The Grand Hotel Eastbourne
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The weather is a touch better, still very windy and overcast, but occasional glimpse of sunshine makes it warmer.
We've decided to take a drive to Eastbourne city centre, hoping to find something to lift our spirits.. After half an hour of an unsuccessful attempt to find parking, we had to admit our defeat and return back to the hotel's car …
We have now got to the stage that the holiday looms large. On Friday it was at this time in six weeks we will be.... Saturday was worse! I spent the day thinking in six weeks we will, hopefully be waking up in the hotel in Southampton and looking out the window at OUR cruise ship. Then it was breakfast, walk along to the ship and checking in. Finally it was we should be doing lifeboat drill about now. Even this morning when I woke, at home needless to say, I was thinking I wonder ...
... focused one I took surreptitiously.)
I had a delicious lunch at a fabulous vegetarian restaurant with Sharon; and an afternoon with Tracey and Yvonne, walking the seafront, eating and seeking out good, local brews.
I would like to spend a longer time in Brighton and maybe rent a car to see some of the surrounding historic spots. I’ve already got a list going for next time I come to ...
... plug I bought?', but i think we're more or less there now. What we don't have we can buy out there and what we don't use we'll end up throwing away along our journey! I'm still living in hope that Steve will carry my ruckstack as well as his! :)
Anyway, due out for a few drinks with work friends tonight so better get some things finished off before we go!
... the future brings.
Without a real plan, itinerary or any sort of time constraints, the feeling of freedom we have is amazing, liberating, and the possibilities seem endless.
Watch this space.
"A true traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving"
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Business Services
TravelPod Member ReviewsThe Grand Hotel Eastbourne
Dull and overpriced
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews The Grand Hotel Eastbourne
Old world charm
Stayed 3 nights. Staff most helpful. Rooms good sized, bed very comfortable, bathroom a bit small but spotlessly clean like the whole hotel.Not cheap but good value for money. Dining room excellent but again not cheap.Will definately go again.
Better off elsewhere
Sounds great doesn't it, "The Grand Hotel". A misleading epithet if ever I heard one.
Some might find charm in the (very) faded grandeur but this traveller did not. The check-in was perfunctory at best and the first room we were shown was very oddly appointed with some remarkable stains on the furnishings. After selecting another room, this was completely airless, small and totally without character.
I have to give 5 stars for the bathroom towels though....
The queue for breakfast numbered over thirty people and the service appeared to be completely without management. Tables were not cleared and items (toast & water) ordered did not appear. Several other guests seemed terribly upset too.
Le Grand Dame
It is wonderful to find this time warp that is the Grand Hotel. This Hotel is all about how it should be done. Every aspect of our stay exceeded my expectations, from the afternoon tea, as good as the Ritz but considerably less expensive. The dinner was wonderful ,their wine list has some very interesting wines.
Overall a very special place, taking you back in time to a world of Luxury and service.
Could do better
We had reserved and received confirmation for a Deluxe sea view room for one night at the rate of GBP 190, including tax and breakfast. On checking in we were told by the receptionist that our room was on the side of the hotel and that you couldn't see the sea from it. I found this incredible and told her that a room from which you couldn't see the sea was not a sea view room. After a little more conversation in this line she said that she would speak to the duty manager and asked us to wait.
After about ten minutes the duty manager explained to me the different room categories at the Grand. I asked if you could see the sea from our room, and he told me only if you put your head out of the window. I told him that this was not a sea view room. He told me that they would give us a room with a sea view, but that it would take a little time as the hotel was full (we had tried to check in before 12:00). We were upgraded to a Superior room with sea view (GBP 230 per night) for no extra cost.
Although we ended up with a better room than we had paid for I found checking in very annoying. I hate to be treated as an idiot, and can you think of a more extreme case than being told you can't see the sea from your sea view room?
In general the hotel was good, but there were small annoying things which I wouldn't expect from a five star hotel charging these prices.
The Grand, is very Grand indeed
There's not much I can say about this hotel except, what a wonderful place! My husband and I had the most enjoyable stay (only 1 night). The staff were helpful, polite and well mannered. We both enjoyed a wonderful massage, the beautiful weather and the joy of the outdoor pool. I was a little concerned that the outdoor pool was situated to the front of the building, with the busy road and the general hustle and bustle I was a little worried that this would disrupt my day of relaxation. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had no troubles relaxing, the pool was warm and a delight to swim in and the hustle and bustle of the nearby road was very well hidden by the wonderful rock and tree garden. The noise was non-existent from the road and the in-house hotel band were wonderful to listen to whilst reading and relaxing. We almost felt as if we were abroad.
