A DORSET hotel has been elevated to four-star status following a major refurbishment.

The Eastbury Hotel in the heart of Sherborne was acquired by hoteliers Peter and Lana de Savary in February.

The country house hotel boasting 22 bedrooms has since been completely refurbished and re-styled.

AA inspectors praised the hotel’s ‘warm atmosphere’, strong team spirit and standard of food in the two Rosette award-winning restaurant Seasons.

Dominee Worman, general manager, said each valued member of the team had contributed towards the accolade.

Peter de Savary said: “I am delighted for Dominee and the wonderful team at The Eastbury. They are young, enthusiastic and professional and have improved standards dramatically in a short space of time. This bodes very well for the future and I am excited by what we can achieve once the new Hobbit House Spa and new Potting Shed Garden Suites complete the new-look Eastbury next year. Whilst we now have a four star hotel rating, we aim to offer a friendly five star experience.”

Next year, the hotel will open the UK’s first 'Hobbit House Spa' which will be situated in the garden, as well as five new ‘Potting Shed Garden Suites’.

The Hobbit House will be built using local stone, complete with a sedum and moss roof and a circular doorway.

Inside the spa will have two treatment rooms - including a couples’ room - a hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room, exercise area and private relaxation space.

The Potting Shed Garden Suites have been designed to offer guests the opportunity to “fully immerse themselves in the glorious hotel gardens” and will be dog-friendly.

They will also feature private patios, fire pits, sedum roofs and “tasteful and creative” de Savary interiors.

Other hotels owned by the couple include the Cary Arms & Spa in South Devon, The Bradley in Cheltenham and Mount Cinnamon Resort in Grenada.