With lyrics by Procol Harums's wordsmith Keith Reid and music by Gary Brooker, this decadent, piano-based song was described by the New Musical Express as "a masterpiece of musical perfection and lyricism." The song describes an extremely elegant hotel, which is something Procol Harum experienced on their many tours following their 1967 debut album and its massive hit "A Whiter Shade Of Pale."
In our 2010 interview with Gary Brooker, he explained that he was always collecting musical ideas to put to Keith Reid's lyrics, but in some cases, the lyrics themselves inspired a musical idea. He told us: "I think the best case of that will be one called 'Grand Hotel.' The lyric is all about the grandeur. It's actually an autobiographical Procol Harum on-the-road song. But the grandeur of the words, and then all the expressions used of the food and wine and sparkle and chandelier, I looked at that and thought, well, you've got to conjure up an atmosphere here. And having experienced the same things that Keith had experienced in what he was writing about, I was able to interpret, hopefully, his lyrics into something which enhanced the whole effect."
When we spoke with Keith Reid in 2009, he told us that this song is one of his favorites. Said Keith: "I think that two lines from 'Grand Hotel,' 'Dover sole and oeufs mornay, profiteroles and peach flambé,' was some pretty tidy writing."