The Royal Star Arcade stands on the site of the old Royal Star Hotel
Once the home of Maidstone’s main hostelry – it still retains many of its original features as well as its historical significance. In 1989 the site was converted into an indoor shopping centre, using the architectural splendour of the former hotel and retaining many of the original features. Built in the 16th century the original Star Hotel was an important coaching inn and a popular overnight stop for those travelling between London and Folkestone. The 19th century saw the Hotel get the royal seal of approval, and the ‘Royal’ prefix, after a visit by a young Queen Victoria. It was also in this century that the large assembly rooms, known as the Medway Rooms, were built in the coach yard and became the focus for all major town functions for more than 150 years.
The rooms were retained and now form part of the first floor unit adjacent to the High Street. Another historical feature which has been re-instated is the ‘Disraeli Balcony’, where Benjamin Disraeli made his parliamentary acceptance speech after being elected MP for Maidstone. Maidstone, the County Town of Kent, has a population of approximately 141,000 and a catchment area of 1.5 million. Ideally situated in a central location between London and the South East coast, Maidstone sits on the M20 allowing the whole of Kent to be accessed within a 40 minute drive. Maidstone is expected to grow substantially over the next ten years with investment into its infrastructure and economic development creating new jobs, homes and a vibrant local economy.