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All reviewssea viewthe general managerbar menuprivate beachlovely old hotelseen better dayslimited parkingnight breakshort breakfabulous viewssome tlcroom was clean and comfortablesunday lunchcar parkingthe cliffrelaxing breakfantastic location
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Reviewed 5 August 2014

We have bought tickets for the deals that the Grand frequently have and yet again twice last week lunched there and enjoyed every moment of it. The conservatory was too hot last week so we were in the restaurant which also has great views of the bay and makes a really good time to be had. Finish of with coffee in the garden and that makes it. The service there is excellent from very friendly staff. Thank you.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank RitaHarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We went in April for just 1 night the area surrounding is really good to walk along the sea front . Staff really nice . We really loved the food in restaurant . Parking not the best though we were lucky went when seemed less busy so sneaked a parking space

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

On arrival there were no parking spaces available, even the road near hotel was full, this was a bad start! The lack of parking spaces was not mentioned on web site! The staff were helpful and friendly, breakfast was very nice, lots of choices and the view from the garden was beautiful. 58 steps down to beach, then a nice stroll into town. Our room was 310 (not sea view) which a previous reviewer said to stay clear of, maybe it's been refurbished, as we had
no complaints at all!

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Patsy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Wonderful view from our room but it has all been said by the previous reviewer this hotel needs a complete refurbishment especially the en suite and does not justify £150 per night. Our room was oppressive as the windows only opened a little due obviously to the seagull problems. Breakfast was disappointing and on our first morning each table comprised of a dead rose. Very unsatisfactory all round for our 2 night stay in Swanage!

Room Tip: top floor not near the lift
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank nebarbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Where to start? Well let's take it as it happened. We managed to grab a parking space on arrival, and as there are only 13 spaces for 30 rooms that was pretty lucky. As we were early we couldn't get our room but the lady in reception was very helpful and told us all about what was happening in town.

We left our bags at reception and headed down to the Cabin, the hotel's affiliated cafe near the beach. Be warned the steps down to the Cabin are quite steep, my wife is pregnant and made it down and back up but it took quite awhile. After a basic but decent snack there and a wander around the Carnival we headed back to the hotel.

We were given a room on the first floor and headed for the lift. This lift had the distinct characteristics of being old, compact (3 skinny people as a maximum) and had a bit of a 'take your life in your hands' feel to it. For my pregnant wife it wasn't particularly comfortable. We got into our room, which initially looked nice, with two windows overlooking the sea.

Immediately though you could see the main issue with just about everything else in the hotel - it all just looked a bit too old, a bit tired. The carpet in the hall and room was marked and stained, and the chairs were pretty much threadbare. The bed took soft to the extreme, and all of the furniture looked like it had been there since 1970.

We had to ask to move rooms due to what sounded like a herd of elephants in the room above, and the gentleman on reception was nothing but helpful, moving us directly two floors up. The new room had slightly fresher decor, though in this case the bathroom looked like a throwback, and the water pressure was pretty much non-existent.

Just a quick point here, neither on the first floor or the third could we actually access the wifi, which was one of the reasons we chose the hotel in the first place, so if that's an attraction for you please beware you will probably be disappointed.

Another feature that attracted us to the hotel was the pool, or at least the chance of using it. Unfortunately this is not open in the evenings separately from the health spa. That may be our fault for not reading everything on the website carefully enough but just be aware you can't use it when you might wish to.

We were required to book in for dinner, which wasn't a problem. It seems that you may not always need to book in but it is recommended. We got a nice seat in the bar conservatory (there is a dress code in the main restaurant, that requires collar and trousers for evening meal, this is NOT mentioned on the website).

The bar steward and waiting staff were very good, and we ordered tempura fish trio and chips, mariner's pie, fruit pavlova and apple and pear crumble. The food wasn't quick at coming out, which some people grumbled about, but it was well worth the wait so no complaints from me. Good food at a reasonable price so no complaints there and as I keep saying good service.

Again the decor needs to be mentioned. The chairs in the bar in particular felt like they were ready for the bin, and within the conservatory everything just needed a little bit of love and attention, with big cobwebs around up high, electrical trunking falling away and dirt on the roof that just needed a hose on it. The laminate wood flooring needs to be replaced too, again very tatty looking.

The paintwork on the windows adjacent to the conservatory was in a very poor state, in fact I think the frames looked like they were rotting. Down in the garden there were five loungers (the 5 in the photo on the website), two of which are in urgent need of attention.

We had a reasonable night's sleep in our bed that was better then the first one, and then came down for breakfast. This was perfectly good and did the job nicely, with the service again very good.

To sum up, the staff and food are great, and the view and location are second to none. The problem is that the hotel needs totally refurbishing from top to bottom, and the limited parking, non existent wifi and unavailable pool should not be features you should book a room there for.

With all of the above I think that, overall, the price of £150 for one night's bed and breakfast was unjustified.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank DK73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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