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09th September 2013

Iconic Leicester hotel marks 115th anniversary with name-change and refurbishment

Congratulations to our Leicester hotel on celebrating their 115th anniversary!

This landmark was commemorated with a comprehensive refurbishment and upgraded name change.

The Grand Hotel in Leicester city centre first opened its doors in 1898 and this year marks its 115th anniversary by returning to the name of its former hey day. Known until recently as the Mercure Leicester City Hotel the hotel has now been renamed as Mercure Leicester The Grand Hotel.

To mark the landmark anniversary the hotel has undergone a comprehensive refurbishment across all 104 bedrooms. The hotel now features eight new design privilege rooms and one superior room.

Commenting on the refurbishment and name change, hotel General Manager James Conaghan, said: “The Grand Hotel has been a central and integral part of the city since it first opened in 1898. We are delighted to reclaim the name of years gone by and give back to the people of Leicester a 4* hotel to be proud of.”

The Grand Hotel was built between 1898 by Cecil Ogden and Amos Hall, and is located on Granby Street. The wedding cake top on the corner of Granby Street and Belvoir Street was added by Amos Hall who also designed the Silver Arcade in the Edwardian period. Since trading in 1898, the hotel has always been considered as one of Leicester’s most prestigious hotels in its area, a favourite of international visitors and a hotel that the city took to its heart.

Noteworthy history on the Grand Hotel, Leicester:

  • Opened in 1898
  • Built by Cecil Ogden in 1898 in a grand Franco-German Renaissance style reminiscent of the sixteenth century
  • Two years later a corner addition was added by Amos Hall. The design was influenced by the churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
  • During the early 1900s part of the Grand, on the first floor, was a cinema called ‘The Kings Hall Cinema’
  • The hotel has always been considered as one of Leicester’s most prestigious. Its heyday was during Victorian times and now returns to these glory days following the recent refurbishments.
  • Winston Churchill stayed at the hotel in 1909
  • The Leicester Caledonian Society’s 75th anniversary in 1952 centered on a splendid Burns dinner at the Grand Hotel, Leicester attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, the Lord Mayor of Leicester and Mr R K Sprigg, a grandson of founder member, John Morris Brown.
  • The hotel escaped bombing during World War II, many employers returned to work there after the war had ended.
  • On 27 February 1932 the Leicester Aero Club’s 2nd annual ball was held, in attendance was Amy Johnson, Winifred Spooner and W. Lindsay Everard.
  • The Leicester jazz house used to perform in the back rooms of The Grand in the 1990s.
  • Of the buildings that were demolished, the former News Room, at the north corner of Belvoir Street and Granby Street, is probably the greatest loss. It was built in 1838 by the Leicester architect William Flint and was demolished in 1901. There are some early 19th-century house-fronts on the east side of the street.
  • The Temperance Hall in the hotel, was the headquarters of the Leicester Temperance Society, but was also used as a general public hall for lectures, meetings, and concerts.
  • The building has a very striking facade of three giant Corinthian columns on a rusticated base, supporting a deeply molded pediment. The bold lines of the design were broken in 1955 by an awning of metal and plastic and a large neon sign.

Jupiter Hotels Limited, 2nd Floor 90 St Vincent Street Glasgow G2 5UB

0141 333 0545     info@jupiterhotels.co.uk