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“Let me down” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Grande Mare

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La Grande Mare
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Castel
Certificate of Excellence
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Let me down”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2011

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.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Geoff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simon V, Owner at La Grande Mare, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
Dear JGNB
Thank you for your report and i have taken notes on your comments.
We are always trying very hard to improve the quality of our service.
Hope to see you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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350 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
March, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2011

Lovely but dated hotel. Apartments/Rooms are very spacious and well equipped.
Service however is very 'Fawlty Towers' and not great for a Business traveler. Breakfast doesn't start until 8am, which as the hotel is on the other side of the Island to St Peter's Port isn't good for a 9am meeting. Some of the waiting staff are truly hopeless, so breakfast can be very slow.
Food is superb but let down by the waiting staff.
Reception staff although pleasant, struggle with the system when it comes to check in/check out so queues are inevitable.
The leisure facility are excellent.
Wi-Fi is hit & miss as very few of the staff know what to do when it's not working, so again not ideal for the Business traveler.
I would probably stay here again for leisure but for Business would choose St Pierre Park.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MrsThrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simon V, Owner at La Grande Mare, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
Dear Mrs Throg
I've read your review and have taken note of the high marks and suggestions for improvements.Thank you for the review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2011

We booked a week's timeshare in this hotel through RCI thinking that even if the weather was bad we could enjoy a week's break and make use of the gym and swimming pool. We were very pleasantly surprised - the hotel is beautifully located beside a lovely sandy beach, ideal for walking and for watching the many canoeists and windsurfers. Our one bedroomed apartment was very spacious and comfortable and had a pleasant outlook over the golf course and up to the hills in the centre of the island. It also overlooked the outdoor pool (closed for the winter) so perhaps it would have been a bit noisy later in the year.
The hotel is extremely popular with local people and offers wonderful value meals at £12.50 for a three course lunch or dinner. We usually self cater on timeshare holidays but the food here was so good we ate in four times. We found all the staff to be very efficient, friendly and courteous. In fact we were impressed with the courtesy of all the islanders, everyone was happy to give directions or help us if they could. We used the gym and the swimming pool every day and loved them. They were open to non residents and were well used by local people - again they were all extremely friendly and many a good chat we enjoyed in the jaccuzi, learning more about the island and island life!
We were out and about everyday and did some enjoyable walking and cycling around the island. Unfortunately most tourist attractions are closed in February, but it is definitely a good time to come if you want to see real island life away from the tourist season. We had an excellent week's break in the hotel and hope to return again when more attractions are open.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank twojollywheelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simon V, Owner at La Grande Mare, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
Dear Jollytowwheelers
What a fantastic recommendation for a winter break.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write such a great report.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carnforth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2010

Very helpful staff particulary reception and restaurant. Clean spacious rooms with views over the golf course and beach. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Spencerbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simon V, Owner at La Grande Mare, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
Dear Spencerbabe
Thanks for a great rating and report.
Hope to see you back soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Horley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2010

We have been coming to Guernsey for over 30 years now and over ten of those years we have stayed at this hotel. The service is fantastic, the staff are extremely polite and helpful. The only problem we have ever had at the hotel is the local golfers using the hotel/restaurant parking area instead of the golf parking area, but this is not really the hotels fault, just the golfers being lazy.
We have a son who has severe active crohns and the hotel staff are always helpful and polite when we arrive for our holiday and put his medication in the fridge for us. The suite is always clean, tidy and has a vase of fresh flowers in the main room for when we arrive. After a day out around the island or on the beach we return back to the suite to find a complimentary copy of the guernsey press.
The health suite has extremely helpful staff along with the onsite golf shop. Whenever we use the restaurant the food has been excellent and it is never a problem to provide a slightly different main meal for dietary needs. The hotel is just the place for a most relaxing holiday and we should know, having been regularly every year for over 10 years now. Anyone that does not enjoy their relaxing, peaceful holiday in La Grande Mare need to go elsewhere.
We would recommend the hotel to everyone that appreciates a pleasant, quiet and relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tessagoldie14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simon V, Owner at La Grande Mare, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
Dear Tesssgoldie14
Thank you for another great review of our Hotel.
I shall share this review with my team and feel sure they will be delighted to read how much you enjoyed your stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2010

We stayed in the self catering section of the hotel and the rooms were spacious, bright and well decorated. Although the kitchens were a little dated, with some extremely blunt implements, they were well equipped, with everything from a corkscrew to a measuring jug, as you'd expect, and a dishwasher, too.

