From £152.10
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OVERVIEW

The only five-star hotel on the British coast, the palatial Grand Hotel looms over the prom like a fancy wedding cake. Along with sea view rooms and suites, a spa with indoor and outdoor pools and an acclaimed fine dining restaurant, it serves an impressive afternoon tea in the Great Hall.


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Rooms available from £152.10 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Set back from the main road on crescent-shaped grounds, The Grand overlooks the promenade and beach and has direct views of the English Channel. It's a five-minute walk from the start of the South Downs Way, a 100-mile walking path between Eastbourne and Winchester. It's also a five-minute stroll to the Winter Gardens and the Devonshire and Congress Theatres; the pier is a 15-minute walk.

By car: 2 hours 30 mins from London, 2 hours from Dover and 1 hour 45 mins from Portsmouth. Parking costs £25 per day.

By train: London Victoria to Eastbourne takes around 1 hour 30 mins. The hotel is a 20-minute walk from the station, or 10 minutes in a taxi. Book trains to Eastbourne.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

Known as the White Palace by the sea, guests are often swept away by the sheer grandeur of the lobby; think ostentatiously tall marble columns, a wealth of ancestral paintings and an abundance of covetable antiques which line the elegant halls. Its quiet ambience feels reassuringly expensive.

THE FACILITIES

A concierge once told me that the difference between a four-star and a five-star hotel is the service. Well, The Grand deserves every one of its stars thanks to its professional, effortless staff who have warmth and personality. There's a spa, an indoor pool and a seasonal outdoor pool.

  • Two restaurants
  • Indoor pool
  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa
  • Wellness centre
  • Terrace
  • Free parking

  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Most rooms and suites have been updated with a light, floral décor. A few suites are more traditional but still grand, especially those with sea views. Bathrooms are a little dated, but all have deep baths or power showers.

Room types: Deluxe Bedrooms, Executive Rooms, Junior Suites and Junior Seaview Suites, Debussy Suite, Master Suites, The Presidental Suite, The Penthouse Suite

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with Molton Brown toiletries, armchair, tea and coffee-making facilities, writing desk, TV

FOOD AND DRINK

Afternoon tea is a pretty big deal at The Grand and served in the Great Hall. There are also a cocktail bar and two restaurants; the two AA rosette Mirabelle offers swanky fine dining, while the Garden restaurant is less formal and serves classic British food.

The Garden Restaurant: modern European cuisine. Open daily for breakfast and dinner, and lunch Friday-Monday. Mains from £25.50.

The Mirabelle Restaurant: à la carte and tasting menus. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Mains from £26.

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