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“Super-good ... but not quite super-superb”
Review of The Grand Hotel

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The Grand Hotel
Ranked #29 of 85 Hotels in Torquay
Reviewed 26 August 2014

Do not compare to a city / business hotel. Those hotels are modern with good (standard) sized rooms, with good (but standard) decor and efficient (but without the charm this hotel exuded). This hotel oozes charm, character and fun in abundance. The staff are the hotel and (personally) I found them to be amazing - I do not think I have ever met such nice staff in a hotel

A. +ves

- The Staff were too good, so much character. Paul, Josh, Suly (the star of the show), Mo, the Restaurant Manager, the receptionists, the breakfast / dinner staff and all the others were just too helpful. Good characters and charming. The place was busy this weekend (weddings & birthdays all three days over the bank holiday weekend), and yet the staff were very accommodating.

- The location is the best - overlooking the coast / beach. Within 5 minutes your on the beach.

- Breakfast : (in my opinion) the offerings were fantastic. You have a choice of buffet in the main dining room, and a table service with a la carte offerings in the brasserie (in the adjacent bar area). And I found the quality of the breakfast to be superb.

- Dinner. We had dinner here one evening and found the options good. With a good selection of wines, no complaints of the quality offered and fantastic service.

- Bar snacks / bar food. Once again a very good and quality offering.

- (In my opinion) the entrance to the Grand is superb, with the bar area immediately following the reception. I would say that the bar area is amazing, overlooking the sea, nicely decorated, good vibe, good and very warm staff. With a good selection of drinks and bar food of a good standard. While there, admittedly, the bar area was buzzing, so the atmosphere was fantastic.

B. -ve's

- Be careful of the room size you choose, even for an inland double (premier) the room size can be small. We booked two rooms and one was a decent size, but one was on the small side - so beware of this.

- The sauna / indoor swim area was very nice - well heated, the sauna was working well (not always the case in all tourist hotels), and the pool/sauna area had a very nice, intimate and warm atmosphere. But the gents changing rooms look tired and unhygienic - could do with a spruce / update. Lockers could do with a review etc. You know for the quality of the hotel - just a little attention should be paid here.

- WiFi - good that its free, but was not always the fastest, and sometimes the connection failed. In todays world, speed and efficient internet access is an important feature of good hotels.

C. In General

- Do not expect to have Hilton / Marriott level power showers & decor. For the room & the price I paid the showers were fantastic. The room I had a was a refurbished / recently updated room, and clean.

- Ask for a decent sized room

- When its busy (as it was this weekend), be patient with the staff, they were working so hard and were of their feet in trying to serve everyone (and not everyone was so polite in return). And sometimes your orders are forgotten (not often), just remind them gently - they were too good when reminded.

- The hotel is owned by Keith Richards (but not the one from the Stones!)

Room Tip: Ask for refurb room. Ask for a good sized room.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Raj K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, General Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2014

Thank you for your long and informative review . I am pleased you felt the food and service you received whilst here was fantastic for both dinner and breakfast. Wifi is free throughout the hotel but can sometimes be slow in certain areas which we are trying to solve. I am glad overall you enjoyed the stay and you noticed the team were working hard. They were all tired after a very busy weekend. Some mistakes were made but they all kept going which is commendable.
I look forward to welcoming you back soon by which time I will hope it will be super superb instead of super good.

Kind regards,

Andrew Griffiths
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,503 - 1,509 of 2,546 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2014

In UK, there would be many high quality dog-friendly hotels. This hotel allows guests to have your lovely 4 paws at the lobby and hotel bar lounge (limited area only). And the hotel prepared blankets and other amenities for your dog. Honestly the hotel room was relatively getting older and not spacious, considering the rate, but they have friendly services and good indoor and outdoor pools. Just 1 min walk from the rail station and facing the sea. The restaurant 1881 serves moderate level starter and main dishes, but their dessert was really top level.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
Thank Takeshi I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew G, General Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2014

We certainly welcome all respectable dogs with well behaved owners. They are allowed to sit in an area of the lounge. We will even provide a table for breakfast in the library if you want to bring your four legged friend down for breakfast or dinner. Some of our rooms have been refurbished recently with some requiring some upgrading in places, all have lovely clean crisp duvets with flat screen TV’s. I am pleased you enjoyed your meal and you thought the desserts were top level. I hope do welcome you back soon.

