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John Burton-Race Restaurant & Rooms
Ranked #18 of 85 Hotels in Torquay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 July 2012

John Fay.
Firstly, the Reception Desk is, unfortunately, up steps and as there were no notices to tell prospective guests that fact we had to climb these to see if we were in the right place before lugging in our bags. Altogether there was a lack of posters and instructions, for instance: What time were the meals? What was the entertainment that evening? Where was the dining room?

There was no indication of the fact that there was another small car park to the south of the building. This would have been a great help as the main car park was often full.

The menu for the evening meal was limited. We had the fish and chips, but found we could get better chips and equally good fish down the road. The fruit salad was 50% apple with no strawberrys, cherries, raspberries or banana. Service was good and quick. The breakfast menu was good (the soft boiled eggs really were soft!). The service was excellent.

The door handles to the bedroom and bathroom were loose in their mountings, a small thing perhaps but an indication of sloppy maintenance. The bedroom was small but a very high ceiling made it feel big. We could not raise the lower part of the sash window. The bathroom could do with attention as the floor tiles were cracked and loose, there were holes drilled in the walls that had not been filled, the cistern top was cracked, the basin trap was missing (woe betide you if you drop rings or hearing aids in the basin), the tap assembly was loose as was the toilet seat, and the seat itself would not stay up on its own. There was not enough shelving to hold one’s toilet things, but this is a common fault in most hotels. One only had to look hard at the toilet roll holder for the spindle to come out and drop the roll on the floor!

I reported the failing bathroom light to reception. I had to go personally as the telephone would not work with 0. The receptionist flattered this old man by calling me “my lovely” all the time!! The bathroom light recovered, so it was an intermittent fault.

I’ll draw a veil over the so-called entertainment. It was obviously all pop stuff, which is not our scene and after staying a few minutes on two occasions we departed discretely. The third night was by G. and T. and I had to ask what that was, much to the receptionist’s amazement! Apparently they were “singers”. Exit two oldies!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Johnfay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 July 2012

As part of a group booking we got a decent deal on price. It needed to be though. Like the rest of Torquay the Grosvenor is showings its age and i'm afraid 'Graceful Distinction' isn't what comes to mind.

Apparently the hotel was featured earlier this year in a 'Fly on the Wall' programm on T.V. However, having not seen the transmission this somewhat raised my expectations, clearly others had seen the program so they knew exactly what they were in for.

You could imagine, as you walk through the wide, high ceiling corridors, that in it's hayday the Grosvenor would have been considered opulent. I'm afraid however that the old dear has not aged well and the wrinkles and varicous vains of old age are all too apparent. Poor non coordinated bedroom furnishings, carpets that could do with a good session with the Rug Doctor (yes they need cleaning desperately) and tired flock wallpaper throughout are just some of the issues.

As a group we had a party one night and had a buffet supplied and it took me back to my teens, the 70's, Chicken nuggets, triangular cut sandwiches, vol-au-vents and the iconic Cheese & Pineapple on a stick. If only they had served Vimto at the bar then I would have been in 7th heaven.

Having said that I have to admit that the staff were very helpful, friendly and welcoming and seemingly couldn't do enough for us. They do the old dear proud with their attitude.

It was only a two night stay, so the trip down memory lane didn't get chance to fade away and turn into a greater sence of disappointment, otherwise this review could have been so much harsher.

The problem is that if you look for an alternative hotel in Torquay you will find it hard as most hotels are tiring fast, go for one of the more boutique, smaller guest houses such as the Somerville (check it out, it's BRILLIANT), you may pay a little more but I can assure you it would be well worth it.

Grosnenor, I'm really sorry I couldn't provide a better review as your staff deserve it but the property doesn't. The 'Average' rating was as generous as I could be

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Liam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

I just phoned up the hotel, wanting to book a week stay, the website promised a talk with a real person. Unfortunately that real person, just lost a holiday booking,by shouting at me "which hotel", i wasn't aware this was a string of hotels and she didn't explain further, she then repeated herself "which hotel", shouting at the same time. She then got the date incorrect and when I corrected her she huffed! Well it seems that such a "lady" will lose a lot of business for the hotels. I wouldn't even waste money on the phone call, as I would imagine what comes after is worst!

Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
10  Thank Amanda135479
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

This is possibly one of the most difficult reviews I have had to compile as part of me says one thing and the other part another.

We arrived in the afternoon and met up with friends, we had seen the TV programme, our friends had not, but from what we had told them, they were up for the 3 night stay. Watching the program and looking at the B&B rate for the stay we were not actually phased by what we were confronted with.

Car parking: I was lucky to find a vacant space on the forecourt.

Reception: Tatty and well worn, However, Mark, the manager was there and made us feel welcome.

Room: We were not shown to the room, just given directions. We left the luggage in the car initially just in case.

Very well worn, Furniture that even a sale room would not accept. The double bed was, I think, only 3/4 size, but it was comfortable. Double aspect with one window double glazed and one not. Tea/ Coffee making facility with quite a lot of it supplied. Ancient 6 channel terrestrial TV with mediocre reception.

Bathroom was adequate but well worn. All fittings were gold but this was nearly all worn away. The toilet cistern flushed but the syphon would not reset so the water continued to trickle into the pan. Fortunately I knew what to do and after each flush lifted the cistern lid and reseated the syphon plunger.

I did report this but not sure if they have a handyman and would not be surprised if it is just left as is.

Surprisingly the hot water was very hot and more or less on demand and the shower (Stand in bath with a screen that had seen better days) was quite forceful. Shame about only being supplied with a small piece of soap each.

We slept very well, but afraid I would not have got away with coming up to the room later in the evening, from the bar, whist my wife was asleep as nearly every floorboard on the landings and in the room creaked. Overall the place was not dirty, but worn and tired crying out for TLC

Breakfast was not 'over the top' but adequate, you could ask for as much tea/toast as you wanted. Staff were polite/friendly and efficient. It would be interesting to know how they produced the food so quickly (especially the cooked breakfast) but kippers and boiled eggs did have a 10minute delay warning. Maybe it is best not to enquire.

On the first evening we decided to eat in for dinner as we had had a 4hr drive to get there. On going to the bar during Happy Hour (5pm > 6.15pm !!!) I saw a notice advising that if you purchased a 70cl bottle of wine to go with dinner, if you did this before a certain time you got a £1 reduction on the price. I queried this and staff were bemused, eventually saying I get the extra 5cl free!!!

I asked for the wine list, but at the time they could not find one. As a result the barman showed me all 6 different reds he had at the bar and I chose one to my liking. Later on, after finding a wine list, the barman was able to advise a price.

We had a table for 4 at dinner and the bottle of wine was on the table. We had a friendly waitress who I asked re opening the wine for us after which she went and got the barman.

When he arrived you could tell straight away he looked puzzled at being confronted with a bottle that had a cork!! He got his corkscrew, went straight through the foil and attempted to pull the cork out without using the lever that lips onto the rim of the bottle top. It was obvious to me and him that he was not going to get anywhere so I asked for the bottle and the corkscrew and duly went about drawing the cork in the correct way after cutting off the foil. The barman said he had not handled wine in corked bottles before only screw tops, hence the debacle.

5 course meal followed for £12 a head, not gourmet, but for the price you could not complain.

Evening entertainment was a different artiste each night and the usual Bingo session. You just pitch in and enjoy, OR be miserable and go to your room.

Outdoor Pool was covered and looks as though it had been like this for some time. Looked at the spa facilities in the basement : Gym looked good but no time to try. My wife looked at the pool which is L shaped, but she thought better of it, there seemed to be a bloom or dust on the surface which made you think it wasn't being filtered properly so gave it a miss.