We visited a nearby Restaurant but decided to come back to the hotel for dessert. We ordered coffee and cheese and although my husband's coffee looked more filtered than esspresso'd he enjoyed it, and my coffee did arrive a little while after he actually finished his coffee, it was delicious. Our cheese did not seem to arrive at all so we waited and waited... In the end it was getting late so we decided to just go to bed, we told the waiter that we were still waiting for our cheese but it was now too late. He rectified the problem by apologising and not charging us for the coffee we had. This simple but excellent customer service response was satisfactory and ended my slight frustration, so no bad feelings towards our 1 and only little incident.
We were however rudely awoken by the sound of a fire alarm at 6am! But I s'pose its better to be safe than sorry! We simply headed back inside from being evacuated, read our papers and went down to breakfast. Breakfast was yummy and once filled with fresh fruits, toasts, eggs and cereal we headed back upstairs to relax and get ready to check out.
Check out was once again as expected, a breeze, with friendly and helpful staff.
Although a very pricey hotel, it was well worth it and if we ever find ourselves Eastbourne way again, we will be sure to book another night.
The Grand is something you will love if you love the charm of days gone by. It features beautiful public rooms, spacious guestrooms (although the bathroom was small, at least in #407), a well maintained health club, an outstanding restaurant (Mirabelle) and all this facing the sea close to the marvelous Beachy Head. There is live music and dancing on Saturday evenings in the bar and at the latest then you will feel as if time stood still for at least some decades. It is quite expensive but worth the money. We liked it very much.
Got to agree - this is first class old style!
I had my wedding party at the Grand, and was given a complimentary room. It was spotless and beautifully appointed.
The building is err.. "Grand" - and the service from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave is just how you would expect from a 5-star hotel, but without any air of superiority from staff.. It almost feels classless, but the surroundings soon remind you exactly where you are!
I live locally and have become a member of the health club - and visit the gym there 3 times a week. I must confess that although the gym has a "side entrance" - i always come in through the front door, as i never get bored of looking at the lobby, especially when they have the lovely roaring log fire in winter!
I'd also agree with another review on here that you dont need the biggest and best room to have a comfortable stay. A deluxe sea-view is good enough for anyone. I have stayed in the Master Suite and its humungous!!! You get an A to Z handed to you to find your way round!
All in all, a superb hotel - managed to perfection, and one that i unfortunately judge others by - (yes, i am frequently disappointed..) !!
This is undoubtedly the finest hotel on the south coast. What makes the Great White Palace so special is the attention to service without pretention. The two restaurants are exceptional. Dining in The Garden Room restaurant frequently is the extraordinary fact that each time the food seems to reach new heights of imagination. From the entrance lobby to the well appointed bedrooms, to exciting flower arrangements, crisp linen to crystal glassware, even a short visit is worthwhile. Afternoon teas are a joy, presented in the lounge with a choice of delicate sandwiches and interesting cakes. The Grand is a peaceful hotel but not stuffy. The staff are friendly unlike some leading London hotels. The tariff reflects a hotel of this standard but a night in a suite with balcony overlooking the lawns to the sea is money well spent. The late Sir Alec Guinness stayed here under the previous owners and was not too impressed. (Nor was I). However, I'm confident that he would most certainly approve now.
Almost everything almost ok
The hotel is indeed grand, with uniformed concierges meeting your car, parking it, taking bags, and a fantastic building with large elegant vaulted reception areas. The room rates reflect the service and decor and this is where my negative feelings start to form. Although enormous effort has been put into staff training and procedures (staff always smile and say hello when greeting; beds are turned down and towels all changed in the evening, even on the day of booking in, cleanliness is superb throughout) there were too many failings for my liking in a hotel of this class and cost. We had booked a meal by phone at the famed Mirabelle restaurant, but were told on checking in that we had not. We asked to see a menu for the restaurant while having pre-dinner drinks, but this was never brought to us. Having sorted out the restaurant booking with reception, we arrived at the restaurant on time to be told once again we had not reserved a table. Fortunately the restaurant was less than half occupied (which somewhat belies the hotel publicity 'book early!' and this was a Saturday evening). Our starter was brought before our wine, we asked for some bread, but it was never brought, my wife's lamb was running blood it was so undercooked (maybe the dish demanded it but it was not to our taste). My sweet arrived on its own (about a half an hour after ordering) and my wife's a full half hour after mine. On returning to our room to shower we found the temperature control broken, so scalding hot or scalding hot were the only available temperature settings. The buffet Breakfast was ordinary rather than special and the only way of getting butter for the toast that was brought round was to raid another table's supply (as most people were doing this there was a continual emptying of newly laid tables butter supplies). On checking out, we found the Concierge had parked a car behind ours and could not find the keys so we could not get out! In general terms all of these things may be seen as relatively minor annoyances compared to some of the disasters some have experienced in hotels, but these accumulated to the point where I felt for the £370 the one night stay had cost my wife and I we had been fleeced, and would not return here. Additionally, when reporting these problems to staff, they were well versed in how to humbly apologise, but did not engage (or understand enough English in some cases) when I tried to get things put right. All this is a shame because the hotel almost gets almost everything else almost right!
