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“Prices going up, quality going down.”
Review of Victoria Hotel

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Victoria Hotel
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Sidmouth
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 29 October 2013

Having been a regular, albeit one night a year for the past eight years I feel compelled to have to say that this was the worse time I have spent at the Victoria.

I shall start by saying that the staff are very friendly and professional, especially the long serving staff such as Cliff and the gentleman/comedian who runs the late night bar (apologies for not remembering your name). They are a credit to the hotel. Having said that, there seems to be a corporate element entering the 'Brend Group' which is all to common when a company gets larger and the accountants get involved.

Firstly the day time service was shocking! Not enough staff to meet the demand, we waited approximately 30-40mins, not once but twice, and we were not the only group to wait as several people were complaining. It's ridiculous as the waiting staff are not on high wages, employ more, take more money!!! We would have squeezed in another round of drinks but didn't have time, and again I'm sure we wouldn't have been the only ones to spend more.

The next thing that I found disgusting in more ways than one were the sandwiches. The menu states 'Freshly cut bread', it was precut Hovis at best and for £7.75 for a beef sandwich with coleslaw which looked like it had been left out for hours and stale crisps I felt ripped off, I even complained to the front desk (no waiting staff to complain too).

Tradditionaly our group has a couple of drinks before we go in for our evening meal, and on past occassions we have always had nibbles provided, this now seems to be redundant unless you drink in the bar area. Why this is I'm unsure as our drinks are not any cheaper in the lobby than the bar, is it again a staff and cost cutting measure??? Then the evening meal, well what can I say...very ordinary in comparrison to our previous visits, bland and uninsipiring. The service in the restaurant is very good though.

To summise I believe the hotel is cutting costs and corners, service is definately down (promptness, not politeness) and the quality is very noticeably less. House wine at £24 a bottle is ridiculous as it probably costs less than £4 a bottle and it's just ok tasting. The sandwiches are so over priced and the bread is not freshly cut, it is again a way to push guests into the town to get a better sandwich at a better price. If you want to save a couple of quid ditch the stupid bit of parsley of the cooked breakfast and put it towards another member of waiting staff during the day to cut some fresh bread and take orders! In all seriousness the breakfast is the one area that doesn't seem to have been comprimised.

It's a family run hotel, run it like your family were staying there and paying the bill, would they think it value for money...?

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendHotels, Area Director at Victoria Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for your review of the Victoria Hotel. As a return guest we were pleased to read that the staff had continued to impress you with their friendliness, service and professionalism. It is always very rewarding for the staff to read those comments.

Your other points that you raised have been noted and are being investigated, and appropriate action will be taken.

I can assure you that I have never received instruction or given instruction to cut back on the service that we provide to our guests and Brend Hotels has never been run by an accountancy team, but by a family passionate about their hotels.

I am sorry that on this occasion, we failed to match up to your previous experiences and I hope that one day you may choose to try The Victoria Hotel again for a more typical and enjoyable visit, as mentioned in my e-mail to you.

Thank you again for taking the time to write your review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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779 - 785 of 998 reviews

Reviewed 23 October 2013

Hubby and I spent a lovely long weekend here. The room was beautiful, with sea views and the most comfy bed I've slept in. Small box of chocs, fruit and flowers in the room,and numerous choices of teas, coffee, hot choc etc.
Wonderful view of the promenade, and seafront. Ideal location as just a short stroll into the town.
The staff were welcoming, and nothing was too much trouble.
The luxurious lounge and bar were excellent,and the dining room service was attentive and again, nothing was too much trouble.
On the Saturday evening we had a most enjoyable evening dancing to the band in the hotel. The singer was excellent, and the band can play a wide assortment of songs from 1940s to Abba!
The food in the hotel is exceptionally good. If you stay here, do try their dinner menu. Beautifully presented, absolutely delicious and to finish off, a relaxing coffee with homemade chocs in the lounge. Perfect.
The pool and jacuzzi was a pleasant way to spent a wet and windy morning, and the heated chairs were a novel place to read the papers.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Ali F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013

First time I have used a hotel within the Brend Chain. My wife and I visited for a week in early October and were more than satisfied. From thje moment of arrival to our departure everying was top class. Receptionists were very pleasant and well informed. Our room which was on the first floor and had a sea view, was very well appointed with extremely comfortable beds and plenty of space. We were of a DBB tariff and were pleased we were. Breakfasts were superb with plenty of choice and individually cooked. The dinner menu was comprehensive. All parts of the meal were cooked to perfection and well presented.
The public rooms in the hotel were sumptious. Deeply c arpeted and with very comfortable furniture. Plenty of space. All the staff in the hotel were obviously well trained, extremely pleasant and took a pride in their work but I feel special mention must be made of the restaurant staff. They were extremely efficient and attentive without being patronising. Knew their work to perfection and a credit to themselves and the Restaurant Manager.
The grounds opf the hotel were well cared for, tidy and litter free. A Hotel I would be happy to return to.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ian_webster7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013

