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“If in the Torquay area The Grand Hotel is the Place to Stay.”
Review of The Grand Hotel

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The Grand Hotel
Ranked #28 of 85 Hotels in Torquay
Reviewed July 6, 2011

The Grand is an old hotel situated in an excellent location opposite the promenade. At considerable expense it has been lovingly restored by The Richardson family to much of its original presentation but with the integration of subtle modernity. Of the 283 reviews currently on Trip Advisor, 169 mark it as' Excellent' or 'Very Good', which equates to approximately 60%. If one adds in the given 'average' ratings then the hotel is generally a most desirable place to stay. It certainly appeals to the more discerning client and those who appreciate good food, service, and the general standards that were only enjoyed by those of wealth early in the last century. My wife and I have stayed here at times over the last four years, and have occupied a variety of rooms. We have found that all rooms we have occupied have been from very good to excellent. The making of any business can be judged by the quality and dedication of its management and staff. The management and staff at The Grand are excellent and thoroughly dedicated to customer service. The Front House Manager Kerry and her magnificent staff ensure guests are given a warm welcome and they are on hand throughout their stay to help and assist. The chambermaids ensure the bedrooms are meticulously clean and that the generous room facilities trays are re-stocked on a daily basis. We stay in many hotels including Hiltons and others of similar standing, yet the beds at The Grand are more comfortable than in any hotel in which we have stayed, and are equipped with proper bedding including quality sheets and blankets as opposed to the the modern day mass produced imported cheap junk type duvets. Each evening the hotel offers (from a practice of years gone by) a (free) turn down service where room maids ensure the beds are made ready with the added nice touch of a chocolate mint being placed on each guest's pillow (One can opt out of this service if preferred). The Gainsborough Restaurant is an experience not to be missed with excellent food served in opulent surroundings to the sound of light background music from a bygone era. The waiters are highly efficient, attentive and helpful. The interior of the hotel is wonderful being modelled on the days when large hotels were in fact Grand. It is most prestigious with a grand staircase, an immaculate reception with chaise longue settees etc in close proximity to a large carved log burning fireplace. The large Bar Area ensures guests can sit on sumptuous furniture, relax and enjoy an elevated view across the bay and Torquay town. At night the view of the lights across the bay are a sight not to be missed. Thursdays to Sundays evenings and Sunday afternoons inclusive, pianists play in the bar area. Occasionally a vocalist performs. Access from the bar is available to a most impressive sun terrace where (weather permitting) one can relax with a drink and enjoy the sunshine in the balmy Devon climate. Below the sun terrace is the Hotel's outdoor pool with a separate childrens' pool that is normally watched over by a life guard. The pool is meticulously cleaned on a daily basis during the summer period. The hotel has pleasant grounds that are lit at night, and tennis courts are easily accessible along a path. Off from the bar is a well stocked library. All furniture in the bar and library is well laid out and most comfortable. In the basement is the health club and a smart indoor swimming pool. The indoor pool is relatively small but very pleasant. All staff appear to be a cog in a well oiled machine. I.e. Brenda a waitress in the restaurant specializes in giving weather forecasts and is usually far more accurate than the bulletins given out by the meteorogical office. Melanie another waitress has an impressive memory for previous guests dietory necessities and on further visits immediately makes contact to advise on availabilities. Kerry seems to know everything about everything in ensuring booking procedures are correct. Ryan the Restaurant Manager ensures he knows guest requirements. If one purchases a bottle of wine for use in the bedroom from the restaurant, then without the necessity to ask one is immediately offered a bottle opener, glasses, and a bottle cooler. The hotel offers free parking, either in the hotel garage or on the yellow marked bays opposite in the railway car park. In the event of non availablility of a parking place on arrival or whilst staying, simply park on the drop off area at the front of the hotel, see the Reception team and they will have a staff member locate parking and park your vehicle for you all without charge. The hotel is ideally situated. For those arriving by train simply walk out of the station and the hotel entrance faces you. For those arriving by car, then from The M5 drive towards Torquay follow the signs marked 'Sea Front' - on arrival at the sea front promenade turn right at the traffic lights, travel approximately 250 yards along the sea front then turn right again and the hotel is on your left. A walk of approximately twelve minutes along the flat promenade with the option of walking partly through well planted flower gardens is all that is required to access The Playhouse Theatre, Torquay Harbour and the town centre. The 800 year old Torre Abbey is just 200 yards from the hotel accessible through parkland with a brook and ducklings etc. Opposite the hotel on the sea front is the bus stop (No. 12 Bus) where one can travel to Paignton, Brixham etc. Paignton offers large beaches and the wonderful private Steam Train ride of 30 minutes to Kingswear and Dartmouth with the availability of a boat trip on the beautiful River Dart. (For an extra £1.50p (payable on the train) travel in the directors coach and feel like Richard Attenborough of "The Railway Children" fame). The train leaves Paignton Station at 10.30 a.m. The station at Kingswear is next to the jetty with the ferry across the river from where the boat can be found for a ride on the river. Or take Bus 32 from the last stop in the line outside of Debenhams (opposite Torquay Harbour) and travel for ten minutes to Babbacombe to visit 'Bygones', a most amazing experience of recreated Victoriana with the additions of 1st World War trenches, and second world war living, play on the old slot machines that we enjoyed years ago, look at model railways and a host a other creations. Enjoy tea and cake in its Railway Cafe. A very good one and a half hour or more's entertainment for £7.50p (£6.50p for seniors). Then take the famous Historical Babbacombe Cliff Railway down the cliff to the beach. (Just £1.80p return fare). Follow this with a leisurely walk around the impressive Babbacombe's model village. ...Torquay and its surroundings have much to offer, but the cream on the cake is to return each evening to stay at the wonderful Grand Hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Frederick32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joshua_Randall, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 17, 2011

