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Body found at huge Victorian hotel devastated by fire
By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: 10:54 EDT, 5 May 2010
A body has been found in a huge Victorian hotel which was devastated by fire earlier today.
North Yorkshire Police said the human remains were discovered on the fifth floor of the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate after the blaze, which they described as 'potentially suspicious.'
Officers were unable to confirm the identity of the victim and whether or not it was a member of staff who was unaccounted for following the evacuation of the hotel.
Battle: Around 60 firefighters tackled the blaze which ripped through the Majestic Hotel, in Harrogate, a listed building with 170 rooms
A police spokesman said: 'We can now confirm that police and fire officers investigating the fire at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate have sadly located a body. The body was found on the fifth floor of the hotel.
'At this stage we are unable to confirm the identity and whether or not it is the member of staff who remained unaccounted for.
'We will not be in position to release their name until formal identity has been carried out.
'Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service remain at the scene and will be carrying out an investigation to establish the cause and circumstances of the fire.
'Hotel guests are being allowed back into the hotel to retrieve their belongings under controlled conditions,' the spokesman added.
Around 130 guests and 25 staff fled into the car park of the four star hotel in their dressing gowns when fire broke out just before 5am this morning.
Witnesses reported spotting flames leaping from the top floor of the listed building where the staff accommodation is located.
The missing member of staff was not due to report for work today but he has not been seen since the blaze broke out.
Firefighters now have the fire under control but will continue damping down for the next few days. Police are also on the site, which is being treated as a crime scene.
The fire has devastated the top two floors and severely damaged the grand dining area at the hotel.
John Foster, group manager from Harrogate Fire and Rescue, said there were 16 fire trucks on site from along with three special aerial appliances, and that at one stage there was a concern that the ageing building could be totally destroyed.
'The fifth floor is severely damaged by fire,' he said. 'We have had to remove part of the roof and it's likely the hotel will be out of action for some time. The Grand Dining Room has sustained sever water damage.
'One of the main risks is that we are working at height and the hotel has small corridors with rooms on many different floors and there is extreme smoke and heat.'
'The fire crews had extreme difficulty gaining access to the seat of the fire due to the nature of the building's structure. They are working at height and there are many small corridors which make access difficult.
'Firefighters, police and members of hotel staff helped the evacuation of the guests. There is always confusion when these things happen, particularly when guests are awoken from their sleep, but the guests are all accounted for.
'There's always a risk you may lose a building when a significant fire occurs but we have made sure the fire has been brought under control.'
Supt Ken McIntosh, from North Yorkshire Police, said: 'At this stage the cause of the fire is not known and a full examination of the the scene will be carried out by fire investigators and police.
'It is too early to say if there are any suspicious circumstances.'
Landmark: The fire at the Majestic Hotel, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, started at around 5am today
The foyer of the hotel, normally thronging with guests, was empty but for firefighters gaining access through the revolving front door.
Part of the top floor - the fifth floor - was still smouldering some six hours after the alarm was raised with white smoke billowing from the roof.
Several of the windows on the fifth floor are smashed and the roof is blackened, with firefighters using a cherry picker to douse the smoke from above.
Guests are currently being looked after by staff at Cairn Hotel 200 yards across the road.
Many were milling around the reception area, with an elderly couple still in their 'Barcelo' branded white dressing gowns from the Majestic - referring to the hotel's owners.
Members of staff at the Cairn were busy making tea and supplying spare clothes for the stranded holidaymakers.
Guest Phil Quinby, a 61-year-old contact lens fitter from Beverley, East Yorks., was on the first night of a six-night stay in the four-star complex with wife Kay, 52, when they were suddenly woken by the fire alarm.
He said: 'We heard the fire alarm which was very loud so we jumped out of bed and grabbed what clothes we can. We managed to throw some clothes on and went outside.
'At first we assumed it was just a false alarm as you always do but as we were getting to the main exit we smelt a strange smell. We congregated in the car park and were quickly joined by other guests, mostly in their dressing gowns.
'People were quite calm and we were taken to another hotel across the road, and it was only then that the flames could be seen on top of the Majestic.'
Fellow guest Julian Harrison, from Wolverhampton, said: 'Everybody was very calm.
'A majority of people thought somebody had just set off the alarm with a cigar but on the way down, firemen were running up the stairs past us and we knew then it was something more serious.'
The Majestic has an illustrious history and has hosted dignitaries including Winston Churchill and Edward Elgar.
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Never Again will I stay in am establish which resembled a Haunted house from the outside - Review of The Inn at Cheltenham Parade
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- The Inn at Cheltenham Parade
Never Again will I stay in am establish which resembled a Haunted house from the outside
I was really disappointed with my room, as I was given the attic room! I bumped my head as I got out of the bath, the hotel staff were pleasant but I found the managers attitude quite flippant when I had breakfast on Saturday morning. Apart from the cramped room, I was woken with rather unplesant cooking smells at 6am on both the nights I stayed there. I also thought the decor was really old fashioned and made the place look cluttered.
