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“They are coping...just”
Review of The Grand Brighton

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The Grand Brighton
Ranked #10 of 43 Hotels in Brighton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 July 2013

We booked a budget room with breakfast, taking into account what we paid we were satisfied with our stay. However, our room was not ready until after 4pm...and we were the lucky ones. The late availability of room seems to be the norm. All 4 evenings were were in the hotel we heard many vociferous complaints about guests not getting into their rooms 'till very late - 5.45 on one occasion.

Breakfast was good, but queuing is the norm during busy times, personally I do not find queuing for breakfast at a top hotel acceptable, Breakfast is served between 7-10 am , yet when there was no prepared fruit at 9.30 I was informed it was finished for the day , I complained and was told if I selected a fruit from the display the chef would prepare it - there were some apples and oranges! Further complaint led to a new bowl of fruit being served - with melon, grapefruit, oranges, grapes etc - why wait 'till a fuss is created to serve up what is advertised and clearly available?

Ladies downstairs toilets - need a complete revamp. they are shabby , with broken toilet seats.

Our room had a view of a red brick wall - see photo - however overall a reasonable stay at a good price, but don't think if you pay more you will get better , you won't.

Room Tip: A good priced break if you book one of the deals , but don't pay the full price! Many full price...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FalkirkBairn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,483 - 6,489 of 7,842 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2013

My wife and I are now in our late eighties and after finally accepting that overseas travel was now simply too much hassle, decided to confine our holiday break this year to the British South Coast and, for various reasons, chose the Grand Hotel.

We'd booked online for 7 nights and first impressions were excellent, our taxi being greeted by friendly and helpful outside staff who speedily took care of our baggage

No problems either at the well staffed reception desks who allocated room 217 on the 2nd floor, one of the newly styled Chambre Unique rooms that had been freshly re-furbished and where I was relieved to see the promised balcony.

Chambre Unique ?, the very name should have warned us, because unique it certainly was, but, regrettably, for the wrong reasons.

For starters, the room reeked of fresh paint and we were obliged to throw open the windows before we could even think of unpacking.

I had got as far as decanting my packed underwear and was looking for a place to store it when I realised, for the first time, that there was not a single drawer to be seen anywhere in the room.

That's right.... not a single set of drawers anywhere in the room, although there was one cupboard completely devoted to tea making equipment. There was also a desk holding expensive looking coffee making equipment, an obvious place to have a drawer, one would have thought, but again, no drawers.

My ever practical wife resolved the matter by simply leaving her suitcase half unpacked during our week's stay but the situation rankled and left me strongly questioning what the De Vere group considered was good design in a hotel bedroom.

I started to look around,,,,,things got progressively worse.

The double door wardrobe, obviously designed to hold clothing, had the requisite ironing board and iron but only one shelf set about two metres high to preclude one from using that for storing clothes. No drawers here either and the few hangers offered no relief.

I then studied the bedside tables, or to be more precise the bedside table, because I now realised that only one side of the double bed had a table, albeit drawer free. The other side had no bedside table other than the aforesaid table top, currently completely taken up with a phone and coffee making equipment.

I looked for the promised safe.

Clearly advertised in the internet brochure and a normal and expected piece of hotel furniture for any worldly traveler in even a 3 Star hotel, here at the 4 Star Grand there was no safe in the room.

By now I had had enough so I tried phoning reception but the phone, no surprises here, didn't work and all I got was a perpetual squawk so I continued my examination of the room's facilities.

Did the TV at least work ? ..... Silly me !, this was a Chambre Unique room, anything was possible and therefore the TV failed to respond to either of the remotes, optimistically provided.by the management.

By this time I had given up completely and strode downstairs to reception where I was told that the Housekeeper would be up immediately to attend to our complaints.

Within a few minutes both the Housekeeper and a Guest Relations Assistant had arrived at our room and to be fair, a serious attempt was made to restore sanity to what had clearly become a nonsensical situation.

All the problems, we were told, were down to the recent refurbishment and they speedily admitted that the present situation was completely unacceptable.

They discussed, between themselves, various options including a change of room but then confirmed that every other room was taken. The safe, they said, would be seen to immediately and indeed this, to my astonishment, was installed within half an hour and professionally bolted to the floor.

The phone ? Yes, they tried it and conceded it was was faulty but in the meantime they gave me numbers which I could dial to reach either reception or housekeeping.

As a token, one single drawer was also immediately provided by means of a hastily acquired ancient bedside table that and this was accepted by us purely as a token to show that we acknowledged management were at least attempting to improve matters. However, because of the already sited coffee table it was not possible for this new unit to serve as a bedside unit but at least we now had one actual drawer in the room !

