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“Nothing grand or 5* about our stay....”

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The Grand Hotel Eastbourne
Ranked #7 of 40 Hotels in Eastbourne
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Nothing grand or 5* about our stay....”
Reviewed 5 September 2012

Reading some of the reviews I am amazed that visitors think that the Grand Hotel is so wonderful. I booked a two night bank holiday weekend stay, primarily to attend a family event, but to also make use of the facilities given the usual poor weather forecast. Having grown up in Eastbourne, the Grand was and still has the reputation as the best place to stay. Being two adults and two children, I was offered "an inland or partial sea view Junior Suite" for the princely sum of £280.00 per night. Children are extra at £10 per day each for breakfast, so the rate was basically £300.00. For the children's package there is a kids club offered in two hour slots from 10-5pm, robes, slippers (never appeared), cookies and milk at turndown (worked the first night, they forgot the second night) and goody bags on arrival. We arrived at around Midday and went to the lounge for lunch as our room wasn't ready. Clientele were mostly retirement age and in my opinion didn't seem to appreciate having children around. I felt genuinely sorry for the one other couple with a small baby that kept crying and had to keep leaving the room. Our room was ready at bang on 2pm and I felt like I'd walked into granny's house that hadn't been refurbished since the 1980's. Dark green stained emerald coloured carpet (even in the bathroom!), curtains with frills and tassels and some seriously dated furniture. TV didn't work and had to be re-programmed, modem didn't work (forget Wifi it hasn't reached this establishment yet), no robes or slippers for the kids and not enough towels - the scary part was that the windows are not secured or have safety bars so any child could open then and fall out quite easily, no joke on the third floor. Took the kids swimming, the outdoor pool is a nice area - indoor pool is very small and I felt uncomfortable with the other guests trying to have a gentle swim while my two were, well being kids in a swimming pool. They used the kids entertainment room a couple of times and the staff there were very nice and welcoming, although its very cramped, I couldn't see more than ten children fitting in there! We then had some family visit us for early evening drinks in the bar so we joined a couple of tables and a few chairs - we were offered some olives and nuts and when I asked the waiter for some more for the other end of the table he said I couldn't as they "only have 20 bowls and we need them for other guests". Bar had two tables occupied at the time. After an evening out, we then had to negotiate the assault course in the bedroom which now included a rollaway bed and a sofabed to accommodate the four of us. This left no room to use the bathroom in the night without having to climb over beds so we gave up with the sofabed and our son slept with us. The room was no more than a large double and their description of a Junior Suite is way off mark. I also enjoyed the 6am wakeup call from the clock-radio as it hadn't been reset.
Breakfast the following morning was memorable. We both enjoy haddock with a poached egg and when they were delivered and the lids were removed by the waiter the stench of rotten fish was breathtaking. It was so awful my terrier dog would have loved to roll in it on the beach. The chef even apologised and offered us alternatives but at that point my appetite for breakfast was over. Do I have anything good to say about The Grand? Well, the Concierge were very efficient - the building is in a stunning setting, and does have a lovely old fashioned charm. The staff do genuinely try hard and the place seemed packed all the time - but for £300/night it really isn't worth it in my opinion.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SasLouB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
198 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

Grand entrance, staff helpful but not very friendly, they are just doing their job, rooms are large and well equipped although bed was most uncomfortable. Breakfast is well organised with a good choice. Due to dinners and afternoon teas being served the available seating area is usually full, so be prepared to spend time in your room during these times. Location is good as not a long walk into the main Eastbourne area or the shops.

Room Tip: rooms on the top floor are usually quieter,
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank holidays072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walton
Level Contributor
71 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2012

Certainly lives up to its name. Grand hotel, grand entrance and corridors and rooms to match. Even the standard rooms were larger than average. The hotel is situated at the far end of town away from the hustle and bustle of the main area and pier which was a good 10-15 min walk away. Hotel directly on sea front.
Has open air heated swimming pool and sunbed area which was great on the summer's day we were there and in fine weather a barbeque is usually held at the weekend.
Several lounges to soak up traditional atmosphere of a seaside hotel, and a traditional cream tea!
Food and service in main restaurant was a disappointing and I was expecting something more special for the prices charged.
Overall a good hotel to experience a seaside stay. Hotel has free parking in its grounds which is certainly worth noting and the beach just across the road.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank janWalton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2012

