Imperial Hotel with Escape Salon and Spa

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

South Mall, Cork, County Cork, Ireland

1 Review

Imperial Hotel
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 21% more than similarly rated 4 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families72
  • Couples76
  • Solo80
  • Business73
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    Olde Worlde Charm and Grace


    The Imperial is a hotel that has just about everything - a location on Cork's premier business street, a stone's throw from city centre shopping, excellent accomodation, a good restaurant, and a wonderful Aveda Spa.

    Making the most of its street frontage, the main bar has an outside seating area where fashionable locals and guests alike mingle in the Cork air.

    On entering the main foyer we found ourselves in a glamorous Belle Epoque style property. Crystal chandeliers hang from, the high ceilings, balconies look down on the marbled lobby, and stunning plaster mouldings adorn the walls.

    The receptionist greeted us with a truly welcoming smile and we were quicly checked in to our second floor room. Decorated in a style that brings one back to a bygone era, rooms are warm, comfortable, and inviting. There were two beds - a queen size and a large single. Beautifully dressed in fine white linen with a crimson throw, I sank into the comfort. Chinese style enamelled lamps provided soft lighting. A flat screen tv, wardrobe, desk, armchair and occasional tables ensured comfort. There were tea and coffee facilities and an iron.

    I had to be up at six the first morning and ordered room service tea and toast. It arrived on the dot of six am and not only had they provided tea asnd toast but the Irish linen decorated tray also contained freshly baked scones, croissants, and orange juice.

    Our all inclusive package included dinner in the hotel's Pembroke restaurant on one night and that was of a very high standard. I will write a seperate review.

    Unique Quality: We didn't use the spa on this occasion but I have heard it is indeed excellent.

    This hotel is outstanding for its service and warm Irish welcome. Everywhere we went it was clear that the staff were there to ensure our stay was as perfect as they could make it.

    I highly recommend this hotel.

    Directions: On Cork's main business Street in the City centre.

More about Imperial Hotel with Escape Salon and Spa

Excellent location - go for the newer rooms!

by TripAdvisor Member martinroundabout

We stayed at the Imperial for two nights and were allocated a room in the refurbished part of the hotel. Although the staircase and corridor on the way to the new wing were still very much in the throes of renovation the room itself was lovely. Spacious, well-decorated and with a huge bed it was clean and comfortable. It would seem from some of the other reviews that the older rooms are not so nice, so I would advise when booking to request a newly refurbished room. Staff were not overly friendly but not unpleasant. Breakfast was plentiful and efficient. The hotel is in a great location for quick access to the city. We didn't have dinner there as there are so many good restaurants in the city center but did have an enjoyable couple of drinks in the comfortable bar. I would stay there again, but would be requesting a room in the 'new' part of the hotel, for sure!

Quirky Mix of Old World Charm and Modernist pretensions.

by A TripAdvisor Member

We (partner, 5year old twins and 10 month old baby, elderly mother) stayed in late August for 3 nights. The Imperial is in an excellent location, right in the heart of Cork, in a very safe area, which was ideal for the children. The car-park is not attached to the hotel (approx 5mins away), and you must get a car-park pass when you check-in. We had asked for a family room, with an adjoining room for my mother when we booked. Initially we were given the renovated rooms, which are beautiful, but beware the corridors leading to them - builders everywhere,noise, overhanging wires etc. We asked for different rooms, which we got in the older part of the building. The rooms were a little old-fashioned, but very clean and spacious with high ceilings. The housekeeping staff were very helpful to my mother during her stay there. The lack of air-conditioning is a real problem, especially in the summer - do ask for a fan. Also make sure you ask for a quiet room - those near the street get very noisy at night. They do not have baby-changing facilities in the public area, but we were told that this is to be doe.
The breakfast was good ( nice selection), but the service was rushed.
The trip to Blarney and Kinsale is well worth doing, also the trip to Fota Animal Reserve ( a short and pleasant trip from the main railway station).
The hotel will arrange a baby-sitter for you, and Scotts is definnitely worth a visit. If you want a really special evening try Jacobs on the Mall (across the road), excellent, if pricey.
We had hoped the Spa would be open, but we understand it is due to open later in September.
The Imperial is a mix of old world charm and modernist pretensions. We preferred the charm of the older parts of the hotel and it's restaurant and bar areas ( very busy during the day).
Some of the staff are particularly helpful ( and there are some real characters there - try and talk to the concierge, especially John and Christy, who were a riot). The houskeeping staff were also great, as was Laura at the reception desk. There was a lady manager,Elena, I think, who was a god-send when we needed assistance at various times during our stay.
All in all a very family friendly hotel - when the building work is over we would certainly recommend it for a short break.