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My wife and I decided to take a break on the spur of the moment, so I set about searching for something different from the usual chain hotels which, on occasion can be a little sterile. Boy did I touch lucky with The Harrogate Brasserie Hotel and Restaurant! Service on arrival was friendly, room was spacious, clean and well equipped! We took a walk around Harrogate to seek out somewhere for an evening meal, but due to an unexpected snowfall decided in the end to "settle" for the restaurant. I can honestly say, we are so glad we did, the ambience was spot on, the service, again was excellent - friendly but above all professional - we both went for steak as a main course, and they were both cooked to perfection. We enjoyed a quiet, comfortable nights sleep. We were above the bar area so I was concerned about noise, as the bar/restaurant was busy (booking I think would be essential!). I shouldn't have worried, from our room we could barely hear the bar. To cap off our lovely weekend we then enjoyed a hearty, well cooked breakfast. Service again was exemplary! To sum up then, this hotel only loses 1 point, as the food and drink were a little pricey - but given the quality, I think I can forgive them! Would we stay again? Yes! Without any worry, or hesitation - just maybe in a summer month! A perfect retreat to get away from the norm in an establishment that seems to pride itself on that little personal touch - which to my mind makes all the difference. (A quirky charm I think says it succinctly!) It certainly ticked all the right boxes for us!
A recent trip for Valentines Weekend - a late booking only 2 days before enabled a stay in the small B & B located in the middle of Harrogate. Quite dark inside all most gothic like ( Adams Family esq ) We were met by Sue on reception, infact a little table by the kitchen ! We were stopping in the lodge which in fact was a detached building that at one time was a workshop, this is situated from the back door across the car park. The room consists of a twin room downstairs, a bathroom and then upstairs a large double bed. Lots of room for 2 couples or indeed a family. The room had all the things you would need, TV / Tea & Coffee etc - Due to the outside location it meant you were away from the hustle and bustle from the hotel and a good sleep enabled us to be refreshed in the morning. Breakfast followed and consisted of the usual cold selection of cheese and yogurts ( longley farm a good choice ) Toast was self service but the delicate nature of the toaster meant it was a bit of a Hit and miss whether you got the oast to your liking. The cooked breakfast consisted of a full english with the variation being of the types of eggs served or the choice to not have a particular item. As I said the hotel is a bit different maybe quirky or even a little bit odd ! the man serving breakfast was eager beyond belief and keen to get your order BEFORE you sat down ! this was of slight annoyance to some guests. All in all the stay was OK - but a big point to the owners is that please do not overlook the cleaning of the hotel. The lodge had quite a few cobwebs and down the back of the bed was .... well in need of a clean with a vacuum !!!! it had not been done in quite a few months. Simple things that mean a lot, All in all the stay was Ok - the food was Ok - the beer was expensive in comparrison to some trendier places near by. Give it a go but do not look too closely behind the bed !! the room cost £75 for the stay
We went for the early bird meal, we were quite happy with value for the food considering the deal. However the service was very poor - it took 5-10 minutes before our drinks order was taken, and we also had to ask for our food order to be taken after waiting, there was no table check. We eventually cleared our own plates to the side of the table. The worst part was when we came to paying. Having waited a matter of secinds since presenting us with the bill, the waitress came back and stood over us whilst we counted our money! The only time that anyone showed us any attention all night! And there was no thank you or goodnight when we left. If we had paid full price for the meal I would have been very disappointed.
We stayed at this hotel on recommendation by a family member who regularly dines in the restaurant. The Hotel Crammed full of nostalgic brick 'a' brack this hotel has a very laid back air to it. You are very much free to come and go as you please which was fine (yet a little disturbing seen as you have to leave your car keys with them and they are very easily retrieved, unnoticed), however it was quite often difficult to find a member of staff during the day, which seemed amazing seen as the main entrance is through the restaurant itself. On entering the hotel in the evenings it felt quite awkward as you were almost barging past the diners. The Room We stayed in room 15 which was at the front of the hotel. The noise from the road and revellers during the night was quite disturbing and meant we did not want to have the window open, but we still slept well. The room itself was spacious and had everything we needed; however there was a lot of dust and the floor was not swept very well. The bathroom was large and bright, however the window was directly next to the walk in shower and the curtain did not close properly, which meant showering was done with the hope that the people in the building opposite did not get a sneaky peak! The Restaurant The food we ate here was fantastic. The service was very relaxed, however the staff seemed a little moody. But seen as the restaurant is quite dark, this didn’t matter so much. The entertainment was quite loud but we enjoyed it none the less. All round the Harrogate Brasserie Boutique Hotel is a very relaxing hub in central Harrogate. The only criticisms being a lack of dusting and presence of staff during the day.
