They told me it was cold, but how cold could it possible be? Looking out of the aeroplane's window as we approached Kiruna, Sweden's northernmost airport, the frozen wasteland below appeared to be a degree or two cooler than the freezer aisles in Tesco. So this, I thought, couldn't be much worse.
This autumn, the Grand will be revered as the third structure in Brighton and Hove to be recognised by the Walk of Fame committee. A ceremonial plaque will be unveiled in Brighton Marina in its honour.
If Coworth Park in Royal Berkshire, is familiar, it is because Fox Linton, the creators of its spectacular interiors, were also responsible for The Grove, near Watford. The latest UK hotel from the Dorchester Collection, it sprawls in endless acres of lush countryside, perfectly located for Ascot or polo at Smith's Lawn.
It's dance night at The Grand in Eastbourne, and some silver-haired couples are still getting their kicks on Route 66. Jiving to a live band, they roll back the years at this vintage five-star hotel, which has entertained visitors to the well-kept seaside town since 1878.
A stone's throw from arguably the most spectacular beach in Britain sits a hotel that shares its name. But while Bedruthan Steps the beach is a spectacular feat of nature, its namesake is an altogether more low-key and unfussy family retreat.
If you check into a room on the top floor of the Connaught forget the lift; descending, instead, all five floors of this 1897 hotel by its sweeping, central staircase. Why? Because beneath the cupola, the varnished mahogany balustrade winds its way past one of the finest hotel art collections in the world – a staggering 3,000 pieces in all, covering every decade since its opening.
"Go on," said the waiter . "Have a little gelato, just to clean the palate." Of course, I did, and of course, it was delicious, the perfect end to a relaxed meal looking across the water to Capri and the bay of Naples.