MILLIONAIRE Alfie Best's Herefordshire hotel appears to have been sold ahead of auction... but the buyer remains a mystery at present.

The Hop Pole hotel, in Bromyard's Market Square, was put on the market with agents Savills last month with a £165,000 auction guide price.

The building has been a source of great controversy in recent years, with calls for enforcement action issued by the town council over its dilapidated condition.


Mr Best, who is also responsible for the Sapey Golf Club near Bromyard and 109 residential park home sites across Britain, including Saltmarshe Castle near Bromyard, bought the hotel in 2019.

At the time, the businessman said he would plough £1.2 million into bringing it back to life, with plans submitted to Herefordshire Council in 2021 to turn the dilapidated town centre hotel, which dominates the town's market square and has been empty for a number of years, into a five-star venue.

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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.

The building was due to go to auction with Savills today (May 8), but it appears it will not be among the lots being bid on, as it is now listed on the auction catalogue as having been sold already.

The Savills website says the hotel fetched a price of £180,000.