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“weekend bream”
Review of The Palace Hotel

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The Palace Hotel
Ranked #59 of 88 Hotels in Torquay
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“weekend bream”
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Still has that old world charm. Staff are great and food excellent. For a relaxing break I can recommend the Palace. Walking distance of beaches and town. Lots to see and do. Facilities are good and choice of menu a good variety each evening.

Room Tip: Garden rooms cost extra but worth it
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suzialone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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770 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (283)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
109 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

It's a long time since I went to Torquay and even longer since I stayed at the Palace, always having preferred the Imperial, so when I went there this weekend for a conference I had my doubts. one problem that cannot be denied is that it is a long way from the seafront and, indeed a long way from the town, so if you're looking for a convenient location this hotel is not for you, I may be wrong but I don't think many, if any, rooms actually have sea views, certainly the one I stayed in did not.

Car parking is easy, which is a huge advantage. I'm old fashioned enough to regret the passing of the Hotel Porter and the welcoming doorman, but there we are. Haul your own is the modern way!

Reception staff are friendly and helpful and the check-in process is easy. Finding your room and overcoming the ancient and somewhat unreliable lifts is another matter. Modern this Hotel is certainly not. The rooms remind one of a long gone era with very traditional furniture, but it's clean and well presented. I mentioned WiFi in the room to the Receptionist who gave me what I can only describe as a pitying look as if to say 'You're in the Country now' but she assured me it was available in the lounges and reception areas and what's more its FREE. Actually I got a signal in my room and the system allowed me to connect my Iphone, iPad and Laptop which not all systems do. Mobile phone signals are another matter, a common complaint from other guests as well, may of whom were standing in the rain outside the Hotel as the only place to get a signal strong enough to make a call.

Several light bulbs were not working in my room, something I reported to Reception who thanked me for bring this to their attention and then did absolutely nothing about it!

The restaurant is a real trip back in time. However, the service is perfect and the food beyond criticism, it was excellent.

I'd actually recommend this Hotel, but if you want a few days by the sea, well maybe not

Room Tip: My room had good views over the gardens, ask if there are sea views, I'm not sure
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ac4941
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Romsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

This is a wonderful traditional hotel, where the standards of service and the quality of the food far outway the fact that the hotel is in near of some refurbishment. However this has been fully recognised by the ownership, and plans are in hand for a major redevelopment perhaps to commence within the next year or so. Unless this strategy impinges on next year, we will be returning to experience again the quite unique atmosphere of this grand old hotel. It also has a fine nine hole short golf course, that at one time hosted the British Short Course Championships. The menu over the four days of our stay was superb, especially the Gala Dinner on New Years Eve, when the vast majority of the guests were dressed in dinners suits and the ladies beautifully gowned. A little twee you might think, but simply wonderful to enjoy. A menu of wide choice that included such delights as: seared scollops, lobster thermidor, pan fried Gressingham duck and crepes suzette. With top class entertainment on each evening, and the spa available when the weather was too bad to venture out, it was a visit to savour. Unreservedly recommended.

Room Tip: Request rooms overlooking the golf course.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Littletonmike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chatham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
123 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

What a wonderful hotel this must have been in its 'hay day' but now, as other reviewers have pointed out, its a mixed review. We stayed for the New Year break and as far as the service, food and entertainment are concerned would rate as 'excellent'. However, go upstairs to the bedrooms and oh dear for a 4* hotel I have to say 'terrible'. I agree with the comments from others about the heating, plumbing and decor - not good enough. We heard rumours that the hotel has been sold/was remaining in private ownership - who knows but perhaps now investment will be made to bring it into line with expected standards. Mobile phone reception for certain networks was not available - not the hotels fault but if you need to stay in touch check before you book.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmarthen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2014

As you will see from other reviewers there are things about this 4* hotel which are excellent and others that are poor. We stayed over the New Year for three nights on a "special rate package" and the things we found excellent to very good were: the food which was outstanding, and the staff who were very pleasant and helpful. Also the facilities which include exquisite grounds, a nine hole pitch and put golf course, great indoor and outdoor tennis courts and indoor swimming pool, gymnasium and games room. Also the hotel rated high on the list for its evening entertainment.

On the OK level was the rest of the hotels public areas, including the lounges, bars and ballroom but all looking both a little tired and dated.

On the not so good side was the room in which we stayed which in style dated back to the 1970's. Several things just did not work including the single radiator which ran cold the whole time we were there despite several attempts at adjustment. The plumbing in general left much to be desired and the décor and furniture too. The beds were hard and the sheets and blankets were just about acceptable given that the radiator was not working. The room was reasonably clean but not perfect.

