Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Eastbourne!
We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points. You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here. This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.
Today’s hotel is The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne – the only five star hotel by the sea in Sussex. Let’s be honest, there aren’t many contenders for great British seaside hotels full stop! None of the HFP have ever been here so we were keen to find out more too.
It is reader Geeta’s favourite hotel and here is her review:
The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne is the only 5* hotel by the sea in Sussex. It is part of Elite Hotels and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which means every aspect of hospitality – from food to service to spa facilities – is meant to be gold standard.
From outside, the hotel looks like a white palace, splayed out in a crescent shape as if spreading its arms and welcoming all its guests. The palatial grandeur continues inside, where the interiors are every bit as sumptuous and charming as one would expect from a 5* hotel, without feeling outdated or faded.
If you are flying in, the hotel is about an hour’s drive from London Gatwick airport or just under two hours from London Heathrow. We took a two hour Southern train journey from East Croydon to Eastbourne station and it was a five minute cab ride from the station to the hotel. The hotel is situated right on the seafront overlooking the beach and you can’t miss its gorgeous white splendour.
Check-in / reception
As you enter via the revolving doors, you will find the reception tucked off to one side and a formal sitting room on the left. Depending on the time of the day, you can spot guests enjoying a luxurious afternoon tea or a classic cocktail. The entrance hallway leads on to a beautiful space called The Great Hall, complete with lofty ceilings, stylish cornicing, opulent chandeliers and a grand fireplace.
This was our favourite place in the entire hotel. Normally, they use this space for their signature afternoon teas, but we spent our evenings cosying next to the roaring fire, having some after-dinner drinks and watching the comings and goings of the hotel.
Our check-in was fairly smooth and straightforward. We were upgraded to an Executive room, which was a nice gesture and very gratefully received.
Our room at The Grand
Our room was spacious and comfy, with ample light coming in through their large period windows. It was tastefully decorated in hues of violet and purple (my favourite colours) and with antique furniture. A well-designed bathroom was stocked with individual bathrobes and luxurious products from Molton Brown, further enhancing the luxe in-room experience.
Dining at The Grand
If you think hotel restaurants are overpriced and soulless then The Mirabelle and The Garden Restaurant will spectacularly change your mind. Both our evening dinners were refined with beautiful tasting and good-looking plates of food.
On our first evening, we had dinner at The Mirabelle. It was an intimate and stylish French restaurant, perfect for a candlelit romantic dinner. My starter was a soulful and creamy Chicken and Chickpea Soup, whilst my husband tucked into a fresh and elegant Smoked Salmon Mousse, Crème Fraîche, Lime and Dill. Mains included a beautifully cooked Pan Fried Sea Bass, Sea Aster, Confit Potatoes, Baby Onion and a resplendent Bacon Wrapped Rabbit Saddle, Slow Cooked Rabbit Leg, Tenderstem Broccoli and Mustard Sauce. We rounded off our meal with an elegant but decadent Lavender Crème Brûlée, Blueberry Financier.
Our second evening was spent at the hotel’s The Garden Restaurant. We opted for the Table d’hote Dinner. It was a vintage and classy affair, with sophisticated food to match. My Fishcake, Cherry Tomato Salsa, Tartare Sauce was fragrant and pleasing to the palate, whilst my husband warmed up to a Home-made Spiced Carrot Soup, infused with Coriander and Mango.
Mains had an autumnal twist to them, with a gloriously plated Pan Fried Chicken Breast, Tarragon Cream, served with Creamed Potato, Noisette Carrots and Shredded Mange Tout. A Slow Braised Beef Featherblade Steak, ‘Old Speckled Hen’ & Onion gravy was full-flavoured and indulgent.
All the dishes were generously portioned! The glitzy vibe of the restaurant makes it perfect for large family celebrations and special occasions.
We spent quite a large part of our stay in the hotel’s own Health Club and The Revitalise Spa. They had a heated indoor pool and jacuzzi where I found myself immersed for hours. They even had a warm outdoor pool but we were not brave enough to sample it due to cooler temperatures outside. Treatments by Kerstin Florian were by far one of the best I have received and I’ve never felt so relaxed. If you find yourself in Eastbourne, do yourself a favour and get one of their day packages. Booking in advance is highly recommended.
We highly recommend The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne for a luxurious stay. A very important reason for this is the kind and generous care we received at the hands of the hotel staff. Everywhere we went we were greeted and served with the most engaging and caring attention. Nothing was a big ask and they happily catered to our requests with efficiency and warmth.
This place is perfect for a staycation in the UK or a spa weekend to get yourself recharged, switch off from the daily grind and enjoy some of the finer things in life, all at a leisurely pace. Their holiday packages look equally stellar and I imagine this hotel would be magical during the holiday season.
The website of The Grand Hotel Eastbourne is here if you want to find out more.
Booking for cash or points
If you book via Bon Vivant, the Head for Points luxury hotel booking partner, you will receive special extra benefits as they are a part of SLH WithIN, the Small Luxury Hotels of the World programme for luxury travel agents. The benefits are:
- Room view upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily full breakfast for two guests for the duration of the stay
- $50 food & beverage credit per stay
- Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
The price you pay will be the same as the Best Available Rate on the hotel website. You can contact Bon Vivant via this page of the Head for Points website.
The Grand is also bookable with World of Hyatt points due to the Hyatt partnership with Small Luxury Hotels.
It costs 20,000 points per night, however, which is not great value given our target value of 1.2p per Hyatt point. You’d need to see cash rates above £250 before a points booking because good value, and it doesn’t reach this level even on August weekends.
You can also book The Grand via the Hyatt website and earn World of Hyatt points from your stay. Be careful, however, as you will often find that Small Luxury Hotels properties offer better rates on their own websites than they do via Hyatt.
World of Hyatt update – January 2021:
Get bonus points: Hyatt’s current promotion is ‘Bonus Journeys’, which is now extended to 28th February 2021. You can learn more in our article here.
Buy points: If you need additional World of Hyatt points, you can buy them here. There is a 30% bonus on points purchases until 23rd February.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Hyatt and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.