“ The Grand, Brighton / King's Road / Brighton / East Sussex / BN1 2FW / Tel: 01273 224300. „
I visited the Grand De Vere as a wedding guest of a close friend of mine, so am writing a review from a different angle.
My friend had hired areas of the hotel for the whole day and everything was exactly how she wanted (except some of the guests behaviour!). The reception was in the conservatory on the west of the building, which was lit atmospherically to create an intimate environment whilst being big enough for all her guests, some tables, the buffet, cake in a place for all to see etc and a lot of space for dancing to a live band! The bar was very well stocked, particularly for a wedding bar, the staff were really good; efficient, knew what they were doing and so didn't get in the way, but were also friendly enough for people to approach them. They had everything under control and everone was relaxed and could enjoy the day. Toilets were also really high standard - it's important!
Afterwards, everyone relaxed in the bar, again cosy enough with a feeling of unimposing grandeur, and friendly staff who were accomodating and cheerful and also happy for some guests to order takeaway to the hotel lounge!
I have just come back from a couple of days in Brighton, trying to take advantage of the brief show of summer sunshine.
As usual I went online and spent a not inconsiderable amount of time trying to find the best deal. I was very happy to be able to book this seafront 5 star hotel for bed and breakfast for £105 each for two nights especially as that included £25 towards dinner on the first night.
The hotel certainly takes after it's name and stands on the seafront looking majestic and superior. It was an easy walk from the station and an easy walk to anywhere else we visited in Brighton, with the exception of Brighton Marina- but in fairness, any hotel that was convenient for the Marina, would not be convenient for anywhere else in Brighton Centre.
There was a big party booking in as we arrived and I was impressed, that the concierge came and having checked our names against the booking register, relieved us of our luggage and took it to our room. Once the large party had left, check in was quick and easy.
As we moved from reception we saw the central staircase which rose thru the entire hotel and was without any doubt an amazing sight to behold.
There was a bar to the left and a very comfortable lounge area.
Our room was on the first floor and was very large, it contained two beds, a dresser, a desk, a television cupboard, a fridge, a wardrobe, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary water, an iron with ironing board, trouser press, hairdryer, a table and two very comfortable armchairs. We made the mistake of trying the beds, a mistake because they were so comfy we didn't want to move.
It was very clean and elegantly decorated.
The bathroom had plenty of towels, a flannel each and dressing gowns.
The shower head was huge and there were plenty of L'occitane toiletries.
Later that night we ate dinner in the hotel at a table overlooking the sea and it was a very well prepared and enjoyable meal- neither of us drink and we are both vegetarians, and our bill came just within the dinner allowance- if you did eat more expensive items and drank alcohol, the £25 per head allowance would need topping up.
Breakfast the following morning was all you could wish for from a buffet breakfast- I am not going to list all that was available here- but if it is a breakfast dish- it is available.
The leisure centre at the hotel is under refurbishment, but there is still a small gym available on the first floor.
There is internet access in your room, but we used the complimentary business centre for the little we needed to do.
Now a downside was that our room, would have overlooked what we think were air-conditioning units - or at least it would have been our view had the windows not been glazed over. Now I am guessing that is one of the reasons we got such a good deal for a 5 star room and service. Neither of us had any problem with this, as in the morning we were busy getting ready and at night we drew the beautiful curtains - so what the windows looked like was of no concern.
The staff were very good and they did their best to accommodate my food intolerances- one grumble here being that I didn't have any bread, I was told I had only let them know a few days before my visit that I needed yeast free bread and their food order had already been placed and they couldn't find any in the local shops-now I would have thought a five star chef would be able to bake a loaf of bread.
But all in all a great place to stay on trip to Brighton.
This hotel was done up thanks to the IRA... and is a listed building but thats the trouble. It is built around a massive staircase that no modern hotel would need. Impressive but this hotel is simply dated and stuck in the past. The big satir case means there is lots of wasted sapce hence the infalted prices as it does not have enough rooms per sq foot.
