We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Ancient feeling and rude staff ruin a wonderful location.” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Oak Hotel

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Royal Oak Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Garstang B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Winston Salem, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Ancient feeling and rude staff ruin a wonderful location.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

On a recent trip to England my wife and I spent 5 nights here, and we were consistently disappointed, and even appalled at times.

Let's start with the positives. The Royal Oak at first appears to be charming. It has a great location in central Garstang, with rooms overlooking the main street in the village. There's a small pub in the main level that has a few food items to choose from on the menu as well. This building has history, and you can tell from first glance.

Let me preface this by giving a warning. THIS PLACE DOES NOT HAVE A PHONE. THEY WILL NOT LET YOU USE THEIRS. If you don't have a cellphone and being able to communicate is important to you, DO NOT STAY HERE.

Moving right along, the number issue I had with them is their staff. For some back story: I was in the north of England to visit my Uncle, whom I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years. His flat is small and limited on space so that's why my wife and I stayed at this hotel, which is less than a mile from his place. Anyway, on most days we had planned my Uncle would come collect us and then take us around to see sights or visit places.

On one of these occasions my Uncle was over 20 minutes late, and he's extremely punctual. Given that he's elderly and is always precisely on time this started worrying me pretty quickly. I went into the Hotel Lobby and the owner was standing there. I asked if I could use the phone real quick so I could check on him, and she said, rather bluntly, "no."

I asked "This is a hotel and you don't have a phone?" To which she said, "Of course we have a phone, but it's for private use only." She then motioned to my cellphone (no service, I'm a Verizon customer and they wouldn't unlock my phone) which I was holding because I had my Uncle's number in it, and I had pulled it up for reference. "What's that? That's a cellphone isn't it?"

I told her it was, but had no service etc, and I just wanted to check on my Uncle. It didn't matter, she was very rude about it.

The rooms don't have phones in them either for some bizarre reason, so I was out of luck. I had to go across the street to a small dressmakers shop where the owner gladly let me use the phone, even though I hadn't spent a dime in her shop nor did I plan to. Very embarrassing.

That's enough about that, on to the rooms!

Very similarly to the hotel itself, the rooms seem cute and quaint at first. Turns out the mattresses are twenty years old or more, the pillows are very cheap and lumpy and generally not comfortable. They do provide an electric tea kettle; however ours was grimy and mildew-ridden inside of it. The bathrooms are very dated and every step you take you feel like you'll fall through the floor.

There's no air-conditioning which isn't really a shock being in England, but in the summer that means sleeping with the window open. This would be fine except for the fact that there are constantly loud drunkards beneath you and at the other pubs on the strip singing and hollering into the wee hours. Then come morning its a very busy street with lots of noise. We didn't have a good sleep the entire duration of our stay.

Regarding their "free wifi"... we did notice some kind of Wifi signal in our room that appeared to be theirs, but couldn't find any mention of the password anywhere. So I go downstairs to the bartender and ask for the password. The young lady seems dumbfounded that I would ask for it. "Ahhh... let me see if I can remember." She goes on tending to other customers for 5 minutes or so and comes back, writes down 2 or 3 extremely long passwords that are alpha-numeric and have just slight changes between the 3. "One of those might work, if not come back down and tell me."

Wow, really? Ok, so I did just that. Tried all 3 several times. Just as she suggested, she was wrong all 3 times. I go back down, and she had remembered the actual password at this time and had it for me as soon as I appeared at the bar. Fine, at least we had access, albeit bad.

I will say that most of the quality and issues related to the age of the place didn't really bother us at first, but as soon as we had our interaction with the cold and unaccommodating owner we decided enough was enough. We found another hotel less than a mile away that was much more modern with an incredible breakfast, the rooms were very nice and included a TELEPHONE! WOW! The staff was very friendly and the barstaff was too. Not to mention their rooms were £10 cheaper a night to boot!

We thought so many of the issues related to The Royal Oak were just "par for the course" in England, but it turns out we couldn't have been further from the truth. This is my first time posting to TripAdvisor, I just really wanted people to know about this place before making the mistake we did.

