< UNITED KINGDOM | EASTBOURNE: The Grand Hotel
The 19th century grand hotel, affectionately known today as "The White Palace", was conceived by local resident William Earp who wanted build a magnificent hotel with a 400-foot frontage at a cost of £50,000. On the 13th May 1874 the Eastbourne Gazette announced the news, and three years later in 1877 The Grand Hotel was completed. Set in a superb position facing the sea with views of Beachy Head and surrounded by ornamental gardens and tennis courts, The Grand Hotel was designed by architect Robert Knott Blessley who also designed Lushington Road and Leaf Hall in Eastbourne.
Featuring 152 bedrooms and suites, The Grand was envisioned to appeal to the upper classes of the time who holidayed with their families (and staff) by the seaside and the hotel has welcomed
a number of well-known figures over the years, including Sir Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Arthur Conan Doyle and King Constantine of Greece.
During the Second World War The Grand had a brief spell when it closed to become a military headquarters, but was taken over by the De Vere group in 1965 and resumed operations at the heart of Eastbourne’s tourism industry.
In 1998, The Grand was acquired by the Elite Hotel Group which completely refurbished the hotel, sympathetically restoring the building to its former glory while modernising it to meet the needs of discerning 21st century guests.
The Grand is famous for its long-standing association with music, stretching back to 1905 when Claude Debussy completed his symphony ‘La Mer’ at the hotel, in Suite 200. The Grand Hotel Orchestra also broadcasted live on BBC from the hotel’s Great Hall every Sunday night from 1924 to 1939 on the programme ‘Grand Hotel’.
The musical traditions of The Grand continue today as the hotel hosts regular monthly performances from 1920s and 1930s inspired Palm Court Strings, as well as an annual performance by the world-renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra.
In 1980, The Grand Hotel was used as a filming location for Dennis Potter’s movie "Cream in My Coffee" starring Peggy Ashcroft, Lionel Jeffries and Shelagh McLeod.
Today, Eastbourne's "White Palace" is the UK’s only five-star coastal resort, epitomising British seaside luxury. Guests staying at The Grand can expect palatial grandeur with romantic elegance and five-star service that will make you instantly feel at home. The hotel has two restaurants, including the two AA rosette Mirabelle Restaurant, as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools and leisure facilities.