The rooms are dated and look 1990's now... which is 20 years old! The decor needs updating.
The pool is too small to do any swimming and the Gym just a small room with rubbish equipment.
the foosd was good however I was o a course and ate over 3 days and this was highlight. I found the staff fine.
But this is the Grand and because it takes up the front and is a landmarkyou as naother reviewer has said already expected a lot more......
From the outside it may look "Grand" and the check in/car parking service is friendly and helpful but I wouldn't bother staying here again.
The decor is old and needs updating. The Iron in our room looked like it was from the 60's and had a burnt surface which ruined our clothes. The room was small, the shower unimpressive and the view non existent. The pool is too small to do any swimming. The breakfast service was non existent and we had already eaten pastries and then our hot selection before we had to ask for tea and toast and then had to wait another 10 minutes.
For £210 I would have expected a lot more......
The De Vere Grand Hotel Brighton is an impressive hotel, part of the De Vere chain of over 25 luxury hotels. The De Vere website www.devere.co.uk has lots of information on the hotel and also some special offers. As a relatively large chain it is also possible to get some good room rates from the usual web sites. The Grand (as it is commonly referred to) is located on the Sea Front in close proximity to all of Brighton's major attractions. It is a 5* Deluxe (basically the highest rating a hotel can get). The Grand is Grand in every sense of the word.
The hotel has 200 rooms, ranging from Inland Singles (8), to Inland Twin/Doubles (115) to doubles/Twins with sea views (31) to deluxe doubles with sea views (42) to suites. Prices range from £80 GBP for a single B & B to £250 GBP B &B for a sea view deluxe to £530 for a suite. There is a Presidential Suite, I dread to think what that costs I stayed in a Sea view deluxe, checking in on a Saturday and leaving after lunch on the following Sunday. I ate in the hotel for breakfast and Sunday lunch. The Brighton Grand was built, as a hotel, in 1864, for the wealthy visiting Brighton (well not much has changed ) It was, and still is the most expensive hotel in the City. The Hotel was bombed in the early hours of the 12th October 1984, in a failed IRA attempt to kill Margaret Thatcher (the then Prime Minister). The Hotel suffered major damage and was extensively rebuilt and very sympathetically restored.
The Hotel looks Grand when you arrive. It is a really handsome building both internally and externally. Reception is impressive, as indeed are all the public rooms. A huge lobby with elegant marble pillars and a superb sweeping staircase. Spotless, really good quality furnishings, chandeliers, the works. There are lots of helpful, friendly staff who at the same time are very proficient and professional. Its' actually quite a difficult balance to achieve however the Grand does it to perfection. Check in was smooth and exceptionally efficient with helpful staff who seemed as if they genuinely wanted to be helpful. Right throughout the hotel from reception to restaurant to porterage to housekeeping to bar all of the staff seemed genuinely to want to look after the guests. The Management at this hotel understand Excellent Customer Service.
