The first part of the building, probably a single-storey section since replaced by the later two-storey wing, was built for James Cronk. In 1838 he and John Bagg purchased Town Acre 523, on which the building is situated. When R. Peter bought the property in 1842 the built improvements would have been minimal, judging by the purchase price of £85. In 1853 Peter Smith purchased the property. He paid the substantial sum of £1680, indicating improvements such as the surviving western wing.
In 1872 the property was purchased by Thomas, Margaret and Barbara Smith. The eastern two-storey section with its cantilevered balcony was erected in1881 to a design by the architects English and Soward. The western and earliest part of the building remained largely original until 1926. It was refaced and rendered but retains its traditional disposition of openings.
The interior of the hotel was upgraded during 1985-86, preserving evidence of the original disposition of rooms. Later, in 1986, a new sympathetic dining room extension was added to the east.
The contrast between the section of the hotel dating from the1840s and the portion erected in the Italianate idiom, dating from the boom period of the1880s, is particularly rare in the city since many hotels were totally rebuilt in the boom period. Such evidence of piecemeal growth right through to the present day is now uncommon in the city.