Royal Wells Hotel

Hotel in Kent

3-Star Boutique Hotel

Following an investment of £2.4 million which took almost exactly four months to complete, Britain’s oldest brewery Shepherd Neame, officially reopened The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells at the beginning of June 2015.

The hotel has a long history dating back to the 19th century when Queen Victoria was known to have made frequent visits and even granted the hotel use of her coat of arms which is still to this day displayed on the top of the building and has been restored as part of this project.

The reception area has also been completely refurbished as has the bar to the left which has been opened up and incorporates a cosy new library area to the back.  The Library Bar is modern and has a dark cosy ambience and was busy on the Friday evening we had dinner there.  But it is the new bright Brasserie restaurant that I like the most about the Royal Wells Hotel.  But more about that a little later as I want to talk about the new rooms.  New they may be but you still get a god old traditional key with your room number on and not one of those keycards that are so easily misplaced or lost.  I have the annoying habit of leaving them in my room, so a bulky key was perfect.

The 27 completely refurbished rooms include some large Feature Rooms, which are akin to junior suites with original features such as fireplaces and large sash windows, and are all individually decorated and furnished with what I would describe as neutral colours and tones accompanied with some warm splashes of yellow and red.  I like the mix of modern touches that blend in well with the contemporary styling, very much in keeping with the history of the building.  My large Feature Room (Room 10) was on the first floor and overlooked the courtyard garden at back of the hotel.  The spacious bathroom was modern with laminated wooden flooring, a roll top bath and separate double walk-in shower and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.  Some of the Feature Rooms even have copper baths and one I looked at overlooking The Common at the front of the hotel had the copper bath in the room itself, something I have noticed quite a lot these days in hotels.  Personally I like a separate bathroom, so I was very happy with my more traditional layout.

The two double closets provide plenty of hanging space but I could not see a personal safe, which is something I do like to have when I travel.  However the Nespresso coffee machine was a welcome addition.  The wooden desk with its angle poised lamp is a reasonable size should you have to work and the desk chair comfortable.  The complimentary Wi-Fi (via The Cloud) was fast enough that you could watch a movie online, although the large flat screen television offered plenty of choice through the Freeview channels.  I found my bed to be particularly comfortable and the large sofa and armchairs in the lounge area makes this the ideal home away from home without feeling cramped.  And for families wanting to get away with the children, the hotel does have some large Family Rooms.

For those looking for new meeting space in the area, the hotel has expanded its meeting and conference rooms, all of which have had a facelift and given a smart new look in keeping with the rest of the hotel.

One of the things that impressed me the most was The Brasserie which is completely new and replaces the old restaurant that was at the front of the hotel.  This bright and airy Orangery is situated off to the left hand side and can seat up to 70 diners.  And on those warmer days, there is a new courtyard garden which can seat an additional 52 people and perfect for al fresco dining.  The Brasserie is also where they serve a hearty ‘Residents Breakfast’ which is included in the room rate.  You can choose from a Full English, Full Vegetarian, eggs anyway you like them or something a little more healthy from their selection of cereals, fruit and fresh pastries.  With the sun streaming in through the large windows and the Saturday papers in hand, it was the perfect start to the weekend.

With seven hotels in total now in Kent, this is Shepherd Neame’s largest refurbishment to date and is not only a huge investment for the hotel but also for the local area.

Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground

Photographs courtesy of the Royal Wells Hotel

Reviewer's Rating
Relaxation, Culture / Sightseeing
Services Free High Speed Internet, Free Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Family Friendly, Conference Rooms, Wedding / Personal Event
Dress Code Casual
Cost Medium
Ambience Charming, Cosy
Number of Rooms 27 rooms and suites

Room and Suite Categories

Double/Twin Rooms; Superior Double/Twin Rooms; Family Rooms and Feature Double/Twin Rooms.

Additional Ambience Information

All the staff I came into contact with during my stay were delightfully friendly and eager to help. This is now a warm and inviting hotel and a welcome addition to the town.

Additional Price Comments

Double/Twin and Family Rooms start from £100 a night including breakfast. Feature Rooms start from £150 a night including breakfast.

Last updated on 02-10-2015

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