The Columbia Hotel was originally five large Victorian town houses. Professional people, merchants and aristocracy occupied the houses with their families and servants. With large rooms, balconies and contemporary decorative features, the houses were highly valued by the rich and successful. During World War I one of the houses was an American Red Cross Hospital, and after the war the five houses became The Palace Hotel, then The Columbia Club. Renamed The Columbia Hotel in 1975, a continuous programme of improvements aims to offer modern day requirements, whilst retaining the character of the original Victorian-buildings.