Grange Manor is a fascinating hotel that does what it does very well indeed and amply justifies its 4 Star grading from both the STB and the AA. The hotel stands on the western edge of Grangemouth and the north-eastern edge of Falkirk. It can be found a short distance from Junction 6 on the M9, a location which gives excellent access to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling or anywhere else in central Scotland. The hotel stands in landscaped gardens and its own extensive car parks, which help cocoon and shield it from the extremely busy wider area. As a result the view of Grangemouth's industrial skyline is hidden by trees, and more trees screen the hotel from the M9 itself, which runs along the rear of the grounds: it is even possible to see deer in the garden. You can read our dining review for Grange Manor Hotel here.
Grange Manor started life in the 1800s when it was built for his own use by the factor, or manager, of the Earl of Zetland's estates in the area. The factor spared no expense on the house and the end result was a very fine example of its type. So fine, it is said, that when the Earl of Zetland saw how much of the estate's resources had been lavished by the factor on his own residence he fired him.
The original house has been extended on a number of occasions during the intervening period, but much of its character has been retained. The public rooms are a fascinating fusion of the charm of the original house and comfortable modern spaces. The hotel's pleasant bar occupies part of the original ground floor of the house, and looks out through a superb stone bow window into the attractive reception area. The Le Chardon restaurant occupies the front of the original house, plus an extension. Meanwhile, Wallace's Bar and Restaurant is a conversion of a stone building placed end-on to the main road on the north side of the front car park.
The 36 en-suite guest rooms also offer the best of both worlds. Six are located on the upper floor of the original house and each comes with a range of period features and loads of character, including one with a fireplace. The remaining 30 guest rooms are in the Garden Wing, built immediately to the south-west of the main hotel a decade ago, but so well cared for it feels much more recent. The Garden Wing rooms come as doubles or twins, and there are also adjoining rooms and family rooms available. All are well equipped and unusually generously sized: and have comfortable beds.
The Grange Manor Hotel has five meeting or function rooms, suitable in size for accommodating meetings or events as small as 1 to 1, or as large as 160 participants in the ballroom. When combined with the excellent central location, good road links and plentiful car parking, it is easy to see why the hotel is such a popular venue for business meetings or events. The same factors also contribute to the hotel's success as a wedding venue. To these can be added the character of the house itself and the care taken with the surrounding gardens: offering both outdoor and indoor locations for wedding photography.
Disabled access to the Grange Manor hotel is reasonable in parts. There is level access to the reception area and from there to the bar and Le Chardon restaurant (open Fridays and Saturdays and for some functions). Level access is also then possible to the Garden Wing, where two rooms have been adapted to ease access. Access to Wallace's Bar and Restaurant is down a short flight of stone steps.
We were not really sure what to expect from our visit to Grange Manor Hotel. On the one hand it is graded as 4 Star by both the STB and the AA. On the other it stands fairly close to the motorway and main roads, and Grangemouth is not renowned as one of Scotland's more scenic locations. What we found was an excellent and extremely well run hotel that makes the most of its central location and offers its guests an enjoyable and comfortable stay. Service is excellent throughout, and the quality of the housekeeping is simply outstanding. From Monday to Thursday the Grange Manor is a business hotel par excellence, and you have only to sit in the comfortable lounge area of the reception in the late afternoon as guests are checking in to appreciate that this is a hotel that people come back to time after time. Weekends see a more leisure focus descend, with weddings playing an important part in the life of the hotel. The strong business focus during the week suggests that many on holiday in Scotland looking for somewhere central to stay have yet to discover that the Grange Manor Hotel has a great deal going for it as an option. You can read our dining review for Grange Manor Hotel here.