Spirit Group has sold its King's Arms hotel in Dorchester to independent hotelier Mark Bowley in a £1.5m deal.
Property developer Bowley announced plans to spend a further £1m refurbishing the 35-bedroom hotel, which has been a refuge to a diverse range of celebrity guests, from Queen Victoria to the Rolling Stones.
"It has been owned by different big groups for ages and is completely run down. It's nice because we can replace everything and it'll be great when it's finished," Bowley said.
Plans include a 24-seater fine-dining restaurant, gastropub, Italian restaurant and conference and banqueting facilities for up to 200.
Bowley's other hotel, Little Court - a 12-bedroom country house hotel near Dorchester - will also undergo a 720,000 refurbishment, due to be completed by spring 2006.