double and one twin room. However when we booked in at 2pm (We were actually told it was 3pm later by different staff) there was no twin available - only another double. Not too good if you're not into sharing a bed! It also surprised me that we were not asked if we needed help with the luggage as the 3 others I was with were an elderly in-laws and my 9 year old son. The hotel itself is stunning, with a magnificent marbled foyer with lovely decor. It makes a little change from the room I had, where wallpaper was coming away from the walls in places. The room itself was quite spacious, although I have been in bigger. The bed was springy, and very comfortable although not that good if you like a firm mattress. As for breakfast, it's a bit of a hit and miss affair, but they let you know the busiest times in all the elevators so you do know when is the best time. It's very much a buffet where courtesy and patience is the order of the day and I'm glad it was very well observed on all 3 days. The food was nice, with some fresh fruit available although if you were vegetarian it was difficult to see what hot food you could have for breakfast. All in all, I probably would stay here again - if I was ever to return to Torquay, but hopefully it will be when the staff have been a little more settled in and the obvious teething troubles are over. Such a lovely place should be a lovely experience for the guests I think it may well be a while before they receive that.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank Ronnie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn G, General Manager at The Imperial Torquay, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. I am truly sorry your experience was not a positive one and rest assured all points raised will be addressed in order to improve our service and product.

Please do let us know if you visit the area again as we would like the opportunity to show your experience during your last visit is not our normal standard. You can contact me on g.gibbons@thehotelcollection.co.uk.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

My wife treated her friend today to a spa day and afternoon tea at the hotel. Whilst the Spa was ok, if not very dated like the rest if the hotel, the quality of the treatments varied greatly, with my wife and friend having the same treatment, but with different people, one last some 15 min longer than the others.

The afternoon tea part was simply shocking, the sandwiches were literally one piece on bread with a slice of meat or cheese on top. When my wife enquired as to what the sandwiches contained, 3 separate people didn't know or care. They also asked if the sandwiches could have no butter due to medical reasons, to which they were subject to a barrage of questions as to why, even this simple request took a number of goes to get right. The food was bland, dried, compounded with the shocking attitude of the staff made the whole birthday experience with a very disappointing tone.

I would suggest this hotel needs to start putting its customers first, start listening to them, not making them feel like everything is too much trouble. I will never use this hotel again. If it is any reflection of what it would be like to stay there then I wouldn't touch it!!!

Stayed: July 2014
6  Thank LTGTRFAMILY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn G, General Manager at The Imperial Torquay, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post a review after your recent visit. I am truly sorry your experience was not a positive one and rest assured all points raised will be addressed in order to improve our service and product. It is regrettable that you did not make us aware of your discontent during your stay as we could have tried to change your experience.

Please do let us know if you visit the hotel again as we would like the opportunity to show your experience during your last visit is not our normal standard. You can contact me on g.gobbons@thehotelcollection.co.uk.

Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

on arrival were impressed by the reception area ,we were early but since our room was ready their was no problem we were checked in by friendly staff and went to our room
when we entered the room it was a very pleasant surprise ,the room was a generous size with a large balcony and 2 sun loungers and the most beautiful view overlooking the sea
we dined at the hotel on the first night as this was included in our booking the food was very good
,all the staff that we encountered during our stay were courteous they acknowledged us with a smile whenever we passed them were more than happy to help and always polite
breakfast was a treat all was fresh with fruit cereals yogurts toast and a lot more besides
also of course piping hot help yourself to full English breakfast
now I have read the mixed comments regarding this hotel and the criticism is totally unfounded
we would not hesitate to recommend this hotel and indeed will be going back

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank 05puglia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn G, General Manager at The Imperial Torquay, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for your review of your recent stay with us at the Imperial Hotel

I am so pleased that you had an enjoyable stay with us and that your birthday celebrations were a success!

Our guest comfort and enjoyment is our top priority so it's always nice to hear such positive feedback, I will make sure that I pass your comments on to my team.

Thank you again for you lovely review and I look forward to welcoming you back the hotel in the future

Regards

Gwyn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Just got back from a two night bed breakfast break with an evening meal on the first night booked through Superbreaks. When we got to reception we were greeted by a very friendly receptionist who advised us that we had received a complimentary upgrade, I was a little disappointed as I had asked for a high room only to be told that none were available but needn't have worried as when we opened the bedroom door to room 122 on the first floor the first thing that hits you is the view, it was amazing and we could see right across the bay. The room wasn't huge but had a comfy bed, views MMM with a balcony with two sun loungers to catch the afternoon sun on. This is an old hotel and the rooms get very hot so if you have one it might be worth you taking a fan we did.
Evening meal - our meal. The menu is very good with plenty of choice that is if you wish to pay a hefty supplement that is. My husband chose a starter that had a supplement and we both opted for the feather blade beef which was excellent and the jus was very rich. We then had the tiramisu torte with a scoop of ice cream and had to pay a pound for the ice cream which was a bit of a cheek. We had an extremely long waited as I think that they had forgotten to put the order through but when it came it was delicious.
Breakfast - plenty of choice both hot and cold with either filter coffee or various coffees and hot chocolate from the machines at the back of the room.
Bar - we only had one drink outside on the verandah with good prices whilst we watched a beautiful sunset.
Staff - all that we spoke with were helpful, pleasant and polite.
Area - the hotel is up a hill but it isn't really that steep and it isn't far to the nearest bar or shop.
Negative - for us anyway, this is a dog friendly hotel and opposite our room the occupants had a dog who tended to get a little anxious and barked loudly when they left the room to have food, not so good if you are after a lie in or a cheeky afternoon nap.
We haven't been to this area for forty years at least but this hotel is perfect for us, yes it is showing its age but then so am I. Already looking for when we can come back again, I think I'm hooked.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank k1of2ksy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn G, General Manager at The Imperial Torquay, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for your review of your recent stay at our hotel.

I am pleased that you had an enjoyable stay with us and had time to take advantage of the facilities and spectacular views that we offer. Our guest comfort and enjoyment is our top priority, so it is always nice to hear such positive feedback. We are always looking at ways to improve the standard of customer service we provide so welcome feedback from all our guests.

I have taken all of your comments on board and will pass them onto my team.

Thank you again for your lovely review and I look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel in the future.

Regards

Gwyn

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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 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: £64 - £149 (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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