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Reviewed 9 October 2017

After we had arrived at the Carlton and squeezed my car into one of the hotel’s parking spaces, we were checked in efficiently by the friendly receptionist and off we trotted to our room, which was clean and spacious. That was when the fun began with the room safe which was placed on the bottom of the wardrobe, which for creaking knees was not the most convenient place.

Not being sure how this contraption worked and not finding any instructions, I decided to have a fiddle with it and hit a problem straight away, the code I put in would not unlock it. We had only been there ten minutes when I sheepishly went to the reception to inform them I had broken their safe. The lady on reception came to our room with a key, sorted out the safe and told me there was a button on the back of the safe door I had to press before putting my code in, and off she went.

Two minutes later I was back in reception to inform them that I had pressed a little button, as instructed, and still could not unlock the safe after I had locked it. “I’ll get the porter to sort it out”, came the reply, she was obviously a bit frustrated with this idiot who kept screwing up the safe.

The porter arrived and like the friendly and helpful chap he was he went through it with me and when he pressed something at the back of the safe door it bleeped and then I could put in my code – we had cracked it.

The Carlton and its cluster of sister hotels is a fascinating place due to them all being linked by a series of corridors and passageways. There are three pools, one outdoor and two indoor, one being quite large. There is a large indoor crown green bowling facility and several bars. There was also entertainment taking place every evening during our short stay. Also linked to the hotel was the Albert bar nearby, where we ate during our stay as we were there on a B&B basis.

Breakfast was good and plentiful, it was all buffet so you could help yourself. This really is a cracking hotel, especially once we had cracked the safe!

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Derek B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luke F, Manager at TLH Carlton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2017

Hi Derek B

Thank you for taking the time to post your positive review of your recent break with us at TLH Carlton Hotel.

I can only apologise for the frustration the safe must of caused you upon arrival, you are not the first and im sure not the last that will have difficulties with the safes, We do always have a porter on hand to assist with any such cases and im glad he sorted it out for you.

I was pleased to read that you enjoyed your break and look forward to welcoming you back in the not too distant future.

Many thanks

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Reviewed 9 October 2017

We arrived, as part of a very large party, at the hotel on a motor bike and along with our friends parked them outside the main entrance on a small hatched area. We went to check in and said where we parked but were told we could not park there as it was next to disabled spaces. Once having this explained we accepted their reasoning and moved them around the corner. On checking in we had to give our reg. numbers and were given a slip of paper to put on the bikes. When we explained that they were bikes and a tiny piece of printed paper would not stay on them we were told that if we didn't display it we would be fined. Great start!

We went up to our room on the first floor which was very small with a 4'6" bed - as my husband is tall and has dodgy legs he needs to sleep out straight and a 4'6" bed is not long enough so another couple who had a double and single in their room swapped with us. (We were part of a block booking so rooms were allocated at random which we accepted hence dealing with the problem ourselves). We then got ready for dinner in the hotel.

The dinner was an interesting start - we sat on a table of 9 and the starters chosen were prawn and avocado salad which had no avocado and Ardennes pate which resembled a thin slice of spam and was of very poor quality. Mains selected were chicken chasseur which was a packet sauce and served on frozen parmentier potatoes, beef which was served on a great dallop of instant, powdered mashed potato and breaded plaice and chips which those who chose chicken or beef wished they had also chosen at it seemed to be okay. The veg was frozen French beans, baby sweetcorn and supposed to have been cauliflower cheese but no-one had that as it was not provided. Desserts were equally as dull and the whole meal took an age to serve.

Following a disco which was excellent we went to bed. I can only assume that, having read some of other reviews and, seeing that there is a refurbishment programme, the Carlton gets all the old stuff as our mattresses were worn out - there were grating noises from the springs which could all be felt. We felt we could not complain as the following morning we found that the people we had swapped with had had very little sleep for the same reason along with many of the others. The room was clean but maintenance was poor. Knobs on the drawers loose, paper in the corner of the room peeling and in the bathroom; black mould in the tile grout, taps that didn't match on both the basin and the bath, although one of the ones on the bath matched one on the basin so there could have been at least one matching pair with very little work. The basin waste had once been a rise and full plug which had been replaced with a multi-fit rubber one that fitted over the large hole - I bet a few earrings, contact lenses etc have gone down there never to be seen again!

Breakfast, I have to say was the highlight for me - a bit of a bun fight but the food was very reasonable.