Within minutes someone else was setting the TV so that it could be used although, jumping ahead in our stay, it's over complicated set-up was always a pain in the neck and eventually I got fed up with repeated calling the mechanic.

Later in the day we also realised there were also only only two lamps in the room, both bedside, but a subsequent call by me to housekeeping produced a table lamp so that we could at least read in the evening.

The fridge, kindly provided by the management to keep the complimentary water cold, failed miserably to do so but it was not until the third day of our stay that a member of the staff revealed that the fridge had never been plugged in because it had the wrong type of pin ! He then offered us the option of Fridge or TV !.

When I politely suggested that an extension to the nearest point would surely do the job without denying us use of the TV he went off looking for this very item but as a further 24 hours was to pass without any results I once again contacted the Guest Relations Assistant.

This was the most effective phone call of all. because it resulted in a visit by Chris, the Grand's first class, no nonsense, maintainance manager and within ten minutes we had a working fridge and, as the weather was heating up and the room lacked air-conditioning, a most welcome electric fan.

So much for the cons, what about the pros ?

The staff, at all levels, were always friendly and helpful to a fault and the food and service at both restaurants and the breakfast room was first class. I partucularly liked the breakfast service where you could help yourself to the ample buffet but also ask your server to get you special cooked items.

With the exception of the initial problems involving the bedroom, every further query we raised was quickly and cheerfully resolved.

So....Any other quibbles ?

As many other reviewers have already pointed out, the breakfast buffet table, which also served as a bar during the evening, was set ridiculously high so that my wife and I suggest anyone under six foot, would have had difficulty in serving themselves safely from the well stocked trays.

The solid Victorian balcony in our room offered splendid sea views but because of the absence of some simple light chairs the balcony was rarely used during our stay.

Finally, having lambasted the Grand for it's pantheon of faults I must also say, ase others have already done, that everyone from senior staff down to junior porters were always cheerful and helpful. A good example was when we finished our week's break and the pre-booked hire car failed to materialise. It was the one of the Grand's concierges who came to the rescue and speedily found us a replacement

The twenty dollar question, would I book the Grand again ?

Happily, but only if I were to receive written confirmation that Chris, the maintainence manager was still there to sort out any problems !

Despite all my comments and to be scrupulously fair, she who must be obeyed says that she just loved the Grand !

Ps
Forgot to mention that in March 1943 I was a young wireless operator serving in the 112th Light Anti-Aircraft Rgt and my unit was responsible for protecting the Brighton & Hove coastline against the Luftwaffe Tip & Run Raiders. This protection including the Grand Hotel building !

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank ex4thhussar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2013

The hotel is looking and feeling great! We had a deluxe sea room room.....could see the sea and the pier from our bed! The refurbishment has been carried out really sympathetically and our room was wonderful. Service from all staff was fisrt class and great breakfast! By far the most grand hotel in Brighton......we'd never stay anywhere else!

Stayed: July 2013
Thank Sally H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2013

Helpful porter on arrival and departure, efficient and helpful staff at reception, lovely rooms with balonies and sea view (my son even had an unexpected and appreciated upgrade from a single to an enormous room), good facilities generally but hard towels and bathrobes - what a shame they weren't soft. Aircon would have been appreciated on the hot days we visited, especially as the heated towel rail we couldn't switch off made the bathroom nearly unbearable - but, as value for money goes, it was good, and being able to open the balcony doors made a huge difference. Shame they have limited car parking space and we had to use the nearby NCP but not unusual in Brighton - would stay there again.

Room Tip: Definitely ask for a room with a balcony and sea view
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank AlyGNorthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2013

Friends booked this as found a good deal. We were pleased that although we arrived before 3 we were shown to our rooms. What a beautiful hotel, real feel of Brighton's heyday. Rooms good for the price we paid but friends had a disabled room (they aren't) and had the flooding problem others have had. Surprised no air con or thinner duvet as such hot weather (we used bath robes provided as lightweight covers). Breakfasts great and dinner in seafood restaurant very good. The service we had was superb! Such charming staff! But we too had the 4 a.m. choir (French Polish?) As least they weren't Brits! But as just outside hotel think hotel should do something - call police? Now to the soap - we used it first night and morning and then it was gone! We asked for some and friends next door got a new bar (theirs had been whisked away too) but ours never came. Not a disaster as used body wash provided but what a waste, De Vere!

