The Grand Hotel

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Address: 97-99 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2FW, England

Star rating:
4 star hotel

4.8

A true Brighton icon, The Grand is a splendid hotel that really lives up to its name.

Easily the most famous address in Brighton – and, arguably, the most famous seaside hotel in Britain – The Grand has been lording it over the seafront promenade since 1864. Over the years, this large, wedding-cake-white hotel has hosted many notable people including aristocrats, screen stars and politicians. Margaret Thatcher almost ended her days here when the building was bombed in 1984, but within two years, the hotel was back on its feet.

In recent years, a proliferation of boutique hotels and b&bs has given Brighton’s accommodation scene such a shake-up that if The Grand wasn’t a place of real substance, it would perhaps not have survived. Happily, it has, and it remains as popular as ever. It may have a reputation for snobbishness, but for history buffs or anyone who wants to give their stay in Brighton a real sense of dignity and occasion, it’s a must. I’d always pay the extra for a room with a sea view as that, in many ways, is the whole point.

Location
5
90%
Eating/drinking
4.8
90%
Leisure facilities
4.5
90%
Service
5
90%
Value for money
4.7
90%
Bedrooms
4.9
90%
Public areas
5
90%

Location

Impossible to beat. The Grand occupies the best spot on the seafront, facing the English Channel, with the rest of the city centre spread deferentially around and behind it. It’s just a five-minute cab ride downhill from the station, or ten minutes on foot.

Bedrooms

If EM Forster’s Lucy Honeychurch had checked in here, she would have sighed with delight – all the south-facing rooms have a view. And it’s breathtaking. Framed by elegant French windows and delicate ironwork railings, the great sweep of seafront, sea and sky is glorious in all weathers. On clear nights, when the moon shines on the water, the effect is so romantic you won’t want to leave.

The Grand prides itself on its traditional atmosphere, but the décor isn’t as conservative as you might expect and all the rooms, even the less glamorous ones at the back, are kitted out with modern comforts such as WiFi and satellite TV.

Public areas

The Grand makes dressing up make sense – there are crystal chandeliers to twinkle under, soft carpets to glide across and a superb centrepiece staircase to swish down. It’s also well set up for weddings and meetings, with several function rooms and the city’s main conference venue, the Brighton Centre, right next door. 

Eating and drinking

Open for lunch and dinner to residents and non-residents alike, The King’s Restaurant serves classic English fare using local, seasonal produce. In the afternoon, a Sussex Cream Tea in the Victoria Lounge is every bit as indulgent as you’d expect, with tasty treats delivered on multi-tiered cake stands.

Leisure facilities

The basement fitness centre and pool have been out of action for a while, but there’s a small gym on the first floor. Sailing trips on the hotel’s 43-foot yacht, which is based at Brighton Marina, can be arranged on request.

Service

Very professional. The staff have a degree of an old-fashioned formality that’s in keeping with the surroundings.

Who stays there

Tourists of all ages and nationalities, business travellers, conference attendees, wedding parties and honeymooners.

Price advice

Seasonal event packages and other special offers come up on a regular basis. A limited number of valet parking spaces are available for a daily charge (£25).

Amenities

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • Families with younger children
  • Honeymooners
  • Mature travellers
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • Shopping
  • Special occasions
  • History

Pros & Cons

  • Wonderful sea views
  • Brighton’s best address, with a special-occasion feel
  • The rooms at the back are disappointing: for the price, there are better-value options elsewhere
Book now (price from £60.00)