When you travel for work as much as I do, you get used to a specific type of hotel room. It’s not the Ned, the Grosvenor or even the Fairmont. It’s a Travelodge, Premier / Holiday Inn or Best Western if you get lucky with the booking (although I have stayed in some properly dodge Best Western’s in my time, the one in Tiverton particularly stands out for all the wrong reasons – and the time I suffered through three days there is another, very specific, story). So it’s rare that I come across the odd one that I walk through the door and immediately call Mrs P. to say that I’ve found a cracker. But that’s what happened when I got to the Rocksalt Rooms and it always means we’ve got something special .
I’ve been on a bit of a roll with hotel reviews of late; my latest London stay, snazzy-boutique CitizenM Tower Bridge is perhaps the most exciting out of all of them. With it’s supposed free-flowing interiors, cool and contemporary style, lively art, efficiency, kitsch style and ultra-practicality, it sounded like it was right up my street – y’know, as the modern suburban man that I am…
Only a couple of posts back we reviewed The Grand Hotel in Brighton, a highly acclaimed property of times gone by with a luxurious and romantic reputation spanning decades – over a century, in fact; sadly, what we found didn’t quite hit the mark.
It was with much anticipation therefore that I booked a night at The Grosvenor Hotel in central London, another much romanticised Victorian-era property, oozing French Renaissance flair. Would The Grosvenor live up to it’s reputation, or would it fall disappointingly short?
The Grand is a highly luxurious property that I was hugely excited about staying in, up against personal 5* experiences at the Fairmont Dubai, Kempinski Budapest, Ritz-Carlton in Singapore, not to mention most-excellent stays at The Beach at Bude boutique hotel and the Excellence Playa Mujeres resort in Mexico. However, The Grand is perhaps the most iconic and well known amongst it’s more modern aforementioned contemporaries, romanticised as a hallmark for service and Victorian-era suave sophistication and charm.
I was keen to see whether The Grand would live up to it’s reputation, looking to enjoy the sights and sounds of Brighton from a plush and comfortable stay along the seafront.
Regular visitors to Two Men About Town will be familiar with my penchant for opulence and luxury, where my wallet allows; whether it’s the demanding inner-diva in me (probably) or just a desire to be spoilt, I love beautifully designed items, attentive service and experiencing something that’s just a little bit special. Call me Mariah.
This desire for luxury is no different when it comes to travel, where I’ve been fortunate through leisure and corporate pursuits to have stayed in some beautiful hotels around the world such as the Ritz-Carlton in Singapore, The Grand in Brighton, Kempinski in Budapest and Excellence Playa Mujeres in Mexico, all hallmarks of memorable service and pure luxury.
It’s against a tough backdrop of comparison then that the Fairmont Dubai finds itself, up against some of the finest properties in the world; but how does it stack up?
I am not ashamed to admit that I am a bit of a travel snob, with a huge taste for the finer things in life; so much so that my idea of ‘roughing it’ during a round-the-world trip was a Hilton on Waikiki Beach(!). For real. Whether I’m travelling abroad to destinations such as Dubai, Mexico or a little closer to home, I’m all about the luxury.. well, as much as my wallet will realistically allow.
So you can therefore imagine my desire to find a comfortable and luxurious boutique hotel in North Cornwall for a recent short visit to Bude – did I find this in The Beach at Bude?