New Eastbourne hotel’s boss defends its striking exterior: “Different is great”

A new hotel in Eastbourne that attracted a lot of controversy for its striking exterior has spoken about business since opening last month.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 11:58 am

A new hotel in Eastbourne that attracted a lot of controversy for its striking exterior has spoken about business since opening last month.

The Port Hotel in Royal Parade opened in May this year after going through a full renovation. The restored Victorian townhouse looks out to the sea and includes 19 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar.

On its website it is described as a ‘contemporary boutique hotel’ with a focus on sustainability to attract people to something a bit different on the seafront.

Port Hotel managing director Peter Cadwallader SUS-210628-103828001
Port Hotel managing director Peter Cadwallader SUS-210628-103828001

These sustainable features include cork flooring, local ingredients sourced within a 30-mile radius, and using reclaimed materials.

Hotel managing director Peter Cadwallader said they’ve done ‘simple things’ to improve the overall sustainability of the hotel.

Peter said staff also help clean up the beach outside and give out free coffees to anyone who helps.

Despite these ethics, the hotel brought a lot of controversy when it first opened due to the striking black exterior making it a big contrast from the traditional white surroundings.

Photo from the Port Hotel. SUS-210624-171628001

Peter quoted Oscar Wilde when asked about this controversy – ‘There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about’.

He said he wasn’t expecting so much attention about the black paint.

Peter said, “I was surprised by the controversy having lived in London for a long time where there are many beautiful black buildings, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

“We are not for everyone, and I think it has raised an interesting topic for debate.

Photo from the Port Hotel. SUS-210624-171618001

“There is an opportunity for Eastbourne to attract a new demographic of customer and become more forward thinking. I hope, in our small way, we have helped move this debate forward.

“Different is great. We should celebrate being innovative and trying new things. That is how we progress as a town.”

Now a few weeks into service, the Port Hotel is getting into the swing of things and Peter said it’s all going ‘really well’.

He added, “We have been overwhelmed by the number of happy customers.”

Photo from the Port Hotel. SUS-210624-171638001

However, Peter did say a shortage of hospitality staff has caused them to have to close the kitchen at times. To read more about this staff shortage in Eastbourne read here

Photo from the Port Hotel. SUS-210624-171648001