Fantastic location with great views and pleasant staff. There is a lot of history to the building, much of which has been retained in the decor of the public rooms showing a lot of craftmanship from a bygone age and I completely approve of. Sadly maintainence is poor and completely lets down the potential of this place to be very special. The website says it is a hotel but seems to be more a building of self catering suites. Once passed reception there is a musty feel to the place as if it needs a good airing and the room was much the same.
My wife and I were in the Frogholt suite for a weekend and expected it to be well appointed. It was big but the furniture was mismatched and the decor did not look like it had been touched this side of the millennium. Paint was peeling around the windows, one of the sash cords was broken and looked like it had been for some time. Part of the window cill outside was complete rotted. It was not a welcoming experience and beyond tired in appearance. It was novel to see some old style round pin sockets and was an indication to the lack of care about the appearance that these had not been taken out decades ago. What is strange is that the lounge had a huge rug, furniture and settee that must have been very expensive and in total contrast with the standard of decoration.
The bathroom was a mix of styles from the 70s and 80s, the shower fitting was too low to get under without bending, if and when you could get it to stay in one position. So frustrating, how is it such things don't get fixed? You get one each bath gel and shampoo left in the room and the rooms do not get made up during the course of a weekend stay so they are not replenished, towells not changed or the beds made. In fairness on the website it does tell you this. On the plus side, the beds were comfortable the room was quiet and there was plenty of hot water.
We only had breakfast at the hotel. It is extra to the room rate was freshly cooked and good value. The Keppels bar is said to have a "London style wine bar feel". Which one? It wasn't unpleasant, service was fine but again tired decor and furnishings. I imagine some one furnished this place about 30 years ago with a view to use high quality products that would last a long time. They have, the‘re comfortable but dated and from a time when style, in retrospect, was not great.
I feel more sad about this place than annoyed because it could be so much better. They put on a lot of events in the Hotel and Folkestone itself always has something on the go. Eurotunnel is close and there are major plans to redevelope the Harbour area which should see a lot on new people visiting. A lot of effort has gone into Folkestone over the last few years with improvement in the town and Leas areas making it a nice place to visit.
The Grand needs to catch up if it wants to benefit, I would like to come back and see it refurbished. To my mind they don't need huge suites, they need rooms then they could fit more people in and get a better spend per head. There seems to be plenty of space to fit a gym, spa and pool which is now fairly standard for a big hotel and would encourage people to use the facilities within the hotel. All my wife and wanted to do was get out. Who wants to pay GBP 295.00 for a weekend and self cater? If you can afford that you would eat out. Their business model, my opinion!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand is a magnificent and prestigious Edwardian venue, providing accommodation, events & fine dinning, located in an unrivaled position on the South Coast. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Grand Folkestone, Kent