BRIGHTON’S oldest hotel has been sold as part of a multi-property sale worth £75 million.

The Old Ship Hotel in King's Road, Brighton, has been sold as part of a five hotel purchase by Newcastle-based hotel and bar operator Cairn Group.

The 154-bedroom hotel in King's Road, Brighton, dates back to 1559 and has a gym, restaurant, three bars and 12 conference rooms catering for up to 250 delegates.

The grade II* listed hotel had originally been put up for sale with the ten remaining four-AA-star properties owed by the Hotel Collection for a combined £130 million.

The purchase by the Cairn Group, which also includes hotels in County Durham, Stirling, Harrogate, and Cardiff, raises the number of hotels in its portfolio to 31.

This most recent acquisition is the third of this year by the group, which already owns several Holiday Inns, Doubletree Hilton in Newcastle and Courtyard by Marriott at Glasgow Airport, following a £101m refinance deal completed in May.

The Old Ship Hotel, which was sold to The Hotel Collection in 1999, has had famous guests in its long history including renowned Italian violinist Niccolo Paganini while Charles Dickens reportedly gave readings there during his frequent visits to Brighton.

Cairn Group finance director Richard Warren said: “This is an incredibly exciting move for us.

“We are continuing to break into new territories and penetrate new customer bases.

“Each of the hotels are completely unique and operating successfully.

“We see huge potential for them within the Cairn Group portfolio as we expand our coverage into new areas, offering a truly ‘national’ choice for our customers who remain our number one priority, alongside ensuring we provide first class hospitality, each and every time.”

Savills and Rothschild jointly advised on the sale of the hotels.

Martin Rogers, head of UK hotel transactions at Savills, added: “We are delighted to have secured new ownership for these five outstanding hotels.

“The unique character of each hotel and their unrivalled locations ensure they are profitable business, attracting visitors all year round.”