Catey winner and Pennyhill Park owner Exclusive Hotels is to spend £7.5m refurbishing its South Lodge hotel as its aims for five-red star status.
The hotel, located near Horsham in West Sussex, currently operates as a four red-star property.
Once refurbishment is completed in the summer it will have increased its capacity from 41 to 85 bedrooms and recruited 35 additional staff.
Built in 1883 the country house hotel is surrounded by more than 90 acres of parkland.
The restaurant, headed by Lewis Hamblet, holds 3 AA rosettes and a new open kitchen restaurant, the Pass, is due to open this spring.
Exclusive was a recipient of Caterer's Best Group Marketing Campaign in 2006.
As well as the Pennyhill Park in Bagshot Surrey, Exclusive owns Lainstone House in Hampshire and the Manor House in Wiltshire.
Financing for the refurbishment has been supplied by Allied Irish Bank.
By Chris Druce
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