Kind regards,


Andrew Griffiths
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Went down to Torbay on 24 th August to the 10 k and while waiting for our runners to complete the course five of us went for coffee at The Grand.It would have been quicker to have found the local Costa,as the staff seemed to be on a go slow,the coffee was average and not particularly hot.

Stayed: August 2014
1  Thank Biscuit31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Stayed here for 1 night only, to say shades of former glory is an understatement. The entrance steps tell the whole story really. A tired hotel, without soul. Staff on the whole tried to be helpful, although two or three would be managers strutting around trying to look important doing, what appeared to be very little.
Tip: If you are going to "train staff" to make cocktails in the middle of service, re-think, when it's a busy Bank Holiday week-end!
Tip: Send the catering Manager back to Catering College! (Just because there is a Wedding on, you don't need to run out of food in the dinning room at 8.00PM) You know how many guests are staying. Train the "Foreign Staff" in customers service! (I've no issues with European staff, they are generally really good at hospitality) Try: I am sorry the ........ is off the menu.
For a hotel of which purports to be 4 Star: Don't provide the cheapest loo roll money can buy! Do provide face towels in the bathrooms, do turn down the beds, make sure the bathroom taps don't run all night............or drop 2/3 stars.
Although the hotel discounted our stay & evening meal, the disappointment of our stay means we are unlikely to return. I feel hugely sorry for the front of house staff who bear the brunt of a poorly run, badly managed, affair. The fault lies clearly with "Richardson" hotel group, and their hands off management team.

Room Tip: Try the Imperial Hotel, 3 Star but nicer views & better all round.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank GraylingDorsetUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2014 via mobile

On Arrival to the Hotel I was greeted by a very sarcastic and miserable receptionist who wasn't really interested in my stay and told me to come back at 3pm for my key.

The entrance and communal bar were well presented and clean and was so far impressed with the main areas. However the parking is another situation. The hotel comes with a garage [more like a barn] ready to collapse with 15 spaces roughly, a small section of the train station carpark with 25 allocated spaces and on Road parking which was always blocked and full and maximum for around 20 cars (not allocated to hotel). Overall for 350 rooms you have 40 allocated spaces.

When you arrive the communal ground floor areas are very well presented however from the ground up the carpets are ripped, dirty and the walls are marked.

On the way up to room a small door containing shelves had old food plates inside. It had begun to smell and wasn't plesant. Well I can tell you that whilst writing this review 2 days after I have arrived, the food is still in the cupboard and stinks.

We came for lunch and the bar menu looked very good. We ordered our food and drinks and then it all went down hill. The drinks came out and where wrong, we waited and waited and waited for our food, which also came out wrong. Don't get my wrong it was very plesant but when I you ask for something I wished they actually listen and get it right.

We checked into our room and I have to admit I was disappointed. The rooms are very dated, wallpaper pealing, stains on the carpet etc, the bathroom had dirt on the curtains and stains on the glass and the shower was beyond useless. The room came with a balcony shared between us and other room and to acess it required you to climb through a window, however the view was beautiful.

This swimming pool area was dirty, the chairs were moldy and signs of bad condensation on the walls. I simply had 10 minutes in the hot tub and went back to my room.

Dinner arrived and we had booked a table in the main bar area. We ordered drinks and our meals. 30 minutes later and after asking our drinks arrived. They had been made up because my glass with ice had begun melting and almost was a full glass of water. 30 minutes later our food arrived and was correct. It was well presented and tasted great. Couldn't complain for the quality but for the time delay I could. They explained to us that due to a current wedding they were delayed and running slow. Personally I would say that's OK but what about the guest paying £180.00 a night to be served and relaxed.
Went to bed and slept well. Bed was comfy.

Breakfast in the morning was brilliant. It was cooked, clean and tasted great. No complaint here.

Returned after a day out and called for Room Service. I asked how long is the current wait and she said she would call me back. Short while later I receive a call back and said due to a wedding (another) they are currently delayed around 20 minutes from the usual service time. When I asked how long is that, the response I received was. How am I supppse to know. All I asked was for a sandwich and a drink.

Same Wedding excuse. Different day.

During the afternoon I went to the bar and asked for two ciders. They told me they run out. Not a great start to a relaxing afternoon.

