This Grade II listed building was built on the site of a former manor house and developed out of three separate houses in 1771 known collectively as Steine Place. It opened as a hotel in 1819 and its name derived from the Duke of York who was cousin to the Prince Regent. It remained in hotel use until 1929 when the hotel was sold to the forerunner of Brighton and Hove City Council, and was used as offices until the council vacated the building in 2003. It was bought by Imperial Property Company in 2006 when LCE were appointed to obtain a change of use back to a hotel and listed building consent.
The building occupies a prominent site overlooking Victoria Gardens. Despite the fact the re-establishment of hotel and A3 use provides very real benefits in conservation and preservation terms, the change of use from offices back to hotel was far from simple in planning terms. However the works did proceed and included the refurbishment/conversation of all floors included 51 four star rooms, and the modification of the roof structure to form 8 penthouse apartments with stunning views across Brighton and the sea.
Given the history of the building – the first large scale hotel in Brighton with a string of “celebrity” visitors including Dickens who gave readings here – its heritage associations provided valuable marketing opportunities for Radison Blu once in operation, which the careful refurbishment of the building reinforced after 80 years languishing as Council offices