The opening of the four-star, 183-bedroom Radisson Edwardian Guildford has been celebrated with a reception attended by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt.
Hunt joined over 500 guests at the event to mark the £60m development of the hotel, which forms a major part of the regeneration of the city's upper high street.
"It's amazing to see the changes thanks to the redevelopment that have been going on these past few years," said Hunt, who grew up in the Guildford area. "I'm delighted that Guildford will play host to the Olympic flame next year and this hotel forms a key part of the town's London 2012 legacy."
The hotel - once the site of the 17th century coaching inn, the White Horse hotel - is a joint venture between Marcol and the Nicholas James Group along with the operator, the Edwardian Group. The new design has retained the period façade with a new glass atrium housing a seven metre high bookcase accessed by "a ladder to nowhere", a nod by designer Rabih Hage to Lewis Carroll, who is buried in Guildford.
Facilities include two restaurants and bars, an al fresco terrace, spa with indoor swimming pool, gym and seven function rooms.
Hunt is seen here (third from right) with, from left to right, Cllr Terence Patrick, Mayor Of Guildford; Nick Roach, chairman, Nicholas James Group; and Peter Wardley, the hotel's general manager.
By Janet Harmer
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