Couldn't fault this hotel!

by A TripAdvisor Member

I stayed at the Imperial for a surprise 40th for my husband and must say this was a lovely hotel. When we checked in and they found out what we were there for they upgraded our room to an excecutive one in the renovated part (work is ongoing but it didn't put us off). The room was great with king size bed which was so comfy it was like sleeping in a giant marshmellow!! The staff were friendly and helpful. Everywhere was really clean. We ate in the restaurant and the food was gorgeous as was breakfast. People that have rated this hotel down must have been in a different hotel! I thoroughly recommend it and would stay here again if I ever go back to Cork.

Full of olde world charm

by A TripAdvisor Member

No matter where you stay in Cork you can't really go wrong in such pleasant surroundings but for history and character The Imperial retains that unbeatable old world charm. You truly feel you've stepped back in time here with the Foyer's grand ceilings and the palatial Souths Bar. The staff are very pleasant and willing to help at all times. Previous reviewers suffered during the refurbishments but it's most definitely been worth the wait. The only downside is the heating (and aircon?) is centrally controlled so bring a warm jacket just in case and a fan! If that gets sorted it's definitely much closer to being a 4-star. Last but not least the bar is a wonderful place for a quiet drink before your night on the town and the hotel is a stone's throw from everything. Only other regrets are that we missed out on the opening of their new Aveda Spa this month so to the new visitors - enjoy!

Great location

by TripAdvisor Member SFB

The hotel is well located for visiting the city and its environs. Its about a 10 minute walk to the central bus station. The rooms were spotless and the breakfast was delicious. The staff were pleasant and attentive. There are very good restaurants in the vicinity. The hotel did not have a business center for internet access but there was an internet cafe nearby.

Wonderful break in a fantastic hotel.

by TripAdvisor Member Thepearls

We have just returned from a relaxing break at the imperial hotel,it really is in a fantastic location. we found the room clean and spacious and the staff were so friendly and helpful.We eat in the pembroke restaurant and the south bar, both serve excellent food.We will definately return and enjoy the new spa due to open in november.

A Staff Second to None

by TripAdvisor Member vtcrusade

We stayed in Cork one night at the Imperial, that has just gone through a major renovation.

Then entry way was breath taking, upon checking in I casually mentioned that it was our honeymoon, the receptionist, immediately stopped the check in procedure and said she will be upgrading our room as a gift to us. Didn't ask them to do that, didn't even suggest it, they just did it.

We got an Executive Room, and WOW! The bathroom looked like something out of a Modern Homes Magazine, all raised basin sinks and dark wood.

The room had a massive bed, with two nice wing backed chairs and a desk.

When we went out and came back the hotel had put a complimentary bottle of champagne in our already complimentarly upgraded room, really could you ask for more?

Now the only down sides of this place would be two things. One is the car park, it's a garage about 500 yards over the river, which is a bit of drag to walk to if it's raining, and our room at least was on the second floor, the first floor is where the banquet rooms are. During our Friday night stay there was a band playing at an event below us. It was loud enough to be heard and make out the song that was being played. I had a fan brought to the room and the white noise of the fan drowned it out completely, they band knocked off at around 1:00 am no big deal, but something to consider when getting a room assignment, shoot for the 3rd floor.


by A TripAdvisor Member

Front rooms need treble glazing due to street noise all night.slept on the third sound proofing and noise from party until 1am.No contact from Manager despite complaining to reception twice.

highly recommend the Imperial..

by TripAdvisor Member travelaurPa

A beautiful, charming hotel in the heart of Cork. Surprisingly good value (our room was 125 euro/nt). The rooms are nicely decorated and the bathroom is spacious with a heated floor! Great breakfast included. Excellent service and friendly staff. Would definately stay here again.


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 Imperial Hotel with Escape Salon and Spa

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Imperial Hotel Cork
Imperial Hotel With Escape Salon

Address: South Mall, Cork, County Cork, Ireland