The Beach Hotel on Worthing’s seafront, which dates back to 1865, is to be demolished by developers Roffey and transformed into a £9m “bold and contemporary” 75-bedroom hotel and restaurant with 49 additional apartments, spa, swimming pool and sauna.
As such the hotel’s owner is selling the entire contents of the building across over 500 lots, including notable artwork, furniture, carpets and beds without reserve.
Paul Campbell, auctioneer for Campbells, said: “We feel very privileged to have been asked to sell the contents of Worthing’s Premier hotel – which has been a cornerstone of the town’s history for almost a century. The sale will include a wide variety of objects; however we will not be selling the fixtures, fittings, lifts and revolving doors.”
Artworks include The Toymaker by German-artist Fritz Beinke, which has an estimate of £5-7k; The Derelict, off the Northumberland Coast, a rare oil on canvas by Sheffield-born Thomas Bush Hardy estimated at £1-1.5k; Vessels making for Scarborough Harbour, also by Hardy, estimated at £1-1.5k; and Arundel Castle from the Lake by Walter Wallor Caffyn, estimated at £1-2k.
Landmark or eyesore?
The hotel, which was given an Art Deco façade in 1935, has been in need of a major renovation for decades.
Jonathan Farnes, managing director of the Beach Hotel, said: “Times have changed enormously since our family first took over the hotel and so have the requirements of our guests. While our current clientele continue to be delighted with the high standard of service we provide, it is becoming increasingly hard to attract new guests because they have different needs and expect a wider range of facilities. The building has done us a great service over the years, but it has reached a stage where it requires significant investment to take it forward.
“We have considered renovating it, but, because it was originally designed for another use a long time ago, there is a limit as to what’s achievable and the cost would be astronomical.
“We need to think about the future of the hotel and we feel that the time is now right for us to take a step back and make way for a new chapter in its history. Although we will be sad when the time comes to say goodbye, we are genuinely excited about the proposed plans.”
Planning permission was granted for the demolition of the hotel in January, despite misgivings from local residents that the new designs are too high and bulky.
The auction will take place on 17 September at 10:30am.