A FAMILY hotel has been bought for a seven-figure sum in what the new owners have described as a “vote of confidence” in Bournemouth.

The Dorset Hotel Limited has acquired the three-star Hotel Collingwood on the West Cliff from the Clarke family.

Directors Eytan and Michelle Krips say they plan a major upgrade at the three star hotel.

The improvements will begin with the installation of a state-of-the-art heating system costing up to £100,000, they say.

They are also creating an extra two jobs as well as investing in further training for the 30-strong workforce.

Mr Krips, who previously owned the luxury Fairfield House residential care home in Lyme Regis, said the 53-bedroom hotel enjoyed a large and loyal clientele.

He said: “Bournemouth is a great destination town and the current investment in new retail and leisure facilities presents fantastic opportunities for hotels such as the Collingwood.

“It’s fair to say that our purchase is not just a vote of confidence in the resort but also the future of independent hotels.

“Apart from upgrading facilities, we will be looking to source as many Dorset ingredients and drinks as possible so that our guests get a real taste and flavour of this beautiful county,” Mr Krips added.

The hotel on Priory Road, a short distance from the BIC, hosts live cabaret entertainment most evenings.

It has a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence, with a four-and-a-half star rating from more than 500 reviewers on the website, placing it seventh among Bournemouth’s hotels.

It also boasts four-and-a-half stars from 26 reviewers on Facebook.

Bournemouth’s Ellis Jones Solicitors acted as legal advisers for the purchase, with Neil Cook, the practice’s head of business services, handling the deal.

Mr Krips said: “It was a complex and demanding transaction and Neil, and his team, did an excellent job.

“Neil’s previous business experience proved particularly useful.”

Mr Krips said the Dorset Hotel Limited, which was incorporated earlier this year, would be interested in acquiring similar, high quality hotels.

“If the right opportunity came along we would certainly look at it,” he said.