AN ICONIC Hampshire hotel which closed its doors after going into administration has been bought by an international hotelier.

The Botleigh Grange Hotel was put into administration in January with its management blaming a Daily Echo article highlighting a bad food hygiene rating on a slump in revenue.

However, the 17th Century country house in Hedge End which was on the market for £4m has now sold for an undisclosed sum.

According to administrators Leonard Curtis, the 55-bedroom property has been bought by an international hotelier.

The property is reported to have attracted a high level of interest with the new buyer being an "extremely experienced" hotelier from overseas.

The independent hotel which was sold on February 21is currently closed and undergoing a survey.

Neil Bennett and Andrew Duncan, directors at Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group, were appointed as joint administrators to Botleigh Grange Limited in January.

Just last year, the hotel’s former owners - Botleigh Grange Hotel Limited also went into administration.

Despite a change in ownership, both companies have been headed by director Daniel James O’Doherty.

The hotel’s finance director Mia Gerber previously declined to comment.

Confirming the sale, joint administrator Neil Bennett said: "The property has attracted a high level of interest, as expected, and the buyer is an extremely experienced hotelier from overseas.

"Botleigh Grange is currently being surveyed to establish the necessary work required before the hotel can be opened.”

Before the sale was finalised a number of parties expressed interest in the property, "recognising the potential to generate and grow revenue from a range of income streams such as accommodation, food and drink, conference and banqueting, leisure and spa breaks."

In November, health inspectors gave the spa hotel a food hygiene rating of one out of five, requiring major improvement. The lowest rating is zero.

The administrators subsequently said a Daily Echo report highlighting the hygiene violations was "one of the contributing factors" behind the hotel's collapse.

Daily Echo:

MP for Eastleigh, Paul Holmes, said: "It is great news that a buyer has been found for the Botleigh Grange Hotel. "This not only protects jobs but also secures the future of the hotel, which is a prominent feature of our community. "I'm sure the new owners have some exciting ideas on how to transform the hotel and make it successful. I look forward to working with them and am ready to help in anyway that I can."

Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Keith House, added: “I am pleased a buyer has been found for the hotel and hope they can breathe new life into this historic location.”