The Royal Hotel is a splendid building, and was built as the home of a wealthy merchant in 1978. It is actually in East the Water, just across the river from Bideford. It is an excellent location, just a few minutes walk to the shops and bus stops. It has the feel of an old fashioned hotel with very good staff and service. There is a small reception area inside the main door. There is a large and very comfortable lounge off this with a bar area which serves bar meals. For the real ale fans, there is one hand pump which was serving Sharp’s Doom Bar when I was there. It was in excellent condition too! At the back is the dining room. This is very stylish with its crisp white linen. There are no windows and is lit by pink and purple lighting.
A n impressive dark oak staircase leads up to the bedrooms. Alternatively there is a lift.
I had a comfortable single room at the front of the hotel overlooking the river and Bideford. This was particularly attractive after dark when lights along the quay were reflected in the water. The bed was extremely comfortable, once I had thrown off the cushion and one of the massive pillows. It had a bedside table with a good light above the bed for reading in bed.
There was a small wardrobe as well as a chest of drawers with a flat screen TV and kettle. There was a generous supply of tea and coffee along with hot chocolate and a packet of biscuits.
The ensuite bathroom had a shower over the bath which produced a reasonable head of water. There was a plentiful supply of toiletries. There was a heated towel rail. Towels were good, although the bath towel wasn’t over generous and would have been a bit skimpy for larger figures. There was a rubber non slip mat for use in the bath and also a towel bath mat.
Food was excellent. We had a “three course menu”:https://royalbideford.co.uk/pdf/load.php?url=https%3A%2F%2F24a04536d882ca0087a3-289132c7eabba70668e526ce8cd83a46.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com%2Fproduction%2Frh%2Fresources%2Fglobal%2Fbhrh0115-regency-room-dinner-menu-october-2018-web.pdf for dinner with plenty of choice. Food was well cooked and portion sizes were generous. Service was attentive but not OTT. We had huge stiffly starched linen serviettes which one of the waiters put on our laps for us.
“Breakfast”:https://royalbideford.co.uk/pdf/load.php?url=https%3A%2F%2F24a04536d882ca0087a3-289132c7eabba70668e526ce8cd83a46.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com%2Fproduction%2Frh%2Fresources%2Fglobal%2Fbhrh0115-royal-breakfast-menu-october-2018-web.pdf was equally as good with a choice of cereals, fresh fruit and yogurts. There was porridge on request.The full English was a serve yourself buffet, or you could ask for it to be served to your table. I always served myself. It was kept hot beneath lamps, and the chef regularly kept the fried eggs topped up so they didn’t have chance to get too rubbery. There was plenty of choice and the locally made sausages were very good. The fried bread was very crisp and excellent.
Toast was brought to the table. There were rolls and croissants available but I found the one occasion I had croissants they were stale. The rolls varied from freshly made to last night’s left overs. I stocked up at breakfast so didn’t need much at lunchtime and was always ready for dinner.
I spent five days here as part of a coach trip. At no point did I feel we were treated any differently to other guests. I enjoyed my stay and felt the hotel represented very good value for money. It doesn’t have a spa or other ‘fripperies’ like that, but does have character!