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“Friends Reunion”
Review of The Richwood

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The Richwood
Ranked #50 of 85 Hotels in Torquay
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We were part of a large group who stayed for two nights at The Richwood. Taking advantage of a 241 winter season offer, we paid £95 for our room, which was clean though the decor was dated. Some of our party had small rooms or en-suites, finding the showers impossible to get in as too small.There was also a smell of stale smoke in the main hallway.
We paid £20 per person for a Lebanese buffet on the first evening of our stay and whilst a great deal of time and effort had gone into preparing and providing this meal, we felt that it was quite ordinary and not especially good value for money. Having worked for a number of years in the food & beverage industry, we understand what constitutes a good value food offer, so we would have expected more for this price per person.
We made good use of the bar area and appreciated being able to bring our own bottles, paying corkage. We were pleased to have use of the games room and pool table after our buffet.
Though tasty enough, cooked breakfast was served on a buffet plate which meant there was only room for 2 small mushrooms, 1 small sausage, and 1 rasher of bacon, 1 hash brown, one small portion of baked beans. The egg was cooked well. However, a cooked breakfast cost an extra £5 per person and once again we felt this was not particularly good value for money as portion control was rather mean. The proprietors were friendly and the girls who served at the bar and waited on were hard working and attentive.
There was signage throughout the establishment reminding us how to behave sometimes with warnings of potential surcharges. This doesn’t convey a warm welcome or good customer service.
However, I think the most telling thing about The Richwood are the responses made by the proprietor to reviews she doesn’t like! Perhaps the time used writing these extremely long rants could be better spent addressing the negative comments made by guests and putting them right. It’s certainly not all bad at The Richwood but definitely could be better.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Meri L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richwoodtorquay, Owner at The Richwood, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Thank you Meri, for your review.
It is a review which puts constructive criticism and is politely and carefully worded.
The smell of stale smoke may well be from people smoking at the front of the hotel: it all depends on the way the wind is blowing!
We cannot change the room sizes and feel that the "dated decor" works well for the Richwood. All the rooms have been recently redecorated as have most public areas. The Reception, hallway and stairs to the first floor are still as they were when we took over and until the recession is over and we start to make some profits they will have to remain so..
We are sorry that you felt the buffet was not worth the money paid. We do know that you would have to pay upward of £30pp in many other places, that is, if you could find good, different, home-cooked and freshly prepared Lebanese food like ours in a restaurant anywhere in the UK. We have had a lot of praise for it.
However, we take your comments on our breakfasts very seriously, and we will try to implement your suggestions.

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165 - 171 of 280 reviews

Reviewed 25 March 2014

After a warm welcome the two lovely lady hosts provided a brilliant vegetarian Lebanese Mezzo with a couple of hours notice .Charming and quirky building ( you go downstairs to your room after going upstairs :0) ) we enjoyed a relaxing two day chill out thanks to our new found friends at The Richwood.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richwoodtorquay, Owner at The Richwood, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Thanks for your very fair review! Yes the Richwood is quirky as many converted Victorian buildings are...
Your small standard room was the same room as used by the last reviewer who claimed it was cold and the bed damp... I remember you saying how warm and comfortable you were. Thank you and we look forward to your next visit.

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Reviewed 25 March 2014

Positives - Clean, allowed for food allergies, waiting staff tried their best

Negatives - Very dated, shelves in places that caused arm bruises galore, bed damp, room cold (even with radiator on full) Couldnt close toilet door once you were in the bathroom as room too small, barely enough room to move around the bed, went down for breakfast and felt as if we should marched back to the room and wait till they were ready. Felt as though we were in someones house with teenage rules not a PAID GUEST in a business premises. Bar bill went up at every order. Cheap wine with high price tag and when we asked if we could provide our own were charged high corkage rates even after putting huge amounts of money behind the bar. Charged 20 pounds for a simple buffet that although pleasant was way over price. Breakfast was rationed to a childs portion. Although we knocked over a drink (by accident I hasten to add) we made every effort to mop this up but were again made to feel like naughty school children.

