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“diabolical fiasco”

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Royal Bath Hotel & Spa
Ranked #58 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Reviewed 14 August 2012

where do I begin? I am a Travel agent so very well traveled my husband and I have travelled all over the world from 3 star to 5 star . I must say this is definitely the worst hotel experience of my life. We booked via superbreak a double seaview room for a 2 night relaxing break on the 8th August 2012( this was done absolutely correctly). When we checked in we found that we did not have a seaview(central reservations to blame) room and the room was noisy,hot and shabby,they were unable to move us as they did not have any seaview rooms,we unpacked and then got a knock on the door advising us that they now did now have a room but that it had damp patches on the ceiling,we reluctantly accepted the move as it was quieter!!!! 1 hr had now passed. We were so exhausted that we ordered room service well!! totally inedible. Next morning expecting to be known at reception and ready to be offered a better room sadly reception knew nothing and I had to explain all again. I then decided to look at the room before packing and unpacking I looked at the room and it was sadly lacking as well, so advised reception twice that I would not be moving. Returning back to the hotel tired,hot and dusty we got to our room and found other peoples belongings in our room and all our property missing. Reception by this time had called
the duty manager who did not know where to look they thought our belongings were in room 250 so the manager and my husband went to make sure yureka the room was dire but we had solved the mystery of our property. We arranged to see the Manager next morning for an explanation, we had to wait 2 hours whilst he dealt with another complaint. We are at present waiting for a full refund which we have to get via superbreak as our booking agent,money was not the issue we wanted 2 relaxing nights in a 4 star hotel,We had the most stressful time with no explanation at all. The hotel website is very misleading as we did not see any rooms in the hotel that looked like them. Shame on you Brittania hotels get your act together

Room Tip: rooms if you get a seaview are quieter and cooler in the newer wing of hotel
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank jacqueline m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,202 - 2,208 of 2,902 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2012

The Royal Bath is still a classical hotel. Have stayed here several times over the years. The staff are helpful and courteous. The rooms are beginning to look tired, but clean and well presented.
We had a delightful weekend

Room Tip: Make sure you have a sea view
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank visitingcouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2012

My Husband and I stayed at the Royal Bath on Sat 11th Aug for one night this was a special weekend for us as it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I booked a Royal Executive Sea view on the hotels website and received a Confirmation Number and an email confirming this.
We arrived at the hotel at about 4pm the hotel car park was full and we would have to find a car park to park in. We were given rough directions to ones that might be available and were told they would store our luggage for us till we returned to book in. We found a car park and returned to the hotel to register.

We joined the queue at reception and registered the receptionist told us the debit card we had used to book only covered reserving the room so we paid for the room and then said we would pay for things as we went. She gave us a sheet of paper detailing the facilities but did not give us any more information, we were concerned about collecting our luggage but she wasn’t sure about this so we left the desk, we found the luggage area on the other side of the entrance area by asking another guest. I then realised we hadn’t been told how to get to our room so the chap who retrieved our luggage for us told us how to get there, no one asked if we needed help with our luggage.

We opened the door of our room to find that we had been allocated a suite with a view of the Leisure Club wall. I returned to reception to ask for the room I had booked a Royal Executive Sea view. This time it was a young man whom I spoke to he said I had booked a suite and I said no it was a Royal Executive Sea view he said have you got your confirmation I told him this was in my car at the car park so he said that until he saw this he couldn’t do anything.

I left the hotel returned to my car collected the confirmation which I gave to him. He said it didn’t have anything on it about a Royal Executive Sea view room I have sent a copy to the Britannia's Customer Service Manager as it clearly states that I had booked this room, he told me to sit and wait while he got the Duty Manager. He duly arrived but could do nothing as they had allocated my room to someone else and had only a second floor room with a sea view with windows and no balcony which was not of the size, standard or price of the room I had booked.

