Published on : Saturday, September 19, 2020
The iconic Kings Arms Hotel in Dorchester, recognised for its feature in Thomas Hardy’s novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, has finally reopened after being closed down for 5 long years. The hotel was shut back in November 2015 after going into receivership 10 months earlier under a previous owner and have has undergone a £5m renovation despite a series of delays.
The Grade II listed building was due to be refurbished by new owners Stay Original in 2016 but the company was unable to start work until last year. Somerset-based Stay Original, previously known as Draco, planned to reopen the 300-year-old property in early 2017 and initially blamed planning delays for the hold-up.
In 2018, Dorchester town councilor Stella Jones expressed concerns regarding the deterioration of the landmark building and historic properties nearby and work finally began in 2019. However, it was once again suspended in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions associated with the same. The hotel has previously hosted eminent personalities like Queen Victoria, King George IV, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Managing Director Rob Greacen said in a statement that calling the entire process a long and eventful journey would be an understatement and mentioned that the though the project was challenging, it is worth the wait. He shared that the King’s Arms means a lot of everyone in Dorchester and authorities are hoping that the property can provide warmth to everyone again.