A Majestic history: The Harrogate hotel which survived two world wars

The Majestic Hotel.
The Majestic Hotel.

Built during 1899, the Majestic was opened on July 18, 1900 by Fredericks Hotels Ltd.

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Resembling a great railway station hotel, the Majestic was instantly a popular choice for guests to the spa town, and its popularity only grew when the Royal Hall opened in 1903.

But in 1924 the hotel suffered its first catastrophy when a blaze took hold of the top floors of the building, costing over £50,000 to restore.

In 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War, the Majestic was requisitioned by the British government, which wanted to move the Air Ministry to Harrogate.

Despite this, the hotel management were granted permission to re-open for Christmas.

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The hotel had survived the war unscathed until 1940, when three bombs were dropped over its grounds, one of which blew a ‘giant crater’ in the gardens and killed one person.

Another landed on the fifth floor but didn’t detonate.

In 2010, disaster struck again on the fifth floor when another fire swept through a number of the bedrooms and killed a member of staff,

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Doubletree Hilton will continue promise to support local community

Starting as they mean to go on, the Cairn Group has already pledged to support several community and charitable initiatives in the Harrogate District, during and following the Majestic’s transformation into a Doubletree by Hilton.

Chair of the Harrogate Christmas lights and Chair of the Harrogate BID, Councillor John Fox, thanked the hotel for its commitment at a VIP evening the Hilton plans.

He said: “We’d like to say thank you to the Majestic for it’s continued support of the Harrogate at Christmas Group by pledging to support the Harrogate Christmas lights again this year and we’re pleased that Doubletree by Hilton are going to continue that tradition.”

Later this year, the hotel has pledged to host a fundraising dinner in October to support the Harrogate at Christmas Group and has also agreed to sponsor a category in the Harrogate volunteer oscars.

In his speech at the VIP event, Coun Fox added: “This year is our tenth anniversary and to date, the Harrogate at Christmas group has raised £300,000 to provide lights and promote the Harrogate economy over the last nine years.”