History of Brit.
BRIT. has undergone historic transformations over the years. We will start at the origin when the iconic Grand Hôtel des Bains was introduced.
Grand Hôtel des Bains
The first construction of BRIT. was built in 1885 and was designed by architect J.J.
initiator of building the Grand Hôtel des Bains was the mayor of Vlissingen; Arie Smit. With
vision to make Vlissingen an internationally known oasis, the hotel was given its monumental
The authentic Grand Hôtel des Bains housed 56 guest rooms, 4 elegant lounges, a concert hall, a dining room, a restaurant, a large 'hall', a kitchen, and a gallery. A large terrace was laid out outside, where later also the bandstand was placed.
Grand Hotel Britannia
In the early twenties, the hotel was taken over by the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland. A
large-scale refurbishment and extension of the hotel took place. The name also underwent a
transformation and changed to 'Grand Hotel Britannia'.
Facilities were added such as an extra floor, a gallery at the front, a lift, more sanitary facilities, a dark room where hotel guests could develop their films, renewed dining rooms and the concert hall with its famous sprung dance floor. Famous dance parties used to be given here. With the expansion, the capacity of the hotel was increased to 220 beds.
De Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland decided to divest the hotel in 1938 and was looking for a buyer for Britannia. A buyer was not found short term, but the municipality of Vlissingen prevented the hotel from closing indefinitively. The N.V. Britannia was founded and found a buyer for the building. This was Mr. J.P. Tolhuizen; former director of hotel "de Hooge Vuursche". On May 8th, 1940, the festive reopening of Grand Hotel Britannia took place.
New luxurious hotel
fter the devastation of the hotel in the Second World War, concrete plans were made in the
1950s to build a new luxury hotel on the site of the old Grand Hotel Britannia.
The Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde, the largest employer in the city, needed a stylish occasion where international guests could be received and entertained. In 1954, N. V. Britannia commissioned architect Boks from Rotterdam to make a design for a new Hotel Britannia.
Britannia as an art object
Soon a start was made with the construction of a new café-restaurant with party and
and a service residence. Typical of Boks' method was that he engaged artists in the
his designs. For example, for Hotel Britannia he approached sculptor and painter Louis van
designed the characteristic mosaics for the hotel.
The high-rise building containing the hotel rooms was designed by Bram Middelkoop. The hotel part consisted of 35 double rooms. All rooms had a sea view, were equipped with a radio and a telephone and could be reached via two lifts. Some of the rooms also had their own loggia.
In 1992, the owner of Britannia closed the doors of Grand Hotel Britannia with the intention
demolish it and construct a new building in its place. Fast forward 20 years and there are
plans for the development of a new Grand Hotel; BRIT.
BRIT. has a lot of history, but by making the name a derivative of Grand Hotel Britannia we honor its transformations. The promise of luxury, exclusivity and authenticity that it offered at the time will also be felt in this new iconic building. Soon we can welcome you in BRIT..