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Checking In: The Grand, Brighton

Steeped in rich history, The Grand, Brighton is like no other hotel thanks to its fascinating past. Jade Burke checks into the independent hotel for the night to find out how it looks after its guests and why it has remained an iconic landmark on the south coast…

Facing the seafront, The Grand is a hotel that truly does have a personality of its own. At just over an hour’s train journey from Central London, it’s a short distance transporting guests into a bohemian setting that boasts everything from restaurants and museums to festivals and Regency-era buildings.

There’s no doubt about it, The Grand is an iconic landmark along the seafront of Brighton, having stood there since the 1800s, where it has been the back drop for many films and TV shows including Quadrophenia, Brighton Rock, Wimbledon and Only Fools and Horses.

Not only that, the hotel itself is known for the 1984 bombing, where the IRA attempted an assassination on then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during the Conservative Party Conference. Despite the devastating circumstances, the hotel has remained a recognised symbol along the south coast.

I had the privilege of staying at the hotel, where I got the chance to soak up its stunning architecture and experience the exquisite hospitality. On arrival I was greeted by one of the concierge team members who took my luggage up to my room once I had checked in. The Grand also offers a valet offering – it is first-class service at its best here.

On-site the hotel boasts The Empress Suite that comes with its own private entrance and foyer. Capable of hosting 900 guests theatre style, the space is unparalleled.

Around the hotel, various NFC plaques have been secured to the walls, where anyone with a smart device that uses the technology can hold theirs to it to find out some history about The Grand. It was thrilling to walk around the venue and find out what nuggets of history I might discover – what a fantastic way to keep the history of the hotel alive, while bringing it into the 21st century with the latest tech.

The lobby houses a roaring fireplace and check in-desk, while adjacent to it sits a bar with a plush seating area. Alongside the front desk, guests will find the entrance to the GB1 restaurant, which is known for its ample seafood offering – it comes complete with a seafood bar. I can’t wait to visit in the evening to try the dishes.

Heading up to my room located on the second floor, I got the chance to view the glorious square shaped staircase – something that the hotel is also recognised for. I was shown to my room by one of the porters, who told me it was one of the standout bedrooms the hotel has to offer. Known as a Classic Deluxe Sea View Room, after walking through its front door I was led into a lobby, which went through to the main bedroom.

The view alone is enough to impress guests; it overlooks the sea and the pebbled beach, meanwhile the British Airways i360 can also be seen thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. There is also a desk with plenty of space to work from inside, while a small lounge and flat-screen TV is included.

The Grand is an impressive hotel that has numerous spaces for corporate events; on-site the hotel boasts The Empress Suite that comes with its own private entrance and foyer. Capable of hosting 900 guests theatre style and 600 for a private dinner, the space is unparalleled.

Other rooms available include the George 3rd and George 2nd, which can accommodate 12 boardroom style, while the first floor meeting rooms can cater for up to 30 delegates theatre style. Meanwhile, the spa can offer some enticing incentive treats for corporate clients, where treatments including massages, facials, body scrubs and manicures can all be booked.

The crowning jewel for me, however, is GB1. The restaurant plays hosts to an elaborate menu of fish and seafood; diners can sample cod, haddock, sea bass, hake and scallops, while the grill offers a mouth-watering variety for meat-eaters. Be sure to also check out the special’s menu, as each day something new is added for foodies to try.

For those seeking a cocktail with a twist after their meal, I’d suggest guests head to The Victoria Bar to try one of its signature tipple. During my stay I got to try the Columbus 1493. Served alongside dry ice in a metal, pineapple-shaped glass, the cocktail is a mixture of diplomatico, peach purée, lime juice, vanilla syrup and pineapple juice – simply delicious.

The Grand features everything any guest could need under one roof, from its versatile meeting and conference facilities to the on-site spa and restaurant, plus with the centre of Brighton just minutes away and the seafront just a step outside, there is plenty of choice to keep guests entertained.

This hotel has made its mark on me and I for one cannot wait to stay here again.