Dinner arrived and we booked to eat in the 1881 restaurant. We were seated and looks very well preseant. We were handed our menus. I decided to miss the starter and order the burger. When our order was taken I was told the burger was off the menu as they didn't have any and therefore I ordered the fish and chips. A short while later the waitress returns and tells my family that the starter they ordered was off the menu as they had run out.

No starters for us then. The main course finally arrived. Well presented and tasted great. I asked the waitress and I asked for some mayonaise. Her response was we had run out. I laughed and said are you joking and her reply was no. I was shocked and found it funny.

As the night went all , each table around us had the same problem and the menu got smaller and smaller and before you know it. The menu was down to 2-3 items. They left a lot of people very upset and disappointed. It was a shame that the manager was to scared to show his face and sent his poor waitresses out to the customers. Personally the manager needed to man up and face the music. I explained to the waitress I wasn't blaming her but this unacceptable. It was a stores very disappointing end to a disappointing stay.

Overall this hotel is a 1 star. The hotel has been let down by poor management and is need of a fresh start. It needs to redecorated and modernised and needs to bring in some new management otherwise this hotel will keep going down hill. Such a shame as I can believe it use to be a 4 star hotel.

I would personally avoid it at all cost. Guests I have spoken to around the hotel who have been before have even said this is terrible.

Poor performance and in much need of a change


Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
4  Thank RMScott92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

This was our 6th year back for our Weeks Holiday back at the Grand Hotel. Stay each Late July my Mum and I and our little westie! It is a wonderful hotel, I have to specially say this year, the Breakfast's have greatly improved, you have everything you could ask for, hams, cheeses, fruits, all cereals, full English buffet style and the added extra of anything off the a la carte menus. The Evening Meals were their usual high standard, being able to order from all menus does help, with the option of eating either in the Restaurant with its fab service and attention to detail, or the brassiere with the exceptional seaviews and the views of torquay bay. Outstanding. The Staff make this hotel as well, the efficient way they work and many in the bar and the management do a wonderful job and are very very pleasant. Ms Cassidy the duty manager was I have to say very professional, extremely efficient and could tell she was extremely interested to help and improve this hotel in everyway. She is A hugh Asset I have to say to this Hotel . The Room we have is lovely and holds many happy memories for us together with the lovely seaviews, yes they are very expensive , but there are never any problems at all, the cleaniness are exceptional . The housekeeping Staff are always most pleasant and willing to assist in any way they can. The only criticism of this Hotel, if anything is the Leisure Facility Changing rooms, these I believe are getting updated anyway this winter. It is lovely to see the same staff year after year still there especially Ewe in the Restaurant who always recognises my mum and I on our return holiday. I have to say a great holiday yet again, with the wonderful warm sunshine as well. We certainly hope to return again next year.

Room Tip: Seaview rooms
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank happycustomer749
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

What a shame this i suppose once grand hotel has seen better days but i can overlook the tired wallpaper and chipped paintwork but when i book a hotel room i do exspect the room to be clean although my husband had booked a double room we were not told it was a twin bedded room so when i moved the beds together i was horrified to find hair grips sweet papers ect under the beds yuk !!!!!
The tea coffee milk and hot chocolate had not been replenished.
And the view from the window overlooking the air vents,flat roof, weeds,flaking paintwork just about finished us off my husband who had booked a night away as an anniversary surprise at this point i felt so sorry for him and why should i when you book into what is a supposedly 4 STAR HOTEL!!!!!!
Yes he booked it through a deal web site but this should not affect the quality of the room
On a good note the cream tea was the best i have ever tasted the scones were freshly made plenty of Devon cream not enough jam but DELICIOUS!!!
I spoke with a member off the staff at reception about the room he was polite and said he would send up a cleaner,he offered me a cream tea as an apology i explained i had already eaten one so we arranged for myself and my husband to have a gratis pre dinner glass of wine.
The dirt was cleaned up by one off the chamber maids who was very very polite .
we were both looking forward to a wonderful dinner which i will say was included in the price never the less i have never been so disapointed with what was served to us
mushroom patie liquidised mushrooms yuk pork belly that was NOT pork belly and panacotta thatWAS NOT panacotta
all i can say is a big well done to the chef who baked the rolls and scones
its soo sad that a once GRAND HOTEL has lost its GRAND!!!!!!
i wont even talk about the breakfast

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank loulouplymouth
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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Torquay
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#15 Business Hotel in Torquay
#15 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: £66 - £180 (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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