My friend won a free night's stay at The Grand including dinner and breakfast and kindly asked me to accompany her. We live a fair distance away so decided to split the cost of a second night and make a weekend of it. Neither of us had been to Torquay before and found the area to be a typical British seaside resort which could do with some serious TLC. The town centre was very shabby and most of the local attractions were aimed at those with children. The view was beautiful though and the water surprisingly clean. First impressions of The Grand were good, compared to the myriad of other hotels and B&Bs in the area, The Grand is streets ahead based on it's exterior and location right on the bay. Once we got inside however, we realised that it is in major need of a full refurbishment, the décor is outdated and there are a lot of signs of wear and tear. Having said that, our room was reasonably clean, and met our basic requirements. The Compass Bar & Lounge served good food, wine and cocktails and had a pleasant view over the bay. The musical entertainment both nights of our stay was pretty grim but gave us some laughs. Breakfast wasn't great; soggy toast, gristly sausage and rubbery bacon however, the dinner we had on the first evening exceeded our expectations entirely. The fillet of Devon beef was by far the best steak I have had in years and the starter of potted seafood and dessert of blackberry and apple jelly was delicious too. Most of the staff we came into contact with were friendly and welcoming but the service was clunky and slow. The hotel was uncomfortably warm, both in the bedroom and the communal areas. The Grand's website does a good job of glossing over the reality of staying there. I would not have wanted to have paid for both nights as I do not feel our experience warranted the rate The Grand charge however, some customer service training for their staff and investment in the décor and facilities may change that.
- 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