In 1983, after 160 years of life, Queens Hotel was put on the market and sold to Cheffick Ltd which wanted to start a new chapter for the building.

The hotel was closed shortly afterwards for a complete refurbishment.

The owners announced the work would create a 98-bedroom luxurious hotel, costing visitors around £125 a night, and would include a leisure suite, night club, swimming pool, top-level conference facilities and a Japanese restaurant.

After the lengthy reconstruction, the hotel had a surprise in store on their grand opening day.

Princess Diana’s father and stepmother, Earl Spencer and Countess Spencer, opened the refurbished hotel.

In 1985 John Hufflett, the general manager of Cheffick Ltd, discussed the refurbishment and said “It is important for it to be the first fivestar hotel; we also feel it is important for the town to have a five-star hotel”.

It was undeniable the transformation had been successful.

The hotel now had a grand atmosphere, just as planned. As people entered through the automatic doors they were greeted by delightful staff, marble pillared lobby and comfortably modern seating.

Clearly the refurbishment paid off because in 1987 scenes for the movie ‘Me and My Sister’ were filmed outside the Queens Hotel.

The hotel has received some criticism, however. In 1989 many locals complained about the hotel using gallons of water during a hose pipe ban. Locals were furious when they saw workmen use high pressure jets to hose down the exterior walls of the hotel.

The Argus:

The owner of the Souvenir Shop, Nigel Constable, said: “I think they should automatically go to court and get fined £400 like the rest of us would.”

The way members of staff were treated also caused outrage in 1990, when seven members of staff lost their jobs just before Christmas.

Lisa Marler one of the chefs who lost her job, said “One day our bosses said our jobs were safe, the next we had to leave. We were given no notice and there is no prospect of getting another job before Christmas”.

Many happy memories still seem to be made at the hotel since its luxurious restoration. In 1994 an exhibition brought memories of the Second World War alive to honour the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The exhibition was named Remember When and members of the British Legion were involved in the event.

In 1996, the hotel hosted a party for children, which left all the youngsters smiling.

The Argus:

A charity organised the day for the children who suffered from with illnesses such as tonsillitis and blood, thyroid and respiratory disorders – to forget about their troubles and enjoy a party.

The Queens Hotel clearly took a long climb to becoming a top hotel in Brighton but it is undeniable the transformation has created a respectable luxurious hotel where great memories can be made.




1644: The Battle of Marston Moor took place, in which Cromwell's Roundheads defeated Prince Rupert's Cavaliers and left 3,000 dead.

1865: The Salvation Army was originated by William Booth.

1937: Amelia Earhart Putnam, American aviator, and co-pilot Fred Noonan were lost near Howland Island in the Pacific.

1956: Elvis Presley recorded Hound Dog and Don't Be Cruel in RCA's New York Studio. It reached number one.

1961: Writer Ernest Hemingway died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds in Ketchum, Idaho.

1964: President Johnson signed the USA Civil Rights Bill, prohibiting racial discrimination.

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