The bedrooms were very large with deep built-in wardrobes and enough storage space in the many drawers to fit everything from the suitcases, and more. There was a hairdryer in the bedroom and also one in the bathroom, although both were quite dated.

The bathroom was a particular highlight because this was especially nicely decorated and the shower was very powerful indeed, with plenty of hot water. It was nice to find ample towels and even some hotel bath robes to use while we stayed.

The living area was, again, very spacious, with a huge L-shaped sofa, and another sofa that was also a fold-out bed. There was a posh-looking flatscreen TV, and some extra little touches, like complimentary writing paper and local information, and a free local newspaper each day.

The hotel has a very luxurious health suite with an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym, and this was free to use until 5pm each day, which was a huge added bonus. The changing rooms provide towels for you too, as if we didn't already have enough in the apartment!

Overall the cleanliness could not be faulted, and we enjoyed the high standards that are kept here. We did not do a huge amount of cooking while staying here, despite being self-catering, but had we wanted to eat exclusively within the apartment, some sharper knives and a more up-to-date kitchen would have been welcome.

The hotel is set in some brilliant grounds and only a road separates it from a long, sandy beach, so the location couldn't be better for beach-going, although it is a fair distance to the main town of St. Peter Port, so we found a hire car extremely useful, despite the buses being fairly regular and very inexpensive.

We were slightly disappointed to find that the Internet facilities were not available in our apartment, and we had to go to the hotel lounge to use this, but it was free and, for the most part, very fast.

We'd definitely come back here. Despite being expensive, it is not hard to see why the apartments command this kind of price. We had an excellent stay and there can't be many better places to stay on the island.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank fw190a8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simon V, Owner at La Grande Mare, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
fw190A8
Thank you for a superb report on your holiday with us at LGM
Hope to see you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2009

I stayed at La Grande Mare for 1 night with my extended family over a Saturday night in late November.
I found the decor very dated, the hotel was messy albeit some kind of work was going on but random furniture was all over the place.
The reception staff were extremely unhelpful, not allowing us to have a newspaper the because we were only staying for one night, which is ridiculous I have stayed in hotels all over the world and have never come across this "rule"! The receptionist did not offer any solutions to our problems it was very simply no I can't help.
Directions inside the hotel were dreadful, my Sister and I wandered around for a 1/2 hour trying to find one of the "luxury" apartments eventually finding it by finding every other apartment and only having one choice left!
The Internet did not work and all we could get out of the staff were vague stories about there having been a problem the day previous!
The cost was unbelievable for what you got, not a good advert for Guernsey tourism at all. If you are looking for a top class hotel go to La Fregate, we went for lunch on the Sunday and it was superb, ever so friendly staff even to the point of letting us have a look around some of the rooms which were excellently equipped!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank skierboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
956simon1960, Owner at La Grande Mare, responded to this review, 20 October 2011
Oh no Skierboy !
Sorry to hear about your stay and how you found the Hotel dated.

We are scheduled for a serious update and makeover during the first four months of 2010
Please feel free to come back and try us again and enjoy the upgrade with super king size beds in our spacious rooms !.
One of the perils of living on a tiny Island surrounded by water is that we have to rely on actually flying in the English newspapers and sometimes the flight get delayed due to fog and the like hence the problem in supply.
Hope we have the pleasure of your company soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Grande Mare

Property: La Grande Mare
Address: Vazon Coast Road, Castel GY5 7LL
Region: United Kingdom > Channel Islands > Guernsey > Castel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Castel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — La Grande Mare 4*
Number of rooms: 36
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

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