Room Tip: sea views are lovely but not quiet or cool.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank surreysmile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2013

Stayed here before, this time stopped for just a couple of nights, Chose just a seaview room which had been refurbished in a restful grey colour, nice size and a view of the beach below. However, like 'hebegebees' review, there was only a fanlight window that could be opened and on this, a very, very hot couple of days some air conditioning would have been helpful. The bed was comfortable, the room and bathroom spotless, there was an iron and hair dryer. However, there were no drawers to put your clothes in, only a shelf in the wardrobe where if you wanted to hang your clothes they had to be set at an angle to be able shut the doors. We too were greeted at various times of the day by three different pianists, very pleasant. Staff brilliant of course and most helpful. Still a nice, cosy atmosphere in the Lobby. Breakfast is best taken seated on the Terrace. The main food area is quite strange. Some items of food are set high up around a huge console in the middle of the room, so if you are on the short side it is a bit difficult. Couldn't eat there at the time we wanted in the evening, book early, some guests do it days in advance.

Room Tip: If you are not fussy, at least choose a seaview room. Some have a "french balcony" but if...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank KentOldboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2013

Arrived after 4pm on Friday so was able to go straight to our room. Obviously not one of the best but it wasn't bad either, Small but adequate. Scaffolding outside the window but I chose not to look out so it didn't bother us. Would have liked a sea view but after hearing about the noise levels on here I'm glad we didn't get one. We booked quite late anyway so expected the leftovers. Hotel was busy. Lots of weddings and I think a school Prom judging by the poor lad unconscious on the grass before it even started. Anyway it was just a base to be with friends albeit a very nice one. Breakfast was lovely. Service friendly but the self serve dishes are extremely high up and awkward for anyone under 5 foot 4 inches I should imagine. Don't let that put you off though. Always someone there to help plus an alternative menu from which they serve you direct. I don't think anyone could fault the breakfast. The first one I had lasted me all day and I didn't have to eat again until the evening!! Great shower in the bathroom but our sink was awkward. It stood alone so nowhere to put make up etc. except for the sink itself. The weather was glorious. Everything looks good in the sun but I expect even if it had poured down we would have still enjoyed our stay. The only thing is...I'm still smarting over the £60 car park fee. Is it really necessary? It's cheaper to stay in the NCP which is only next door and we weren't even their 'guest'! You do get a bit more peace of mind parking in your hotel but I think as a guest you should at least pay less to park in the hotel you have paid for. If at all. I hear the Thistle only charged £15 a day? I can only think it's to discourage people using it because it's not big enough for everyone, but it's clear it's on a first come first served basis so more acceptable to think you were too late to get in rather than know that you will be charged that amount of money regardless. After all, with the lovely shops in The Lanes there's plenty to spend that £60 on. Brighton itself was a bit shabby in places. How could anyone in authority allow The Odean building just along from The Grand to be built? It's just a concrete block! Some lovely architecture which made you feel that you could be in the 30's or 40's or even the 20's and then a eyesore would appear at regular intervals. Oh well, perhaps that was just me, but I think they could make it amazing because it has the ability to take you back in time in some places. I fully expected to walk past Charlie Chaplin in the Hotel. I hope they build on that instead of traipsing all over it. Not sure if I would go again but back at work now, weather still nice and I know where I would rather be!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank Tracey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Grand Brighton

Address: 97-99 King's Road, Brighton BN1 2FW, England (Formerly The De Vere Grand Brighton)
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Brighton and Hove > Brighton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Brighton
#4 Luxury Hotel in Brighton
#4 Business Hotel in Brighton
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Brighton
#6 Romantic Hotel in Brighton
Price Range: £96 - £290 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Grand Brighton 4*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is a truly remarkable hotel. An iconic Victorian building, it stands centre stage on the vibrant Brighton seafront and is a local landmark. Magnificent, imposing and the epitome of luxury. This is The Grand, Brighton. Following a recent extensive refurbishment, The Grand experience is one you will never forget. It's in the splendour of the 123 step sweeping staircase, the exquisite textures in the bedrooms, the delectable cuisine in GB1 restaurant and the sumptuous surroundings of The Spa at The Grand. It's in the stunning seaviews and the warmth with which you are welcomed. It's in its innate sense of style. The magnificent Grand is a popular location for films and television shows. Coronation Street, Eastenders and Only Fools and Horses have all shot episodes in the hotel. For the complete Brighton experience, it has to be The Grand, Brighton. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The De Vere Grand Brighton Hotel Brighton
De Vere Grand Brighton
De Vere Grand Hotel Brighton
Brighton Grand Hotel

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