Book a room

Book a table

Hythe Imperial – our story

Hythe means ‘haven’ in old English, and that’s what we’ve tried to provide over the years to both travelling guests and the local community. Various refurbishments, facelifts and additions have not distorted our true purpose of making sure people who stay with us get the very best out of this beautiful coastal town.

With a rich history beginning in 1880, we have some tales to tell. Royal visits, sporting events and world wars all have played a part in the development of the unique character of the Hythe Imperial, so we feel it’s important to offer anyone who’s interested a bit of our story.

Our story so far…

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

cannonWe believe we have one of the original cannons from one of the Martello towers. This is a Carron cannon dated 1790. After the fall of Napoleon, it was felt that there was no longer a need for coastal defences. The Martello towers fell into disrepair. It was not long, however, before they were called out of retirement, with the deposition of Charles X by the July Revolution of 1830 and the coming to power of Louis-Philippe, the Duc d’Orléans. This changed completely the tenor of Franco-British relations. As an initial result, the Martellos were repaired and re-armed, the 24-pounder cannon being replaced by a 32-pounder.

Even to this day visitors may be surprised to hear the rattle of machine guns or occasionally see at night the tracer bullets arcing over the sea. The surrounding areas of Hythe still have a strong military presence.

hythe-beach-1805Twiss Fort, named after General William Twiss, existed in this location before the hotel was built, hence the road name Twiss Road.

Twiss oversaw the construction of various defences, including the chain of Martello towers along the Kent and Sussex coastline. Twiss was made Major General in 1805, and in 1809 became colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers Corps. 1825 saw him made full general.

opening-hotel-1880

In around 1880 the hotel was constructed by the South Eastern Railway: 10th July saw the grand opening of the Seabrook Hotel, soon to be renamed the Imperial.

The hotel was built as part of an ambitious development called the Seabrook Estate, which fortunately was never fully realised, as it envisaged building all over the present hotel golf-course. But it was a railway hotel, in the sense of being the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, and it was proud of having ‘the most recent appliances for securing that luxurious comfort, which enters so largely into modern life and manners’.

Some of the features of this comfort were ‘well-fitted lavatories – having a constant supply of hot and cold water – and secluded closets, those at the western end being reserved for ladies and those at the eastern end for gentlemen’. The hotel prospectus also drew attention to the ‘small but powerful steam engine’ used to heat the viands and keep the plates warm in the ‘hot closets’, and the soil pipes ‘carried up through the roof to obtain thorough ventilation’.

The ‘well-padded spring mattresses’ on the beds were mentioned, and the Axminster carpets, the silk tapestry on the couches, the grand piano, the billiard room and so on. And all this could be had for half-a-crown a day, with an extra shilling and sixpence if one had a second person in one’s room.

Indeed, a room at between half-a-crown and seven and sixpence could be cheaper than dinner at three shillings to five and sixpence for two to five courses, though you had to pay an extra one and sixpence for a hot bath. With your dinner you may have had a bottle of claret for two and sixpence. But the Rothschild tipple, Château Lafite 1868, cost eleven and sixpence.

Outside in the grounds of the hotel were the tennis courts and croquet lawns, and military bands came down from Shorncliffe to play ‘good class’ music during the summer months. The tennis courts were soon to be hosting the Kent Coast Open Lawn Tennis Championships. But more recently, the nine-hole golf course, in the dried-out harbour area between the canal and the sea wall, where seaside houses had originally been envisaged, has given the Imperial the name of a golfing hotel.

horse-tramwayPairs of horses pulled single carriages on this tramway. In the summer these were open ‘toast-racks’ as they were nicknamed, with passengers facing the front. The tramline was fully closed in 1921 as it could no longer compete with motor buses. Naturally the tramway was a great amenity for the Seabrook Hotel, which celebrated its centenary in 1980.

golf course bombed during daylight raidsIn 1917 Hythe was targeted by German Goth bombers during their first daylight raid on England. Sixteen bombs were dropped on Hythe, causing two fatalities. The final two bombs fell on the Hythe Imperial Golf Course, close to the Royal Military Canal.

hotel acquired by the Marston family

In 1946 JW bought the Hotel Imperial at Hythe in an auction at Folkestone for a sum in the region of £20,000. Anthony Marston said ‘he made the only bid’, having no answer to his questions as to whether or not the war damage compensation went with the sale.

The joke at the time was that the Imperial should have been renamed Hotel Frigidaire because whenever cash was needed for the hotel, Frigidaire was billed for the work at its factory and always paid up promptly.

hotels centenary celebrationsThe Imperial Hotel celebrated its 100th birthday in 1980. In 1881 the Prince of Wales had visited the hotel for lunch when he opened the sea wall that had been built from Hythe to Sandgate with a train track on top. In 1980 it was the turn of Hythe, as one of the Cinque Ports to entertain the warden. The Queen Mother had just accepted the position so visited the hotel for her inauguration in a giant marquee on the lawn in front of the hotel. Unfortunately it rained all day: ‘like the second flood,’ recalls JJ, but the warden sailed radiantly through the ceremony.

The new Imperial Ballroom OpensThe latest stage of the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel was marked on Thursday, October 2 with the official opening of the refurbished Imperial Ballroom.

The Mayor of Hythe Cllr Alan Smith and Mayoress Maureen Wright tripped the light fantastic to perform the opening ceremony at the hotel, which is owned and is being refurbished by the GSE Group.

A new dance floor, computer-controlled sound and lighting systems and air conditioning all feature as part of the ballroom’s £1 million refurbishment, which has seen the 1970s extension at the front of the hotel replaced by a new structure more in keeping with the Victorian design of the main building.

Improved disabled access and exterior landscaping complete the new ballroom complex, which is part of a multi-million refurbishment of the hotel.

“The Hythe Imperial is a landmark on the seafront in the town and it is exciting to come here today and see just how well the rejuvenation of this beautiful building is progressing,” said Cllr Smith.

“As with all seaside communities, tourism is key to Hythe’s economy and this welcome work to transform the hotel into a modern venue will pay dividends for us all when it is complete and attracting visitors to our town.”

Copyright © 2017 Hythe Imperial Hotel All Rights Reserved Website Created by The Wow Factory | Privacy Policy

Subscribe to our newsletter

All areas
Spa
Food and Beverages
Meeting and conference
Hotel events
Golf
Weddings
Accommodation
The Kazzbar
Leisure club
Offers & general events