The Royal Hotel & Leisure Centre

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

Main Street, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland

3 Reviews

The Royal Hotel and Merrill Leisure Club
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Satisfaction Terrible
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 3 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families39
  • Couples43
  • Solo38
  • Business34


    We travel quite a bit for pleasure and stayed here during a 10-day tour of UK and Ireland. This was probably the worst hotel we have ever stayed at in our lives. Filthy disgusting rooms, sticky and beat up furniture, holes in the dirty walls that looked like somebody punched them and they just left it, duct tape holding the ripped and dirty carpets together, electrical tape holding the broken light switch together. I was afraid to walk barefoot in the rooms and sleep on the beds. And it is not like we always stay at expensive, fancy hotels - even on this trip we stayed in far better hotels for much lower rates. And it's not because as Americans we are perhaps not used to the culture or expectations there, we witnessed an Irish lady at the front desk demanding that they give her a different room and telling them "I KNOW you have nice rooms here!" The website photos are EXTREMELY misleading - we thought it looked like a beautiful hotel in the pix but I just cannot stress how terrible it was. A Bray resident downtown told us it USED to be a nice hotel, but in recent years management hasn't cared and has let it get run down. As for the breakfast buffet - dried up oatmeal and some jelly - it's not even worth mentioning. And it's hard to get the attention of wait staff to ask for the complimentary toast and tea/coffee, because they avoid making eye contact and do not come to ask if you want anything - they wait for you to try to get their attention. I will say the staff was nice and polite - once you managed to finally get their attention. Unfortunately management does not care so therefore the staff has no pride or cares either. PLEASE AVOID STAYING AT THIS HOTEL! If we ever stay in Bray again we will be sure to stay on the beach, perhaps at the Ramada or another hotel down there. As an aside, Finnbee's coffee shop on the beach - highly recommended during a trip to Bray.

    Directions: downtown Bray

  • LadyXoc's Profile Photo

    Inexpensive Bray Hotel


    My friend and I booked this hotel thru and got excellent rates. Three nights for €132. As compared to the hotel of our other wedding attendees, Summerhillhouse at €200 a night. It was clean and easy to get to from Dublin. Our room might have been smallish by American standards but Connie and I managed fine. Bathroom was good too.
    I never saw the pool nor did we eat in the restaurant. The staff was helpful and courteous. It was billed as a three star. I would not say it is posh or fancy but I was most satisfied and felt I got my moneys worth. It was easy to catch a bus across the street and return to London just as getting there we were dropped by bus just around the corner. The 5 day unlimited bus pass you can get at the Dublin airport will get you here and to other villages in the area.
    The one downside that I would mention was that we were jolted out of our sleep at 10:30pm by the bar band. Perhaps bring earplugs. They played till just after midnight. If we were not jet lagged we would have been right down there boogying :)
    If you want to stay by the sea I saw many accomodations along the Promenade so this one is not what you want for that purpose.
    Inexpensive, easy to get to from Dublin, easy to catch busses to other towns....yes.

    Unique Quality: On the main thoroughfare and easy to get to using teh Dublin bus. The sea and Bray Cliffwalk were a short walk away.

    Directions: Driving from M50 and N11
    Take "Bray North" exit, then turn right into Bray at Roundabout.
    Follow main road through Bray. Visible from a distance, the Royal Hotel is located after the Dargle Bridge up the hill on the left.

  • Go to a B&B instead and save yourself some money!


    Firstly, the corridor smelt of smoke. Both windows in the room looked out onto a rooftop with a generator (quite noisy!), which was also filthy and covered with cigarette butts. Meagre supply of coffee in room and a couple of the plugs & one bedside lamp did not work. Bathroom was dirty and smelt. Shower curtain was mouldy and smelt. Water was a disgusting browny colour – even though I ran the water for a while. When I complained about this, the Deputy Manager explained to me that it was because of the nearby bogs! Although the room itself was generally clean, the bed was not made properly. The sheet was just lying on the mattress and was not even tucked in.
    My disappointment at the standard of our room was compounded when I caught a glimpse into the room opposite and it looked totally different - modern & the bathroom looked gleaming! We went down for dinner to find that the restaurant was closed and we had to eat in the pub, which was full of smoke. Decided to order room service instead. After checking the menu, we placed our order. Only to be called back a few minutes later & told that neither of the dishes we had ordered were available. We were offered chicken nuggets as an alternative!
    When checking out I mentioned that I was not happy with the room and Deputy Manager to come and speak with me. He accepted all of my points and said that he would refer my issues to the General Manager and that I could expect some kind of recompense. Unfortunately, I heard nothing.
    So, I wrote to the General Manager on 12 February explaining the whole situation. Still, I heard nothing. On 24 February, not being one to give up easily, I decided to take the matter to the group’s owner, which happens to be one Mr Jim McGettigan. Again, I received no response at all. I have since tried to call Mr McGettigan and have left 2 messages. Guess what – he’s not returned my calls!

