It has played host to British monarchs including Queen Victoria and George VI and is one of the region’s biggest tourist attractions, but The Kings Arms Hotel in West Dorset has been sold.

The former Best Western hotel went under the hammer this month for more than £3m to UK buyer Simon Ansi, who is looking to develop a hotels and pub portfolio.

The building was recently refurbished, adding two restaurants, conference facilities and a 60-cover bar with a log fire place at each end.

Christie + Co auctioneer Ed Bellfield says the Best Western hotel is no longer the choice of royalty – with only three stars – but does retain a lot of traditional features.

“A perfect combination of the old fashioned values and modern sophistication of style is carefully reflected in the quality of the hotel and its excellent reputation as a destination venue for both conference and leisure clients,” Bellfield says.

By Penny Jones