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.
- 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