The fire broke out at the hotel, which dates back to 1575, at around 4:40am and eight fire crews from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were required to tackle the flames.
The property, which is on four floors with 46 guest bedrooms, had a wedding party preparing for a wedding at the hotel the following day, and the crews carried out significant salvage operations to save as many of the guest’s belongings as possible, including the bride’s wedding dress.
Incident commander Dan Channon said: “This was a challenging incident due to the complex nature of this old building in a confined part of the town. Crews had to work extremely hard in arduous conditions, using breathing apparatus, to bring the fire under control and prevent it from spreading to other properties.”
In a tweet the hotel said: “We are overwhelmed by the incredible support received from the local community following a fire at the hotel in the early hours of this morning. East Sussex Fire Service were on site within five minutes and everyone was evacuated safely and nobody was hurt.
“We’d like to thank the fire service and our staff for their outstanding efforts. We’re devastated our beautiful building has been damaged and work starts today to get everything up and running as soon as possible. We’d like to thank our wonderful guests who have been amazing in their response.”