About the Grand Old Dame

Steeped in history – Let us tell you a little more about us.

Built in 1881

History of the Grand Hotel The Grand Hotel first opened in Torquay in 1881, in response to the Great Western Railway’s expansion into the South West. Its striking Victorian architecture, elegant interiors, fantastic seafront location and also award-winning food has earned it pride of place as Torquay’s landmark hotel for over 130 years. During that time, The Grand has witnessed many historical events and has played its own role over the years. During World War Two, the hotel was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force. Behind the wallpaper in the rooms on the fourth floor, there are messages and dates that some of the aircrews scribbled on the walls. The restaurant was used as one large dormitory, each crewman was given a pillow and blanket, and requested to find his own bed. The Grand reopened as a hotel in 1946. Corbyn 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.

Ahead of the Times

Torquay is something of a Georgian and Victorian gem, beautiful architecture, elegant parks, and impressive public edifices.  With an appreciation of the finer aspects of life and had the capability and resources to implement grand schemes.  Torquay and The Grand Hotel was part of Great Western Railway’s vision. The arrival of long-distance train travel fuelled the development of Torquay and The Grand Hotel was part of Great Western Railway’s vision to cater for visitors to Torquay. So it’s no accident that there is a discrete little railway station a few hundred yards behind the hotel allowing travellers from London and further afield to hop on the train and then several hours later arrive at the hotel on the seafront with little fuss, what an absolute revolution this must have been for people used to travel by coach and horse. In 1926, The Grand Hotel one of the first hotels in the UK to install central heating. Today we tend to take for granted living indoors at a comfortable even temperature. In winter especially, central heating has really changed our lives quite dramatically. Without it, people had to spend hours carting coal about, lighting fires and keeping fires going. Commercial exploitation of central heating systems for private houses didn’t really start until the1920ss. At first it was only installed in luxury houses.

Built in 1881

History of the Grand Hotel The Grand Hotel first opened in Torquay in 1881, in response to the Great Western Railway’s expansion into the South West. Its striking Victorian architecture, elegant interiors, fantastic seafront location and also award-winning food has earned it pride of place as Torquay’s landmark hotel for over 130 years. During that time, The Grand has witnessed many historical events and has played its own role over the years. In 1926, it was one of the first hotels in the UK to install central heating. During World War Two, the hotel was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force. Behind the wallpaper in the rooms on the fourth floor, there are messages and dates that some of the aircrews scribbled on the walls. The restaurant was used as one large dormitory, each crewman was given a pillow and blanket, and requested to find his own bed. The Grand reopened as a hotel in 1946. Corbyn 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.

Ahead of the Times

Torquay is something of a Georgian and Victorian gem, beautiful architecture, elegant parks, and impressive public edifices.  With an appreciation of the finer aspects of life and had the capability and resources to implement grand schemes.  Torquay and The Grand Hotel was part of Great Western Railway’s vision. The arrival of long-distance train travel fuelled the development of Torquay and The Grand Hotel was part of Great Western Railway’s vision to cater for visitors to Torquay. So it’s no accident that there is a discrete little railway station a few hundred yards behind the hotel allowing travellers from London and further afield to hop on the train and then several hours later arrive at the hotel on the seafront with little fuss, what an absolute revolution this must have been for people used to travel by coach and horse. In 1926, The Grand Hotel one of the first hotels in the UK to install central heating. Today we tend to take for granted living indoors at a comfortable even temperature. In winter especially, central heating has really changed our lives quite dramatically. Without it, people had to spend hours carting coal about, lighting fires and keeping fires going. Commercial exploitation of central heating systems for private houses didn’t really start until the1920ss. At first it was only installed in luxury houses.

Built-In

Visitors Per Day

Staff

Rooms

Famous Faces

We’ve welcomed many famous guests throughout our history, including the world-renown ‘Queen of Crime’, Agatha Christie and music legends, such as the Rolling Stones. Keith Richardson purchased the hotel in 2001 and undertook an extensive refurbishment in order to pay homage to its period architecture and Art Deco interiors.

Rolling Stones

For five days the Stones used the Grand Hotel as a base. Originally, they were going to stay at the Queens Hotel but, on police advice, this was changed to The Grand. The idea was that a hotel further from the town centre could be kept secret from fans. This worked until the last concert at the Town Hall, where security had been provided by “burly boxers” from the Torbay Amateur Boxing Club. These were the days before security had to be vetted and certificated. Fortunately the Bay’s boxers weren’t anything like the Hell’s Angels hired as security at the disastrous Stones’ appearance five years later at the Altamont Festival which ended the counterculture dream of peace and love…

Agatha Christie Connection

The Grand has a unique association with the much-loved author, as the place where she spent her honeymoon in 1914. In the same fashion, 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. Visit the English Riviera Tourism website, to learn more about The Grand Hotels Special Agatha Christie.

Agatha Christie

The Grand has a unique association with the much-loved author, as the place where she spent her honeymoon in 1914. In the same fashion, 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. Visit the English Riviera Tourism website, to learn more about The Grand Hotels Special Agatha Christie.

Rolling Stones

For five days the Stones used the Grand Hotel as a base. Originally, they were going to stay at the Queens Hotel but, on police advice, this was changed to The Grand. The idea was that a hotel further from the town centre could be kept secret from fans. This worked until the last concert at the Town Hall, where security had been provided by “burly boxers” from the Torbay Amateur Boxing Club. These were the days before security had to be vetted and certificated. Fortunately the Bay’s boxers weren’t anything like the Hell’s Angels hired as security at the disastrous Stones’ appearance five years later at the Altamont Festival which ended the counterculture dream of peace and love…

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