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“Horrific Hotel - dated, dirty,”

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Royal Bath Hotel & Spa
Ranked #59 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Reviewed 16 June 2013

My partner and I stayed at the Royal Bath hotel a few months back. I can assure you we will not return, and as word of mouth goes we will not advise anybody to stay at this hotel.

It is Dirty, needs updating, We attended the hotel on a deal, The deal included:

• 1 night stay
• 2 course set meal with bottle of wine
• Breakfast included

When booking the room, I was offered to pay a extra £20 for a sea view room which I refused, however we got a sea view anyway - lucky you might say - look at the pictures attached and we were not lucky - also if we had paid the £20 where would have gone?

When arriving at the hotel, the concierge was shouting over everybody to the receptionist regarding the parking of cars outside the hotel

On the offer it stated a 2 course meal. What we received was a buffet. At reception When checking in, we were offered to pay an extra £5 for a 3rd course - again if we had paid the £5 where would have gone - thats £25 extra the hotel would have had out of us for no reason.

we were also told that there were limited spaces left in the dining hall so we could only eat at 9pm. We arrived for dinner at 8pm on the hope that there were some free tables, we asked the member of staff if we can be seated early, to the response of ‘you don’t have to book’ and there was loads of tables free.

The room was really dirty. looked like it hadn't been cleaned for months

• Dirty fingerprints over the light switches, dirty tissue box in the toilet – I wiped this with my finger and you can see this has not been cleaned in a while.
• There was a black layer of dust over the spare toilet role, so this had not been changed in a while.
• Big clumps of dust behind the bed head rest
• What looks like urine stains on the mattress
• Dirt swept into the corner of the bathroom
• Dirt that we cleaned with a wipe from the windowsill

The bedside glass table that was practically falling apart


I felt like we were treated like second class citizens because we were on a deal! The male receptionist seemed to have the ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude was not very welcoming bordering rude.

I wrote to the hotel and the response from the Hotel Manager was useless - they quoted:

'With the deal offer we offered an all you can eat three course buffet which included tea and coffee. A two course set menu can be interpreted either way and we feel we went the extra mile in offering even more value.'

I can assure you they did not go the extra mile, and in my experience a two course set meal is a two course set meal not a buffet..

My advise is to stay well clear of this hotel

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MattBBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 June 2013

I booked a single room via bookings.com and saw that normally a single room here would more than likely to be inward facing and on the ground floor. I needed a cheapish room for the night in Bournemouth so did not think was too much to ask. I booked a single room at a rate of £70 inc breakfast. I wrote in the ''extra'' information for any special requests. I asked if it was possible for a high floor and a sea view, not expecting either. When I checked in I was happy to find that because of availability that evening they had upgraded me to a standard double with not only a sea view but with a balcony....I couldn't have been happier...lovely gesture!!!!....the room was a 3 star plus in my opinion...bed was comfy with mattress toppers which is always a bonus. Bathroom small but lovely powerful hot shower. Ironing board in wardrobe which I love as I hate asking for it. Walls thick so no noise from neighbours and complimentary still and fizzy water in the fridge.

Staff were friendly and helpful....lovely hotel, the smells from the restaurant in the evening as I passed it were lovely although I had already eaten...breakfast was sufficient...good cooked breakfast although a little limited on the cold variety....overall a nice pleasant stay...better to park next door in the public car park though as their own car park is a way away and £20 per night where as next door was £13.00 for 24 hours....better deal and no time to walk....

definitely somewhere I would go again 8/10.....and reasonable....

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank Elise L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike R, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Bath Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2013

Thank you very much for your comments and I am glad you enjoyed your stay.
We are currently in the process of upgrading all the rooms here after a lack of investment whilst De Vere owned the property. We are confident that the Royal Bath will once again return to be the place to visit.

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Reviewed 14 June 2013

We went to the Royal Bath at the last moment as we found ourselves in need of a room in Bournemouth. We got a good price on the room (at 3 o'clock in the afternoon) with breakfast, but the valet parking at £20 seemed pretty steep - that is per day! Still, we went with it. Nice large room with French windows to the nice garden overlooking the sea. The wifi works (though they have to connect Apple devices for you!) Bed comfortable. Room well equipped. Bathroom okay, though the bath panel definitely looked a bit tired and the loo roll unwound itself - small things, but they make an impression. The staff at reception were pleasant and helpful and the breakfast was fair quality food, but, as my husband pointed out, neither the food, nor the coffee once we finally got it (after asking for it) were hot and the croissants were dry - a bit stale. Fairly good location for Bournemouth seafront, shops etc. Yes, the building is historic, but from the inside the details seem to get a bit lost in the big hotel styling and it doesn't have masses of character. Overall, at the price we paid, not a disaster - but I wouldn't have been very happy if I had paid more. And the valet parking charge is shocking! Didn't use the gym or spa - wasn't that kind of a stay.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank ElliseB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike R, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Bath Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2013