Mark, the Manager, who was the focal point in the TV presentation was involved in almost everything, looked very hassled, but friendly and approachable. Christian, his deputy, we did not have occasion to speak with, but from what I could see, he has become a bit of a Prima Donna as a result of the show. You can tell this by what you can hear him saying as he walks past (wants to be heard) and he does flounce around.

On our final evening we decided to try out their Fish/Steak Bar, the Inn @ The Grosvenor. Our expectations were not high, but on looking at the menu we thought worth a try. On arrival the place was packed and a little noisy as a result of 2 tables of 5 who kept laughing for England.

Shame when you have to behave like this just to get noticed.

However, surprise surprise, the service was friendly, efficient (considering how busy they were) and the food presentation and quality/taste was very good indeed.

To recap, you get what you pay for on B&B rate plus the standard evening meal at £12. I have travelled quite a bit and been to some fantastic places, but for some reason if you asked me would I stay at the Grosvenor again, if in Torquay ?? I think I would have to say yes. So as you see logic had fled out of the window.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank teenager65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2012

we had four days here . there was the worst bed we have ever encountered in a hotel room however the very nice staff moved us to a better room and made the bed up very comfy after that very bad experiance things got better and better, the food was lovely, the veiw from our room was to die for, a little balcony with table and chairs. the weather was terrible rained all the timebut sun on the day we left,typicle we enjoyed wonderful entertainment every night and met some very nice people all in all i do think that this hotel could do with a makeover but for the special deal price i think it delivered we went home feeling we had had agreat few days and i would return as there is great atmosphere

Room Tip: we had number 53 and it was ok
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank avril g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2012

well just returned from a 2 night stay at the grosvenor and what a wonderful time it was ! yes its querky ! and i have to say its exactly what i expected ! within 15 mins of arrival we were at the smoking area pint in hand chatting with mark the owner and he is just like on tv lol told us about the drunk night porter that he had sacked that morning ! my god we were in stitches !! we didnt stop smiling or laughing until we left ! met all the staff except alison who was away on holiday ! we also met some lovely people as the atmosphere here is great ! on a more serious note ! the steak/fish restaurant is a must ! best steaks we have had in years ! sauces including pepercorn or garlic and mushroom (to die for) arent charged for ! if you like fish check out the size of the fillets coming out the kitchen !!! amazing !! oh and 10 % off your bill if staying in the hotel ! how do they make a profit ? we made a mistake first day went out for a cream tea ! couple of cold scones with tea for £10 next day at the hotel choice of fresh sandwiches with salad and warm scones with tea for £9 !!! a no brainer lol evening entertainment on everynight and hey it was funny lol it was my partners birthday on the friday and i had preordered a cake with her name on ! it was first class ! and the restaurant staff sang happy birthday !! and thankyou grosvenor as i wasnt even charged for the cake !! i cant speak highly enough about the staff as nothing is too much trouble !! especially at the steak/fish restaurant !! thankyou all for a wonderful weekend to remember !!! just so funny !!!!!

Room Tip: dont stay in room 21 lol
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ken r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2012 via mobile

Went there cos we seen it on the tv and thought yeh quite fancy that and having never been to torquay b 4 thought why not really liked the area the harbour was lovely specialy at night and some decent pubs and clubs as for the grosvenor itself u can't grumble for the price and the staff are brilliant

  • Stayed: April 2012
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1  Thank flangea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about John Burton-Race Restaurant & Rooms

Address: Belgrave Road, Torquay TQ2 5HG, England (Formerly Grosvenor Hotel Torquay)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#33 Romantic Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: £47 - £105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — John Burton-Race Restaurant & Rooms 3*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
John Burton-Race, Restaurant with Rooms is perfectly situated to enjoy Devon's beautiful coastline, stunning beaches and local attractions. Fine dining in our new restaurant headed by 2 Michelin starred Chef John Burton-Race, we offer creativity, creative menus and service excellence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Torquay Grosvenor Hotel
Torquay Hotel Grosvenor
Grosvenor Hotel Torquay
John Burton-Race Restaurant & Rooms Torquay, Devon

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