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“Fawlty Towers Lives”
Review of The Grand Hotel

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The Grand Hotel
Ranked #37 of 88 Hotels in Torquay
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
278 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 271 helpful votes
“Fawlty Towers Lives”
Reviewed 11 April 2010

Arived in Torquay for my fathers funeral jet lagged from an overnight flight from Canada to be greeted by a receptionist who didn't care why I was there and insisted on blocking my Visa card for the full four day stay "in case I left without paying the bill" ...
Can't remember any hotel anywhere ever implying I was likely to commit fraud before so it was certainly an unusual welcome..
Hotel main floor has been nicely renovated & public areas are good - but the rooms are something else again.... Think Fawlty Towers or 1950s British vacation hotel.
First room I was given must once have been a maid or child's room - tiny single bed in a room you could barely turn around in.
Asked for a normal size room & double bed & was told that the room they'd given me was a standard single one [fellow single travellers beware] and whilst they eventually agreed to switch me they were very snitty about it.
2nd room had a small entry area in which the light bulb had burnt out, gving it the feel of a very dark cave - finally finding & opening the door to the room itself revealed a small but adequate room with a lumpy double bed & a very old fashined bathroom.
Finally got somone from housekeeping to change the lightbulb which helped - but shoudn't the housekeeper be checking things like this before they OK the room for rental ?
I was there for a funeral, the funeral tea was being held there [food is suprisingly quite good - understand that's how the hotel makes its money] & it was somewhere to sleep - but this place is in deserate need of a complete room renovation, some new beds and some customer oriented service training

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank sewaterman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CovertBunny, General manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 15 April 2010
Thank you for your review, possibly because you were jet lagged you did not appreciate the fact that our receptionist would not have necessarily known that you were there for a funeral, everyone everywhere takes a pre-authorisation of a Credit Card to ensure that they receive payment for services offered. There are a number of people who walk out without paying.
I am sad that you found our service in other areas poor, almost every other review that you read, praises my friendly and helpful team.
Could you have been reacting from the initial reception where you were required to pre-authorise your card?
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London
1 review
Reviewed 3 April 2010

Not located as we hope. Sure the Hotel is sea front but far away from the towncenter. The 1rst night the restaurant of the hotel was fully booked so we had to take a taxi to find a restaurant with our 3 kids. The next diner was in the restaurant of the hotel and food was correct.
The decoration on the ground floor seems to be new in art deco style. But upstairs floors really need renovation. Bedrooms are very old fashion. But the hotel is clean and the staff friendly.
A good place for family to visit the aera but not a 4 stars hotel.
The inside pool is quite small, the car park too... Try to not be back too late to find a place !
A big hotel

  • Stayed March 2010
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Helpful?
Thank 4in
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter W, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 10 August 2016
Thank you for your review
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2010

Myself and my partner went to the Grand for a few days back in October 09. Stressed-out and needing some relaxation, we certainly found it!

The exterior of the hotel is attractive, and could hardly be closer to the beach. At the time we went, we found ample free parking. Receptionists were friendly and the reception area itself is very beautiful! In fact the decor throughout is regal and impressive, i loved it; lots of deep colours and nice lighting.

Upon checking into our room, i was over-joyed by the fact we had a little entrance hallway of our own, as well as a main bedroom and en suite bathroom- simple things please simple minds!- and overall the room was large, cosy, and luxurious. There was more than adequate storage for the both of us. The bed was huuuuge and extremely comfortable! The bathroom was quite small but perfectly adequate, and nice fluffy towels were provided. It, like the rest of the room, was spotless. However the best part was the view; we had a seaview room and my gosh it was amazing, you could see the sea through all of the enormous windows, which spanned the wall. The balcony doors were locked unfortunately, but it was October and chucking it down with rain so we werent too disappointed! An evening turn-down service was also offered.

The rest of the hotel never failed to impress us, the bar/lounge in particular is lovely, again with the huge windows making the most of the sea view. It was really nice to sit and have a drink or food and look outside.

I must make particular mention of the bar food, let alone the restaurant; it was fantastic. The cream tea, with the tastiest freshly-baked scones i have ever had, was an absolute joy! The bar food was really reasonably-priced, and as good as what you'll get in a higher priced restaurant- i recommend the salmon gravadlax, delicious. The cocktails are also lovely.

We of course had to try the nice restaurant one night, and while it was more expensive than we are used to, the food was well worth it. Unfortunately they had ran out of the lamb my partner was desperate to try, but what we did have was lovely. Going for breakfast was a really nice experience- the waiting staff could not be faulted and gave us really quick service with a smile. As soon as we sat down we ordered drinks and toast and it was brought to us immediately. The buffet offered a multitude of delicious foods; bacon, eggs, hash browns, beans, bread, pastries, cereals, fruit, yoghurt.... lots of veggie options which is a nice rarity!

