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“Attractive hotel let down by poor service”
Review of The Grand Hotel

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The Grand Hotel
Ranked #32 of 85 Hotels in Torquay
Reviewed 24 March 2014

We stayed here for 2 nights in March 2014 while attending a conference in the town. The hotel arrangements were made for us, and I have to admit I would have booked elsewhere given the choice, as this was our 2nd stay and we weren't that impressed last time!

The Grand Hotel occupies a commanding position in Torquay with lovely views on a sunny day. It is excellently located for the station and Riviera Centre, but quite a way from the town centre and Harbour. The Hotel is an attractive old building, sadly (as many) in need of quite a lot of TLC.. it probably looks better in bright sunshine but the exterior clearly needs a lot spent on it. The entrance looks especially tired, and needs a facelift in my opinion, given this is the first view you get of the hotel and sets the scene in your mind.

Reception and the ground floor common areas are recently refurbished and nicely looked after, the bar especially is a great room with lovely views over the sea and the outdoor pools.

However, once upstairs (floors 1 and above) the hotel looks clearly tired. Rooms are very clean and looked after, but the furnishings and fittings are clearly aging and starting to show their age. Our bathroom (both this stay and the 1 previous night) have been refurbished to a nice standard, with good quality fittings and smart tiles. Sadly, however, the plumbing in such an old building is not up to the upgrade.. our shower was more a trickle, and not thermostatic, so despite being a nice walk-in unit was not an enjoyable experience. The bed in our room was comfortable, which is a nice surprise in many hotels, and appreciated here!

I can forgive the tired exterior and rooms if the service at the hotel was OK. However, on every occasion we received glacially slow service in the bar and restaurants (at every meal). At breakfast I had to find a waiter to request coffee and tea, after waiting 15 mins for someone to even approach our table. It took 20 mins in the bar on Sat afternoon to even get a menu.. once we ordered the food arrived 40 minutes later. When we complained the Kitchen was blamed, but little in the way of apology was offered. The bar food was good (when it finally arrived) - the dinner selection not so much in our experience.

This is not a cheap hotel, it is located in a lovely spot, and I am sure that some guests will like it more than we did.. However, as someone who stays in a lot of hotels across europe and the world, this is expensive in my opinion for what you get. I hope the management spend time attending to the poor service and attitude, and some more money ensuring this lovely building is not left to decay further than it has already.

Room Tip: Sea front rooms are lovely, but you'll obviously pay a premium
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank alexander_lakey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,574 - 1,580 of 2,497 reviews

Reviewed 21 March 2014

We returned to the Grand Hotel to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary and had a lovely weekend.
We left our luggage on arrival at reception to enjoy a day in Torquay.On our return the luggage was in our room.
All the staff were friendly and helpful.The inside swimming pool, sauna jacuzzi and gym facilities were clean and the staff friendly.
We will be returning soon and would recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: We were staying as bed and breakfast and only required a small room which we found suited the stay...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

We stayed at The Grand for one night on a business trip. Sadly I think this hotel has seen better days. The decor is looking a little tired and dated, but the cost of bringing a hotel the size of The Grand up-to-date must be huge, so do appreciate the problem.

We had a sea view room and the view was lovely, but the room was SO hot. We turned the radiator off and opened the window (as far as it would go) but it was still like a hot-house. The chap from reception (who brought extra pillows, very promptly) suggested we used the fan kept in the wardrobe, but it was too noisy to have the fan on all night, so we just boiled and had very little sleep as it was impossible to get comfortable.

The bathroom was dated and had an odd smell and the shower kept running hot then cold then back to hot!

It would seem that the number of coach parties and groups who use the hotel probably keep it going, but to ensure a future, some changes will need to be made to appeal to the next generations.

Maybe the savings on gas bills by turning the heating down could go towards some upgrades?

Breakfast was fine, but a bit chaotic as it seems 3 staff had not turned up for work but those left did their best.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Whitby1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Stayed here with my son as he was moving to Torquay and we were looking for accommodation.
The room we were allocated was a good size twin with a large bathroom and comfortable beds. Very clean room. The room was overly hot as is common with hotels, so it was some relief that I was able to open the window and if I twisted round I could just glimpse the sea!
The bar service was good with very attentive staff and parking was easy. Very nice red wines available and a good selection of beers. I had booked online so check-in was simple - I did comment on leaving that the TV in our room did not work but was not offered a refund or discount.
Breakfast was superb with plentiful food. Only quibble was the coffee was not fresh but instant.
The leisure area was not fantastic -the pool was too small and shallow for proper swimming, more of a leisure pool, but fine for splashing about in. Changing area was tiny but it was not busy so not a problem for me. Not suitable for children and the whole area could do with modernising and updating. But as this gym & pool is a bonus for a hotel not a necessity it has not affected my rating.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank RutlandBelle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

My daughter and I enjoyed our third stay at The Grand over the weekend and we found everything was excellent. We were allocated a superb bedroom overlooking the bay which we were not expecting and the room was spotlessly clean and very comfortable. Breakfasts and dinners were delicious. We are looking forward to our next stay at The Grand.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank PESDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

I can only speak about my own experiences regarding the Grand but they do seem to be at odds with a few of the recent comments I've read. Yes new carpets are needed along some of the corridors but the bedrooms I've been allocated have all recently been updated and spotlessly clean. l personally would prefer a new bed and comfortable furnishings in my room to new carpet in the corridor but the hotel does appear to have an ongoing upgrading programme. All public areas are well looked after.

The Grand scores highly on the staff it employs who all appear to take pride in working for the hotel. On arrival the welcome at reception is warm and friendly, the lounge staff are constantly looking to serve and in the restaurant courteous staff and efficient service is the order of the day. Quality of the meals is high with a reasonable wine list. A generous breakfast is offered with large selection of cereals and juices from the buffet table with hot dishes now cooked to order.

Should a problem arise there is always at the very least a duty manager if not the General Manager to speak with in order to rectify problems immediately.

With sweeping views over Torbay enjoyed from many of the bedrooms and all public rooms, two swimming pools and comfortable accommodation The Grand Hotel is the ideal choice for a stay in Torquay.

Room Tip: Best views are from the sea facing rooms.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank pullmantravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

The Staff at the Grand are fantastic. From the excellent reception staff, bar staff to the really patient breakfast serving staff (why do people moan so much at breakfast) and all go the extra mile to make your stay a pleasant one. My room was small but very clean and even though I had a single the bedding was excellent. The hotel really needs a refit. It's a beautiful building but obviously was butchered by some terrible interior designer in the late 80's / early 90's. There is also no excuse for a 4 star hotel to have threadbare carpet in the corridors. I would recommend a stay here for the hotels position and excellent service but this grand old lady needs help to get back to her former glory....some of the colour schemes are just nasty.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank TheatreTravel2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Grand Hotel

Address: Sea Front, Torquay TQ2 6RH, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Torquay
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#14 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
#15 Business Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: £63 - £169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Grand Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 132
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Torquay's Historic Jewel For old world grandeur and traditional British charm, the Grand has been Torquay's landmark hotel for over 130 years. Overlooking one of the finest bays, this elegant Victorian hotel offers 132 individually styled bedrooms, The Grand spa, AA rosette restaurant 1881 and is surrounded by 22 miles of spectacular Devon coastline. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grand Hotel Torquay, Devon

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