Thank you so much for taking your time to write such a wonderful and informative review! The picture from the room looks lovely.

I'm very glad you enjoyed so much that we have to offer here. The staff have been delighted to see the comments about your stay.

We look forward to welcoming you back with warm smiles in the not so distant future.

Regards,

Joshua Randall
Assistant Manager

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2,264 - 2,270 of 2,576 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2011

I lived in Torquay for many years and always knew the Grand as "faded granduer" so when I returned i always stayed at the Imperial. However on a two night stay recently I was amazed...it was a tremedous experience. Kind staff , great room , really good service , and of course great views. The room we had was spacious and a reat treat. Can't recommend it enough...this will be my new South Devon home. Everything (roon service) closes a bit early so ensure you are sorted for food before 10. but thats Devon.

Room Tip: Spend more and get the suites..well worth it.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank melmoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter W, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2016

Thank you for your review

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Reviewed July 3, 2011

I last stayed here about 25 years ago, so this was a bit of a trip down memory lane! I booked a sea view room with balcony. Sadly we found (as others had written) that the balconies are closed off for "health and safety" reasons, although you can still access them.Ours had also been boxed in, meaning you could only enjoy the view when standing up! Regretably the pigeons have not taken note of the h&s issues and continue to perch on the roof and balconies and coo non-stop, forcing me to sleep with ear-plugs.As others have written, the bedrooms are in serious need of a facelift although everything works. I can't remember when I last slept under sheets and blankets. Charging £2 per night for use of the room safe beggars belief!
However, the public areas are fine as are the spa and pools. The outside heated pool is particularly good. Breakfast is as you'd expect - traditional English buffet. We had one dinner which was very good. All the hotel staff were polite and friendly and very happy to book taxis and restauarants for us. Overall we enjoyed our stay but I do hope that the hotel's latest owners invest some money and refurbish the bedrooms as I fear that they will fail to get repeat business from independent travellers if they don't.

Room Tip: go and see the room before you agree to take it .
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank blondieBucks_england
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter W, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2016

Thank you for your review

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Reviewed July 2, 2011

Spent three nights in a sea facing room (The Dukes) nice big room ,lovely views.Yes they still use blankets and no there is no flat screen TV ,but we liked the old world charm of the place.The staff were spot on ,nothing was to much trouble.We had dinner on the first evening which was good although the wine list had several bottles crossed off,the breakfast was firstclass but they need to drop the supplement for poached fish as you get that as norm in a good B&B.We swam in the heated outdoor pool which in this country is an absolute luxury.It is in need of a little TLC but it is a very relaxing place and we would go back again.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank pickyNickyDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter W, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2016

Thank you for your review

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Reviewed June 28, 2011

We booked an easter trip to the hotel for a pretty decent price so we certainly didnt expect the Ritz! The outside pool at the hotel is fab and the spa facilities are also good so this makes it worth a stay (although the changing rooms need a damn good clean!!). However the standard rooms are pretty grubby and clearly havent been refurbed since the 1980's. I am sure the more grand rooms/suites are more impressive but we were aiming to stick at around £100 per night and so that was what we got for our money! The staff are frosty at best and as always in many hotels generally consist of young teenagers/20's who were far more interested in being out in the sunshine! This didnt actually effect our stay as we chose to eat/drink out of the hotel. Breakfast was good and the dining room overlooking the sea is lovely to sit with a cup of tea. Worth a stay but try to upgrade rooms if you can as the standard option really wont excite the senses!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank woney1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter W, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2016