Given the above and that my scoring is based upon what my wife and I expect from a 4* hotel I find it difficult to score this one. Perhaps we would have scored it differently had it been summer instead of the middle of the winter and with particularly lousy weather to boot.

Would we go back? Yes I guess we would for a short break and on "special package" rate but we would want to inspect our room first. My wife did in fact look into some neighbouring rooms and some were definitely better than ours but may have cost more!

Room Tip: The garden rooms seem to be best but always view your room and ask for another if you are not satisf...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trowbridge Wiltshire
Level Contributor
74 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

We have been to The Palace Hotel in Babbacombe on a few occasions and have always been very impressed. This week, we decided to take advantage of their 'special rate package' to fit in between Christmas and the New Year, and booked ourselves in for three nights.

This hotel has beautiful grounds, fine (if slightly outdated) interiors and a faultless restaurant (in our opinion, anyway).

So - why is it currently rated 59 out of 100 of the hotels in Torquay and its surrounds?

Unfortunately, we may have come up with one answer. To all intents and purposes, our bedroom looked fine upon our arrival. But - after our first night (and therefore into the beginning of our first morning) we discovered the mysteries of the shower system, operating instructions taped on the wall notwithstanding. Be prepared for a tussle, an initial shock spray of cold water and then the delights of having to duck in and out of water that really will not regulate to a comfortable temperature. Our radiator in the bedroom was not working, despite all our attempts to adjust it and upon reporting this problem to reception, we were given a little heater.

So - our second night. We pulled down our bedspreads and lo and behold, our chambermaid had simply pulled up our sheet and blanket (why does The Palace not have duvets, like the rest of us mortals?) and hidden her tardiness with the tidy bedspread.

My wife (as is her practice) had rinsed out our underwear that morning and had placed the items on the (as we discovered) cold radiator to dry over the day. Unfortunately her unmentionables had fallen down behind the radiator and on trying to get them out, we discovered a century's (well it seemed like it) dirt and dust behind it and they were laid on top of the filth. (Her bunniness was not exactly happy by then.) We started to look around and found dusty cobwebs in corners and the net curtains were very dirty.

The Room Folder had a little form in it that they asked you to fill in if you had any comments about your room and so, on the second morning, we presented our form very fully filled in. No - we did not throw a wobbly - we merely made it clear that we were not satisfied.

Give them their due - while we had our breakfast (and the breakfasts are absolutely superb with a very friendly chef who cooks fresh omelettes to order), the deep-clean squad descended on our room and when we came back to it, there was a strong smell of Domestos and it had been cleaned to the very inch of its life. Dominic, the Head Housekeeper and their team had done a wonderful job. We were offered another room but we decided that as we could now be certain that we probably had the cleanest room in the Hotel (and maybe even the whole of Torquay), we would be fools to move out of it.

Such a pity that we had to make complaints first before actually having a clean room.

On another subject - and this one really did puzzle us and seemed to puzzle other guests from remarks we heard in the lounges. The evening dinner (which we have said was lovely every day) was completed with "Coffee/tea served in the lounge" in the all-inclusive price. Lovely - except we then found out that if you dared request Earl Grey or Peppermint tea, you had to pay extra as these were classed as "speciality teas". We agree that Peppermint can probably be classed as "speciality" but Earl Grey - now, come on! We go to Sainsbugs every week and we get their own brand "Taste the Difference" Earl Grey teabags. If Sainsbugs do their own brand, then surely this brings Earl Grey tea out of the "speciality" range and into "ordinary" (but perhaps not the builders' variety of course).

However, the waiter did suggest that we take sachets of peppermint tea up to our room and make a drink there and it would not cost us anything.

This just seemed a very petty ruling for a Hotel that prides itself on its par three golf course, its two swimming pools, its gymnasium, its ballroom, its tennis coaching.....

So, would we recommend this Hotel to friends or family? Um, after our experiences, we are probably feeling a bit reluctant to ever return ourselves, so it would be unkind to recommend the Hotel to others without telling them how we found it over the last few days.

But this was how WE found it - and there were loads of people there who seemed quite content and they will probably post glowing reports of their stay over the Christmas and New Year period. We shall just have to see if the Hotel's rating goes up on Tripadvisor as a result.

Room Tip: Garden view rooms are lovely and they are quiet (apart from those above the ballroom).
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vexillologist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013 via mobile

I've stayed here before for a charity event but this time was a work party. We had a room facing the road for the same function rate as a charity ball we attended in September where we had a nice view to the rear. The room we had this time was dated. Old television, wardrobe doors didn't close properly. Dated bedding. Not cleaned to what I would expect of a four star. Other people we were with said their rooms were far worse though. The venue was brilliant though. Slightly miserable DJ but staff and food was good. Christmas menu was very tasty!

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mercedeseb
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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