I had been staying at la Grande Mare for business purposes several times a year between 1999 and 2009. It is one of my favourite hotels anywhere. In particular, I love the space and I love the location.
I took my wife to the hotel in April 2011 for a leisure break and was particularly keen for her to see what a great hotel it was. Unfortunately, the service let me down.
Before dinner on our first evening we enquired about the cocktails that were being promoted on a blackboard. The waiter had no idea what was in the cocktails and the barman didn't seem too sure either! No prices were displayed.
At breakfast there appeared only ever to be one waiter on duty, despite the fact that several other waiters and waitresses could be seen to walk though the restaurant with their own personal cup of coffee in hand. They appeared not to be on duty and certainly didn't look to see if any customers might be waiting to be served. On one occasion we sat waiting for 10 minutes while the waitress attended to some evidently very important work on the bills terminal, totally ignoring the tables a few yards away.
I found this so disappointing. Service is such an important element of the customer experience, especially in a 4-star hotel.
That said, I wouldn't wish to discourage anyone from staying at la Grande Mare. The meals are good, the dinner prices are extremely reasonable, the rooms are very spacious (although those that haven't yet been refurbished have a slightly dated feel to them), the leisure facilities are good and the hotel has lovely views to the open sea or to its own golf course. I still like to maintain that it is one of the best hotels in Guernsey. I just wish they would get a grip of service rather better (the way they used to 5-10 years ago).
Guernsey is a lovely island. I can thoroughly recommend many of the cliff walks and virtually anywhere along the Atlantic coast (where la Grande Mare is situated). If the weather is kind, make sure you take the 15-minute ferry from St Peter Port to the nearby island of Herm. It is an absolute joy, with no motor vehicles, lovely cliff walks and great beaches.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Grande Mare Hotel, located on Guernsey's west coast, alongside the sweeping sands of Vazon Bay. The Hotel is set in over 120 acres of tranquil, private grounds with lakes, woodland and an 18 hole golf course and gardens. The courteous staff deliver impeccable service from the front of house and the presentation of your room to creating delicious pre-dinner cocktails, organising a memorable event or gym and golf instruction. The Hotel boasts excellent amenities including a fully equipped health suite, all weather tennis court, both indoor and outdoor bathing pools, a superb Restaurant and Brasserie and extensive business facilities, including WIFI connectivity and last but certainly not least a challenging 18 hole golf course. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Grande Mare Hotel Castel
- La Grande Mare Guernsey/Castel