Newest Review: ... the sudden downward spiral this young lady soon picked things up, professional was not the word. She asked me if I'd had a good day, offer... more
Where's The Wifi, Wheres The Playstation
De Vere Royal Bath Hotel (Bournemouth)
Member Name: spencer_hawken
De Vere Royal Bath Hotel (Bournemouth)
Advantages: Reasonably priced, centrally located accommodation
Disadvantages: Not everything that was offered online was available
If it came down to location The Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth has the location to die for, part of the prestigious De Vere group the Royal Bath is situated on Bournemouth's sea front, just a few yards from the beach, pier, park and Oceanarium. This grand looking hotel offers a fair bit of promise externally as it dominates a large portion of the sea front.
Our arrival was different to say the least, as we stepped in the door we were greeted by a selection of guests who were incredibly overdressed leading me to believe initially I was far too common to be gracing the hotel with my rather dowdy presence. A double take of the rather grand looking double staircase pretty much re-iterated that fact. Luckily enough human nature quickly showed me I was very much in the right place, the reception desk was manned by four staff one of which was busy trying to authorise an impending guests debit card, while the other three were engaged in conversation with a man. "I'm not f**king going in there, they are at it" stated the man rather excitedly, it quickly became apparent that he was a maintenance man. The use of the F word allowed me to relax, I was obviously with my own kind, while I can behave myself the F word is becoming a real favourite with me, when the cluster broke up and we were finally served I was tempted to say "Hi do you have a f**king reservation under the name Hawken!" but the girl who served us seemed so lovely I thought I'd better behave myself.
Despite the sudden downward spiral this young lady soon picked things up, professional was not the word. She asked me if I'd had a good day, offered to book a table for me, and recommended an alternate place for me to eat as she prepared my key card. I again started to feel a little out of place as the receptionist told me how great the stairs looked for photography in an evening dress, evening dress I thought more like jeans and a shirt.
Having been directed to the room, mine being room 131 the top of the stairs creates a little confusion. Logic tells you that if you write a sign giving direction to a room it would be good if it was straightforward. On two adjacent walls you have signs pointing you in the opposite direction, this probably needs some explanation. Say there were two rooms one was 131 and one was 132, now if one was to the left the other to the right to me it would make sense to say 131 to the left 132 to the right. What you actually see is 132 written on the left wall pointing to the right and vice versa. So initially I thought I was going right when I should have been going left. I appreciate that this is a small issue, but its incredibly disorientating.
The room was interesting, a bit like a trip back to the 1970's; that nasty melamine furniture with ridged facing (apologies if you have this in your room), a TV cabinet you needed a couple of A-Levels to understand, and a huge double bed that was actually two single bases with a 6 foot mattress chucked precariously on top. It all looked just a little bit wrong. On the plus side the room was huge, with an amazing bay window sadly facing onto the street, and a couple of fireside chairs and a table should you not want to sit on the bed. Other features included a good sized desk, mini bar (sadly empty but ca be filled on request) and a pointless desk cum table come..... Butchers slab!?!?!?! Okay I'm being over critical, forget the dated look this is a pretty nice room, the bed was incredibly comfortable, the room was warm, and most importantly it was quick and easy to get to from the entrance.
The biggest surprise came when I explored the bathroom; the bathroom was bigger than some of the hotel rooms I have stayed in. Divided by minor partitions the bath/shower, sink, and toilet were all in separate sections. While there was no privacy as such it created the impression, and most importantly with its Victorian wood carved dividers made the bathroom the most inviting aspect of the room. The bath was oversized so if you enjoy bathing in company you'd be more than happily catered for.
My big criticism of the room comes from the De Vere's website which promised both Wifi access and an in room playstation. Unable to receive Internet access via my dongle (mobile broadband) I found myself without Internet access for my stay, there was not even a wired Internet option like a lot of hotels have. I could happily live without a playstation, but if I had company that had been expecting it like one of my kids, it could undoubtedly lead to disappointment.
Breakfast is available either separately or as part of an all inclusive option on your tariff. Breakfast is one of the big plusses for my stay, because it's a buffet style that invites an all you can eat mentality. They say breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day so I over indulged on my mini-croissants and a full English breakfast, several glasses of orange and toast.
Checkout was quick and painless.
The Royal Bath Hotel is a four star hotel, it has a spectacular looking pool (which I never used), two restaurants and a clothing store, the bar area is enormous. Outside you have a magnificent looking garden that overlooks the sea. The hotel has 131 rooms in three different room types standard, executive, and suite. Room prices vary from season to season, from night to night.
Now I know I have seen critical however it's worth pointing out the following, I paid £140 for a night in a room right in the heart of Bournemouth, on a Saturday night. My £140 included breakfast, although I could have had room only for £120. I should have been in a standard room but I suspect that low turn out or overbooking in the standard room type option may have got me upgraded to an executive. Two months ago I paid nearly £80 to stay in a bug ridden Travelodge on the outskirts of Brentwood with no inclusive food. I think my £140 was incredibly well spent, I had a good comfortable room, excellent location, a bath that's was just amazing, and a great breakfast.
The De Vere charges a premium price and delivers a good service, while budget hotels like Travelodge offer more often than not substandard rooms and a price that's always above the advertised rate.
Summary: Bournemouth's premier sea front hotel
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