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“Only if you are desperate”

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Royal & Fortescue Hotel
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Barnstaple
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Only if you are desperate”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

I arrived at 2330 in the middle of the week. All locked up and it took 20 minutes of ringing the bell to get attention. I phoned earlier and mentioned I would be late, so I have no idea why they would keep me waiting. The room was terrible and so was the service. Forget everything you have seen in the last 20 years of hotels, this place was 1970 at best even though it was supposed to have been refurbished a few years ago. Cheap fixtures and fittings and not really very good at all. I came to visit my family, booked and paid for 2 nights, stayed one and left quickly. I brought a tent and stayed in a field the second night. Thats how good this place is!

Room Tip: Don't just don't!
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Christian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendHotels, General Manager at Royal & Fortescue Hotel, responded to this review, 15 November 2013
Thankyou for reviewing our hotel, i was very disappointed to read your impression of The Royal and Fortescue . Our night manager is responsible for the security of the hotel and performs regular security checks around the building, this can mean that they can be in other areas of the hotel when guests arrive at the front door. They do however make their best effort to get to the door as soon as they can. As The Royal and Fortescue is a very old building it does have the features of a building of this age. However we have spent a lot of time and money in the past few years on a programme of refurbishing, redecorating and updating fixtures and fittings in our rooms for the comfort of our guests. I am sorry that there wasn’t something we could have done to move you into a more suitable room which we would happily have done had this been brought to our attention at the time. Should you stay in Barnstaple again i would happily welcome you back to The Royal and Fortescue and show you the improvements we have made to the hotel in the recent months.
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546 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 (164)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2013

Needed somewhere to stay for work (preferred option was full), and was expecting to be disappointed by a tired, dirty, 1970s hotel. However I was very wrong. The hotel is right in the centre of town and is actually quite quaint.

There are only a small number of important things when staying in a hotel for this purpose. Cleanliness, breakfast, and the shower. 2/3 of these were great. The Shower was disappointing as it lacked pressure. However the room was very clean and perfectly well appointed (though not enormous). Breakfast was perfectly fine too.

I also had dinner in the hotel which , again, I was surprised by (though why I would need roast potatoes as a side to Gnocci i do not know...)

Overall this is a very nice hotel with clean tidy rooms, nice friendly staff (which is surprisingly unusual these days) and excellent value. Room, breakfast and dinner came to less than £100.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rborrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendHotels, General Manager at Royal & Fortescue Hotel, responded to this review, 15 November 2013
Thankyou very much for taking the time to review our hotel. I am glad to hear that you were pleasantly suprised by the standard of our hotel, we do try very hard here to balance the history of the hotel with modern comforts. I am pleased to know that you were impressed with the cleanliness and the food however i am sorry to hear that your shower was dissappointing and i will pass the comments onto our maintenance team. With regards to the dinner vegetables and potatoes do come as standard with our main courses however i quite understand that potatoes may not be necessary with Gnocci! I shall pass this onto the kitchen. I hope we can welcome you back to the hotel in the near future.
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Newton Abbot, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2013

Recently took my elderly parents for a 3 day break which included a complimentary free carvery lunch which was excellent - beef dosen't get any better. The breakfast is superb and you have a good selection and quality of evening meal (3-course with coffee).We have stopped at the hotel several times before and we found the staff as helpful and attentive as ever (bearing in mind that the hotel had 4 different functions on the Saturday evening). The rooms and en-suites have been re-furbished to a good standard. The hotel is so convenient at the end of the high street and is all on the level - you do get alot of people visiting the coffee shop and for lunch during the day and it is a busy place. We see this as a plus and if you want a quieter surrounding the group have 3 other sister hotels in the town. With its central position you do hear people passing outside but it did not disturb our sleep. The value for money was excellent.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AlanPDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendHotels, General Manager at Royal & Fortescue Hotel, responded to this review, 15 November 2013
Thankyou very much for taking the time to review our hotel, it is always nice to receive positive feedback and i will pass these comments onto our team. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
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Wednesbury, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We arrived on a friday lunchtime, check in was smooth and a good welcome from the desk lady. We were allocated room 414 in the mews. upon opening the door to the room, we could not believe how small it was. it had a wonderful view out of the window straight onto a brick wall above the kitchen, which was brilliant if you like being woken very early in the morning, by the kitchen staff going about their business. the ensuite was tiny, every time you opened the door it banged on the front of the loo pan. the room was like an oven, no control on the radiator.( after going back on previous reviews, one going back to 2012 also complained of this, the management in their response in 2012 said this would be fixed, 12 months later ??). next to the desk a double socket was hanging off the wall. although we had booked a double room, we ended up with a 3/4 bed and one bedside cupboard. We went down to breakfast next morning, could not fault the service or the food, however the following morning it was totally different, more staff on but chaos, tea and toast took 25 minutes to arrive. suppose it serves us right to being guided to a seat up a corner. finally on the saturday we were there we could not use the restaurant or the bar due to a wedding reception being held there, we were not informed of this when we had booked three weeks previously. So thought we would go for a drive out, mistake the people at the wedding reception, had totally blocked the small car park, All in all we feel totally cheated.

