Hotel History

People gathered outside hotel
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Third generation family in the hotel
Second generation family in the hotel
Mr Lewis and Catherine Clifford

The Best Western Lansdowne Hotel is owned by Mr E Lewis and Ms C Clifford.

The Hotel came into the present family's ownership when Miss F.M. Robinson, Aunt of Mrs Margaret Lewis, purchased the Lansdowne, then with 36 letting rooms, in 1912. The Hotel prospered during the Great War (1914-1918). Miss Robinson retired in 1927, soon after having joined the partnership by her brother Mr. W.A. Robinson and by Mr. Herbert Garrat. The new Partners embarked upon a policy of steady expansion and by the outbreak of the Second World War the Hotel consisted of five inter-connected houses with 72 letting bedrooms. Mr and Mrs Robinson's daughter, the present Mrs Margaret Lewis, joined the management in 1929. Her husband, Alan Lewis, (who died in 1998) entered the Partnership in 1939.

The Hotel was closed from 1940-1946 owing to war conditions. During this period the premises were occupied by troops manning a coastal battery stationed on the slopes of the Wish Tower.

There followed another period of expansion under the direction of Mr Robinson and Mr and Mrs Alan Lewis. In 1953 they purchased the adjoining Burns House Hotel and incorporated it into the Lansdowne to give a total of 84 bedrooms. In 1959, the Partners acquired the Beaulieu Hotel, which after considerable alterations and refurbishment was re-named the Lawns Hotel. The Lawns Hotel operated as a separate unit until 1973. It was joined with the Lansdowne Hotel, which, as a result, became a 142 bedroom Hotel.

Mr and Mrs Lewis' son, Mr Edward Lewis, after hotel management training and practical experience, became a partner in 1969 and was appointed Managing Partner in 1974. Their daughter Mrs. Rosemary Bowker (who died in 2004), joined the Hotel as a partner in 1969 and her daughter Catherine Clifford joined in October 2001 as a partner.

Mrs M A Lewis, passed away in October 2013 at the grand old age of 102!

The Lansdowne has held three star appointments by the AA for many years and maintains a high standard of comfort together with personal service to its guests. Over the years with the installation of en-suite bathrooms, the Hotel now has 102 bedrooms.

The hotel is a member of the Best Western Hotels consortium. This is a group of privately owned Hotels, providing a countrywide network of over 250 carefully selected establishments. Each Hotel retains its complete independence but works in close co-operation with other members.