The Old Government House Hotel & Spa has operated as a luxury hotel since 1858 but its history dates back to 1796 when it was the official residence for the Lieutenant Governor of the island and the Bailiwick, which includes Alderney, Herm and Sark, until 1842. The last Lieutenant Governor to use it as Government House, was General Sir James Douglas, GCB (1785-1862), after whom one of the modern meeting rooms is now named. He served between 1837 and 1842.
John Gardner purchased the property and launched it formally as Old Government House in 1858 where it was quickly established within Victorian society as ‘an old and comfortable country mansion’. During the Second World War, the Germans occupied it as their General Staff Headquarters. Restored as a hotel, it was enlarged and refurbished.
In 1957 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh launched here with Bailiff, Sir Ambrose Sherwill, KBE, MC (1890-1968), and the States of Guernsey. Sir Ambrose was President of the Controlling Committee during the German occupation, during which time he was imprisoned by the Germans in France for a time in Paris.
In March 2008, 150 years later, the hotel was acquired by the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, who undertook a substantial refurbishment while retaining the historic hotel’s character and heritage.
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