A LANDMARK hotel in Dorchester, which has played host to monarchs and musicians, has finally reopened its doors following a £5m transformation.

The historic King’s Arms is one of Dorchester’s most iconic landmarks, famed for its literary links to Thomas Hardy and hosting a number of famous guests over the years, including Queen Victoria, King George IV, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

It was reopening today following its long-awaited renovation.

The 300-year-old venue is now home to a spacious ground floor bar, reception, and restaurant. Upstairs there will be 34 bedrooms – 20 of them due to open next month and a further 14 next year.

The Grade II-listed site was acquired by the Stay Original Company – owners of a group of boutique hotels and coaching inns across the South West – back in 2016 after it was closed by its previous owners. It had been scheduled to reopen in April this year, but the work was temporarily put on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rob Greacen, Stay Original Company Managing Director said: “To say that’s it’s been a long and eventful journey would be an understatement. It’s been a challenging project, but worth the wait. We’ve carefully and lovingly brought The King’s Arms back to life.

“Rejuvenating an old building, capturing its character and natural heritage whilst bringing in modern luxuries requires professionalism and perseverance.

"But at Stay Original nothing gives us greater pleasure.

“We hope we’ve created a very special place to visit and we’re excited to finally be able to share it with guests.”