This hotel trades on it's grandeur, sumptuous decor and prime location. But the constant squeeze on outgoings leave it in danger of a tarnished reputation.
The Hotel is well populated by friendly and capable staff; that's one area the management haven't scimped on. But barely beneath the surface are disappointments and failings that may yet threaten this previously beyond reproach destination.
By far the most important of these is the relentless arrival of cut-price coach trips which is in keeping with neither the hotels aspirations or reputation. I do expect the hotel to be busy sometimes but I'm afraid I do take exception to the inevitible strain this places on facilities and staff, especially when I'm paying top wack. It did spoil thinghs for us. I realise the owners need to keep it as full as possible but surely there must be more imaginitve ways of bringing people in. It definitely is not in keeping with Hotels image.
Other more minor issues include woefully small and past-it floral arrangements, some of which look plain silly in such large and grand rooms. And if you are going to provide complimentary chocolates in the main guest rooms then at least make them worth having. The tiny little box presented was laughable and would have been better by it's absence. My sister says that a year ago it was twice the size.
The restaurant is as efficiently run as you would expect. The daily menu is imaginative and the dishes cooked with flair, but this can only partly mask the use of mostly poor cuts of meat and none would appear to be cooked on the joint. Worse still, if you pay for full board [as we did] you soon realise that the lunch menu is virtually a repeat of the previous evenings dinner menu. I did feel cheated; even the potatoes and veg tasted re-heated. The restaurant was mostly empty at lunchtime, at least it provided some respite from the coach trip crowds who evidently only get breakfast and dinner!
I'm not generally a winger - really I'm not! And, being honest, I still enjoyed our stay. But I feel a lot of that was down to the setting. I just hope the management wake up and realise that they are in danger of spoiling the crown jewels if they continue down this road. If you want to own the crown jewels then you need to treat them as such. The charges are hardly reasonable - you can't have it all ways.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2013

We (two couples) visited for four nights, (dinner,bed and breakfast) in Deluxe rooms at the end of September.

Two aspects of our stay stood out;-

- it was delightful to stay in a hotel with such excellent service.We have rarely stayed anywhere with so many friendly, courteous, attentive and efficient staff.

- the food was superb.The four of us have been friends for c30 years and have stayed in many hotels together - I cannot recall the last time we all stayed on the table d'hôte menus every night without even occasionally departing to the al a carte. An excellent range of very good quality, well presented food.

The overall cost was a little more than we usually spend however we all thoroughly enjoyed our stay and hopefully will return.

(Just an observation - I suspect 'smart casual' would help to attract some more younger customers who perhaps don't want to have to wear jacket and tie for dinner?)

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank BOBOK777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

We have stayed in many good hotels but the Victoria Hotel in Sidmouth is extra special. The staff are of exceptional standard, the service was excellent and they all seemed to work so well together. We had a lovely room on the third floor with sea view, it was comfortable and spotless.
The food was of a very high standard. It was really nice to see large family groups of all ages who had been coming to the hotel for many years and now bringing the next generation.
It was our first visit, we will return and we would recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: It's worth paying the extra for a sea view.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mrs Webster W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Revisited the Victoria after a nine year gap and was not disappointed. The rooms were very comfortable and extremely clean. The decor and cleanliness throughout the hotel were superb - just as we remembered. The food in the restaurant was delicious. However what makes this hotel so outstanding is the staff. They are efficient, courteous and approachable so that our two night stay just seemed to glide along on well oiled wheels and at no time are you made to feel that you are a nuisance. We even stayed for Sunday lunch and reluctantly finally left for home in the afternoon.

Room Tip: We had a room with a sea view which are well worth paying a little more for.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AshTreeHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Victoria Hotel

Address: The Esplanade, Sidmouth EX10 8RY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Sidmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Sidmouth
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Sidmouth
#2 Family Hotel in Sidmouth
#2 Green Hotel in Sidmouth
Price Range: £206 - £252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Victoria Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in 5 acres of manicured gardens, the Victoria welcomes guests with a unique blend of hospitality, comfort and style. Perfectly located on Sidmouth's beautiful seafront esplanade, for many years the Victoria has been owned and managed by the Brend family - Devon and Cornwall's leading family hoteliers. Much loving care and attention has been lavished upon this fine establishment and it's no wonder that it enjoys a reputation as one of England's finest hotels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Victoria Hotel Sidmouth, Devon

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