The staff overall were always friendly, warm and eager to please- waiting staff, bar staff, receptionists, even the man who comes to the room to see if you want to buy any chocolate and extra goodies :)

Unfortunately, due to aforementioned rain we didnt really get chance to explore the local amenities in Torquay, however later on we visited a few nearby places. Brixham in particular is lovely, all pastel painted houses on the harbour, fish and chip shops, and of course the must-visit quirky shell shop! However we spent most of our time in the hotel, and we loved every minute of it.

We often talk about what a lovely relaxing time we had and how we cant wait to return, we really did feel like royalty.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pancakequeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CovertBunny, General Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 15 April 2010
Thank for your wonderful review, we really want you to return and look forward to it.
Sadly Covert Bunny (me) is on his way to a new burrow, but you can be sure than I will pop up elsewhere and respond to your reviews.
Signing off for now Richard
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London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2010

This hotel is great for location (next door to the station, opposite sandy beach) and within walking distance of attractions. Overall, the service was excellent. The only wobble was on the second evening when they seemed very stretched by a wine tasting event. Room was large, clean and overlooked the sea. Huge, comfortable bed. Food is a particular strength, particularly the dinner menu which was exceptional. Also to be commended is the hotel-baked bread. There is also an unusually large selection of wines by the glass, and they also offered glasses of different sizes. Biscuits with coffee and crisps with drinks seemed home made and were excellent. It was good value for money and we had a very enjoyable couple of days. It's probably worth adding that although Torquay generally was still out of season, the hotel clearly was not, and was very focussed on its guests. Staffing levels seemd high too, so there was no hanging about. I happily recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Juroti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CovertBunny, General Manager, at The Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 16 March 2010
Thank you for your kind comments, I know my team will be delighted to hear that we made your stay a memoable one and we hope to see you again soon.
Thank you Richard
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London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2010

Booked to stay on a windy wet and miserable February day and was pleasantly surprised. I must say that the reception staff were friendly as were all the staff.The hotel is comfortable and the staff will go out of thier way to be helpful. Breakfast and Dinner were fantastic, I will stay again although I think the hotel does need a bit of decorating, overall though I really enjoyed my stay.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank igetabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CovertBunny, General Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 16 March 2010
Thank you for your great response, I loved hearing your comments, I will pass them on to my team.
Thank you Richard
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2010

Having just returned from The Grand Hotel have to say what a fantastic hotel this is. This hotel is truely well managed by Richard as all the staff seem so happy and always said hello, opened doors and asked how you were. The Manager is also on hand to help and spends time speaking to his guest's and making you feel so welcome, this is something that most hotels lack these days but at The Grand you are made to feel special.

Although a number of the reviews have been about rooms they are in categories to if this is really important pay that bit extra and get the room you want, this is a large old hotel so some will be at the back of the hotel and anyone getting a bargain or last minute deal will possibly get one of these, my advice would be ask about the upgrade supplement and if you can afford it go for it. We had a family seaview room and a 2 bedroomed suite, both were lovely but the suite was amazing well worth the extra!

Comments have been made that the building is tired which in some respects are true but it is old and really very grand to look at from Torquay harbour so I feel this adds to the character. Inside the building is really well maintained and has lots of character.

Plus points: They have their own bakery (cannot understand comments on frozen scone) so the cakes and bread are delicious, you can also order for yourself and collect from reception, the bread is still warm, a must and really cheap (8p for a roll and 50p for a massive muffin). The staff are so helpful. The food is delicious and if you can get a rate including dinner this is a must. The view is amazing from the bar, restuarant and seaview rooms. The pool is a good size and the outdoor pool looks fantastic. The hotel is really clean and well maintained. The hotels beauty treatments are well priced and wonderful staff (although book well before your stay also very popular with the locals).

Plenty to do in Torquay for children we were out every day Paignton Zoo, Kents Cavern, Model Village and the Aquarium (Plymouth) were all open in February and made great days out, take a coat and enjoy them all. My children loved them all and we can't wait to go back.

Big thanks to Richard and all his team you made our stay really special, we go away most school holidays and like to try different places but we will definately be returning to your hotel soon, only suggestion would be New Years Eve consider offering a black tie and a family function, we tried you last year but it was adults only, other hotels (Hilton, Q Hotels) offer two events and they sell out for the family New Years Eve party first.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank obe1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CovertBunny, General Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 27 February 2010
Thank you for a charming and comprehensive review, I remember what a lovely family you were and I do hope that we will see you again soon, you are clearly our ideal house guests.
Thanks again Richard
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essex
Level Contributor
92 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2010

We have stayed at the hotel many time always in the summer, so we thought we would try it in the winter and what better occasion than valetines weekend.

We had a 2 bed suite with pink champagne, a fruit bowl, strawberries dipped in chocolate etc, it was perfect. The evening meals for superb, the staff brilliant. All in all at fabulous weekend.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank jules2330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CovertBunny, General Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 21 February 2010
Thank you very much for your review, I hope that it encourages more people to come to our beautiful hotel, I receive hudreds of comments cards, without fail they extol the virtues of my team. the key factor in running the hotel is I have the most friendly and co-operative set of people I have ever worked with.
Please come back soon.
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Additional Information about The Grand Hotel

Property: 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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Torquay
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#16 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
#16 Business Hotel in Torquay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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