R G Carter has won the two-year contact to refurbish and extend the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge.
McLaren Construction was originally lined-up for the £25m job.
A hotel spokesman said that “no terms were agreed” with McLaren.
But it is understood that McLaren had gone so far as to prepare a site logistics plan for the job.
The completion date for the hotel has now been pushed back to 2017 from the Spring of 2016.
R G Carter will be removing the 1960s facade and replacing it with a neo-classical facade on Regent Street and Park Terrace.
The hotel said: “Hundreds of jobs will be created by the reconstruction and fitting out of the property, and up to one hundred full time jobs will be created at the new hotel when it is completed in 2017.”
Leading classical architect John Simpson, who has overseen the redesign of the hotel, said: “I am very pleased that work can now begin in earnest on this important restoration project.
“I am confident that the new University Arms hotel will be a building of which the residents of Cambridge will be very proud and where guests will love to stay.”
R G Carter is now working alongside Cambridge City Council to achieve the sign-off of planning conditions so that a site compound can be established.
McLaren declined to comment.