GYPSY millionaire Alfie Best's derelict Herefordshire inn has been branded a "luxury millionaire's hotel" by a national newspaper.

The Hop Pole, in Bromyard's Market Square, has long sat empty, and its dilapidated condition has drawn much criticism in recent years, with Bromyard Town Council calling on Herefordshire Council to take enforcement action over it.

Last month, Mayor of Bromyard, councillor Dr Dee Dunne Thomas, said it was "the town dump as far as I'm concerned", and revealed she had previously asked if something could be placed around it, like the hoarding that for years hid away fire-ravaged buildings in Hereford's High Town.


At the same meeting, councillor Clare Davies said that the town's chamber of commerce had written to the hotel's owner, Wyldecrest Parks owner Alfie Best to ask him to put a "shroud" around it to make it look better. 

This, she said, was slapped down as it would cost too much.

But despite local concern over the hotel, which is missing window panes and suffering from flaking masonry, it was slightly prematurely described last month by The Sun as a "luxury millionaire's hotel".

The hotel is set to head to auction with agents Savills next week, with a guide price of  £165,000, but whoever takes it on will need deep pockets, with Mr Best previously saying he would plough £1.2 million into it to transform it into a five-star venue.

What are your thoughts?

You can send a letter to the editor to have your say by clicking here.

Letters should not exceed 250 words and local issues take precedence.

Permission was finally granted with conditions in February 2023 for proposed internal alterations, conversion of attic space, rooflights, the demolition of a rear single-storey extension and replacement larger extension, reinstatement of a historic window, ramped disabled access, and the introduction of dining area into newly discovered basement area.

But the project has been beset with problems, some of which Mr Best told the Hereford Times stem from the building being listed, and remains almost untouched.

Savills said the hotel comes complete with planning permission to create a boutique hotel and restaurant with eight bedrooms, but has redevelopment potential to be converted into nine residential flats, subject to consent.