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“Not So Grand Anymore!”

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The Grand Hotel Eastbourne
Ranked #7 of 41 Hotels in Eastbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Berkshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not So Grand Anymore!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2011

We stayed at this hotel for three nights in August. It was our anniversary and following a very hard year for us my husband booked it as a surprise. I had arranged a large conference there some years ago and loved it. The building is beautiful and the ground floor is still maintained well but that is it very poor there upwards.
I certainly do not recognise the hotel described in some of the other reviews.
Unfortunately the hotel standards have gone downhill since my last stay, the only thing five star about this hotel now is the prices - nine hundred pounds for three nights B&B. On special occasions we are happy to pay for a special treat but have been left feeling very disappointed and ripped off!

The very least I would expect from a hotel of this standard is some recognition of our anniversary but there was none. In answer to our complaint the manager explained that the member of staff who dealt with this was off - not a very credible excuse. In fact the response from the manager was a standard letter and did not seek to make amends, perhaps they are used to these type of complaints?
The main issue was the housekeeping which was extremely poor. We moved rooms three times before, in desperation, paying to upgrade to a suite which was not much better but at least had a balcony. The public area on the ground floor is better but after that it is clear the decoration and standards fall very far short of five star.
The bathrooms are very small, even in the suites and were decidedly average. They all have carpets on the floors which in all three rooms had hair, tissue and other debris stuck to them. In the first room there was mould and pubic hair in the bath. The bath itself was chipped and had very little enamel on the bottom. Not one bathroom had a separate shower and all were very old fashioned and in need of an upgrade.
During the three nights in the suite our bathroom was never hoovered and the toiletries were not replenished - hardly a five star service.
Each of the three rooms were very shabby and needed decorating. The skirting boards were damaged and very dusty and we could not understand why the carpets were dusty / dirty in every room. The housekeeping is very very shoddy.
The breakfast was distinctly average with very thin toast, and bacon so hard it was difficult to cut or eat. The staff were more interested in clearing tables to get finished than looking after customers. Eggs were never as we ordered and tasteless mushrooms just sat soaking in water. We did not bother to have dinner as the menu each day was so uninspiring.
The hotel itself was very quiet and I wonder if they are trying to cut costs which is affecting the quality. The majority of the guests at this hotel are elderly and I can understand they have to cater to them but this hotel needs to update if it has any hope of retaining new customers. Had the manager even offered a free stay, we wouldn't go back!!
The bar each evening had less than a dozen guests. There were packs of playing cards for guests which gives you an idea of the type of hotel this is and who they are catering to almost exclusively. The prices in the bar were on a par with London hotels however the quality of wine at over ten pounds a glass was not.
The indoor and outdoor pools were not heated and we were told this was due to a problem with the pump. We were unable to use the outdoor pool during our stay which was a shame as it was sunny. Again this was disappointing as you would expect a five star establishment to fix such a small problem quickly. There were also not many treatments available and during our stay found this was because of staff training. My husband was not informed about this on booking so we were unable to take advantage of many of the spa treatments.

The one good thing about the hotel was that the majority of staff were all very friendly and professional.

The manager wrote to us promptly on receiving our comment card but as mentioned the reply was almost insulting! By way of recompense he offered a free upgrade for our next stay. This type of offer from a five star hotel is appalling. The upgrade cost us only 75 pounds and costs the hotel nothing, it was a cost we paid because the standards of the executive sea view rooms was so bad! Having previously managed hotels I know that a refund of the 75 pounds would have been the least that a hotel of this standing would offer and can only assume that they are struggling financially. Had the manager apologised with a genuine offer we perhaps would not be so upset as to go to the trouble of writing reviews.
Local people told us the hotel had gone downhill and was no longer popular and that prices had been over-inflated which is so sad for a once grand hotel.
This hotel is definitely not worth the money charged do not waste your time.

