A LANDMARK hotel in the New Forest has been put on the market for around £12.5million.

The 54-bedroom Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa is being sold with planning permission for another 38 bedrooms, an enlarged spa and another six staff bedrooms.

The historic building in Brockenhurst was the place from which General Eisenhower issued some of his “orders for the day” for the D-Day Landings and has welcomed King George V, Queen Mary and Winston Churchill.

Property consultancy Knight Frank and independent hotel broker Simon Stevens Associates are marketing the property, with offers invited in the region of £12.5m.

Matthew Smith, partner in the hotel agency team at Knight Frank, said: “This independent New Forest hotel has been under the same family ownership for the past 25 years and enjoys an award-winning reputation.

“This is a superb opportunity for a new owner to purchase a highly profitable hotel within The New Forest National Park which benefits from a number of value-add opportunities, including planning permission to construct an additional 38 bedrooms and increase the function & leisure facilities.

“UK regional hotels have witnessed substantial investment interest over the first few months of 2022, attracting over £800m. We expect investment levels to remain strong throughout the year as capital continues to be deployed into assets in prime locations”

The Balmer Lawn dates from the 1800s, when it was a private hunting lodge and residence.

It was used as a field hospital during World War One and an army staff college in World War Two.

Renovations revealed numerous documents from World War Two which can now be found on the walls of its lounge.

It overlooks Palmers Lawn, which was mentioned in the Doomsday Book and other documentation during the time of William the Conqueror. The main building as seen today was built in 1900.

Simon Stevens, director of Simon Stevens Associates, said: “The business is well established as a destination four-star hotel, delivering high quality service with a reputation renowned for excellence, supported by a list of industry accolades.

"This independent hotel is successfully operated with a structured management team that is reflected within its profitable trading history. This is a unique opportunity for an investor to purchase a successful hotel within the New Forest National Park of this scale together with the opportunity to develop additional letting accommodation.”

Balmer Lawn owners Chris and Alison Wilson, said: “After 25 years’ ownership, it is now our time to retire from the industry and hand over the reins to a new owner who can continue to take the business forward and capitalise on the investments we have made.

“The business is in great shape, with strong performance in all sectors including leisure, corporate and weddings.

“The new Lodge Kitchen and Bar to the front of the hotel has delivered an entirely new revenue stream and an additional food and beverage offering. With the planning permission in place the hotel is ready for a new owner to take this iconic hotel to the next level, with over 90 bedrooms, much larger function space and an enhanced spa offering the hotel will continue to go from strength to strength.”