The Felbridge Hotel started life as a small wayside Inn which was purchased by Mr. Harry Gatward in 1924 and called Ye Olde Felbridge Hotel. Through Mr. Gatward’s other business activities, money was spent to enlarge the premises until it became a well-known landmark and was one of the best-known hotels in the area for wedding receptions, dinners/dances and conferences etc.
In the early 1940’s the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead become the centre for treatment for all the badly burned servicemen during the war, due to the plastic surgery knowledge of Sir Archibald Macindoe these servicemen become known as the ‘Guinea Pigs’ and after their treatment a number of them settled in East Grinstead and the Felbridge Hotel became the setting for a reunion weekend which until very recently has been held every year since.
In 1981, whilst preparing a Baron of Beef over an open spit for the followings day’s Sunday lunch in the restaurant, the fat from the spit caught the rafters on fire and a great part of the hotel, including the banqueting suites, restaurant, reception area and staff accommodation, were destroyed.
The hotel reopened within four weeks and after rebuilding, set out with a new format to welcome guests without the banqueting facilities, but with a roller disco; a completely new and luxurious Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool and an up-market Night Club called ‘The End Of The Universe’. When the night club did not prove successful, it was refurbished into the Felbridge Pub. Mr. Harry Gatward died in 1982 and the hotel was sold to Ladbroke Hotels in 1986.
In 1994 Jarvis Hotels bought the hotel and renamed it The Jarvis Felbridge Hotel, East Grinstead. Jarvis sold the hotel to New Century Ltd in February 2005.
In 2007 the hotel had a £5.5 million refurbishment, making it the highest rated 2010 AA hotel Guide four star hotel in the South of England including London with a quality rating score of 86%.
The hotel is now owned by Cerberus Capital Management and managed by Interstate Hotels. The hotel underwent a £2.8 million refurbishment and reopened as The Crowne Plaza® Felbridge – Gatwick in December 2016.
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