The King’s Arms in Dorchester will open its doors on September 17, marking the completion of a four-year, £5m renovation programme by owners the Stay Original Company.
The property will be the fifth and largest hotel for the South West boutique hotel and pub group.
Stay Original acquired the historic Grade-II listed building in 2016 after it had been closed by former owners and started an extensive refurbishment in 2019.
Located on Dorchester’s High Street the hotel featured extensively in Hardy’s novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge as well as in Far From The Madding Crowd.
During its 300-year history, the Grade II-listed building has hosted monarchs and musicians, such as Queen Victoria, King George IV, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
The hotel now comprises a spacious ground floor bar, reception, and restaurant and 34 bedrooms which will be unveiled in phases with 20 bedrooms opening at launch and the further 14 next year.
All the interiors have been designed by Ali Guttridge of Origin Interiors who has created the inspirational look for the all the Stay Original Company properties.
In the kitchen, executive chef, Tom Blake will oversee creative menus working closely with head chef, Steve Yates, who was formerly head chef at Charlton House in Somerset, and chef at The Atlantic Bar & Grill in London.
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.”
Founded in 2011, Stay Original Company also comprises The Swan in Wedmore and The White Hart in Somerton – both in Somerset – Timbrell’s Yard in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, and The Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury, Dorset, where next year work will begin on adding a further 10 bedrooms to its current room offering of 16 bedrooms.