In 1867, when the Imperial Hotel opened, its commanding view from the highest point of the cliffs made it an obvious choice for the location of Blackpool’s premier hotel. Over the years it has seen many additions, including Turkish, Russian and seawater plunge baths and a ballroom to hold 400 people in 1901. It was extended further to the north in 1904, as early twentieth century visitors would often bring with them servants, coaches and horses.
During both wars the Imperial Hotel had a new function; during WWI it served as a convalescent hospital, helping soldiers recover from the horrors of shell shock; and during WWII the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food relocated there from London.
The Imperial Hotel has long been associated with famous guests; one of its first well-known visitors was Charles Dickens in 1869, with many others following suit including a number of ‘A’ list stars. The Beatles, Cliff Richard, Gracie Fields, Erroll Flynn, & Shirley Bassey have all frequented the rooms of this historic hotel - even Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother has been a guest.
The Imperial Hotel embraces its reputation as a political hotspot with its No. 10 bar, which has the names of Prime Ministers who have visited etched into its mirror-coated walls, including Sir Winston Churchill. Cecil Parkinson submitted his resignation here in 1983, Baroness Thatcher celebrated her 60th birthday here in 1985 and through the years Sir Winston Churchill smoked many cigars within these walls.