THE historic Bear Hotel in Wareham town centre has reopened after 14 months of extensive renovations.

Mother and daughter Janet and Emily Strange bought the hotel last year, after it closed as the Black Bear – under different management months earlier – following a stinging assessment on the Channel Four series' The Hotel Inspectors.

Emily, who says she's poured her heart and soul into the hotel, said: "I’m so excited to welcome the public into The Bear.

"We have been touched by the patience and support shown to us by the local community, and hope the venue become a hub for them and visitors to the area alike.

"If you’re looking for great quality, mindfully sourced food and drink served in a fun and friendly environment, The Bear is the place to go."

It was set to open on Saturday. (October 19)

In January 2015, the Grade II listed building came close to burning down after an electrical fault sparked a fire in a cupboard.

Firefighters from Wareham fire station entered the hotel and suppressed the blaze from the room above, saving the building which has stood on South Street since the eighteenth century.

Today, the Bear Hotel has been completely transformed inside.

While final preparations are being made to the hotel's bedrooms, which should open towards the end of this year, the ground floor includes a bar, a restaurant and even a deli shop selling locally-sourced produce.

Emiliy said: "We have got an incredible team on board and have already taken lots of special event and Christmas bookings.

"We’ll be running a varied and inspiring events programme throughout the year. Think yoga and meditation classes, book, supper clubs and film nights.

"The Bear is going to have something for everyone. Our first eight boutique bedrooms will also be opening towards the end of the year, so guests can enjoy the complete Bear experience."

The hotel promises striking features such as a copper bar top, handmade panelling and lovingly restored interior brickwork, marrying 18th century charm with modern day luxury.

The bar and restaurant will be open every day and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and plans to serve evening meals every night from Easter.

The onsite deli shop will be stocking bread and cakes made each day on site, as well as local produce, gifts and hampers.

There is even an event space which is already providing popular with groups with an event to celebrate.