Room Tip: In need of total updating! Unless you have endless funds its much cheaper to eat and drink in town...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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18  Thank SONIA B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richwoodtorquay, Owner at The Richwood, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Sonia, you were also one of the group who took over the Richwood this weekend. Many things happened that weekend which we also found very difficult to respond to. Boundaries were crossed in a manner which I personally find distasteful and no respect for our property - or indeed our persons -was shown by this behavior… When people behave badly it is very difficult to remain polite and charming.
Sorry you did not enjoy your stay. There is no point in trying to defend ourselves; I can only hope our other reviews will make readers see how vindictive your review is.
Bravo, you have managed to make me and my team cry. Good for you.

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Reviewed 24 March 2014

I was also a part of the 22 and, unfortunately, can't be as kind as Keith R. I think all that the owners wanted was to get as much money out of us for very little input. Our room was small and not bijou! And very cold. Decor was ancient. The food was distinctively average and overpriced (buffet and breakfast). They didn't open the bar on the Saturday when they could have made some money out of us. I was also 'ticked off' for ringing the bell when I didn't have a key to get in! That's the bell that is outside which you ring when you don't have a key! My experience of the hotel was only made bearable by the fantastic company I was with. I think they would all agree that this the poorest hotel experience we have had on our weekends away.

Room Tip: I do not have any helpful tips.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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14  Thank BigKevOxton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richwoodtorquay, Owner at The Richwood, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

Thanks, Kevin, for your very blunt review. I believe it have been more honest if you had just said that did not like us (a team of women) or the Richwood and left it at that.
Firstly, your group was on a free night, non-profit deal, very reasonably priced. We had been looking forward to greeting you all, working hard to prepare for you all, wanting to make you all feel at home and facilitating your reunion.
We are in business, and sometimes it is very good to be able to make a little profit. However, just because we own and run a small B&B “Hotel”, and work very hard doing so, does not mean we have to take unfair - knife in the back - reviews lying down. NO.
We did not open the bar on Saturday as your group was not here all day and all evening. We are a B&B with 12 rooms, not a big hotel with a large staff and we cannot afford to have someone on duty in the bar when there is no one wanting a drink. If anyone had said they would like to have a drink the bar would have been opened immediately.
We provide guests with a door key. We do not have 24hr reception… if we had been out when you rang, then very probably you would have had to wait outside in the cold until someone - who had not forgotten their key! - arrived. You were not “ticked-off” , you were gently teased, but obviously you had by this time, lost your sense of humour.
The “distinctly average” Lebanese buffet: Most of your group seemed to find it very good. I know many of our other guests have sung its praises.
We had laid the dining room tables for the reunion dinner, ensuring that all had easy access to the buffet. You, very inebriated, decided shortly before we were about to serve the food, to change the table settings and moved all the tables around. We did not make any problems or fuss and let you… we wanted you all to be comfortable.
What else is there to say? I am sorry you did not like us or the Richwood, that’s it.

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Reviewed 24 March 2014 via mobile

Stayed at hotel as part of a larger group. Staff were welcoming and for the price it was very good value. However, if you are a larger size person you may struggle with the size of the bathrooms some are tiny. Not sure on the target market... but for a cheap weekend away with no frills it was good. I slept extremely well and considering it was 2 ladies running it they did well. I would stay again.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank AudreyF123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richwoodtorquay, Owner at The Richwood, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

Thank you Audrey for your review. Yes, our standard rooms are small, but the premiere and deluxe rooms are not. The joys of an old Victorian building! We are glad you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you again, you were very welcome.

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Reviewed 23 March 2014

We were part of a group of 22 who stayed here and effectively took over the place, so that has to be taken into consideration and provides the context. So firstly the plus points. They accommodated us as a group, and the girls who served us did their best and they laid on a buffet on the first night. The room we had was ok, but cold, but not as cold as the bathroom. Not so good however was the breakfast, certainly not worth a fiver and I wouldn't say cereals and toast was continental. Signage in the rooms and dining room was overbearing. Bar prices were excessive and no price list. We decided to buy our own wine and paid corkage, but considering how much we spent at the bar this too seemed excessive. In saying all this, room rate was ok and it didn't spoil our weekend away.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Keith R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richwoodtorquay, Owner at The Richwood, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

