Pop Over the Water

This month we took a trip across the water the the land they call Guernsey. What a great little Island. The perfect short break. Let’s face it, it’s only 10 minutes away, what could be more convenient?

A few years ago Mrs Syvret and I took a trip to NYC. We booked a double room online and set off to the city that never sleeps. On arriving at the hotel we entered a beautiful lobby, were handed our keyfob and directed to the lift.   

We opened the door to our room to reveal a small corridor. It looked as if it would lead into the room. It was the room. To one side was a lilliputian-specification single bed. ‘There must be some mistake?’ we naively thought. We went back down to reception and suggested that perhaps we had inadvertently been allocated a single room.

We were accompanied upstairs by another receptionist-porter-cleaner who went into the room ahead of us and miraculously managed to shoehorn another lilliputian single bed from beneath the first. Sat side by side, the newly created double bed now filled the room, touching three walls. Opening the window required a crawl across the mattress. There was no longer a floor.
I am almost certain that our whole room from that trip was smaller than the mattress of our bed at La Grande Mare in Guernsey last month. Not only that, the bed got lost in the corner of the room. The suites in the hotel are bigger than most modern houses.

We were invited over to experience the pleasures of Guernsey and the newly refurbished rooms at the golf and leisure hotel on the Island’s West coast with frontage onto the sweeping sands of Vazon Bay. The new rooms are beautiful with enormous beds, some of which are still the classic four poster, set in brand new coastal inspired decor. The rooms are completed with newly fitted bathrooms with either deep baths (a luxury for us as a shower only household) or walk in showers. It was, however, the view from settee in the living room of the suites that  we loved. The suites are yet to have their makeover but feel like what I’d imagine it would be like staying in a Great Uncle’s castle in Scotland. You could swing a tiger in each room and even the bathroom would be pretty good size for a party.  

The hotel is family run and has been developed by Simon Vermeulen and his father before him. Simon’s influence has led to continued growth and development that has turned the hotel into a true leisure destination. We’re obviously blessed with fantastic hotels on Jersey for a local getaway but La Grande Mare is unique. If you could imagine having a four star hotel roughly positioned behind the Watersplash with surfable waves breaking outside your window and a Spa, restaurants and a golf course just downstairs you’re almost there. The hotel is four star, comfortable and not fussy. The fact that the golf facilities include a 19th hole in the hotel gives the place a buzzy vibe.

The buzz was further accentuated by the restaurant which appeared near capacity  when we came down to eat. As you may know, the Tennerfest hails from Guernsey. They appear to take it seriously, with three courses for £10. Yes,  you heard me right; £10. Not £15, not £17.50, but £10. It was good too. Filo prawns that were juicy and tasty to start a tasty sea bass main and chocolate creme brule. The meal was served quickly. Perhaps a little too quickly as we got through it all a bit fast. Fortunately, the teas we ordered after dessert were the biggest pots I’ve ever been served in a restaurant so we relaxed and let our food go down soaking up the atmosphere.

Ask most self employed people with busy lives and they’ll tell you they find it hard to leave their work at home when they go on holiday or find it hard to relax. Interestingly there’s something both reassuring yet otherworldly about being away from ‘actual’ life yet reassuringly close should you be required in St Helier in an emergency. We found ourselves relaxing and winding down whilst not worrying about getting stung without wifi, paying massive roaming charges or getting ill; always a bind on a short break.

We spent a leisurely afternoon in St Peter Port for lunch, conducted a bit of healthy Island comparison on all things; business ideas, fashion differences and funny quirks. We also ran into a few people from Jersey which was both reassuring and unsettling all at the same time. I do understand why people come across to the second biggest Channel Island. I can imagine it is to us what Jersey is to people from the UK. I’ve heard tell that people from Guernsey dislike Jersey for it’s metropolis and built up nature. As  a non Islander I feel I can say that Guernsey definitely feels a little more quaint but that adds to the nature of our short break.
If you’re in need of a few days of relaxation, whether it is with surfboard / golf clubs or simply a good book then Guernsey is just about the most convenient destination you could choose. Getting there is as easy as can be. Blue Islands also have inter Island lounges for all travellers. A free tea of coffee, read of the paper and some shortbread goes a long way when it comes to relaxing at the airport. We returned from our trip refreshed and relaxed. Guernsey is a Gem on the doorstep that is often overlooked. We’ll be going back.

Call them now on
 01481 256576

La Grande Mare
Vazon Coast
Road Castel


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