I was very dubious of staying at The Grand, it was an older established property which I was worried would be crumbling after years of use. But to my surprise, the great reception team put me in one of the newly refurbished rooms and I was very pleased. The room was large, spacious, a pretty view of a tree lined road facing inland, newly tiled bathroom all clean and sparkling with a lovely big old fashioned bath-tub. The included breakfast is simple but well prepared. Don't waste your time with the buffet you can order exactly the same items off the menu and have it made freshly to order which is far better and tastier. The bar is quite and civilised. The guests are older, retired seniors which offers a quiet and peaceful stay but certainly not hip or trendy, if that's what you’re looking for The Grand is not the place for you. The hotel is very large but has a very nice old English cosy feel. All the staff are very well presented and custom service driven, though the Russian staff could do with softening and polishing up their English language skills. I would definitely stay there again, it’s safe, quiet and in a great location. But there is no doubt I will be booking one of the refurbished rooms, and not taking a chance with the older rooms which have carpeted bathrooms.

Room Tip: Book a "refurbished" room with sea view.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nulux-traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2012

Can't speak highly enough of the rooms and general hotel public areas but dinner is a very expensive basic hotel hold under a heat lamp job with a complex supplement menu, no leadership in dinning room and very un organised. When we were there run out of 40 bt of port and substituted with £90 bottle as same label regardless of different drunk. Ruby = tawny and no one bothered asking so a total rip off. In all a shame as classic rooms from
A bygone age let down totally by bar/resturant failures and cons

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Sawbo1881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2012

DON'T STAY HERE! Totally messed up my holiday "good feeling"! Wife & daughter went to check-in 90 minutes early & room wasn't ready, as expected. No problem but at least they knew we had arrived. Came back 90 minutes later and room still wasn't ready. Waited around for nearly an hour and getting very p'd off. Staff in reception were useless and gave me many excuses as to why I was still waiting. Saying they were busy due to the bank holiday is not a valid excuse (they know how many rooms will need cleaning well in advance & should appoint the correct number of cleaning staff - they charge enough!).

Plus: Some might like this but I don't >> being asked 9 times if I want my bags taken up to my NOT YET READY room is not funny. After asking once you would think that would be that, but oh no...... time & time again the same bloody question!

After waiting an hour we left as our room still wasn't ready & no estimated time was given despite me asking 3 times! We left Eastbourne and arranged another hotel on-route. This time is was a true 5 star hotel!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank ggmanalive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucks
Level Contributor
68 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2012

Stayed here as a last minute (booked the night before) due to the impending weekend heat wave and fancied being by the sea. Chose the Grand due to its outdoor pool and the look of a wonderful historic building.
Whatever else is said about the Hotel the most impressive thing is the outstanding customer service. From the moment we pulled up, doors and boot were opened and our bags removed. Before we knew it our bags were inside on the trolley with the Concierge. We arrived two hours earlier than check in but our room was ready (possibly because we had one of the inside cheaper rooms) and were able to go straight in. I suspect if you had one of the seaview rooms that were always booked out you may not be able to get in so early.
Room was one of the cheaper, still £150 and just as we had expected.
We were shown to our room by the concierge who explained about the hotel.
I had visions of Miss Marple staying here and that is exactly what it was like a lovely throwback to the days when service was everything and everyone always said hello and had a smile.
We used the outdoor pool on both days we were there, without doubt the warmest outdoor pool i have ever been in, with an afteroon Jazz band playing, i quite expected Miss Marple to be sat there investigating a murder. Wonderful. Sadly the experience of the Costa del Sol mentality was very much in existance, at 8am on the sunday morning we were swimming, 3 of us in the pool, one person reading the paper in the sun and EVERY sun lounger had towels laid out reserving them for people who came down in their pyjamas put out the towels and clearly went back to bed. Though what you can do about that i am not sure.
For £150 sadly there was no aircon (it is old so not really surpised ) and you have to pay for wifi. In this day and age that could be free for the price you pay.
Our remote was broken so called the maintenance dept who sent a lovely man to fix it, that did not work so he got a new new, that did not work so he got a new television, all with a smile. Having asked reception for a fan to be told there were none i asked this wonderful man if he had one in his magic cupboard and he came back with one within minutes. Really there should be one per room if there was no aircon. I stayed in a modern hotel the week after which had put fans in every room due to the heat. Not a great expense but worth every penny.
Did not have breakfast as was on a diet but if i was not £20 seemed rather steep for brekkie.
All in all their attitude to service was exceptional probably the best i have ever had. £150 seemed a bit steep for the room alone. Bed was an original double ( perhaps you could think about updating them to Kingsize where space allows).

Room Tip: We had the cheapest £150 without brekkie, bed wasvery small so might be worth asking it they have an...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alison3860
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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