Grand Hotel

Sorry to suddenly come over all serious, but Brighton & Hove is currently under attack from tall buildings. Planning applications are lurking in the gloom for projects at the King Alfred, Brighton Station and the Marina. Many people, including myself, are afraid, and rightly so. Architecturally, it’s the 1960s all over again. Don’t we ever learn?
 
It’s now hard to believe, but the Grand Hotel was once the tallest structure in Brighton but I can’t imagine that I would have complained back then. The London architect, John Whichcord, designed the hotel in the Italianate style and the foundation stone was laid in 1862. Three and a half million bricks later, the doors opened in 1864. Contemporary descriptions refer to it as a ‘cyclopean pile’ and its lifts as ‘ascending omnibuses’. The luxurious interior consisted of fifteen miles of wallpaper, six miles of gas pipes and twelve miles of bell wire at a final cost of £150,000.
 
The Grand is internationally renowned for its gleaming white façade. Sorry, the Grand WAS internationally renowned for its gleaming white facade. Quite why it has just been painted yellow is beyond me; possibly to help mask the ever pervasive rust from the iron balconies. The hotel was of course severely damaged by a terrorist bomb on 12th October 1984 and it was after the attack that the main extension to the west took place although it has been extended several times over the years. Symmetrical it may no longer be though the overall affect is still quite pleasing to the eye.
 
Living locally, it has never made sense for me to stay a night there even though it is the City’s only 5-star hotel. The Presidential Suite costs £1160 per night so any rich Regency-propertied ladies out there please call me…
 
Call the Grand on 224300.