The highlight of our weekend was to be the formal function on the Saturday night. We were the last table to receive our soup which took the best part of an hour from the start of service. This was due to there only being three servers for almost 90 diners! When our soup eventually arrived it was luke warm, thin and tasteless - it later turned out that the table served before us had some bowls of a thick soup and some of a much thinner one so it didn't take much to realise they had run short so watered it down. The main course arrived an hour later - roast turkey and some carrots and broccoli - we all helped ourselves to the veg while we waited for the roast and boiled potatoes which didn't arrive. In the end one member from our table went to the kitchen to ask for our potatoes. By the time they turned up all our dinners were stone cold although we now had hot roast potatoes (I assume they had run out of the new potatoes as they never arrived). I asked for my dinner to be heated. It was taken away and after a short while a new one was provided. Again it was barely tepid and the veg on the table was cold so I along with all the others on our table went without a main course. The food had obviously been put out on a side and, with only the 3 servers plus the manager who realised the service was slow so helped out a bit, sat there for too long which in itself is a health hazard. Apple pie was served next - barely tepid with cold custard, again this was not eaten by the majority on our table or by many of those around us. Next came the coffee - we had to ask for sugar and milk - then followed the cheese course (yes after the coffee) this time we had to request plates and knives (these were put in a pile in the middle of the table) and extra crackers as there was only 12 between 8 people and we were hungry. Finally our after dinner mints arrived shortly after the cheese. The servers were embarrassed by the debacle although it was not their fault at all. Management should be there to supervise throughout should know the order of service and also realise when people are not eating what has been provided that there must be a major problem but at this hotel it seems nothing is done properly so they don't question it - Never again!

Room Tip: I have not heard of a good room yet and I was with an extremely large party.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
9  Thank 7Lindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2017

Just took my elderly mother there for a 6 day break. Good Location.
Reserved parking for blue badge holders on request.
Room was a Riviera room, well appointed. Bed was a little bit too hard for my mother, so a mattress topper was provided, that solved problem! Lift was slow, but did the job!
This is not just a hotel but a resort, with a complex containing a bistro, swimming pool, spa, gym and ballroom. Seasonal outdoor pool and bowling.
Breakfast was a buffet - good selection.
Evening meal - A la carte with very good selection.
All food was excellent!
I went in gym, swimming pool and sauna.....again very good!
I had a personal training session with Ian, we discussed my needs and he gave me a good session.
All staff I found to be friendly and efficient : Ian (gym), Callum & Siobahn (Riviera Bar), Restaurant manager , Jessica (restaurant) & Zoe & Vanessa(? from wolverhampton) (house keeping).
The StarLight Room had very good acts on every night.
We hope to stay there again this year and next.
The Bad..........we had to come home, we wished we were staying longer.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank DiggerChaos01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luke F, Manager at TLH Carlton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2017

Good afternoon DiggerChaos01

Thank you for posting your very complimentary review of your recent stay with us here at the TLH Carlton Hotel, I was pleased to read that we exceeded your expectations on this occasion and I will certainly be sharing your comments with the team who do enjoy hearing that their efforts are appreciated, all I can add is that we look forward to welcoming you back in the not too distant future.

Kund regards

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Reviewed 15 September 2017 via mobile

Stayed here for one night for a friends wedding. All the staff were very helpful and held our bags for us in reception for as long as we needed. They helped us to find places in Torquay and whenever we had a question they were all very helpful. Myself and friend are gluten free so they provided us with gluten free meals for our stay, even when told at the last minute. One very helpful male member of staff was always on hand to help us with gluten free queries and nothing was to much to help us with. Breakfast was lovely- so much choice! Room was of a good standard and also spent some time in the Aztec swimming pool. Would defo stay again! And would recommend x

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank Claraemilyyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luke F, Manager at TLH Carlton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2017

Good afternoon Claraemilyyx

Many thanks for the fantastic review you have posted regarding your latest stay here at the TLH Carlton Hotel. It's great to hear that you have used many of our wonderful facilities and enjoy the quality of our food and comfort of our rooms. Its always a pleasure to read that our staff were accommodating when called upon.

We look forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Kind regards

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Reviewed 11 September 2017

I booked a spa pamper day and afternoon tea for myself and six friends last week.
We entered through the main entrance and received a very rude welcome from the receptionist who thought we should have known exactly where the spa was.
The hotel is spread over a large area so not easy to find your way around, but fortunately the spa staff were very welcoming and apart from a mix up with our treatment times, we all thoroughly enjoyed our experience.
The actual spa is a bit dated but having read other reviews it seems they are gradually refurbishing the hotel, and the pools are lovely.
Afternoon tea was good too, rather too generous with the cake portions but the friendly staff were more than happy to box them up for us to take away.
We ended the day sitting on the patio by the outdoor pool.
Amazing value for money and we would definitely re-visit next time we visit Torquay.
Finally we met another receptionist on the way out as we needed a taxi and she was also very court!!! Please retrain your front of house, the first impression is so important.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
Thank lesley d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luke F, Manager at TLH Carlton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2017

Hi Lesley d

Thanks you for taking the time to post your comments regarding your Spa pamper day. I sincerely apologise for the greeting and farewell you received from our reception team here at the TLH Carlton Hotel. Reception is the face of any hotel and its vitally important we are welcoming on all occasions. I will pass on your comments to our Head Receptionist who will make sure this doesn't happen again in the near future.

I am glad to hear you enjoyed your treatments and afternoon tea whilst making use of our lovley patio area.

Look forward to seeing you again

Kind regards

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