The first time I viewed the Grand Pacific, was the first day I ever caught a wave, in 1976. Lorne was a much quieter place then, and without benefit of a freeway, a distant destination. After moving the the USA, I dropped back in, in 1995. The Grand Pacific was still perched regally on the hill, but the rot has set in, with the eyesore pink Cumberland resort. Finally got back to the Grand Pacific. flew into Tulamarine airport, and as promised by googlemaps, I was out the front of the Grand in 2 hours exactly. I didn't recognize the commercialized coast on the drive, but there was no mistaking the magisterial view from the patio out front. Bags could wait, they stayed in the car for a few hours. As a San Diegan, i am a beer snob, and was pleasantly surprised by the locally brewed Spiny, on tap. Surprised quite a few times, as the afternoon unwound. After 2 sad airline meals, the day got even better, as I tucked into the Surf n Turf. Prime Otway beef, and jeez, who often does a Seppo score a Morton Bay Bug?
By now tired and content, I got my bags and ambled up to room 26. For a hotel that has offered accommodation over a century or 2, it still retains its charm and ambiance. Others may have made the mistake of forcing the Grand into the 21st century, but common sense has prevailed, and an understated elegance awaits. All this before I even looked out the window!! The upstairs balcony has the most glorious views of the town, the ocean, and the pier. Any thought of a nap went out the window, and so did I, as I went camera crazy snapping the sensational sunset. Wait until you see these. Sundown on a Sunday night, and I went downstairs to dine again. I'd walked into town, but really, how could I not sit in this grand old pub, and watch the moon shimmy off the ocean, while throwing down a pizza, with a few more beers? It got better. Caught the staff watching the cricket, and invited myself to join them.
Time to hit the sack, with the sound of the ocean ever present, on a comfy bed. Granted, sleeping in is nice, but the wraparound balcony affords you a sunrise as well as a sunset! Surely they would slide the decimal point across, on my bill, if they knew how delirious I was. Run the camera battery down as surely as the Indians had done to Australia, in the cricket, the night before.
Now, I mentioned Lorne has lost a little luster. Well, if you walk out the hotel door, and saunter to the right, you have the Lorne untouched by the commerce. A pier to walk, and quiet little beachlets, away from the maddening crowds, fully festooned, with ancient rock formations, framed by the verdant forest. Alas, it was time to go, one night was all I had allotted. I kept heading west, and the Grand Pacific set a mighty standard, on what ended up being my greatest solo vacation. Thank you, Paul and staff.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Pacific Lorne
- Grand Pacific Hotel Lorne South Pacific