He offered me a free meal in the restaurant and a bottle of Champagne but we had already arranged our evening and after the way we had been dealt with I did not think this was appropriate. At no time did anyone apologise to us, we were not told when we registered that the room I had booked was not available. The Duty Manager told me that the suite was an upgrade this was not correct as it had no view was very tired the outside area was positively dangerous with loose tiles and rusty garden furniture it was dirty with cigarette ends and chewing gum. I have added some photos to the site. This short break ruined our Wedding Anniversary. I feel that if Britannia wishes this Hotel to maintain its 4 star rating then it needs to look very closely at its staff’s customer service skills.

Room Tip: The rooms that have not been upgraded are very tired so go for an upgraded room
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank missymadam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2012

I made the mistake of checking reviews AFTER booking a non cancellation break. If I could have cancelled I would have after reading the negative comments on this site. I am so glad I didn't. I have just returned from a glorious 3 day stay and feel like I have been on holiday for a fortnight with all the best bits concentrated into one weekend! Every member of staff we encountered was efficient, courteous and smiley. Room service was prompt and food delicious.
The room was spotlessly clean and tastefully furnished (the bed was HUGE and very comfortable). I suspect the majority of the negative comments arose from the De Vere group letting the place run down when they knew they were selling up. Britannia by contrast seem to be doing all in their power to overcome the problems they inherited - and it is working. We'll be back!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrsAHLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

I have to say this is THE worst hotel experience I have ever had!!! The Royal Bath had come recommended to us by some relatives that had stayed there previously some years ago when it was a DeVere.

We had booked the hotel as an anniversary break away but we had recently got engaged so was more of a celebration break away and was a real treat for us as it was more money than what we usually spend for 2 nights in a hotel.

Before we had even arrived, we were shocked at the £20 a night car parking fee, but were under the impression that this would include a valet style pickup/drop off with luggage being taken care of – how wrong could we be!!

We arrived on Thursday 9th August, there was no one at the front of the hotel to take the car, so I had to run in and find out what to do to get the car parked, was told to leave it there but was a little concerned as it is on a busy road with a lot cars arriving at the same time. There was no one to help us with our luggage and we then joined the long queue for reception with the worry of our car just being left outside blocking the only entrance to the hotel. Eventually, someone took our registration details and took our keys to park the car whilst we waited in the queue for reception.

We arrived just after 1pm so did not expect our room to be ready but we were pleasantly surprised to be told we had been upgraded to a Superior Queen room. We were told we could come back at 3pm to collect the room key. There were 2 receptionists on duty at that time, one of which had to take a phone call and muttered under her breath “Oh no not her again, she’s been calling all day” and then pulled the phone across the other receptionist whilst she was trying to book us in.

We then had to go over to the Porter’s reception to leave our luggage and we waited and waited and waited.... it was the same guy that had parked our car! Only one person dealing with luggage and car parking!

We came back a little after 4pm to find the reception desk heaving and a few people complaining that they had been given a double room rather than a twin which they had specifically ordered and another woman with disabled little girl complaining that she had phoned the hotel multiple occasions to ensure they were given an extra sized bathroom to accommodate the wheelchair but had had no reply....

Anyway, we were given our room keys and we asked whether our bags had already been taken up to the room, the girl looked at me with some bemusement and said no, not unless we specifically wanted help with our bags (i’m sorry but for the amount of money we paid for the hotel AND for parking we kinda expected a touch of “class” as such as our bags being taken up for us?!) she then gave us vague directions to our hotel room ( the place is massive so unless you’ve stayed there before we had no clue were our room was) and off we went to retrieve our bags from the porter and again we waited and we waited and we waited.....

The decor of the hotel is somewhat dated, the carpet is threadbare and generally really tired looking, I have no doubt that in it’s hey day this would have been THE place to stay but not anymore, it is tired and dated and in need of really good refurb to bring it back up to date.

On arrival to our room, we were hit with a really unpleasant musty smell and a wall of heat! It was a particularly sunny hot day and we discovered rather quickly that the windows could only open a small fraction. No worry, we thought we could cool down with a few drinks from the mini fridge (as per the itinerary of our room)but discovered there was no fridge, as there was also no fan. The decor was tired, the furniture was mismatched and scuffed and generally really shabby, the carpet was threadbare and musty smell was really off putting!