Traditional seaside palace with knobs on!!!
Its a very sad fact that a lot of Englands traditional 5 star seaside hotels are in need of serious investment to bring them in line with the competition from the very basic travel inn style set ups and the newer budget 4 star style properties like millenium and copthorne. These seaside top notch properties used to rely on a solid conference base and charge rack rates to all these guests and tick over during the lean months. However times have changed and some like the Royal Bath in Bournemouth have been prepared to lose this 5 star status to appease the shareholders of the companies represented by these delegates that there is no"fat cat" wasting of profits on frivolities like Champagne and caviar. I am pleased to say that The Grand Hotel has stuck 2 fingers up to all this and continued in the traditional style whilst modernising the facilities in a tasteful gentle way. We have stayed at the hotel twice and go for afternoon tea every 6 - 8 weeks or so and therefore this review is not one rare story of delight. The hotel had been seriously suffering of under investment until Elite hotels( a small group of 4 and 5 star hotels) bought it from De Vere,thank god they did! The hotel is at the posher end of Eastbourne which has to be said is'Gods waiting room' for many. This area is known as Meads and the hotel sits within its own well kept grounds just a roads width away from the promenade. The beautifully kept white building looks impeccable with the sun shining down on it and puts to shame the many hotels that allow their paintwork to go rusty from all the sea air. There is usually a doorman waiting to greet you and the reception area has always been helpful if not the high point of any stay. You could spend hours just wandering around the inside of the hotel with its many state rooms snooker room, gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hairdresser and many other things which we probably haven't discovered. The rooms are very comfortable and again traditional in style, I have had the opportunity to view most types of room and would recommend a mid priced room unless you want ludicrously large rooms with little furniture and very high ceilings. Service is usually of a very high standard especially room service and those that serve you afternoon tea mainly taken around the fire or bar where I believe the palm court orchestra plays once a month ( a tradition once broadcasted weekly on the radio ). We always choose to have our afternoon tea in the area known as the concourse, which is often used by guests wanting a cigarette after dinner. It looks out across the putting green and further ahead of course is the sea and prom with its illuminations lighting up at night( I wish seasides would all remember to check that these bulbs are working once a week or so, in Brighton more dont work than do,but from St Helier to St Aubins bay on Jersey the lights when we stayed recently were all shining shame on you England!) The usually well trained staff serve afternoon tea on a 3 tiered stand with their own label jams, dainty sandwiches cakes and warm scones, with clotted cream naturally. At our last visit, this with unlimited tea, is only ?12.50 per person it's incredible value when it can take you 2 hours to get through all those Sunday supplements! Attention to detail is so important and I love to see the care taken when placing the plates on the table (the staff are trained to place the plates with The grand hotel logo facing you at 12 o clock) also the hand placed behind the back when serving the tea (loose leaf of course). We have on occasions had more inexperienced staff nearly always foreign who instead warm you with their charm. now back to the info for overnight guests... A rareity these days is the service of early morning tea and coffee from about 6am i think, yes it costs ?3 p.p but it beats the tea you can make with the facilities they offer you in the room and its a real treat for neither you or your partner having to do it. The hotel has two restaurants the most respected being "Mirabelle" whose head chef Gerald Roser is reasonably well known in this area. Having never taken lunch or dinner I cannot comment on the quality of food and service in this area but would assume it to be of the same high standards kept in all other areas of the hotel. Built into the back of the hotel is a parade of shops and there is an almost secret back door there where once upon a time stars would sneak out when appearing at the theatres just down the road! So to conclude the Grand Eastbourne is in our opinion the best of its class anywhere, perfect for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life and you dont need to be drawing your pension,My wife is in her twenties and me just 30. Eastbourne is a nice enough town but you are best off enjoying the area immediately around the hotel and up towards beachy head to the west. I am sure you will not be disappointed.