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“Sad, such potential”

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Royal Bath Hotel & Spa
Ranked #59 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Reviewed 5 August 2014

The sky was blue, the sun:scorchio! How could I fail not to have a smile on my face as we entered the Royal Bath in the beach resort of Bournemouth?....
Well, try sitting in grid-lock traffic for 45mins just entering the town and then being told that there was no car park space left. I had to swing around and find a public car park nearby which fortunately had 1 space left. £4 for 24 hours. It turned out cheaper than the £20 p.n.car park at the hotel!
Which raises my first issue: The hotel boasts: car park. fitness room, swimming pool BUT they all come at additional costs. A bit disappointing when you are spending £125 a night.
The room 244 had the MOST magnificent room I've had in a long while. Triple aspect with views of the beach & sea. The savage beast in me was placated.
This hotel is steeped in history and could be one of the best in the country, unfortunately The Britannia Group which took it over from De Vere's have run it for profit at the expense of the staff who are run off their feet.
The whole place is grand but seen better days. So sad, as this place must once have been the height of opulence but now looks like a tired shadow of its former self and has the air of frugality about it. We admired this hotel from afar 30 years ago and made a secret wish that one day we'd stay there. We won't again. Britannia Group WAKE UP!

Room Tip: Room 244 was MAGNIFICENT. Great balcony, wonderful views.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank marti m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,407 - 1,413 of 3,007 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2014

We went here two weeks ago... and had an amazing stay.. had fab service and everyone is really really nice. Thank you so much for looking after us and making our trip to bournemouth even special. We were given a really large and spacious room..with a sea view..hotel location is very good two. 2 mins walk to the beach and town centre. Will def stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Shaini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Needed a last minute hotel in Bournemouth - this one seemed to have it all.
Checked prices - called and checked - Hotel reservation offered to match a website offer.
on arrival : price not matched - had to speak to a manager, but this was sorted and the price was matched. B&B basis.
Hotel is charming. A Grand Hotel in the real sense. sweeping staircases, murals, a large comfortable lounge leading on to gardens and the beach view.

Pro's :
Location. Right on the beach,
Valet parking. (at a cost)
Excellent bar and gardens
Staff will go out of their way to help.

Con's:
Bar Prices - expect 5* London Prices and you'll be fine.
Decor - could do with some love
Staff - some could do with better training - Pick up the napkins - I know its not your job, but it makes the hotel look messy.
There is a charge for guests wanting to use the Swimming Pool.

Rooms - ours was a good size - a little walk away from the lift - a few stairs on the way to the room.
Hot summer. No A/C. There was a fan hidden in a closet ( we had to ask)
Ironing Board, Trouser press, phone, Flat screen TV - with an odd arrangement of channels!
Free Wifi- but this didn't work on iPad or iPhone - Only Laptops. Be aware there is hardly any Mobile phone service here - let alone 3G.

All in all, we would stay here again. It can be a little pricey - but i think its worth it.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Jonathan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We used to have our work conferences here. Ok I'm talking twenty years ago but what a shame now how it has gone so downhill. Almost all foreign staff with poor English skills. Our room was a large sea view with huge balcony and a very large comfortable bed but furniture was old, paintwork dirty, carpet not been cleaned. Small bath with cheap shower curtain. I remember the grand centrepiece at breakfast, alas no more. Cheap, dried up buffet breakfast. We didn't use the pool as you have to pay another £4 each. Two of the public toilets were broken and doors shut. OMG I could go on so please someone take over this hotel, refurb it and take it back to the Grand Royal Bath it once was before you shut down forever!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Sea view but in another hotel!
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Caroline H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

On arrival the porter was very helpful but reception staff unable to fully understand English, annoying for first impression. Grand hotel outside, good location but what a disappointment inside, shabby and very tired. Room very over priced, poor tea/coffee facilities but the most frustrating was the key cards did not work. Complained at reception about this, no apology just yet again another card. Each time having to go to reception before entering the room from the 2nd floor. Staff uninterested and not only having to pay extra for breakfast before we was finished the staff started clearing the table, the height of bad manners. Drink prices mega over the top. The bed was comfortable but we will not be revisiting.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank 666MjM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

Hotel is chopped up , you almost need a GPS to find your room. Forget having elevator service directly for your room, it will take a lot of stair climbing, not fun lugging your suitcases. Unfortunately the rooms have no air condoning or ceiling fans, the windows are sealed shut from to many paint coats and bring a screw driver for the windows that have been screwed shut, extremely HOT in the rooms, enough that we want looking for another hotel but every one was full. The room itself was clean, large, and fantastic soft mattress. The bathroom shower no water pressure and no cold water, hose to the shower handle split flooding bathroom floor. No fridge no water bottles and No safe, phone only works to call another room. Front desk never answered phone calls and never responding to help request for shower repair. Family coming from other areas to meet us left 3 messages and only one did we receive.they did this in person after never answerinG phone. Towel heater rack could not be shut off. And no counter space in bathroom. If you are a size of average build don't sit in the tub, u may not get out! We booked 6 weeks in advance 2 rooms together and they put our rooms a mile apart and would not change one of them. We traveled from America to see family and our stay was miserable in the room do to heat, and could not have our older family walk alone because of getting lost. ( I had at least 7 different people ask me if I could help them find there room). Staff was a mixture of crabby overwhelmed overworked short handed front desk people, eating area was very nice as the workers were too.
Unfortunately the stupid design of the hotel stinks..if ceiling fans were installed and window air condition, remodel bathroom , add what is missing, then maybe I would advise people to stay. Oh and if you wanted. To use the pool gym it cost another 4 pounds a day on top of the high price we paid two rooms 6 nights $1600.00 pounds american money that's $2700.00. Truthfully find another hotel. Try the hermatage may not have air conditioning but otherwise top of the list and speak English witha SMILE, they were booked during our stay.

Room Tip: Ask if elevator will get u to the room ask which direction the room face so u know if a breeze can...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank klingemannfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

I spent two nights in the Royal Bath Hotel during business trip to the area. The Hotel is a grand old building, the typical Seaside venue from the past. It is however up to date with the facilities, the decor is modern without taking anything away from its heritage and the general condition is very good. My room was very good, big, bright and spacious. The bed was comfortable, there was plenty of storage space and I was fortunate enough to have a balcony with a great view of Bournemouth.
Breakfast was good with plenty of choice.
The staff were in the main helpful throughout my stay.
To improve the level of service I would suggest the hotel invest in written directions to rooms if possible. I was told my room was on the 2nd floor when in fact it was on the third and due to the nature of the building (large and sprawling) it took me the best part of 25 minutes to locate it.
I also required room service on both nights due to work commitments. This is where the service deteriorated significantly. On the 1st night I had to wait 15 minutes at the bar to order due to staff workload,this was okay and my order was delivered on time by a lovely staff member. On the second night I was told that they could not accommodate my request for room service as they were too busy and were very dismissive of me (different staff this night). I inquired in the restaurant and found a very helpful member of staff who personally took care of my order and delivered it to my room himself. If all staff were as customer focused as this gentleman then my rating for the hotel would be higher than average. Maybe travelers expectations can be managed in a more professional manner. Do not offer something if your staff can choose not to fulfill the requests.
Also look out for car parking. It can be very frustrating as you may end up using expensive public car parks close by.
In summary - A great old Coastal hotel, lovely building, room was great, service either exceptional or very poor.

Room Tip: If your budget runs to a room with a sea view, get one......
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank GerryR847
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: £28 - £119 (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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