Room Tip: Rooms on the front of the building are very loud, be careful if staying in the summer when you'd...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank evnglion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

92 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    56
    25
    5
    3
    3
See reviews for
23
32
3
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2014

6 of us stayed here for 2 nights in June. The pub is in a lovely position right in the heart of Garstang. The rooms were a decent size and very clean if not a bit musty smelling. The beds were comfortable and we had shampoo and shower wash supplied. There was a kettle with a good supply of milk, tea, coffee and drinking chocolate. There was a lovely garden at the back. The breakfasts was lovely with a good choice and plenty of food. We ate there the 2 nights we were there and the choices were brilliant, the specials board was lovely and there was loads of food. Unfortunately we stayed when the world cup was on and the noise was awful as the last matches were at 11pm. Also there is a function room and it was right underneath us and the partying went on until after 1am. We also had the public toilets under our rooms (1 & 2) so sleeping was an impossibility. It was our fault booking when football was on and not the Pubs. I would stay at this Pub again as it was good value for money. The staff all seemed pleasant and helpful if not a bit understaffed at the bar.

Room Tip: If you want a bit more peace try and not get rooms 1 or 2.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank auntie11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
205 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

on holiday nearby so went for a drink charming pub my husband said best pint of beer hes had in a long time bar food was tasty but huge portions and very cheap chicken liver pate was excellent also steak and the scampi were great

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank julie w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leyland, Lancashire
Level Contributor
168 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2013

We called in here for some tea with my sister in law and brother in law on Tuesday night of the Christmas Fair. We have eaten here lots of times before and my sister in law and brother in law on many occasions as they live in Garstang. She had the chicken liver pate which she has had on numerous occasions over the last 4 years. She commented to the young man who came to clear the plates away that the brioche bread served with the pate was not as nice as the warm toast she has had with it before. His reply was well we are trying to go up market, so she just said well I prefer the toast and I wont be having it again to our amazement and the people on the next tables amazement as they heard it too he just said "well one less customer to worry about." Not the best customer service, and its certainly put us off going back again. And after 4 years of eating there obviously customer service is not a priority.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Centralg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
226 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2013

Nice atmosphere and food not corden bleu but cooked very well and portions extremely generous. We ate a started between us and if I had had one to myself I would never have been able to eat the main course. The pub is dog-friendly and there seems to be a lot of local people inside which is often a good sign. Service was quick and friendly. Will definitely go back.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susanner_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2013

We didn't have very high expectations because no-one responded to our email and when we phoned to book they seemed very vague and laid back. When we arrived to check in - you check in at the bar, there's no reception - it took a while for them to find the booking and then a bit longer to find the key. They wouldn't hand over the key until we'd paid in full "because the room is let out again tomorrow." They didn't tell us they had a restaurant so they missed an opportunity there as we went out for an evening meal. (Pipers - excellent). The room was all you need, clean and comfortable and the ensuite shower fully equipped with towels and toiletries. There was hanging space, TV and welcome tray as you'd expect. The wall of the bedroom was paper thin, but fortunately, after a loud phone call we heard nothing more from the next room. The people on the bar didn't know what time breakfast was, but it turned out to be 8.30, which for us was a bit late for a Saturday morning. Breakfast was promptly and freshly cooked - full breakfast, fruit juice, tea and coffee, toast. I expect there would be cereals if you asked. There's nothing wrong with the Royal Oak that a bit of staff training wouldn't improve, but there's nothing that would make us want to go back.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AnthonyDay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013 via mobile

Visited the Royal Oak for some food with a friend. Good value and lovely food. Nice quiet corners to sit in too of like us you're wanting acatch up and a chat. Only negative comment I could make is that the staff are a little scruffy looking. Will return for food and drinks

Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank mrsjhz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Garstang
0.9 mi away
BEST WESTERN Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Centre
0.8 mi away
Crofter's Hotel
Crofter's Hotel
#2 of 2 in Garstang
3.5 of 5 bubbles 199 reviews
3.7 mi away
Premier Inn Preston North Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.1 mi away
Thurnham Hall
Thurnham Hall
#1 of 1 in Thurnham
4.5 of 5 bubbles 573 reviews
7.3 mi away
Ibis Preston North
Ibis Preston North
#10 of 15 in Preston
3.5 of 5 bubbles 667 reviews
5.0 mi away
Barton Grange Hotel
Barton Grange Hotel
#5 of 15 in Preston
4.5 of 5 bubbles 601 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Royal Oak Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Royal Oak Hotel

Property: Royal Oak Hotel
Address: Market Place, Garstang PR3 1ZA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Lancashire > Garstang
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Garstang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 9
Also Known As:
Royal Oak Hotel Garstang, Lancashire

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing