‘The Grand Hotel’ was opened on 13 June 1891, nine months after the foundation stone had been laid.
It became one of the most fashionable hotels on the island and a brochure of the time states: ‘This is the only first class hotel on the seafront, with all the latest improvements and every home comfort. The position is unique, standing twenty feet above sea level and commanding a magnificent view of the picturesque and romantic bay of St Aubin.’
But half a century later the good times were put on hold when the German army invaded the Channel Islands. Between 1940 and 1945 the hotel was commandeered by the occupying forces as administration offices and accommodation for senior personnel. Much of the furniture was burnt for fuel and, as a result, the hotel was unable to open directly after liberation.
In peacetime, the Grand was sold to a Mr L Sangan, who ran it until 1976. The Lapidus family then took over and renovated the property to an international standard. Amongst the facilities developed at this time were the Regency Room, Grand Suite, Royal and Oak Bars and a leisure club.
The hotel has played host to a variety of VIP guests and members of the Royal Family, including the then HRH Princess Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II visited to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the island at a civil lunch hosted at the hotel. The executive head chef created a superb menu for the occasion for which Her Majesty thanked him personally.
In 2006 the hotel was upgraded to a five-star level and all 123 bedrooms were refurbished. During this time the hotel was rebranded to Grand Jersey and new features were created, including the Champagne Lounge, Tassili and the dedicated Park Suite business centre, home to the only bespoke private cinema in Jersey.
Hand Picked Hotels were excited to acquire Grand Jersey in September 2014.