The Imperial Exmouth Hotel

Imperial Hotel Devon

8 / 10

Perched on cliffs overlooking the English Riviera, a few minutes walk from Torquay, The Imperial is a good base for exploring Torbay and south Devon. Sea-life centre Living Coasts is next door and Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway is nearby. Michelin-starred restaurant, The Elephant, is just up the road.

Style & character

6 / 10

One of Torquay’s most iconic hotels during the town’s heyday as a Victorian seaside resort, The Imperial exudes faded grandeur, with chandeliers, marble floors, original cornicing and magnificent formal gardens all adding to the general air of a bygone world.

Service & facilities

There’s a health club, sauna and steam room, solarium and hot tub, an extensive fitness suite, tennis, squash courts and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, the later with clear views over Torbay. Service is brisk and efficient, but lacks the personal touch. Book online to avoid a lengthy wait to get through to reservations on the phone.

  • Bar
  • Fitness centre
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Steam room/hammam
  • Tennis court
  • Wi-Fi


4 / 10

Décor in the bedrooms feels cheap and dated but most are large and comfortable and there’s an £8.2m refurbishment underway that should improve matters. It’s worth paying a bit extra for front-facing rooms that have balconies and views across the bay. Rooms at the back face the car park. Some rooms are dog-friendly.

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Food & drink

7 / 10

There’s formal dining in the Regatta Restaurant, which serves traditional British staples such as steak, lamb and locally-landed seafood. Lighter snacks, including fish and chips and toad-in-the-hole, are served in the Britannia Bar, which, with its view over Torbay, is a relaxing spot for a pre-dinner drink.

Value for money

Double rooms £69, including breakfast. Parking is £7 per night. Free Wi-Fi.

Access for guests with disabilities?

There’s one disabled access room and access to most facilities except the swimming pool via ramps or lifts.


Yes. A games room has table tennis, a pool table and computer game consoles; there’s an indoor creative play area for toddlers, an outdoor play area with AstroTurf, crazy golf and a selection of mini-rides. There’s plenty of choice of rooms for families, with 13 family suites and six standard family rooms. In the summer holidays, the hotel lays on magicians and face painters, along with an extensive programme of activities including family quizzes, scuba-diving, pyjama parties and teddy bears’ picnics.

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