THE ROCK HOTEL, GIBRALTAR
STAYING POWER SINCE 1932.
Juan, Condé de Barcelona, in July 1950, signed himself in The Rock Hotel’s Guest Book as “Pretender to the Spanish Throne”.
A few months later – and some lines below – a mischievous guest claimed to be a “Pretender” too. His name was Errol Flynn!
Indeed, the Guest Book has been a ‘Who’s Who’ of travellers down the decades since the Marquis of Bute opened the Hotel in February 1932.
The Princess of Gwalior, India stayed in 1952 while many other members of royalty have visited the Hotel when calling in at Gibraltar – including the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York and the Duke of Kent.
John Mills, Paul Scholfield, Anna Neagle, Alec Guinness and Trevor Howard have represented the acting profession – many of them staying here while filming in Gibraltar and Morocco.
Paying testament to the attractions of Gibraltar’s pre-eminent hotel, the list of famous names continues with the likes of Andres Segovia, Ernest Hemingway, Ludovic Kennedy and Moira Shearer, Tony Hancock, Norman Wisdom and the Two Ronnies, to name a few. Esther Rantzen, Prunella Scales, Timothy West, Edwina Currie and Michael Portillo are among those who then carry the list into the new millennium with Michael Palin’s stay in Gibraltar being the most visible as it is featured at the start of his acclaimed TV series on the Sahara.
Whether famous or not, all guests who’ve stayed at the Rock Hotel over the past 70 plus years will have been captivated by the incomparable and breathtaking views that the Hotel’s bedrooms,
suites, balconies, meeting rooms, restaurants, lounges and terraces call their own.
Two separate continents can be seen at once from this stylish and hospitable perch, halfway up the western incline of the Rock of Gibraltar – believed to be a ‘Pillar of Hercules’ by the early Greeks and Romans. To the west, the maritime movements in the Bay of Gibraltar can be viewed, over to Spain’s Algeciras.
Gaze southwards and 15 miles across the Strait of Gibraltar that other Pillar of Hercules rises in the shape of the Rif Mountains of Morocco.
Take in these views as the first thing you do on arrival at The Rock Hotel and a sense of ‘well-being’ and total escape will set in at the very start of your Mediterranean break.
Such panoramic vistas bathe the Hotel’s interiors with a light and airy atmosphere throughout.
The Hotel embraces a British colonial style infused with distinctive Spanish and Moroccan flavours - reflecting the character of Gibraltar itself.
Set within terraced gardens, the Hotel – which has four AA stars and is the AA’s highest percentage rated hotel in Gibraltar - is within easy reach of Main Street yet elegantly set apart from the hustle and bustle of the town.
The 104, spacious bedrooms (including nine suites) boast a fresh, light English style of interior décor, complemented by the views of Spain and Africa that guests can enjoy when sitting out on their own private balconies.
The best of these views can be seen from the two penthouse suites - The Napier Suite and The Montague Suite - on the sixth floor of The Rock Hotel.
Breakfast, lunch, English Afternoon Tea, pre-dinner cocktails, dinner and nightcaps all conspire to provide a further sense of escape from the world back at home, underlined again by the Hotel’s breathtaking outlook.
Spanish and Moroccan influences once more blend seamlessly with British and European flavours on the A La Carte and Fixed-Price menus, the Daily Specials and Wine List of The Restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner.
Spanish tapas, light meals and cocktails can be enjoyed, from noon-midnight, in the more contemporary and informal setting of the Barbary Bar, which opens out to the Wisteria Terrace. This terrace, with its beautiful wisteria canopy, is also home to summer evening barbecues.
Served from 3pm-6pm, English Afternoon Tea can be enjoyed in a variety of spots on the first floor of the Hotel, both inside or outside.
Another splendid oasis for guests is the pool - set within the Hotel’s private gardens and open during the warmer months between April and October.
The poolside cabana serves up light meals, tapas and drinks as well as poolside, evening barbeques.
With the first floor Wisteria Room (opening on to an outside terrace) and the Gimcrack Room on the Penthouse floor, The Rock Hotel specialises in the organisation of small and medium-sized private meetings,
conferences and dinners for some 50 guests.
Larger theatre-style events for approximately 100 people can also be arranged.
The natural daylight and the incomparable views will energise all those attending meetings and conferences while those at a private lunch or dinner can unwind by drinking in the wonderful backdrop panoramas.
The poolside area provides an additional venue for cocktail parties, private dinners, dances and wedding receptions.
The Rock Hotel will be delighted to discuss, with Conference & Incentive Travel planners, recommendations for activities in and around Gibraltar that will hold particular appeal for delegates.
Additionally, the related travel services offered by the Bland group of companies (to which The Rock Hotel belongs) can be capitalised upon.
The Rock Hotel’s success has been in capturing the charm and elegance of a bygone age and translating it into a contemporary context.
Indeed, the Hotel’s staying power was recognised across almost a 50 year period by the late Sir John Mills who commented on a return visit in November 2000, “My last visit here was in 1952 when I was filming ‘I was Monty’s Double’ and the Hotel is still superb".
“The fine standards of service that were established with the Hotel’s opening in 1932 are as relevant to the way we operate today as they were then,” adds General Manager, Stephen Davenport.
“High levels of guest comfort, service and cuisine, the charm of the Hotel’s interiors and our captivating views all prevail today.
Yet modern practices and the demands of our hi-tech age are met with equal aplomb.”