    Unique Quality: Hopefully this review will save others from having to experience the disappointment and frustration I’ve had to endure over the past few months. This is not a hotel or group that I could recommend to anyone. You’d be better off staying in a B&B and saving your money!

    Directions: On main high street (quite busy)

More about The Royal Hotel & Leisure Centre

the worst hotel i ever stayed in

by A TripAdvisor Member

the rooms in this hotel are tiny.the bathroom door lock was broken and it had just one tiny bar of a four star hotel you would expect to find shampoo ect there wasnt even ashower cap a note stuck on the wall told you to ask at recption if you needed thats mean.the breakfast was terrible.even the night porter wasnt very nice we tried to make small talk with him but he was having none of it.never again

Just OK!!

by A TripAdvisor Member

I spent two night in the Royal hotel and to be honest it was just OK. The rooms were clean but a bit dated. The staff were not very friendly. The bar had no Gunniess for the whole weekend which was a bit of a let down (If your a Gunniess drinker!). The hotel is in a good location but the parking is quite poor, there is a small parking area at the back of the hotel with a charge of 5 euro's per day. The pubs entertainment was good in the bar on Sunday evening.Had dinner one night it was nice. There is a lovely pub on the sea front The Porter House' fab pub with great music...

Great location, friendly staff, free upgrade...

by TripAdvisor Member SourceScotland

Have just returned from a wonderful stay in Ireland and have to say that I was not looking forward to staying at the Royal Hotel in Bray due to the reviews I read on this site.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the hotel easily on entry to Bray, enjoyed a quick check in from the friendly reception team (who couldn't do enough for you, incidently), arrived at our room and discovered a clean, well appointed four-poster double room with seating area. OK it did not have a view and the bathroom was quite tired but nevertheless we were delighted.

Although I did not eat in the hotel whilst there, the copious bar meals that were served whilst we enjoyed ice cold wine and pints of guinness looked very appetising.

All in all, coming from a person who has worked in the Scottish Tourism Industry for 10 years, this hotel is perfectly OK for its three star standard.

Good Base for Shopping in Dublin

by TripAdvisor Member Sarairish

My Husband and myself stayed at this hotel after booking through Supervalue getaway breaks which for €199 was good value for 3 nights b&b and one evening meal. As we stayed mid week, the hotel and Bray itself was quiet. We are in our late 20's and while we wanted a nice relaxing break i felt this hotel was more geared towards the family and older customer. Our break included breakfast and one evening meal. The only fact we took breakfast on 2 out of the 3 mornings was that it was included. The breakfast isn't a great affair, no orange juice available on one of the mornings, very little bread, croissants etc as advertised on the menu boars, and the "Irish" brekkie, was served buffet style which was quite dried up- i never before had a sauagage that was crunchy!!

Staff I have to say were very friendly and efficient and on the night we had dinner, our starters were cold and there was no problem sending it back and receiving lovely hot ones. Our mains, (steak, extra €6 supp.) were gorg and we also received plenty of vegtables, potatoes and chips etc.

The rooms were very spacious with a lovely sleigh bed, hwoever bathroom was very small albeit it spotless. One word of advice re shower, and i did bring to the receptionists attention, the shower in the evening has no hot water, unless you turn it on full whack with running the tap also!!- the porter reccomended this!
Not great when you are late for dinner. I had to run it for at least 10 minutes every time we needed a shower. The view also, was dire, i.e. looking onto other rooms and the roof, no skyline whatever, but the fact this hotel is on the main st. anyway it didn't really matter.

Overall, i would have to say, if I was staying in Bray again, I would stay on the promenade front i think, as there are a few more pubs and eateries down there. I would really reccomend the Palazzo- gorg little Italien and also the Porterhouse and their own brew "CHILLER" was lovely. Bray is not that lively, but a great base for shopping in Dundrum and of course Dublin, where we took the dart in.

Just OK - bring your own towels though.

by A TripAdvisor Member

I recently spent two nights in the Royal hotel and to be honest it was just OK. The rooms were clean but there was a weird smell in the room when we first arrived, used most of my newly purchase deodorant to get rid of the smell.

