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“Nice break” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Palace Hotel

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The Palace Hotel
Ranked #53 of 89 Hotels in Torquay
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Nice break”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2013

we normally stay at another 4star hotel when we are in Torquay,but decided to have a change and chose the Palace , we have a daughter who is at that age when she wants a bit of independence but did not want a totally seperate room.we chose a double with an interconnecting room. The rooms we we given were ideal, on going through the main door off the corridor there were then two seperate doors, ours was a very spacious double with double aspect windows which made it light and airy, our daughters room had twin beds, both rooms had a seperate bathroom . Although we were at the front of the Hotel and overlooking the carpark this was not a problem as we don't tend to spend a lot of time in the room. The only negative was our bathroom,it was well equipt and large but the decor was in need of replacement, there were cracked wall tiles and the ceramic floor tiles appeared to have been laid over floorboards so the grouting between the had come out in places having said that it was kept very clean by the housekeeping staff. The rest of the Hotel is very elegant in an old fashioned way comfortable and clean. the staff we met were friendly and helpful.we ate in the bar which had a reasonable choice and when the food came out it was hot and enjoyable. The leisure facilities were good even if the pool temperature was a little on the cold side. overall an enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank G0lferNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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754 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (277)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Gosport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2013 via mobile

Although The Palace was a little dated, the food, staff and service outweighed the dated decor. We found that the hotel was thoroughly enjoyable, food was to die for we wish the more modern could match this place. The bonus was to be able enjoy the the 9 hole patch and put Golf Course, this was quite challenging. Leisure facilities were very good despite the tennis court was in need of bringing up to speed. Given the chance we will return. Well done.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2013

This week we enjoyed a good value three night break at this hotel which included dinner and breakfast. All the staff that we met were efficient and friendly. The food was very good. The hotel is old fashioned but very clean and comfortable. This hotel is clearly very popular with senior citizens. The grounds, garden and small golf course were very attractive and well maintained. Our south facing top floor room overlooking the garden was good and worth an upgrade. Our only minor criticism was the low water temperature in the indoor pool.

Room Tip: South facing garden room worth the upgrade
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JohnShepherd17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torquay
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2013

I am always intrigued by reviews that moan about a hotel being "dated" So are National Trust properties and that is their charm. Also the style and appearance of a hotel is easily checked before you book so why book a traditional hotel if you want something very modern. I visit The Palace Hotel regularly for functions, meals etc as a none resident and have recommended it to friends to stay there and they have found it excellent for sleeping and breakfast. I have always found the staff polite and helpful and I like the sense of space with so many corners you can take to for drinks or a chat. I have yet to have a bad meal there.

Coffee on the terrace in the summer is great overlooking the well kept gardens and the golf course. The indoor and outdoor swimming pools are well kept and the range of sports facilities very good.

For us it certainly offers a far better experience than the branded chain hotels
My only criticism is that the Hotel does not make better use of the excellent ballroom. It has a good sprung floor and well presented stage and it would be good to have live or even recorded music for dancing on a regular basis

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farnham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2013

We have returned from three nights peace and quiet at this hotel. Our refurbished room overlooked the well cared for gardens and the little golf course. The breakfast and dinner were first class and served by polite and helpful staff. We so enjoyed the lack of piped music and banging doors. The many lounges were comfortable and warm. Just the hotel for a winter break.

Room Tip: Request a refurbished room, overlooking gardens.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rita D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2013

We booked a night at this hotel to stay over after an annual meal- I went and negotiated face to face and arrived at a good deal of £43 each with bed and breakfast plus an upgrade to a "superior" garden room on a Saturday night.

The highlights for me were the lovely views over the garden from the room, and the impressive dining room where the meal was held. The food very good, especially considering the large numbers they were catering for.

As a place to host an event, it was great- as a hotel to stay as a couple, it felt extremely dated and nowhere near the standard people have learned to expect these days of a four star hotel. The room was large and had a great view and the bathroom was clean and modern, though again not nearly high quality enough for the star rating.

