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The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Perched on the promenade like a sugar-dusted Victorian duchess, The Grand Hotel, with its marble columns, art and antiques, is a rather extravagant seaside hotel. Famous faces, from Sir Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin to Dame Helen Mirren, who stayed when she filmed Brighton Rock, have been guests over the years. But despite its pomp and grandeur, it's family friendly, and offers a playroom, a creche and family dining.
Expect the grandest sea views in all of Eastbourne (excuse the pun!).
The Grand is right on Eastbourne's seafront, with views across the English channel. It's a short walk from the hotel to the town centre, and is also close to the start of the popular South Downs Way.
By car: 2 hours 30 mins from London, 2 hours from Dover and 1 hour 45 mins from Portsmouth. There is parking for 90 cars, which can be reserved in advance, costing £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. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The Grand attracts a mixed crowd, from regulars who've been visiting for decades and old-school romancers, to the moneyed family set. For historic seaside grandeur - and magnificent views - you just can't beat it.
Service & Facilities
As the only five-star hotel on the British coast, afternoon tea is a big draw - served daily in the Great Hall, often with a string quartet playing softly in the background. It also has fine dining at The Mirabelle, a spa with an indoor pool, and a seasonal outdoor pool. There's something seriously decadent about sipping a G&T around the outdoor pool, with the sound of actual waves crashing nearby.
- Two restaurants
- Beachfront hotel
- Indoor pool
- Outdoor pool
- Spa and wellness centre
- Free Wi-Fi
Several of the suites have large verandas where you can sit out and listen to the waves. Our favourite is the Debussy Suite, where the famed composer wrote 'La Mer' in 1905, as he overlooked the sea.
Deluxe Bedrooms, Deluxe Side Seaview, Executive Rooms, Executive Seaview, Junior Suites and Junior Seaview Suites, Debussy Suite, Master Suites, The Presidental Suite, The Penthouse Suite
Facilities include: double or twin beds, armchair, coffee table, writing desk, TV, ensuite bathroom, Molton Brown toiletries
Food & Drink
We love the pomp and swagger of the Mirabelle. It's oh-so very fine dining - the lobster ravioli with samphire and lobster bisque is pretty special.
The Garden Restaurant: modern European cuisine, Sussex produce, relaxed atmosphere, children's menus. Open daily for breakfast and dinner. Lunch served Friday-Monday. Mains from £25.50.
The Mirabelle Restaurant: formal fine dining, two AA Rosettes, a la carte and tasting menus. Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch (12.30-2pm) and dinner (6.30-9pm, 9.30 at weekends). Mains from £26.
The Great Hall: afternoon tea served daily 2.45-5.30pm. Teas from around the world, traditional finger sandwiches, Champagne. From £26pp.
The Lounge & Terrace: sandwiches, salads and light bites. Al fresco dining. Extensive wine and cocktail list. Open daily.