We then sat down on the bed.... my side of the bed was completely broken! It dipped in middle, it was sunken, the base was clearly broken and the mattress had seen better days.
Having spent £180 a night this is not what we expected! So we tried calling down to reception to complain but there was no answer. So we packed up our bags and headed down to reception – if this is what they call an upgrade I would have hated to see our originally booked room!

Again reception was heaving and the people complaining about the double/twin room were still waiting for the manager.... the girl that had checked us in clearly saw me back in the queue with our luggage. By this point, there were 4 girls on reception and we were seen to by another girl. I explained to her that the bed was broken and the room was unbearably hot as we couldn’t open the window, she said she would go and speak to housekeeping about the bed and offered us the use of a fan to try and cool then room down, she asked us to go and wait in the bar whilst this was dealt with. 30 miniutes later we were still waiting for someone to come and speak to us, no sign of anyone so I went back to reception and spoke to who I assume was a senior receptionist who had a bad attitude and was rather rude (the one that had taken the phone call earlier), I asked her what the outcome of the bed was and she simply shrugged her shoulders and said “well it is an old bed” – not what expect when spending £180 a night!!!!! I then said well what are you going to do about it, she said we can’t give you another room as we’re fully booked so you can have a refund and leave if you want – at this point I went to get my fiancé and came back to the reception desk and asked to speak to the manager.

The manager came and spoke to us and we explained the situation. He offered to have the bed padded out or swapped for a smaller bed. Neither of these really sounded appealing, nothing in the way of an apology. Just really bad attitude – got the feeling he had “better” things to do and when my Fiancé asked about any financial compensation he said “we’ll see how you sleep and i’ll come and find you tomorrow”

Now I hate to keep saying this but £180 a night for us is a lot money to spend, we expected better service than what we received. By this point I had got rather upset by the bad manners and poor service from the reception desk – I could not believe she was so ready to give us a refund before any other course of action was taken.

After waiting again what seemed an age, we had given up all hope and decided to go and find a better hotel with some receptionists that had manners.
It was only as we were leaving that we actually got an apology and the manager seemed bereft that we were leaving when he had gone to so much “effort” to put a smaller bed in our room.

Again, we waited ages for our car to brought round, no help with our luggage, and safe to say we found a better hotel with cheaper parking and better services and friendly receptionists ½ mile up the road at the Norfolk Royale (it was only £10 difference in price and was MUCH MUCH better than the Royal Bath!)

I would beg you not to stay at this hotel unless you like bad manners and poor service and broken beds.

You would have to pay me to ever step foot in that hotel ever again.

The only thing I can say is that it had excellent location for the beach, it is a such a shame that this hotel has been left to rot with Brittania

If you want a proper hotel experience, go and stay at the Norfolk Royale!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Location
8  Thank Gemma_may24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2012

As a local couple having always lived in Bournemouth, we have always looked upon the Royal Bath as being possibly 'The' place to stay for a bit of luxury!
So as a treat having spotted the Travelzoo deal my husband booked us in....I was very excited as I'd always wanted to stay there!

We arrived at about 5.30pm yesterday(Friday). One girl was on reception and was on the phone. She didnt aknowledge us so we just waited. After a few minutes she ended the call but then didnt even apologise for keeping us waiting. First rule of customer service I think?!

We were checked in and handed a key card to our room but without any explanation of where our room was!! As we walked away I asked my husband if he knew where we were going & I was overheard by a waiter in the corridor. Just as well he heard me as he directed us and our room was fairly hard to find!!
On arrival to our room we thought it was ok but thats just it 'OK'.
I really expected to be impressed but sadly my illusion was shattered. It wasn't a bad room but my point here is that we have stayed in nicer rooms of lesser 'stars'.

We wanted a bucket of ice so I called down to reception & got told it would be right up. An hour later still no ice so I called again. 15 mins later we had to go down to dinner......no ice bucket!

Dinner in Oscars restaurant was part of the deal. Very nice food but really not enough choice on the 'set' menu.

We then returned to our room and hey presto we had an ice bucket!!

We then ventured into the town to have a few drinks & watched the fireworks....a lovely evening.

