New five-star hotel at former Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth to preserve military history

THE ‘important’ military history of Portsmouth will be preserved within a new five-star hotel that will act as the setting for naval ceremonies and re-enactments in the future.

Saturday, 27th February 2021, 7:00 am
How the Grand Hotel Excelsior at the former Royal Marines Museum in Eastney, Portsmouth could look Pictures from council documents February 2021

Further details of the conversion of the former Royal Marines Museum, on Eastney seafront, into a Grand Hotel Excelsior have been released - with an aim to maintain links to the Grade-II listed buidling’s past.

As part of the transformation that will provide Portsmouth with its first five-star accommodation, at least 80 rooms will be created and a new swimming pool will be built on site.

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The Yomper statue outside the Royal Marines Museum. Picture: Habibur Rahman

As part of a licence application, hoteliers Grand Hotel Excelsior International Ltd have requested permission to host 'plays, historical re-enactments and military ceremonies.'

And spokeswoman for the group, Helen Hubbard, said they would retain the site’s ‘historic attributes, appeal and timeless decor.'

Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of former owners the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: 'We know the former Royal Marines Museum building and historic fort at Eastney are close to the heart of the Royal Marines and the local community.

'Whilst the building was not suitable as a museum venue any longer we were delighted to see that the new owners intended to maintain the historic fabric of the building and the iconic Yomper statue and memorial gardens.

How the Grand Hotel Excelsior at the former Royal Marines Museum in Eastney, Portsmouth could look Pictures from council documents February 2021

'Retaining these features can help ensure that the site retains its connection to the Royal Marines and will act as a wonderful venue for naval events and ceremonies for many years to come.'

The council's culture boss, Councillor Steve Pitt, agreed. ‘It's a much loved building, it’s important the the city,’ he said.

'The hotel company has got a track record of brilliant conversions, we wish them every success.

'I can't overstate what a vote of confidence it is in Portsmouth's tourism industry that a company wants to deliver a five-star hotel here.'

How the Grand Hotel Excelsior at the former Royal Marines Museum in Eastney, Portsmouth could look Pictures from council documents February 2021

As part of the licence application, which will be considered by the council at a meeting on March 10, the company has requested permission to sell alcohol to guests 24 hours a day, and to play live music until 3am - with outdoor performances ending at 12am.

A total of 18 objections were raised by nearby residents to the licence - mainly requesting that the time of alcohol sales and music was reduced over noise concerns.

Ms Hubbard added: ‘We understand that there are only 18 people that have made representations out of a total population of over 200,000 Portsmouth residents.

'The property will remain an important part of the community and serve the public through hosting weddings, conferences, and gala events. It will bring economic benefit to the area by encouraging visitors and offering employment opportunities.'

How the Grand Hotel Excelsior at the former Royal Marines Museum in Eastney, Portsmouth could look Pictures from council documents February 2021

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