The downsides- the room was very dated with very old and worn furniture units, a TV from the dark ages, a blown bulb in the bedside light, poor lighting in general, old and dated bedding with blankets and a rather tatty looking quilted bed spread. The lounge bar was like sitting in a station waiting room- soul less and dull. There was also no WIFI in the room and not a good enough 3G signal on 3 to do some work that I needed to do.

The breakfast was good quality and enjoyable in the huge old dining room.

This hotel feels like it needs a lot of investment and has been left a long way behind what we have all come to expect. You can sit there an imagine how impressive and atmospheric it must have been 40 or 50 years ago. In summary, a disappointing experience, but a useful bed to stay in after an event! Certainly not a proper hotel experience that I would recommend to others.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AJSRDEvon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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West Wickham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2013

We have stayed at this hotel on quite a few occasions and I have reviewed it twice in the past, the most recent being last year when I recorded that there were signs that things were not as they should be. My wife and I stayed more recently in March 2013 on one of the hotel's three day mini-breaks and, sadly, things have got worse.

Let me say right away that having read a few of the recent reviews by others I started to wonder if they had actually stayed in the same Palace Hotel that we stayed in because it most certainly is not a four or five star experience.

This is an AA 4 star rated hotel but I can only imagine that the AA haven’t been anywhere near it for years because, in reality, it rates no more than two stars.

Upon arrival we were allocated a room (229) which was dated (but we knew it would be) and tatty around the edges. The bathroom was pretty grubby with black mould on quite a bit of the silicone around the bath. As in our last visit, the wardrobe door wouldn't shut and kept gaping open (we were told last time that they couldn't get the appropriate hinges any longer [I have half a dozen in a cupboard in my garage!]). Having unpacked, the external light was getting a bit dim and so my wife turned on the main light switch by the door - and promptly received an electric shock!! Fortunately, she was not badly hurt.

Unsurprisingly, I went to call reception and the telephone promptly fell off the wall bracket. Having told reception (from whom there was no enquiry as to whether my wife was OK or not) I said that we needed to be given another room. Ten minutes later we were told that we could move to room 219; one of the managers came to our room as we were repacking for the move (still no apology or enquiry if my wife was OK) and accompanied us to the new room where, once again, we unpacked.

Having unpacked, I then went into the bathroom to be met by a strong musty odour (it must have been extremely strong because I have very little sense of smell). The bathroom door being open, the smell quickly pervaded the bedroom. My wife checked out the bathroom and noticed that there was a leak in the pipe leading from the bath to the toilet and another under the radiator - both leaks having drenched the carpet (whoever has carpet in bathrooms these days?) which was causing this disgusting smell. So, I telephoned reception again and asked for a change of room.

So, we repacked (we knew where everything had to be put in the cases by then!) and, once again, the manager arrived to accompany us to a new room - this time the Kensington suite (still no apology). This time the room was fine although even here there were a few less than brilliant features especially in the bathroom - albeit pretty minor. There was also a torn sheet in the bed [changed the next day]).

Dinner could best be described as OK but certainly not out of this world. Starters and sweets were good but the vegetables with the main course left something to be desired and we ate hardly any of that. Breakfasts were good with plenty of choice (hot and cold).

On our second night there was a group conference in the hotel and they came to eat in a separate part of the dining room. No problem with that except it was absolutely clear that the hotel had taken on no additional waiting staff to cater for these increased numbers; as a consequence we waited for an hour for our main course and it was only when I asked our waiter where it was that it suddenly arrived - stone cold! Having sent it back it was returned (hot) about ten minutes later. But the damage was done because we were due to meet relatives and, as a result of the long wait, we then had no time for sweet or coffee. Needless to say, there was not a single word of apology.

