Part of a special package that included car ferry from Portsmouth and two nights in this 4 star hotel with a fitness centre and indoor pool, we turned up very late in one of the windiest and wettest nights of a very wet and windy winter to a warm welcome.
La Grande Mare manages to keep its occupancy rates high, despite its somewhat remote (but glorious) setting, linked as it is to a large golf course and small nature reserve. It achieves this by a diversification that includes time-share apartments, golf lessons, a health club and a top ranking restaurant that bustles with local and repeat trade.
Our suite was spacious, but the furniture and fittings were slightly incongruous being designed for self-catering rather than a hotel stay. This meant lots of cupboards with kitchen utensils and a rather odd seating plan with the only sofa at right angles to the wall-mounted TV. The bed and other furnishings were well designed, practical and comfy. However, the attention to detail did not quite follow through, for example, the top-end Bose bedside radio requires an aerial to pick up anything other than the 2 local channels and the iPod Dock would benefit from a lightning connector to use with the latest iPhone or iPad. The TV had a "hidden" small selection of Sky channels which I stumbled upon by chance by selecting the analogue setting.
Of course, these are trivial grumbles and the cheerful hotel staff and excellent quality of the food more than made our stay memorable. The restaurant was full on a Friday evening, the menu was varied and imaginative, though not innovative; they were perhaps understandably playing very safe. the wine list was perfectly ok.
So why only 4 stars - and would we have given it 5 on a warm, sunny day with lots of outside activities to take my mind away from minor techie gripes? I suppose because it so wants to be at the top of its game that it covers too wide a base and doesn't completely satisfy any one part of the market. Would I go again, yeah, probably.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Grande Mare Hotel, located on Guernsey's west coast, alongside the sweeping sands of Vazon Bay. The Hotel is set in over 120 acres of tranquil, private grounds with lakes, woodland and an 18 hole golf course and gardens. The courteous staff deliver impeccable service from the front of house and the presentation of your room to creating delicious pre-dinner cocktails, organising a memorable event or gym and golf instruction. The Hotel boasts excellent amenities including a fully equipped health suite, all weather tennis court, both indoor and outdoor bathing pools, a superb Restaurant and Brasserie and extensive business facilities, including WIFI connectivity and last but certainly not least a challenging 18 hole golf course. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Grande Mare Hotel Castel
- La Grande Mare Guernsey/Castel