AN iconic Weymouth hotel has been sold to a major leisure group.

The Royal Hotel on the Esplanade has been acquired by the Leisureplex Hotel Group.

The hotel will become the 24th property in the Leisureplex Collection, having recently also acquired the Waverly Castle Hotel in Melrose.

Bespoke Hotels took over the Weymouth venue in September 2020, after its previous owners, Shearings Hotel, collapsed into administration, leaving the site at risk of permanent closure.

The Royal Hotel is one of 18 properties in the Coast and Country Hotel Collection have been put up for sale.

The leisure-focused hotels are spread across England, Scotland and Wales and are available to purchase individually.

They form part of a portfolio of 33 former Shearings hotels which have been run under a management agreement by Bespoke Hotels since 2020.

The 19th-century Royal Hotel features 71 bedrooms, many of which have  sea views, as well as a bar and lounge area.

Emma Russell, Managing Director of Alfa Leisureplex Group, comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming the Royal Hotel in Weymouth to the Leisureplex Hotel Group and we are looking forward to welcoming General Manager Denise and her team to our employee owned family.

"Our customers have been requesting that we offer a Leisureplex hotel in Weymouth for a number of years, so it is great that we can finally fulfil this wish with the purchase of one of the finest hotels in Weymouth.

“This purchase follows the acquisition of the Norfolk Royale Hotel in Bournemouth and the Waverley Castle Hotel in Melrose, as we continue to expand our range of destinations across the UK.

"Along with a multimillion-pound refurbishment programme across our existing hotel estate and the expansion of Mercedes touring fleet, this demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with outstanding quality value for money coach holidays.”

Ed Belfield, Regional Director in Christie & Co’s hotel team, who acted for the seller, said: “The sale of The Royal Hotel represented an exceptional opportunity to acquire a successful hotel business with significant repeat patronage.

"We congratulate Alfa Leisureplex Group on their purchase of an iconic south coast resort hotel.”