As to the hotel staff I question what is going on. One of the features of this hotel used to be the happy, friendly approach of its staff - but that is no longer the case in our experience. I have already made mention of the reluctance of staff to apologise when things go wrong - we all get things wrong from time to time and the quickest way to defuse the situation (no pun intended re the electric shock that my wife received!) is to utter a sincere apology. In our experience, that is no longer the order of the day at the Palace. The Maitre d' is the most miserable individual covering that role that we have ever had the misfortune to encounter; not once did he even say good evening to us and wouldn't you have thought that there would have been an apology from him for the delay in our meal and subsequent cold arrival? Not a bit of it. Furthermore, he was rarely (if ever) at the door to guide new guests to their allocated tables (he was usually faffing about with some task that was the responsibility of others [eg why employ a sommelier when the Maitre d' is going off to the bar to get a glass of wine for a guest?].

Regulars at the hotel will recall Kemal (Maitre d') who ensured good order in the dining room and always had a word of greeting and a ready smile - the best thing the Palace could do would be to get him to return and, whilst they are about it, bring back Raj who was a great chef; I question why both left. Most of the staff go around without a smile on their faces and no sign of uttering a good morning - there are a few exceptions but they are, perhaps, the ones that prove the rule.

There is a lack of plug sockets in the rooms - and the location of them is not conducive to plugs which are elongated. We had to ask for an extension lead to overcome this (it was readily supplied).

We overheard that the hotel has lost a lot of its corporate business and it doesn't take a genius to work out why. We overheard one of the managers talking to another guest and said that they don't do so many weddings at the hotel now because "the staff don't like doing them"!

The hotels pricing polices are a mystery. They charge £3.80 for a coffee or £3.10 for a tea - but just £4.95 for a cream tea. The logic in that escapes me.

A few positives. On this occasion all three rooms that we were allocated had the heating operating properly (on previous visits we had had to ask for a heater in the room) although we did hear others who said that their rooms were not warm enough. The bed in the suite was huge and very comfortable. Having ventured onto the pitch and putt golf course we found it to be in much better condition than in the past. There was also ample car parking availability (free - not the case with some of the other big hotels in Torquay). Wifi is free - but only operates near reception on the ground floor. It takes about 15 minutes to walk into Torquay town centre (though a bit longer on the way back as it is uphill). If you are interested in art then call in at the Triton Gallery which is on your right just before you get to the sea front - some lovely art work there (but it's not cheap, so take your credit card!). Cockington is not too far away and well worth a visit as are the National Trust properties at Colton Fishacre and Greenways (25 minute drive).

We did not make use of the other leisure facilities so cannot comment.

We stayed at this hotel at around about the same week last year and if my memory serves me well the number of guests this year was quite a bit down. Coincidence? We heard others, who were regulars, saying that they would not be returning again and that also applies to my wife and me. Most of the guests were in their late 60s or seventies although there were a few with young children.

Yes, the cost of the mini-break looks very attractive but when it comes down to it we want a good standard of accommodation and food as well as polite, friendly staff and all too often this was lacking.

Incidentally, I wrote to the Palace last year making what I hoped were constructive suggestions to improve the hotel. I received a response from Mr Ayres who said he would like to discuss my thoughts with me and I told him about my availability to do so. Despite my reminding him on several occasions he never did get back to me - perhaps that is just a typical example of the approach that the whole establishment seems to be taking these days.

This review must sound as if I am just looking for the problems but that is not the case. If you read my reviews of other establishments you will see that I am usually very positive in what I write but, regrettably, I am not able to do so this time.

Will we return to the Palace? After quite a lot of visits over the years I really don't think so.

Room Tip: Apart from the suites all of the rooms, in our experience, are pretty dated and tatty around the edg...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PeterH333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Palace Hotel

Property: The Palace Hotel
Address: Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 3TG, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#23 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 140
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Palace Hotel Torquay
Hotel Palace Torquay
The Palace Hotel Torquay, Devon

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