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.
- 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