Room Tip: Avoid the mews like the plague
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alansue1Darlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendHotels, General Manager at Royal & Fortescue Hotel, responded to this review, 15 November 2013
Thankyou for taking the time to review our hotel, I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us. Firstly may I apologise for the poor service in the restaurant on the second morning of your stay and also the defects in the room you stayed in. The Royal and Fortescue is a very old building and as such the rooms vary in size, however room 414 does have a standard double bed. Although the rooms can vary in size we do try our best to make the rooms as comfortable as possible and as you would have noticed 414 has been recently refurbished with new furnishings and flat screen tv. In common with many hotels we cater for weddings and The Royal and Fortescue is a popular venue for this, I am sorry to hear you couldnt get your car out of the carpark however the wedding guests were also residents of the hotel and should there be an occasion where people need to block cars we will always hold the keys at reception. Once again please except our sincere apologies and we hope one day you may consider returning to the hotel.
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Munich, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

I was passing through Barnstaple on business and stayed just for one night. I have stayed here before as well as at one of the other hotels in town, although I do almost always stick to the well-known larger corporate chains.

I'm usually rather keen when I do get to stay at a more privately run place...

The hotel is very well located if you need to be in the town centre - it also offers parking - and can therefore not be faulted for convenience. When I arrived there was another client at their rather cramped reception making an enquiry. I don't mind waiting when I have to but what I found puzzling was that I was basically "ignored" by the receptionist until they decided that their enquiry wasn't going to be as quick as they'd hoped, and only then (after 5-10 minutes) called out the other member of staff from the back-office.

I find the rooms very nice - please bear in mind that this is a 3-star hotel in the UK - hotels in this country tend to offer far less for the money than one expects when you visit from abroad. The hotel does, though, make an obvious effort to maintain their rooms - and even has the odd unexpected touch too.

The rest of the day went very well. I didn't get to sample lunch or dinner, but was very impressed when I returned after closing time and although the kitchen and bar were officially closed, the night-porter very kindly provided me with some things FREE OF CHARGE!

Breakfast is fine but not brilliant - however the cooked English breakfast is actually extremely good. I again felt a little let down by the service: another couple arrived after I'd sat down and I could quickly tell that I'd nabbed their "usual" table. I was about to approach the couple when one of their serving staff came up to me and rather aggressively told me I had to immediately change tables as where I'd been sitting had been reserved - even though it was very obvious to me that this hadn't been the case. I still don't understand why the staff didn't just explain the situation and ask me.

There is a nice-looking health-club pictured on their website which is available free of charge, but it might be worth pointing out that this is actually 20 mins' walk away.

I still like this hotel and it is a very cosy little property with many nice touches - just a shame that the service can be so variable.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SPG_JJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

Ignore negative comments & reviews about this hotel as its all a matter of sky high expectations not being met. The location is very central & because of that you have to expect it won't be a quite county house. Focus on the exceptional hospitality, staff, service, comfort & food and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 1988man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendHotels, General Manager at Royal & Fortescue Hotel, responded to this review, 15 November 2013
Thankyou very much for taking the time to review our hotel, I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and found our staff to be very helpful and friendly. I hope we can welcome you back to the hotel again in the near future.
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Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013

Spent 2 nights at this lovely old Coaching Inn which is situated almost in the centre of Barnstaple......step out of the front door and you are directly opposite the "High Street".
My wife and I were made very welcome by the pleasant,helpful and professional Reception staff and throughout our stay found all staff to be equally pleasant and helpful. While the hotel is rather dated we had a comfortable and spacious en-suite room on the first floor which,for access has a fairly steep staircase but a lift is available. The hotel has a large Bar and extensive Restaurant ,both of which proved to be very popular with both residents and "locals".
Food in the Restaurant was prepared and presented to a very high standard with plenty of choice, particularly the cooked English breakfast.which was excellent.
There are a couple of small problems with this hotel however,......being "in town", there is only a small car park holding about a dozen cars with the only access down an alleyway at the rear of the hotel and it is on a"first come,first served" basis, although they do have further available parking nearby!! There is also a rather noisy "nightclub" at the rear of the hotel which has a "throwing out" of well lubricated customers in the early hours of the morning. Light sleepers Beware!!! Nevertheless this is no criticism of the hotel which was well up to standard and gave us a very pleasant and comfortable weekend at a fair price. We would certainly stay here again.

Room Tip: Try to avoid having a room at rear of hotel due to "Nightclub" noise.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GeorgioGloucester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendHotels, General Manager at Royal & Fortescue Hotel, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Thankyou for taking the time to review our hotel. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and found the staff to be very pleasant and helpful. I am also pleased to hear that you were impressed with our restaurant and enjoyed the food you had there. I am sorry to hear you were affected by the noise from outside, we are doing our best at the hotel to try and soundproof the building and make sure that the side facing rooms are all triple glazed. I hope i can welcome you back to the hotel in the near future.
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Additional Information about Royal & Fortescue Hotel

Property: Royal & Fortescue Hotel
Address: 61 Boutport Street, Barnstaple EX31 1HG, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Barnstaple
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 Hotels in Barnstaple
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal & Fortescue Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 47
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal And Fortescue Barnstaple
Royal & Fortescue Hotel Barnstaple, Devon

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