We went down to breakfast at 9.30am. It was fairly busy and had to find a table. I do think we should have been shown to a table rather than be left to wander around trying to find one that was layed up ready. We aso noticed that some tables had tablecloths but others didnt, no idea why?!

We sat for a few minutes but I then told my husband to go on up to the buffet while I waited to be offered tea/coffee. The waiting staff just didnt seem to be very attentive & as for the tea....it was by far the worst I've ever tasted. No personal tea pots, just weak tasteless tea poured out of a big pot. Very dissappointing!!

My husband returned from the buffet without any eggs at all as both the fried & scrambled had run out. Yes he could have waited but come on, they should be on top of what's getting low.
Ketchup, jams and butter were in pots that you have to help yourself from. Whats happened to little jars or sachets? A hotel of this standard should be doing better than this!!
We were never offered any more tea/coffee throughout our breakfast. The waiting staff just never came near us. Maybe we were sat in the wrong place?!!

We checked out at 11am and left our luggage with the porter. We then went to the leisure centre for a swim. Now I'd called the hotel the day before to ask if we needed to bring towels. "No" I was told "We supply them". So then being charged £1 to borrow a towel that quite frankly had seen better days was also a dissappointment. The pool itself was ok but could do with a bit of maintainance. Whoever painted the walls should have gone to Specsavers as its so patchy!

3 seats in the steam room are taped up presumably because they are split, but badly taped with awful looking black tape....another dissapointment !!
We were still in the pool at 12 noon. A young lad of about 9 or 10 years of age had just come into the pool with his teenage sister at 11.55am. At 12.02 he was asked to leave the pool as the kids session had ended. Firstly, why wasnt he told this when he entered the centre and secondly can't exceptions be made? The pool wasnt busy. It was Saturday morning & he wasn't doing any harm to anyone....seemed a real shame :(

We then left the leisure centre & went to collect our luggage. There was no one there so we waited, waited, waited!!
I then went over to reception. 3 on reception...so one came over to get the bag for us. Why wasnt one of them put onto the porters section for a few minutes anyway? If the porter has to go away surely someone else should be 'manning' it....not leave us standing not knowing quite what to do!!
So in conclusion our expectation of The Royal Bath Hotel was sadly lacking. I've no idea what it was like before Brittania took over, I guess it was already slipping downhill.....Its a real shame that such an iconic Bournemouth hotel is being allowed to slip this way.

I really hope that one day it will be again as 'Grand' as it must have once been.....as a child I only 'dreamt' of ever being able to stay there so its sad that my expectations haven't been met
:(

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank salmalcolm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2012

Went for afternoon tea on 07 August, expecting a treat - we stayed only 23 mins! And that included eating their offerings!

Myself and guest ordered the same and could not have the tea we specified as you were out of stock - then the teapot hardly held enough for a cup and a half each, and the food was appalling - 4 very small finger sandwiches between us, and 3 slivers of shop bought sponges- (barely 3mm thick! - we measured!!!) the scones felt re-heated too.

The display case on the main thoroughfare showed a 3-tiered cake stand suggesting a generous portion - the reality is anything but - a 2 tiered stand - the top layer very small so not much fits - extremely disappointing - and the display stand very misleading -I think they should be reported to trading standards!!! That things have gone downhill since the takeover. - if you thought it slipped under deVere, wait til you try this - infact - don't bother - awful - anything but a treat

We had a better tea using Tesco's meal deal for £2.50 a head!!

Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
5  Thank craig h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Bath Hotel & Spa

Address: Bath Road, Bournemouth BH1 2EW, England (Formerly De Vere Royal Bath)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Spa Hotel in Bournemouth
#17 Luxury Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range: £34 - £130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Bath Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened on Queen Victoria’s coronation day in June 1838, The Royal Bath Hotel was the first hotel in Bournemouth and embodies the finest traditions of first class comfort and hospitality, so naturally it has a fantastic position on the sea front. Nestled in secluded grounds, with outstanding views across the bay, this classically styled hotel is one of a kind. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
De Vere Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth
Royal Bath Hotel Bournemouth

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