Room Tip: Choose a sea view room
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Samantha G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JonathanWebley, General Manager at The Grand Hotel Eastbourne, responded to this review, 16 September 2011
Thank you for your review. We are genuinely sorry to have disappointed you. Your feedback related to your room and that we had sadly and uncharacteristically missed recognising your anniversary. My response was measured on that basis with an upgrade to a Suite from a standard room on a future visit. Clearly the extent of your disappointment was not fully realised and I apologise that the situation has been misjudged.
We in the midst of ongoing bedroom refurbishment with the majority having been recently completed to a high standard. Bathrooms are receiving attention including hard flooring. The lapses in housekeeping standards are most unusual but of course inexcusable and I appreciate your view.
Both pools remained in operation during your stay with one slightly cooler that normal...now resolved. Your other comments are useful and have been addressed. I will contact you directly to see if we can make amends. We would ultimately like you to be as happy as the majority of reviewers and as you were on your previous visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,507 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (420)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

Beautiful architecture and a real sense of grandeur. The hotel is beautiful and the rooms very spacious indeed. I was here on a work event and the food was excellent along with the champagne.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gooders-McDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

We recently had a couple of nights at this hotel and were really pleased will the service, accomodation and food. We had a night in each restaurant and both were excellent. The service all round is wonderful. We will be going back as soon as we can. A lovely treat.

Room Tip: Corner rooms catch both views direct to sea and along the seafront
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank salgeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
142 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2011

My partner booked a weekend here as a surprise, and we had a very enjoyable stay. There were a few little niggles (eg breakfast on day 2 was somewhat shambolic), but overall the service was excellent. The vast hotel is clearly maintained regularly at great expense, and is beautiful and impressive, and we give this top rating on the basis of the common areas. Our room was large and comfortable without noise. The style is traditional, so don't choose this hotel if you prefer something more fashionable. An army of staff, in smart uniforms, collaborate to make your stay comfortable... they even pour your tea for you!
Highlights:
Watch those who can dance to the band in the evening
Have the glorious afternoon tea in the Grand (?) Hall
Dinner in Mirabelle's was very special, with a high standard of cuisine.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fussy_People
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2011

My wife and I are now 'regulars' at The Grand and ensure that we have the same balcony, sea-view suite on each visit, when we make it our base for attending the operas at Glyndebourne.
This hotel gives you the best reception experience in the country .. and it doesn't diminish in other departments. May I particularly recommend the cocktails mixed by Gabor .. which he will concoct to suit your personality (!) .. so you find out what impression you make. True; the hotel doesn't (yet) have the plasma screens and gadgets which some hotels need in order to distract clients' attention away from the fact that their hotel lacks character and the amenities which will entertain you outside of your room.
We’re booked for our third (return) visit this year .. as I’m happy ‘to put my money where my mouth is’.

Room Tip: If you need something ... ring. The Concierge is happy to oblige.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank operabuff_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Retford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2011

Excellence from start to finish!

We stayed 3 nights. The welcome, service, food and accomodation were spot-on!

A result in every sense.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Godmanchester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2011

We recently stayed here with our two children (5yrs, 11 months)and had a lovely time. The staff were very helpful and couldn't do enough for you. Our daughter enjoyed the Grand Kids package and loved her cookies and milk every night. Both pools were lovely and it was nice to swim somewhere warm!
Our only gripe was with the food. Although there is an allocated time in the restaurant for family dining we found the menu too much for us when eating with small people!! Our daughter had her meal in the lounge which was nice but the menu for us was very limited. However, there are plenty of family resturants to eat in around Eastbourne so this would not put us off going back. Helen, Cambs.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Helen R
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 Eastbourne

Property: The Grand Hotel Eastbourne
Address: King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne BN21 4EQ, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Eastbourne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Eastbourne
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Eastbourne
#6 Romantic Hotel in Eastbourne
#6 Family Hotel in Eastbourne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Grand Hotel Eastbourne 5*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
England's only five-star seaside hotel, The Grand in Eastbourne is one of the UK's most magnificent hotels. Variously described as a 'White Palace' and 'Wedding Cake', the majestic landmark property occupies a prime spot on the town's seafront with panoramic views along the coast and towards the cliffs at Beachy Head.Facilities include 152 beautiful bedrooms, many with stunning sea views. 2 Award winning Restaurants. Indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, fully equipped Gymnasium and 8 beauty rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Eastbourne Grand Hotel

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