Usually when we’re in Pensacola, it’s for business plus family beach time, but this trip was purely business — and short — so we decided to stay in the city and finally try the Grand Hotel which is built into the old train station. It’s not especially grand, but was interesting to see the tilework and fixtures from the older part of the property.
If you’re thinking that’s it’s vaguely Crowne Plaza-ish at the top strip, it’s because until a few years ago, it was a CG. I’m not sure if the franchisee didn’t want to keep up with IHG standards of upkeep, but the rooms still have familiar emerald green carpeting and dark furnishings.
It’s not particularly easy to get a good picture of the exterior as it’s so close to the highway. It’s a popular place to stay when there’s a concert or game going on at the arena across the street.
The train station was built in 1912 to replace the 1882 L&N Union Station. It eventually went vacant in 1971 and developers added a 15-story hotel tower to give the site new life.
It’s like 1984 met the Haunted Mansion with that sofa in the lobby.
The room was okay — nothing great but not terrible, the bed was alright but the bathroom was small. The trains still do run right by the hotel at all hours. If you’re a light sleeper, you might want to plan for whistles/horns/whatev and make it a Benadryl/diphenhydramine kinda night.
And the view was…