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“Good value in hotel with character”
Review of Royal Exeter Hotel

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Royal Exeter Hotel
Ranked #10 of 66 Hotels in Bournemouth
Certificate of Excellence
halesowen
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Good value in hotel with character”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Booked a 2 night midweek break during Easter school holiday through Travelzoo. Great value at £35 per person per night, incl full breakfast and fixed menu 3 course dinner. Very good location, opposite BIC, 5 minutes walk from pier/beach, lower gardens and town centre.
Tricky entrance to car park, immediately by hotel front door and off a quite busy roundabout. Free car parking a definite plus for central Bournemouth. Our 1st floor room was comfortable, clean and plenty big enough for 3. Room facilities all worked well. Hotel had plenty of character, being Victorian, lots of dark wood panelling, impressive staircase, stained glass windows, etc.
Breakfast good, continental items plus full English cooked to order. Dinner was OK, although portions quite small and main course lacked usual vegetables. Extra £3 for a small portion of veg and drinks were relatively expensive too. However not a major problem considering good value of overall deal.
Used small fitness room, which was OK. Staff were all helpful and service was good.
Would recommend, especially at the price we paid.

Room Tip: Rooms at rear, away from busy road, bar and main car park, likely to be quieter
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rowleyrag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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671 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (200)
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English first
Lewes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

Stayed for one night with a friend. Great location with free car parking. Hotel does need some modernisation. Two great bars attached. Music went on until 3am in one bar. We joined in so that did not bother us but if we wanted an early night the music was loud in our room and it did make the hotel very busy downstairs and accordingly there was no peaceful place to sit and have a drinks the evening. Free wifi. Tea and coffee making facilities ok. Reception staff were very friendly. We ate in So bar. Service slow but food very good. Cheap cocktails in both bars! Would recommend and we would stay again.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank WARBENN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014

I picked this hotel for its location and the reviews were reasonable. I paid more than I normally would for a hotel believing I would get better quality but in fact this hotel was a lot worse than many more modern and friendly b&b's that I have stayed in. The room was a pokey little attic room on the third floor where the windows wouldn't shut because the wood had swollen yet we needed them closed for the wind and the noise from the bar downstairs which went on beyond midnight. The decor was decades out of date and the walls and ceiling badly needed painting. The breakfast was awful as we were served a full English that had obviously been sat around for a while as it was all dry and overcooked. We found a table ourselves as there was no staff to greet us at the door. Avoid this hotel!

Room Tip: Don't stay here
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simon r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

We enjoyed a brief and thoroughly enjoyable stay at the Royal Exeter, which I would recommend it to anyone staying in Bournemouth who likes free breakfast and wifi.

The free parking and central location of this hotel gave a great first impression. The hotel appears quite old however the downstairs has been modernised with comfortable seating areas and a bar. Our room was fairly dated, but it was large and clean enough so no problems there.

We were warned on arrival that there would be noise that night due to the live music in the bar. This was not an issue for us but when we arrived back at the hotel at around 11:30 the music was still going, very loudly, and went on until midnight. I imagine that for anyone trying to sleep this would have been intrusive and annoying.

Free breakfast and WIFI made the morning very pleasant, Overall I would be happy to stay here again and recommend it as a good value but nice place to stay.. so long as you don't want to go to bed early.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RotherhitheTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hayes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

My wife and I stayed here recently for a one night break booked with Travelzoo. The hotel and staff exceeded our expectations. The hotel is in an excellent position in the centre of Bournemouth with the added bonus of having a large car park that is free. Everywhere in the hotel is spotlessly clean with a modern decor. Our bedroom was extremely large with double aspect windows, a beautiful en suite bathroom and large comfortable bed. There is a happy hour in the cocktail bar, from 5.00pm to 7.00pm with a good selection of half priced cocktails The three course meal in the evening was excellent with good service served by very friendly staff in a lovely modern atmospheric restaurant. The breakfast in the morning was superb, with an excellent selection of everything, including freshly cooked items combined with table service from very helpful and happy staff.

Room Tip: Book with Travelzoo to get a great deal
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MJC1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

As with other reviewers below, we took advantage of the £69 offer, with limited expectations of what we would get for that - how wrong we were! From the warm and helpful welcome when we arrived very early on the day of our check-in, the large and well-equipped room, the great location just a few steps from the pier, to the staff in all areas of the hotel who seemed to be happy in their work and determined to spread that happiness to the guests. The dinner was truly excellent; there was a good choice of wines at reasonable prices and the food was beautifully presented and promptly delivered. All that, and a sea view from our room - a real gem of a place, we will stay again when next planning to visit Bournemouth.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Simone1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
286 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

(Read on to my last paragraph to find out why I am especially grateful to Kayleigh.)

With a couple of friends, my wife and I were looking for a short break and, like other recent reviewers, discovered the Royal Exeter’s amazing £69-a-night deal for a double room with a three-course evening meal and a full breakfast.

For such a price, we were not expecting great things, but the hotel turned out to be superb. Our rooms were large, well-equipped and well-maintained. And the staff throughout the hotel were friendly and helpful and seemed to be happy in their work.

The restaurant food was delicious. Even though residents on the bargain break deal had a restricted menu, it included thoughtfully constructed dishes with some unusual ingredients, such as pickled grapes. The service was at times a little slow, but the food was always worth waiting for.

I see that one previous reviewer complains about an extra charge of £1.50 for a bread roll, but my recollection is that this charge was for an appetiser of bread with olives. And we were certainly not charged extra when we asked for bread. We were happy to pay £3.25 for the extra vegetable dishes, which were good value and more interesting than the menu descriptions implied. For example, when we ordered boulangère potatoes the dish turned out to be stuffed with duck meat (though perhaps the menu should have made that clear for the sake of vegetarians expecting a normal boulangère).

The breakfasts were also excellent, with a comprehensive cold buffet plus hot food cooked to order. The menu offered all the usual English breakfast ingredients (including black pudding), but the staff were more than happy to provide variations, as, for example, when one of my party asked for mushrooms on toast and another wanted fried bread. The menu also offered kippers or smoked haddock with an optional poached egg. My one disappointment was that my poached eggs were cooked until the yolk was no longer runny. I was impressed by the efficiency with which the staff whisked away empty plates and offered top-ups of coffee.

We ate lunch one day in the hotel’s Bar So, which offers sandwiches, burgers, etc. The prices were modest, so again our expectations were limited. But the quality of the food was exceptional and the portions were generous. We were even given a free extra portion of chips because the kitchen had cooked too many.

Despite being in the centre of town, the hotel has adequate parking (for residents only). Its central position means that the pier and beach are just a short walk in one direction and the town centre shops are minutes away in the other direction.

And now to my special praise for Kayleigh. On our first morning, I was feeling under the weather and so remained at the hotel while my wife and friends went sightseeing. Early in the afternoon I suddenly felt much worse and began shivering uncontrollably. I made my way down to the reception desk and asked Kayleigh if there was a nearby GP I could visit. While telling me that I looked too ill for a GP visit, she was already dialling 999. And when the ambulance was on its way, she even offered to accompany me to the hospital. I was rushed into A&E with a dangerously high temperature and early signs of pneumonia and then admitted to a ward. While I was there, the thoughtful hotel staff offered my wife the loan of towels, etc, to take into hospital for my use. Luckily, thanks to Kayleigh’s rapid action (plus large doses of antibiotics), the pneumonia was nipped in the bud and the hospital was willing to discharge me within 24 hours, albeit still a little wobbly. When I returned to the hotel, all the staff who were aware of the incident seemed genuinely pleased to see me back. Such a caring attitude can make a huge difference to a hotel experience, and so I thoroughly recommend the Royal Exeter.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 103, which was a good size and in a sunny position with a large bay window and the...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrAndrewHaynes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Exeter Hotel

Property: Royal Exeter Hotel
Address: Exeter Road, Bournemouth BH2 5AG, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Bournemouth
#22 Romantic Hotel in Bournemouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Exeter Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 54
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Exeter Bournemouth

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