Celebrity hotelier opens newest venture in Alfriston

Television personality and celebrity businesswoman Alex Polizzi and her mother Olga have opened the doors today (Monday) of their newest venture, The Star in Alfriston.

The Star in Alfriston
The Star in Alfriston

The family duo bought the property in November 2019, and immediately embarked on the total renovation of the hotel.

Alex says everything has been rebuilt and redesigned with Olga Polizzi’s unique skills and her own long acquired hotel experience.

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Initially opening to resident guests only, the 30 bedroom hotel in the heart of the historic village has a large restaurant, and its own Mediterranean style inner courtyard.

Alex and Olga Polizzi

It offers all day dining in the oldest part of the hotel known as The Inn.

Alex said, “It is really exciting that we are finally able to open. Our team has worked so hard to get us to this point. I cannot wait to start welcoming guests after this tumultuous year.”

Olga said, “My home is in this part of the world and I’ve always longed for the opportunity to open a hotel in Sussex. When The Star Inn came on the market, Alex and I were immediately interested in the project.

“We want it to be an integral part of the community and provide a welcoming environment for all, from walkers to opera goers.”

Inside the Star Inn in Alfriston

During the refurbishment, floor to ceiling windows have been installed through much of the 1960s part of the building, and some of the smaller bedrooms have been combined to form larger bedrooms.

Many of the rooms in the wing now have small private patios or Juliet balconies; one junior suite has its own terrace.

All the bedrooms have been designed in Olga Polizzi’s style, using contemporary furniture and local antiques, English wallpapers and fabrics by Richard Smith, with splashes of vibrant colours and textures.

Some of the furniture in the newer Sixties wing is by Julian Chichester and other pieces are individual one-offs bought locally.

Interior design at the Star Inn has been given careful thought

Tim Kensett, formerly of The River Café, is the head chef and Alex said he serves simple, unfussy dishes with a focus on clarity of flavour.

The hotel has a large 60 cover restaurant with a striking black and white stencilled Elizabethan design on the floor, painted by local artist Amanda Lawrence.

The 16th century front of the hotel, known as The Inn, opens onto the High Street, and will provide all day dining from 11am-6pm, with local beers, open fires and oak beams.

Alex said the library is a sanctuary for guests to enjoy a drink or a cup of tea, or play one of the board games.

Its bookshelves are packed with poetry, short stories and novels by British authors, and there is a section dedicated to local history, flora and fauna.

The library has a secret door that opens into the restaurant.

Alex said that efforts are being made to reduce the carbon footprint at The Star by minimising food waste, cutting down the amount sent to laundry, banning all single use plastics and encouraging suppliers to do the same, adopting biodegradable cane sugar refillable bathroom containers and using glass refillable water bottles throughout operations.

Rates at The Star are available from £190 for bed and breakfast.