Thank you, Keith, for this astounding review…
We are very disappointed that you felt it necessary to post a review like this - had you given your critique to our faces I would be able to deal with it better... we can all learn from positive criticism, after all.
As your group left this Sunday morning there were many words of thanks - we were left with the impression that you all had had a good time. You did indeed “take over” the Richwood and it was a weekend we will also remember.
The Lebanese buffet: did you not enjoy this? Most of your group seemed to find it very good. I am glad that you find the “girls” did their best… Keith, I am sure they will be happy to hear that all their hard work was recognised by you.
I am sorry your room was cold; the heating was full on…
Breakfast: we do not advertise our breakfast as “Continental” but as basic, and as much as you can eat.
If one reads further in our reviews one also sees that many people love our full English and I know that they are worth more than a fiver..!
Our bar prices: £3 for a pint? £3.50 for a 35ml shot? These are local pub prices and usually much higher in Hotel bars or other bars in Torquay.
No Bar list? We are a very small family hotel and have not, up to now, been told this is needed, indeed never before has this been asked for. On the request of your organiser, we had stocked up the bar, for your visit.
Of course we expected to make some profit from the bar. We were shocked to find out, ten minutes before we served dinner that the group had bought wine with them. We were asked if corkage could be paid and we agreed, showing, I believe, generous flexibility; we wanted everyone to enjoy their stay with us…
I ask you and any readers now: who goes to a pub, a restaurant or a hotel and takes their own drinks into the bar? And how many landladies or hoteliers would let you?
Our signage in the dining room, pleasantly asking people not to take more food than they can eat, comes from experience and our awareness that wastage is a major problem in our society - in countries where people do not have enough to eat, there is no waste. The mountains of bread -toasted and not eaten - and milk-sodden cereals - we have to throw away since taking over the Richwood should make any person who has respect for the resources of our planet ashamed.
We do politely ask our guests to switch off the lights when they leave their room, which is reasonable. We also noticed that you, Keith, left all the lights on in the guest lounge when you went to bed in the early hours of the morning. I even came down to the guest lounge in the early hours to politely ask you not to forget to turn off the lights.
The Richwood is very clean and that you gave us two stars for cleanliness makes me feel ill.

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Reviewed 7 March 2014

I was bitterly disappionted with the decor of the rooms which did not seem to of been decorated in at least 30 years. The breakfast was do it yourself, and so not at all relaxing.

And I found the hosts, standoffish, and not interested in constructive critisim.

Thank goodness we had reservations from the of and only stayed one night.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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29  Thank sylvia w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richwoodtorquay, Owner at The Richwood, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2014

This is ANOTHER fake review, written by someone who maliciously wishes us ill... and as such should be ignored. TripAdvisor should be ashamed to put reviews out ther, online, when they cannot prove that the critics has been to the venue they are critiquing. Shame.

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Additional Information about The Richwood

Address: 20 Newton Road, Torquay TQ2 5BZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#28 Family Hotel in Torquay
#32 Romantic Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: £56 - £107 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Richwood 2.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the award-winning Richwood and Beirut-Bistro-Bar. When it comes to guest accommodation on the English Riviera, the Richwood is the only one which offers a combination of great facilities, excellent hospitality and a bistro bar which serves delicious Lebanese, Mediterranean, European and English cuisine. And everything is very reasonably priced! Winner of the English Riviera and South Devon Bronze Award for Excellence in Service 2013, the Richwood is comfortably furnished and centrally heated throughout. All 13 bedrooms are En-suite, have colour TV with DVD players and tea and coffee making facilities. Ideal for families, there are reduced terms for children when sharing with parents. The Richwood is situated 10 to 15 foot minutes from the seafront and town center. You want to enjoy the nightlife and attractions that Devon has to offer? Or just want a quiet break? ...Then the Richwood is the place to be. Around Torquay: The English Riviera: Torquay is the jewel of the English Riviera and Britain's premiere holiday and leisure resort, offering a wide variety of holiday entertainment for all the family, including many theatres featuring International stars throughout the season. There is fun for all the family. There are beaches for safe swimming, water-skiing, sea and river cruises, boating and wind surfing, tennis, fishing, golf, putting, riding and pony trekking. For those who like to explore there are miles of coastal walks at hand, many historical towns to visit and the rugged beauty of Dartmoor is only half an hour's drive away. Gay friendly. Pet friendly: one premiere double/family ensuite and one premiere Pet Friendly room. £10 pernight per pet. There is free parking at the hotel on a first come, first served basis. There is also free parking on the road outside the Richwood in the unlikely event our car park is full. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Richwood Hotel Torquay
The Richwood Torquay, Devon

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