It’s been the warmest weekend in the UK for as long as I can remember, and we were fortunate enough to of booked a weekend in Brighton some time ago. So what could of been a miserable windswept weekend on the South coast turned out to feel more like a couple of days on the Costa’s instead. Well it would of felt very European except for the stoney beach and the Granville Hotel in Brighton.
We arrived on Friday evening, and as the hotel has no parking facilities, we left our car in the Regency Square car park, just off King’s Road on the seafront. The carpark has the stench of a tramps underpants and you walk away from your car wondering if you’re ever going to see it again.
Upon arrival at the Granville Hotel we were welcomed by a fairly scruffy receptionist who ran us through the usual information about the keys and gave us some what to do in Brighton type leaflets and maps. We then got in the tiny deathtrap style lift to the 3rd floor and searched for our bedroom, which required walking through several more heavy fire doors and up more stairs even though we’d taken the lift. No one from the hotel offered to help with our bags, it was obvious it wasn’t that sort of place.
The Granville Hotel has several individually decorated rooms, each one has it’s own character and is named accordingly. We had booked a £98 a night room, which I think was at the lower end of their price range, and we were given the Downs room. Their website states “24 individually themed rooms, each with a unique style, every stay is a fresh and exciting experience.” Except the Downs room then, as there was nothing fresh or exciting about that room.
The first thing I noticed as I walked in the room was that the carpet appeared to be fairly new, not a bad start as you walk through the door, then after that pleasant experience, it all went downhill quite rapidly.
The mattress must of been U shaped, my wife and I got in either side and rolled straight into the middle. The window was a wooden frame with no lock, and when opened to let some much needed air in the warm room, the window rattled in the frame. Having suffered this rattling for just five minutes, I reverted to wedging two pieces of paper either side of the window, it was either that or lay there all night listing to the window banging.
Above our door, the wall had a rather worrying crack running up to the ceiling, the shower tray had a rather unsightly brown stain around the bottom, and the hot tap in the sink swung around like a water sprinkler.
As with any hotel, the Granville charges a premium for those staying with a seaview. We were aware that our room didn’t have a view of Brighton beach, but instead a view of the rear, something I was actually pleased about as I’d expect there to be a lot of noise at the front of the hotel with no air con, leaving you to open the windows.
I’ve no idea what the other rooms at the Granville were like, I didn’t see any. They had some great names like the Japanese Room and the Brighton Rock, which seems to make our room name even more depressing.
Having woken up with back & neck ache, I was dreading to see what the hotel’s restaurant and breakfast were like. This is where I was pleasantly surprised, the breakfast at the Granville Hotel is actually worth the visit alone.
The staff were happy, friendly, and made you feel very welcome. There was a selection of cereals, fruit juices and the usual toast yourself machine with white & brown bread. The menu had a selection of various cooked breakfasts to choose from, including vegetarian options. We were immediately offered tea or coffee and sat down in a nice restaurant.
The breakfast was really good, I couldn’t fault it at all. I opted for the full English which was freshly cooked and very tasty, my wife went for a scrambled egg and mushroom bagel which was great too.
After breakfast we remembered the reason why I’d chosen the Granville Hotel in the first place, it’s location. The hotel is directly next door to the Hilton Brighton Metropole and sits perfectly on the seafront with close walking distance to everything. The Lanes were a five minute walk, the pier less then 10 minutes away, in the other direction was Hove, also only 10 minutes stroll. On a sunny weekend, Brighton felt like a top European destination, the beach was packed with people enjoying themselves, there was volleyball, basketball, live music, plenty of opportunities for everyone to enjoy themselves.
Overall, I’d say the Granville Hotel is reasonable value for money, certainly not a disasterous visit, but our room needed fixing up. The staff and the breakfast made up for it.
After all we returned to the foul smelling Regency Square car park, and much to my amazement my car was where I’d left it, now with a nice scratch out of the paintwork where some ****ing annoying twat had smashed their car door into mine.