WORK is set to begin on a multi-million-pound refurbishment of one of Hampshire’s iconic hotels.

The distinctive Grand Harbour Hotel, which is known for its massive pyramid-shaped glass atrium, will undergo a £4m refurbishment.

It comes as the independently-owned, four-star hotel is celebrating its 20th year in Southampton.

It has been one of the mainstays of celebrities who visit the city, with previous guests including Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie and Jason Donovan, as well as Premier League football teams, who often stayed overnight before they played Saints.

The hotel was sold to an unnamed private buyer for an undisclosed sum in January 2013, and the owners want to return the Southampton landmark to its “former glories”.

The refurbishment will include all of the 173 bedrooms having major work to modernise them. This includes installing air conditioning, new beds, furniture, bathrooms being updated and a new colour scheme.

The gym and swimming pool will also see improvements which will see it being closed from January 13-19, while the gym will have new state-of-the-art equipment and will be being closed until January 10.

Nine of the hotel's meeting rooms will undergo an overhaul which will see new carpets, furniture and a complete redecoration.

Also receiving a dramatic facelift will be the reception area and the bar and restaurant area, with the bar set to be relaunched in March with a Hampshire gastro pub theme.

Disruption caused by the work is expected to be minimal for guests, as only a few bedrooms will be refurbished at any one time.

The work is due to be complete by the end of May this year.