We had a really great 3 night pre-Christmas break at this super hotel. A warm and cosy room, fabulous food, and a lovely atmosphere throughout. The hotel is ideally placed for the town centre of Harrogate, and from parking our car in the hotel parking area at the back on arrival it didn't move til we needed it to return home. Breakfast was cooked to order with everything you wanted from a poached egg to a full english. Cereals, toast, fruit juices etc; etc; were all available and the coffee was hot and strong(ideal for first thing in the morning) We ate one night in the Brasserie, and it was excellent. An exciting menu, special offer "early bird" price up til 7pm and very good service. It was the very busy run up to the Christmas period while we were there and they had quite a lot of parties booked in-but we didn't have to wait unduly for any course or drinks. An excellent stay all round, and a hotel and town we would recommend to anyone
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Harrogate - Hotel Majestic. And Some Interesting Facts.
The postcard a postally unused postcard bearing no publisher's name. the colours overlaying the black and white photograph of the hotel are rather bizarre. the card was posted in harrogate on thursday the 29th. september 1904 to: miss robinson, thiers, gundagai, new south wales, australia. there was no message, as the name and address extended across the back of the card. there is a song about gundagai which was written in 1922 by jack o'hagan. it's called 'along the road to gundagai'. here are the words: "there's a scene that lingers in my memory, of an old bush home and friends i long to see. that's why i am yearning, just to be returning along the road to gundagai. chorus: there's a track winding back to an old fashioned shack along the road to gundagai: where the blue gums are growing and the murrumbidgee's flowing, beneath that sunny sky; where my daddy and mother are waiting for me, and the pals of my childhood once more i will see. then no more will i roam, when i'm heading right for home along the road to gundagai. when i get back there i'll be a kid again. oh i'll never have a thought of grief or pain. once more i'll be playing, where the gums are swaying along the road to gundagai". the majestic hotel the majestic hotel in harrogate, yorkshire, england, is an historic hotel and listed building operated by the cairn group. the hotel was built by frederick hotels limited (which owned the hotel great central and wharncliffe restaurant, london, the hotel russell, london, the royal pavilion hotel, folkestone, the hotel burlington in dover bay, the sackville hotel, bexhill-on-sea and the hotel metropole, whitby). the hotel was designed by the architect george dennis martin, and opened in july 1900. the hotel has 170 rooms and is regarded as a high quality hotel in the area. the 1924 and 2020 fires in june 1924 the hotel was badly damaged by a fire. the top two storeys of the west wing were destroyed, the rooms on the same level along the south front of the main building were damaged, and the dome (visible in the photograph) was destroyed. a french maid became distressed after being trapped on the roof, and a local waiter went onto the roof to prevent her from jumping. she was eventually lowered down and rescued by the fire brigade. in 2010 a fire at the hotel caused significant damage, including water damage. one person died in the fire, and this death is reported to be behind recent hauntings on the 4th floor in room 407. this room has now been removed. (note: how do you remove a room presumably it was re-numbered) greer garson so what else happened on the day the card was posted well, on the 29th. september 1904, greer garson was born in london. she became an anglo-american actress who was very popular during the second world war, being listed by the motion picture herald as one of america's top-ten box office draws from 1942 to 1946. as one of the major stars at metro-goldwyn-mayer during the 1940's, garson received seven academy award nominations, including a record five consecutive nominations, winning the best actress award for 'mrs. miniver' (1942). garson was married three times. her first marriage, in 1933, was to edward alec abbot snelson (1904–1992), later sir edward, a british civil servant who became a noted judge and expert in indian affairs. she lived with him briefly in nagpur, a small town in central india. the actual marriage reportedly lasted only a few weeks, but it was not formally dissolved until 1943. her second husband, whom she married (at age 39) in 1943, was richard ney (1916–2004), who played her son in mrs. miniver. they divorced in 1947. in 1949, garson married a millionaire texas oilman and horse breeder, e.e. "buddy" fogelson (1900–1987). in 1967, the couple retired to their 'forked lightning ranch' in new mexico. death of greer garson in her final years, garson occupied a penthouse suite at the presbyterian hospital in dallas, texas, where she died from heart failure on 6 april 1996, at the age of 91..
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Man and woman found dead in Yorkshire hotel room 200 miles from home
North Yorkshire Police believe the man and the woman found dead at the Doubletree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel and Spa in Harrogate were known to each other
- 13:20, 5 May 2021
- Updated 13:53, 5 May 2021
A man and a woman have been found dead in a hotel room in North Yorkshire 200 miles from their home.
Police are investigating after the two bodies were discovered at the Doubletree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel and Spa in Harrogate.
The man and the woman were from London, police said.
Detectives investigating believe that the victims, in their late 30s or early 40s, were known to each other.
Officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
Detective Superintendent Wayne Fox of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Investigation Team said: "We were called at around 10.20pm on Tuesday 4 May by hotel staff at the Majestic Hotel to a report that the bodies of a man and a woman had been located in a hotel room.
"On arrival, a man and a woman, both in their late 30s/early 40s from the London area, were pronounced dead at the scene by colleagues from the ambulance service.
"Their families have been informed and are being supported by specially-trained officers.
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"A detailed investigation is under way looking into the circumstances of both deaths.
"We can confirm that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths and would like to reassure the local community that we believe that this is an isolated incident.”
The Mirror has contacted Doubletree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel and Spa in Harrogate for comment.
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