Portsmouth is to get its first five-star luxury hotel at the former site of the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney.
Hoteliers Grand Hotel Excelsior International Ltd have purchased the site for an undisclosed figure, with the sale process expected to be completed by December 2020.
The deal marks the next chapter for the military barracks, which date back to 1865 when they were built as an officers’ quarters and mess. The building was used as the Royal Marines Museum from 1972 until 2017, when it was closed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN).
News of the deal was welcomed by the Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who said: ‘It will be good to finally get a five-star hotel in the city – we’ve been trying to do this for years and years.
‘When we had the America’s Cup event here, people who were wanting to stay in four or five-star hotels were going to Southampton and Winchester – none of them stayed here because we didn’t have one.
‘So this is great news for the city and is another step towards having the story of the Royal Marines brought to life again’
New owners Grand Hotel Excelsior International says it will transform the Eastney building into a luxury hotel while preserving the site’s ‘historic attributes, appeal and timeless décor’.
And the chain has also confirmed the Yomper statue would remain by the new hotel’s entrance, meaning an important part of Portsmouth’s history will be preserved.
The purchase also means the NMRN will be able to build a new, state-of-the-art museum facility at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to honour the illustrious history of the Commandos.
Photo by Richard Lewis from Rugby, UK, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons