The former owners of the Poundland chain of stores in Merseyside have bought the Bala Lake hotel in Gwynedd, Wales
Steve and Kevin Smith plan to operate the mid-sized hotel under a management team headed by John Falcon.
The 200-year-old, Grade I-listed hotel is one of the oldest buildings in the area and is surrounded by 29 acres of grazing pastures and woodland on the outskirts of the market town of Bala.
The hotel (also known as Fach Ddeiliog or Leafy Nook) overlooks the tourist draw of Bala Lake and benefits from both tourist and commercial trade.
Along with 20 bedrooms, it offers a bar lounge with access to a front terrace seating area, a residents' lounge, a TV room, a chapel and prayer room, and a dining room with a conservatory roof to the rear that can seat between 50 and 80 guests.
There is also a small swimming pool outside and three-bedroom owners' accommodation.
The new owners hope to raise the hotel's rating from three to four stars. On top of refurbishing existing facilities, they plan to boost the wedding and conference trade, introduce spa and healthcare facilities, and possibly reopen the hotel's golf course.
The Manchester office of Christie + Co sold the freehold off a guide price of £1.5m.
*By Angela Frewin