Bathroom where will I start – one very small bar of soap, 2 child size towels – therefore if you are an adult bring your own, as they are very small. Note on bathroom wall if you want to shower cap contact reception, which I did and hey they had none!!! Check in was fast and I found the Bar Staff to be very friendly and efficient and our food on both nights were fab, but the breakfast, well what can I say…..disappointing. Be warned - the evening’s entertainment was aim at customer 60+ years.

The hotel has a small parking area at the back of the hotel with a charge of €5.00 per day. But be warned where you park your car……make sure it is not beside the owner’s car or you would have a razor tongued car park attendant to contend with.

I would have to give the hotel one great compliment – it was a great base for shopping either in Bray, Dundrum or Dublin City centre.

Excellent hotel

by TripAdvisor Member Druds

We had booked a standard room and when we arrived at the hotel we were upgraded to a suite. This was fantastic as we were traveling with my 5 month old son and the extra space was much welcomed. The staff were very friendly. The hotel was very clean.

There is also an excellent swimming pool with a small baby pool.

I would highly recommend this hotel for families or those who are looking a quite break. It is within easy walking distance to the sea front.

I hope to stay at this hotel again.

Great Holiday's destination

by TripAdvisor Member Fredv

My wife and I booked a golf holiday from our travel agent in Danemark.
We stayed for 6 nights in the hotel, having dinner 2 evenings.

A lot of great golf courses are within easy reach of the hotel (from 5 minutes to 25 minutes drive). The golf package included 4 great courses for 140 Euro!!!
The hotel is very clean, and the staff were really helpfull (we had to make a few changes on our golf arrangements).
Our room was spacious enough and confortable (problem with TV reception, but that's not why we came for)
Having the pool and the sauna was great after a days on the course (big plus in favour of the hotel).
Bray, although not a fantastic place, enjoys a beautiful seafront (great evening promenades) and offers some decent activities and restaurants (ate out 3 times, played bowling, and enjoyed a play at the local art centre).
Within walking distance to the Seafront, the hotel is only 5 minutes to the main highway (N11). We also enjoyed a day walking in the Wicklow mountains (20 minutes to Glendalough) and took the train to visit Dublin (30 minutes).
We really enjoyed our holidays and would have no problem recommending this place....

Never again

by TripAdvisor Member Mayobridge

We stayed for 2 nights at the start of August. On checking in we were greeted by a very friendly receptionist. and we were checked in and up in the room in about 5 minutes. It's a bit of a joke having to use your room key to access the lift or door when you want to go to your room. When we got to the room we found it to be very basic, room very small, good size bed, portable TV. Bathroom door would not close (room 221) and bathroom also very small. We decided to have to have our eveining meal the 1st night and when we got to the resturant we thought there would have been a few more people about as there was only about 10 people all together (not a good sign). The menu was very poor as I did not order of it as there was nothing I could eat (very fussy and plain eater) the waitress said that she could get me a plain chicken dish, when I got the chicken it did not look very presentable but I try it anyway, I could not eat it as there was a very spicey flavour of it and my husband was not fussed on his dinner either and we decided not to go for the dessert, feeling very disappointed I spoke to the resturant manager and she went to check it out. The chef had given me cajun chicken. She told us to come back the next night and she would give us what ever we wanted. We went to the hotel bar that evening for a few quite drinks, there was entertainment on (not great) at 11.30 pm on the dot we were told to go out to the lobby area to finish our drinks. When everyone was out they closed the doors and they locked up and went home. It did say in the book in the room that you can get a late drink, as I don't call 11.30 pm late but I could not find anyone about so we just went up to the room (also happened the second night) We were rudely awakened by a loud noise from the phone about 1.00 am (also happened the second night) We had thought about it and did not go to the resturant as we did not want to get the same again. We had cancelled the booking. When checking out I had asked the girl if there was anything she could do as I felt we did not have a good stay at the hotel. She said she would have to get the manager. When the manager has arrived and after explaining everything he was not going to do anything as he said we had an upgraded room (if that was an upgraded room then I would hate to see the basic room) and he just turned and walked away. I was just really shocked about how rude he was and I just left. If the owners want to keep the hotel going then I would suggest in getting rid of him.


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 The Royal Hotel & Leisure Centre

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Royal Hotel Bray
Royal Hotel Wicklow
Bray Hotel Royal Wicklow
The Royal Hotel Leisure Centre

Address: Main Street, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland