One of the most impressive hotels from the outside, The Grand lives up to its promising name. An imposing Victorian building which has been a seafront landmark for years, simply gazing up at it tells you that something unique awaits inside. Up the several steps beyond the entrance the carpeted lobby unfolds before you with the concierge desk followed by the reception and their polite, well-turned out staff on the right, the elegant lounge (but not so elegant bar) to the left and the grand staircase and its galleries up head under a magnificent glass dome. The lounge, with its intricate moulded-stucco ceilings, sober wallpaper and wing backed armchairs arranged around delicate round wooden coffee tables defines exactly that this hotel is all about, while the portraits, fireplace and its ornaments and the view out to sea complete the old British Victorian seaside picture. The only thing that takes away from this is the modern chill out music in the background and the unsightly beer taps at the bar. That said, on Friday and Saturday nights a jazz band comes in to entertain and make use of the slightly battered piano sitting to one side. If you look closely at the pistachio green marble pillars at the entrance to the lounge you'll see engravings which date back to when the hotel served as south HQ during the Second World War. Access to the rooms is either via the staircase at the back of the lobby (an extremely agreable way to ascend) or by one of the lifts. Either way, you'll easily find your room and your luggage won't follow too far behind. The public areas of the hotel, which, in the main, are well kept with a few hints of wear and tear in some places, are pleasurably spacious and open, avoiding that claustrophobic feeling you may get in some of the boutique hotels. Wherever you turn there'll be an old print on the wall, a bust on the window sill or a plant bringing life into the hotel, which makes a pleasant change. The hotel does have its own wellness and fitness facilities, however these are closed for renovation and archaeological work until the end of 2010. For the moment there is a mini gym on the first floor open to guests with ample equipment for a complete workout. Complimentary wifi is available throughout the hotel although there is no business centre. The most unique service offered by The Grand however is Annabel Olivia, its 43ft Bavaria yacht moored at Brighton Marina and available for cruises along the coast. As well as being able to host meetings there are several packages available if you simply want to enjoy a relaxing time with friends or family aboard this luxury boat. You can go for the half day sail (£80) with breakfast, the full day sail (£140) which includes lunch and tea too or the sunset sail (£40) where you'll be offered beverages while watching the day come to an end.