Thank you for your comments,I am glad you enjoyed your stay apart from the minor issues.
In regards to the car park, it is chargeable due to the car park being valet and secured parking with monitoring. We have to charge £20 to cover costs of running the car park.
As the Building is 184 years old, they have added new wings to the property over the years flowing with the times. At present, we are currently upgrading and refurbishing all rooms and we hope that The Royal Bath will be the place to be in the near future.

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Reviewed 13 June 2013

Stayed here for a conference in BIC. Great location, lovely old hotel, historical connections to Oscar Wilde, Marvellous gardens, sea views onto fabulous beach, nice public areas.
Breakfasts were fine, some issues about laying of tables but not a 'deal-breaker'.
Bedroom was spacious, bit dated but in keeping with the period of the hotel. Bathroom fine and functional.

What was concerning was 'La belle indifference' of the staff, no true empowerment within a service culture. They are polite, pleasant, diffident but seemingly oblivious and indifferent to the needs or problems of the customer, who appears to be viewed as a necessary irritant, almost like how NHS management view patients.

Don't bother trying to get your airline boarding passes printed by this hotel, no business centre, nor PC terminal with printer for such essentials of contemporary travel.

The in hotel free Wi-Fi service was excellent and easy to use.

Room Tip: Upper floors sea view, rear of hotel
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
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5  Thank PeterADH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2013 via mobile

I booked a stay for 2 nights over the phone and was not told once that I'd have to pay for parking until we got there.
Checked in on the Friday evening after waiting in the car outside the front of the building so we could have some assistance with our bags. None was forthcoming as there was only one chap sorting out everyones luggage and cars. I ran in and left husband and toddler in the car whilst I checked in as toddler hadn't had dinner yet and were keen to get that sorted ASAP.
Not so much greeted by a receptionist, more like I inconvenienced her. When I asked where to park her reply was 'Our car park is full and £20 per night, go to a NCP round the corner for £12.50'. I had no idea of she meant left or right but I did say there was no mention of this when I booked and had I been informed I might have tweaked my booking. Her reply "Nothing I can do about that now, you'll have to wait to talk to Jose the manager. Wait there I get him". I said no I needed to go and te reply was "fine".
Needless to say I was none to impressed with the customer service.
Our room was huge (231) with a very big bathroom, relatively clean but dreadful tea tray and kettle. The ironing board was awful and nearly fell on my foot.
We went to breakfast the next morning and was told to sit anywhere. We waited a while and nobody asked of we wanted a hit drink so we had to ask someone and it still took 10 minutes. The breakfast wasn't good at all. The mushrooms were boiled, black pudding looked and tastes like charcoal, hash browns were bitter (I'm assuming because the cooking oil was old), bacon was a bit slimy and dreadfully salty and the sausages were absolutely revolting! When I bit into one all I could taste was grease and the quality was atrocious.
Also there was always something that had ran out, toast, or scrambled eggs (they were ok), or fried eggs etc.
Later that day I had a shower and it was horrendous. The flow of that water wasn't adequate and the dangerous temperature dial kept swinging round so in my struggle to reduce the temperature my skin got red and a bit sore.
I reported this to reception and was dealt with very well I must say, we were compensated adequately and lots of apologies offered.
Whilst I was completing a form
In reception though they inform me a maintainenace guy had been up there and said it was fine. I then had to persuade the receptionist to allow me to show her to which she then said yes it is a problem, he clearly just saw water running and not the issue you raised.
Overall, clean enough to lay your head and a great location for the beach and shops but don't eat there. The staff haven't a clue and the food is awful. However the gardens and swimming pool are fantastic.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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5  Thank MrsTreviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike R, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Bath Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2013

Thank you for your comments from which it is apparent that their were some issues which you encountered whilst you stayed with us. I do apologise that Reception didn’t give you a copy of the itinerary regarding the car park costs, as they were suppose to with every guest. I have also spoken to the Reception manager about the issues and the customer service which they will improve on in the future.
I am saddened to hear about your poor dining experience at breakfast, we have recently appointed a new Head Chef who has seen to chnaging the menu and the way the kitchen and the restaurant operate. We also have appointed a new operations manager who will oversee the daily running of the premises and the training and improvement of the staff.

