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One of the Best Hotels in Britain
The De Vere Grand Hotel (Brighton)
Member Name: RichPrice
The De Vere Grand Hotel (Brighton)
Date: 22/03/07, updated on 24/03/07 (2797 review reads)
Advantages: Luxury, Fab Sea Views
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 don’t 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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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...
Summary: Unless You're a Millionaire its' one for Special Occasions