Torquay hotels shake off Fawlty image

Mention the name Torquay and many will immediately think of Fawlty Towers. But the Devon town's hotels are finally shaking off the image of the chaotic British comedy.

The cast of Fawlty Towers reunited in 2009

Pic: AFP/Getty

In fact, the seaside resort boasts some of the UK's best places to stay, and finished fifth in a league table of the best service on offer.

Compiled from thousands of reviews by, Torquay took the number five spot with a score of 8.21 out of 10, just short of the 8.46 awarded to first-placed Sheffield.

Norwich (8.39), Leeds (8.29) and York (8.24) were awarded second, third and fourth place respectively, while London scored a disappointing 7.36 points and could finish only joint-22nd in the list.

However, it wasn't all good news. On the whole, the service quality at European hotels far outweighs that of their British counterparts, with the UK failing to even make it into the top 20, suggesting there may still be a few Basil Fawltys out there.

At the head of the European table were Finland and Germany, both of which scored 8.36 points overall, with Austria and Hungary also faring well.

While Ireland's hotels managed a satisfactory 8.12 points to take 11th place in the league table, the UK scored just 7.56 and landed just below 20th-placed the Netherlands.

According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman for said: "From rats in the restaurants to cream being poured over a guest's head, Fawlty Towers gave Torquay a less-than-positive image, as far as hotel stays go.

"However, nearly 40 years have passed since then and our latest service quality survey has revealed that the British seaside favourite actually makes it into fifth position for service levels nationally."

But the company added: "In comparison with mainland Europe, the UK has a lot of catching up to do."

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