Portsmouth hotel The Royal Maritime Club which opened 170 years ago is renovated after major investment
IT HAS been at the heart of the city for more than 170 years but now one Portsmouth’s oldest hotels has been given a facelift.
The Royal Maritime Club & Hotel, in Queen Street, Portsea, opened in 1850 to look after sailors and mariners who were between ships.
Over the years, it has seen many guests, and even gained Royal patronage in 1855 after Prince Albert visited.
Its visitors’ book even boasts the signatures of the Queen and Prince Charles, who became the hotel’s patron in 2007.
Now, after a huge investment from the charitable trust that runs it, and the biggest work for over a decade, the hotel is welcoming guests back through its doors.
General manager John Alderson who has run the club for 12 years, said: ‘Our renovation commenced just prior to Christmas and we had a project that involved installation of a new lift, extension to our restaurant and the conversion of 18 single rooms into double or twins.
‘That commenced in December and was proceeding very nicely until lockdown. Lockdown was good from the point of view that it enabled the contractors to do their work without any guests in the hotel but it also brought problems such as certain contractors not being able to work and shortages of material. The whole project took far longer than we expected it to but we finally opened on July 13 and it has been great ever since.’
The renovation has seen an extra accessible lift added, as well as work to improve the restaurant and 18 smaller rooms upgraded into doubles.
Since the hotel reopened, it has received excellent reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor and has received the Visit England ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry charter mark for its work keeping customers safe.
Susie Horton, marketing manager, said: ‘Our history is very important to us. We are right in the heart of Portsmouth and have been since 1850.
‘It is important to us to be part of the city and to be a good representative of it. We have brought the club up to an excellent modern standard, while maintaining its authenticity and proving our commitment.
‘We are here to stay and we encourage people to visit. People don’t realise that they can just come in and visit. We are not exclusive and we want the people of Portsmouth to enjoy the club as well as our visitors.’
The club, which gained charitable status in 1883, also has a spa and leisure suite including indoor swimming pool. Its membership is open to all serving and retired members of the armed forces and their families as well as those of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Merchant Navy.