FORMER guests of an Aldwick hotel have spoken of their sadness at its closure.
The sale of the Russell Hotel was completed yesterday by its previous owner, Action for Blind People.
The building has been bought by another charity, Livability, to become a care home for its residents in nearby Ashley House.
It also hopes to use the building as a hub for services for disabled people. But guests with sight problems who have stayed at the King’s Parade hotel said they were saddened by the fact their favourite destination for a seaside break had shut.
Blind Ivy Temple, 81, of Shepherd’s Bush, West London, said: “I’m very sad indeed. It was just a wonderful hotel but there’s nothing any of us can do now it’s gone.
“It had accommodation for blind dogs, the staff were very good and everything about it was ideal for visually impaired people. I was always happy to go there and the staff were always so helpful.”
She spent a holiday there every new year in recent years. She said she was trying to find another hotel nearby which would be willing to have suitable facilities for guide dogs.
Stockport residents Graham and Rosemary Garner frequently stayed at the hotel. Partially sighted Graham, 66, and his 56-year-old wife now go to Action for Blind People’s hotel at Weston-super-Mare. He said: “The Russell Hotel was a very nice hotel and it’s a great pity it has gone.”
Mrs Garner said: “We would probably still be coming to the Russell Hotel this year if it was open. We loved it down there and we loved the people. It was quite nice for wheelchairs.”
The Russell Hotel had existed since the 1940s. The present building was opened in 2002 and had 40 bedrooms.
An Action for Blind People spokeswoman said: “The sale of the Russell Hotel is to be completed on April 30 and, from this date, will be Livability’s property.”
The charity closed the hotel after it needed £2.3m in support from 2005-2012.
Some 30 people worked at the hotel but there are 25 full-time equivalent jobs at Ashley House which will be saved by the move.