Stayed here on a 2-night deal with our 18-month old granddaughter. First impressions were not good and it all looked a bit tired. Limited parking (which was full), but we managed to find some nearby free parking on the road. No wi-fi available in the hotel (they don’t even have their own website).
I struggled on my own with two suitcases and a couple of bags into a small grubby-looking lift to our room on the 2nd floor while my partner parked the car. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I reached our room to find this review’s redeeming feature, which was a lovely large room with a small balcony containing a table and 2 chairs with view over the garden down to the sea. The room was reasonably clean (although I did find a few long hairs around, particularly in the drawers etc), had tasteful and modern decor and contained a double and a single bed.
We had asked for a cot to be available but there wasn’t one in the room (we had initially been told this would be charged at £10 per night, but when I looked it up on a website and found they were quoting £5 a night, I called them and they reduced the price). Anyway, I went down to Reception and asked about the cot. He said he had no note of it, but would see what he could find and sure enough, he turned up in the room a few minutes later with a brand new travel cot and a couple of sheets and a pillow. He said they didn’t have a blanket or quilt available, but luckily I had brought a small blanket and as the weather was very mild, it was OK. He was however very helpful in pointing out places to visit and suggesting some nice things we could do.
The room contained a hairdryer and had plenty of storage space (although like many hotels, it could do with a few more clothes hangers). There was a basic beverage tray and a kettle, but no complimentary toiletries, only a couple of plastic ‘glasses’ in the bathroom and a miniature bar of soap each. The towels however were white, clean & looked pretty new, although no bath sheets, only bath and hand towels. The shower was not much cop, not very powerful and ran out of hot water before we could both complete our shower in the morning.
It was very warm on the first night and we had the patio door wide open and slept on top the bed. However, the maid didn’t even bother to straighten the bedding or plump the pillows the next day or even make up the cot again – all she did was empty the bins and replenish the coffee.
Breakfast was an unimpressive affair. It was very basic – no fresh fruit or pastries and only the cheapest unboxed cereals and bowls of tinned fruit and yogurt, with the cheapest apple & orange juice and sauce & marmalade sachets that money could buy. It was however the quickest cooked breakfast I have ever seen appear, as they were obviously pre-cooked and ready on the plates for collection from the kitchen and thus not very hot – contained 1 cheap sausage, 1 slice of bacon, beans, a fried egg, ½ a slice of fried bread and a tomato. The service itself was a bit of a shambles, particularly on the second day when we had to sit at a table which was un-laid, as all the tables that had been laid had been used, although not one of them had been cleared and no attempt was made to clear them whilst we were there, despite there being 3 waitresses apparently on duty. We had to ask for the juice to be replenished, for paper napkins and went to fetch our own milk for tea, as we weren’t supplied with any. I left my tea to brew for quite some time, but it was still as weak as dishwater – I probably only had second use of the tea bags. One of the waitresses was particularly miserable – when my partner asked her to replenish the juice, she didn’t even bother answering him and I noticed another couple, who had just had their breakfast plonked in front of them say ‘excuse me’ to gain her attention and she just said ‘two minutes’ and walked off, never to be seen again during the entire service, so they had to fetch their own cutlery to eat their breakfast! I was even more unimpressed when leaving the hotel to be able to look over the railings at the front to see several of the kitchen staff ‘having a fag’ with a very full ashtray on the floor by the kitchen door.
There was a bar available and an outside decking area, which could have been really nice, but instead it had several broken chairs and only 3 parasols available for the entire area. The area outside the breakfast room looked dirty and was covered in weeds. The patio doors were kept shut in any event, even though the breakfast room was very hot and stuffy, and the windows were dirty. The gardens down below however seemed very well kept.
All in all, I am being very generous in giving the place a 3-star review, and one of those stars was for the nice room we had. It wasn’t all bad and it is a shame, as it would only take a few changes and a bit of effort and staff training to make the place nice, but I got the impression they just couldn’t be bothered, or it was just a franchise looking to make a cheap buck. However, it was good value for money on the deal we had, particularly for the nice room.
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- Also Known As:
- Richmond Hotel Torquay
- Hotel Richmond Torquay, Devon