You’d expect a hotel called The Grand to live up to its name, and Eastbourne’s certainly does.
The surroundings, the service, the whole feel of your stay there – Grand by name, grand by nature.
My wife and I had a weekend there last month and enjoyed the hotel and its facilities so much we barely got to see any of Eastbourne.
If your trip to this part of the East Sussex coast is aimed at getting out and about and seeing as many sights as you can, the chances are you won’t stay at The Grand.
It’s more a luxurious base for a break on which being wined, dined, pampered and perhaps entertained is on your agenda.
We stayed in a lovely suite with a sea view complete with four-poster bed, lounge area and huge bathroom.
Plenty of our time was spent in the hotel’s wonderful Garden Restaurant, where we ate (too) well at dinner and breakfast.
Menu choices are many and varied, the staff attentive and friendly.
And while you’re there, do find time – and room in your stomach – for an afternoon tea.
In many ways, staying at The Grand is like stepping back in time.
That’s not to say it is old-fashioned – major funds have been spent refurbishing it in recent years – but it has a traditional English feel about it, which will appeal to many.
We took advantage of the hotel’s spa, each enjoying a luxurious treatment that relaxed us even more than we were already, if that were possible.
For the more energetic, there’s a gym and a pool – oh, and an outdoor pool, as photographed, which would have appealed had we been in town a month or so earlier.
There’s also a children’s playroom, while those looking for conference or wedding venues are catered for. It’s not cheap, but for most this is somewhere to stay for a special occasion and is well worth saving up for.
The Grand, built in 1875 and now owned by Elite Hotels, overlooks Eastbourne’s promenade and a long, bracing walk along the seafront is one of many things you might choose to do while in the area.
The town – which is about two hours’ drive from Portsmouth – and surrounding area has plenty to offer.
Take your pick from some top-quality theatre action, international tennis, golf, castles and gardens and Sovereign Harbour.
The seafront is one of Eastbourne’s finest assets.
There are miles of coastline to enjoy, from the beach at the foot of Beachy Head to the stretch of beach between the restored Victorian pier and the Wish Tower which is popular with families.
There’s a bandstand which hosts concerts six months a year and the stunning Carpet Gardens.
It’s just half-an-hour or so from Brighton and its many attractions, while the South Downs are just as accessible.
Glyndebourne Opera House, Sheffield Park Gardens, Herstmonceux Castle and Drusillas Zoo are all a short drive away.
You might plan to check out many or all of these attractions during your stay, but my guess is you’ll be having such a grand time at The Grand, you’ll barely leave the hotel.
The Grand Hotel, King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne, is five-star and has 152 rooms – a wide mixture of bedrooms and suites.
Bedrooms start at £230 per night – suites start at £380. Booking enquiries at grandeastbourne.com or on (01323) 412345. For more on Eastbourne’s attractions, see visiteastbourne.com, call (0871 6) 63 0031 or go to eastbourne.org/tourism.