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History

The Grand Hotel was first opened in Torquay in 1881, in response to the Great Western Railway’s expansion into Devon and Cornwall.  Its striking Victorian architecture, elegant interiors, fantastic seafront location and award-winning food has earned it pride of place as Torquay’s landmark hotel for over 130 years.

Originally built with just 12 bedrooms, The Grand has been expanded several times to reach its present size of 132 bedrooms. The current owner, Mr Keith Richardson, bought the hotel in 2001, when it became the flagship hotel of the Richardson group of hotels. Mr Richardson undertook an extensive refurbishment to the hotel, in order to pay homage to its elegant Victorian architecture and Art Deco interiors.

During the first half of the 20th century, The Grand was regularly the venue for television and radio programme broadcasts and during World War 2 was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force, re-opening as a hotel in 1946.  The beach right in front of the hotel was once the site of a late medieval harbour and this maritime tradition has continued, with the more recent development of Torquay Marina (a 10 minute stroll along the seafront from The Grand), and regular large ships and Royal Navy vessels anchoring further out in the bay.

The Grand has welcomed many famous guests throughout its illustrious history, including the world famous ‘Queen of Crime’, Agatha Christie (who spent her honeymoon here) and international music icons such as the Rolling Stones.

Agatha Christie connection

The Grand has a unique association with the much-loved authoress Agatha Christie, as the place where she spent her honeymoon in 1914. In recognition of that The Grand Hotel has a bedroom suite named after her. The Agatha Christie suite can comfortably accommodate up to 5 people, it consists of a double bedroom, a twin bedroom, a lounge which has a sofa bed and a spacious bathroom. The suite is decorated in an style that reflects her literary prowess. The room rate, including a full Westcounty breakfast, starts from £250 – £359 for the entire suite per night.

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