The Room was outstanding, admittedly not the cheapest I've ever stayed in but, an incredibly comfortable King Sized bed, excellent quality bed linen. The Room was immaculate with sumptuous furnishings, quite a large room with separate seating area (nice comfortable chairs) and French windows opening onto a balcony with a good sea view. The bathroom was very spacious room bath tub and power shower, again spotless with very good quality complimentary toiletries and lovely fluffy towels and bath robes. The Bedroom had air conditioning, although somewhat bizarrely not all bedrooms do. The Bedroom, indeed the whole hotel, had lots of character and was really well decorated and cared for. The room had the usual facilities, TV, Satellite TV, mini bar but the prices (in common with every hotel mini bar were massively expensive), trouser press, Internet Broadband etc
In common with most 5* Hotels the Grand has the usual Hotel Facilities, 24 Hour Room Service (at the usual exorbitant rates), 24 Hour Porterage. Lifts serving all seven floors of the hotel, Leisure Complex (more of that below), Restaurant, Bars, Beauty Parlour etc. The Bars carry a wide selection of alcoholic beverages. A word of warning they are expensive, I wandered out into Brighton and visited local hostelries. The Hotel, in common with most 5* hotels allows dogs. There is charge of £5 per day, they are not permitted in the public areas and may only stay with prior arrangement
There are apparently also some rooms in the hotel with disabled facilities, I didn't actually see any but I understand that they have wider doors which are wheelchair friendly. There is a ramped entrance to the main hotel
I didn't eat at the hotel on the Saturday evening, I had a wander around however, there was live jazz coming from the Restaurant, the rather impressive King's restaurant, that I thought was a nice touch. A 4 course Meal on a Saturday evening is £30 plus drinks, which actually is not a bad price. I had an inquisitive look at the Main Restaurant A La Carte Menu, The food sounded rather good, a tad expensive. Starters ranging from £6.85 GBP (Crispy Duck Spring Roll with Cucumber Salsa) to £8.50 GBP(Smoked Salmon and Raspberries that sounded like an interesting combination). Mains ranged from £15 GBP for a Cheese and Bacon Salad to £29.50GBP for Beef Wellington, creamed horseradish, caramelized baby carrots and Madeira Sauce (I thought that sounded delicious). Desserts ranged from £5.50 for Rum and raisin brulee with hazelnut shortbread to £7.50 for a steamed chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce and pistachio ice cream.
I ate Breakfast, it was absolutely delicious food, fresh good quality ingredients with a good selection and lots of it. Basically a very good hot and cold buffet. Everything was cooked to perfection (even the porridge). Guess who ate too much but I still managed to make it to lunch. Sunday lunch was equally good, A three course set menu for £25. A Choice of 5 starters, ranging from Caesar salad to Duck, Chicken and Foie Gras Parfait (I dont eat foie gras on principle) I actually got to try the Smoked Salmon and Raspberries it was delicious the Smoked Salmon and Raspberries work together.. A Choice of five mains, including an interesting sounding vegetarian option Saffron Potato Gnocci but it was Sunday so I went for the mouth watering Roast Sirloin of Beef (carved at the table) followed by a lovely pud (sorry should I say dessert...). This time there was a choice of four. I went for the baked Alaska. Baked Alaska is one of those dishes which has to be served just right (and it was)The Restaurant operates a dress code, no Jeans, Shorts, T Shirts when having dinner. Children under 14 years of age eat at half price, under 4 years eat free. There are also, incidentally some family rooms in the hotel
There is also the Victoria Lounge and Terrace which is less formal than the Restaurant which serves bar snacks and afternoon meals. Rumour has it that afternoon tea is pretty good, although on this occasion I didn't try it...next time perhaps
I didn't use the Leisure facilities but had a look, a bit of a nosey as one does They were impressive (and extensive), a really well equipped gym, the Pool seemed the right size, 12 metres, . There is a Relaxation Suite, I didnt actually go in there. That is where the Sauna, Steam room and tropicarium are located. The Beauty Salon appears to offer all the usual body and facial treatments. As I am beautiful enough already I didnt feel the need to actually price any of the treatments up. Although I suspect that they would be somewhat expensive. The Hair Salon is located in the Leisure facilities. The Hotel even has a special Leisure Club Menu of sandwiches and hot snacks ranging from croquet monsieur at £5.95 to Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad at £13.50.
Cost to one side. This hotel is one of the best I've ever stayed in, although not the best (that accolade goes to the Imperial in Torquay another 5* Deluxe) I can understand why all the politicians stay at the Grand. Even after the extensive building works following the bombing the hotel has managed to retain both its' atmosphere, its style and its ambience. When I checked out I left feeling really good about my stay and the hotel. I knew and felt that I had stayed somewhere special.
Its just a shame it costs so much...