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Reviewed 12 June 2013

The hotel location isn't bad. The staff aren't bad. However £20 to park for one night in the hotel car park was a bit of a let down. The room we stayed in was fairly run down and noise throughout the night prevented a decent stay. The noise was constant throughout.
Breakfast was another disappointing thing about this place. The coffee tasted like one teaspoon had been used to make the whole pot and it was horrific. The food wasn't great either.

I think the whole place was probably great at some point, but I was ashamed to have taken my wife here for our first anniversary. Considering the cost of £125 for one night, I would never return. I've stayed in other hotels for £50 a night that surpass this place by far.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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4  Thank Aa768as
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike R, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Bath Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2013

After reading your comments it is apparent that you have received poor service whilst on your anniversary break, which there is no excuse for which you encountered.
The hotel is in the midst of a transition into a Britannia Hotel and we are investing large amounts into the property. We are currently getting to every room in the hotel to do refurbishments and to upgrade the decor. I hope that you can give us an opportunity to recitfy the issue and thank you for your feedback as it gives us an opportunity to monitor and improve our services

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Reviewed 12 June 2013

On checking in, the Royal Bath did not have any record of our booking made for a Superior Double room with sea view.

After abysmal customer service at the front desk, and a long wait, we were finally taken to a room that would not have looked out of place in a 1970's B&B.

My partner demanded to see the manager, David (?), who after listening to our complaint and attempting to answer without really saying anything much at all, offered us a suite. We were impressed. On seeing the suite, we were very much NOT impressed.

The decoration and general finish of the suite was very dated, of a very poor condition, grimy and uncared for.

The double bed was two singles pushed together and they looked to be of cheap quality.

There was a huge cobweb in the corner of the lounge.

There were pubic hairs in the bath.

The bath mat was filthy.

The door fell off the hinges on the TV stand in the lounge. Oh yes, and neither TV in the lounge or bedroom had remote controls, so those were taken away and two more TVs were brought back with remote controls.

There were large cracks in the ceiling.

There were large industrial bolts on blocks of wood to make them fit on the double doors leading to the "private" patio.

My partner also spoke to Jose, the Operations Manager who came and inspected the room. He promised that someone would come and clean the room that evening. We went to bed without that happening. Needless to say, neither my partner nor I made use of the shower or the bath.

And then there was the food...

Because of our complaint, as we did not know whether the £137.50 per night included breakfast or not, we were given complimentary dinner and breakfast on both nights. Although given the standard of food, we didn't feel as though we were given much!

The food we had that evening for Room Service was very plain and not particularly appetising.

In the morning, the breakfast was a DISASTER starting with dirty tables and dirty cutlery.

We had to ask for tea spoons, only to be told that they had a shortage of tea spoons and the waiter had to "borrow" them from another table.

My partner went to get his cooked breakfast while I had cereals, only to bite into a very overcooked, very COLD, hash brown. When I went to get my cooked breakfast, the eggs and bacon were dripping with grease.

We went to the front desk, complained to the front of house manager, Kirsty, who, without argument, gave us a TOTAL refund and we left.

And this stay was meant to be a relaxing break after my open heart surgery had been cancelled at the last minute on the morning of Friday 7th June.

It is only fair to point out that Gary & Scott the concierges who we dealt with were truly wasted at the Royal Bath. They were excellent. The same goes for Kirsty who was truly professional in her dealings with us.

It would seem that the Royal Bath does have SOME excellent staff who are very badly let down by the management, Kirsty not included, and also by a neglected building. The staff who are not so excellent let the others down extremely badly also.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Philip S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mike R, Guest Relations Manager at Royal Bath Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2013

Thank you for your comments in regards to your stay, the contents of which I was disappointed to read. It is clear from reading that we did not meet your expectations for which I apologise.
I am sorry to hear about the appearance of the bedrooms, the hotel is 184 years old and since we have taken over, please understand we haven’t managed to get to every room in the hotel just yet to do a refurb. However you are correct this issue should have been noted by housekeeping and should have been fixed before your arrival. I have spoken to housekeeping and in the future for all maintenance problems fixed and facilities in place.
In regards to your dining experience I do have to apologise, I have spoken with the GM and also the restaurant manager about the problems you encountered and they are unacceptable. We have recently appointed a new head chef who is already turning the restaurant and the kitchen around. I hope that we can recitify the image you hold on the hotel and resolving these issues

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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: £28 - £118 (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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