Thank you for your review

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2011

I have stayed at the Grand for short breaks on several occasions and overall have had very enjoyable visits. However, during this last visit the Summer Ball was being held on the friday evening. I only discovered this when I asked about the main bar opening times when I was informed that the bar was closed to residents after 5.00pm on friday evening as were all the other public areas/facilities including the restaurant. Room service was the only facility open to hotel residents that evening and the £5 charge for it had been dropped for the evening as recompense.
Upon further investigation I discovered the main band would be performing directly below my first floor suite. The hotel reception actually has a chart showing which rooms are affected by noise from the various function rooms and my suite is highlighted. Did anyone bother to let me know? No! I had to find this all out for myself, approach the manager and insist on alternative accommodation which would not be affected by the late night band music. Fortunately, another smaller suite was available away from the Ball so I stayed there for that evening. I did venture into my original suite during the evening to see whether I was being overly concerned to find the music volume was overwhelming to such an extent the wardrobe and other furniture vibrated continuously!
So... no information, no bar facility, no restaurant facility, no spa facility and the stress of sorting it all out to ensure a peaceful night's sleep.
When I checked out I was presented with the full bill even though I had been downgraded in my suite size and denied all the other facilities for friday night. I insisted on a room rate reduction for the friday and that was agreed without fuss.
So... no automatic bill reduction.
The overall feeling I have over this affair is that the senior management of this company have total contempt for their paying residents who can be banished to their rooms and excluded from the hotel facilities they were expecting to use from the brochure whenever the hotel can make more money from a big event like the Summer Ball. If I ever do decide to return to this hotel I will check what else is happening during my visit so I can plan accordingly.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Philgyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2011

I booked this hotel with the expectation that I would be with my family in a family room with balcony and sea view. Upon arrival I was shown to my room with a sea view but no balcony. I asked to see the manager and was told that due to health and safety that all balconies had been declared unsafe and as such we would not be able to have a room with a balcony. Also I was informed that there were no family rooms with balconies so there must have been some mis-understanding regarding the booking.After explaining that I do not make mistakes like that the error lay with the hotel and its reception team and not with me.To be fair to the hotel manager I dealt with we were offered a high tea for 3 at not cost and, although not mentioned to me at the time a reduiction of £25 per night was made to my bill.
In regards to the hotel itself, one of its main claim to fame is that Agatha Christy stayed there following her wedding. Well, what ever excited good old Agatha and prompted her to stay there has been lost in the mists of time.
Parking, If you arrive early and are very lucky you may get a space in the minute car park located at the rear of the hotel. if not then its on the road or in the station car park opposite. We did get a parking space but did not move the car for the whole of our stay due to fear of not getting back in again.
The corridors at the hotel are laid with threadbear carpets tatty wallpaper and are just dull and unattractive.
Rooms are okay I would have thought 3 star max.
The outside of the hotel on the terrace area shows the real issue with this hotel. As you look at the hotel it is tatty, in need of a good lick of paint with a flock of pidgeons who have taken up residence in the roof space.
Breakfast is buffet style and is adequate but not very exciting, eggs bacon sausage etc.
We did take an evening meal there and this was fine,this was due to the lack of decent places to eat in the Torquay town centre area.
During our stay there were a number of weddings taking place in the hotel so at times the terrace was taken over by wedding guests to the exclusion of hotel guests.
Overall the Grand is a great example of what is wrong with the English seaside hotels.
This hotel is living on its past glories and really does need to spend a considerable amount of money on a quality refurbishment.

Room Tip: Ensure booking detail are confirmed by email
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Donpet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter W, Manager at The Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2016

Thank you for your review

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 The Grand Hotel

Address: Sea Front, Torquay TQ2 6RH, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Torquay
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#14 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
#15 Business Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: $88 - $271 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Grand Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 132
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Torquay's Historic Jewel For old world grandeur and traditional British charm, the Grand has been Torquay's landmark hotel for over 130 years. Overlooking one of the finest bays, this elegant Victorian hotel offers 132 individually styled bedrooms, The Grand spa, AA rosette restaurant 1881 and is surrounded by 22 miles of spectacular Devon coastline. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grand Hotel Torquay, Devon

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