The new owners of the Hoste hotel in Burnham Market, Norfolk, are investing £2m in upgrading and extending the property which was previously owned by Jeanne Whittome and her late husband Paul for more than 20 years.
Former media executive Brendan Hopkins and his wife Bee Hopkins bought the hotel last year, through their company BNB Leisure.
The couple, who have a home in nearby Wells-next-the-Sea, were regular customers and friends of the Whittomes, but for the previous 10 years were based in Australia, where Brendan Hopkins was chief executive of one of the county's largest media groups, APN News & Media. Prior to that, he was chief executive of the UK arm of Tom Reilly's Dublin-based Independent News & Media company.
Bee Hopkins has a background in the hospitality and travel industries, having worked as a consultant with Trusthouse Forte and Marriott, and with regional tourist boards and tour operators.
Since acquiring the hotel, the Hopkins, who have changed the name of the business from the Hoste Arms to the Hoste, have set about developing a new function space called the Garden Room for 110 covers, a garden lodge which will be able to host parties of up to 30 guests, four bedrooms and a new reception area.
The Hoste Beauty Spa is also being extended to add hairdressing, manicure and pedicure facilities and a hot tub in the spa garden, while the kitchen is being doubled in size.
Brendan Hopkins said: "We really appreciate the way our customers have supported us through six month's building work. It's hard to say who is more interested in the new building - residents or staff!"
Jeanne and Paul Whittome acquired the Hoste Arms in 1989, when it had just eight bedrooms and went on to create one of East Anglia's most successful and best known hotels. Paul died from cancer in 2010.