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Any recommendations for child-friendly hotels in Dorset?

(23 Posts)
katmam Thu 25-Jul-02 11:52:24

Can anyone recommend a good, child-friendly hotel somewhere in Dorset? Ideally, we'd like somewhere with baby-listening and creche-type facilities so we can have a bit of a break ourselves (or at least be able to have dinner in peace!). Any ideas/recommendations gratefully received! Thanks.

Viv Thu 25-Jul-02 13:20:06

Katmam, Friends of ours have stayed at Knoll House Hotel at Studland in Dorset and had a brilliant time. Haven't stayed there ourselves as its a bit close to Home to justify staying away.

Their Web Site is

Or how about Moonfleet Manor near Weymouth, we have stayed at Wooley Grange the sister hotel and a wonderful break.

Hope this helps, we love Dorset, and often Day Trip to the Coast in the Summer. Have a great break wherever you decide to go.

GillW Thu 25-Jul-02 14:42:32

I'd heard good things about Moonfleet Manor at Fleet (nr Weymouth) too.

Or at Bournemouth (a bit cheaper) mnight be another alternative.

katmam Sat 27-Jul-02 09:59:55

Thanks for all your suggestions - all of these hotels look stunning. No decisions made yet though!

Katharine Tue 30-Jul-02 22:13:27

Two years ago we stayed at the Chine Hotel in Boscombe with our two eldest boys (then aged 2 and 4). The baby listening consisted of the phone being taken off the hook and put on the bedside table and reception listened in every 15 minutes! We could not lock the boys in the room - they could easily escape. We were in "family rooms" which were a good 10 minute run from the restaurant downstairs. The gardens were wonderful and the beach great but I certainly would not recommend the hotel for those with young children. Have you looked at Sandbanks Hotel - in the same chain as The Chine.

sjd Thu 01-Aug-02 22:38:22

I would definitely recommend Moonfleet Manor - very civilised and gret chid care.

Utka Sun 04-Aug-02 19:41:28

I would also recommend Knoll House. We started going with our parents when I was about 5, and went every Easter for about 13 years, on and off! We then had a break for about 8 years, and went back this Easter, again with my parents, but also with our 15 month old, my sister, her husband and their 2 year old.

It's got a fab sandy beach (NT, so clean and with good facilities), within 100m, nine hole pitch and putt golf course (great fun, even if you've never played before), an outdoor pool for the summer, small gym and health spa, and a wonderful adventure playground.

There's a children's dining room and playroom to which you can have 24 access. The playroom is supervised during the adults' lunch. The children's food is just what they need (and like!). The food for adults is excellent (if not for your waistline.

suzywong Wed 30-Jun-04 22:45:22


Can anyone recommend a child friendly guest house or hotel in the Bridport / West Bay area of West Dorset.
We don't need anything flash, just comfy welcoming.

Thanks in advance

suzywong Wed 30-Jun-04 23:04:15


suzywong Thu 01-Jul-04 14:06:45

blatant bump

jema Sat 03-Jul-04 20:24:37

we've done moonfleet manor, fantastic, relaxing even with a 5 & 2 year old

madeleineg Tue 28-Feb-06 14:32:18

We have also just done Moonfleet Manor - disappointing I'm afraid, despite nice food and good service in the restaurant. They should invest in the facilities promptly - it's expensive and looking a bit tired.

Tat Tue 28-Feb-06 14:54:33

Has anybody been to The Ickworth in Suffolk (sister to Moonfleet and Woolley Grange etc...?

pauline1 Fri 05-Jun-09 16:04:12

We have just come back early from Moonfleet Manor and I have to say that it was a very disappointing experience. I think that to call it a luxury family hotel is a bit of an exaggeration, the prices were on the luxury scale but the accommodation and facilities were definitely second rate and all in all could do with a big cash injection to update the hotel. We expected shabby chic but what we got was just shabby. The food too was disappointing, very limited in menu and not very well cooked.
But on the upside Weymouth and the surrounding country side is lovely and found out from my therapist who gave me a back massage in the "spa" that the hotel had recently been taken over by the Von Essen Group. I think that with a bit of investment in the facilities it could be a lovely hotel.

cozzie Sat 06-Jun-09 20:51:43

pauline1 we are due to go this Monday and have to say we are feeling a bit apprehensive as the reviews I've read have been mixed. We went to the Elms (a sister hotel) in December which was fab.

How early did you come back?!

I went to Moonfleet Manor in February and got the cheapest room on a DB&B deal, thought it was great value and loved the food! Wonder if they have changed chef. (However the dining room is just bizarrely grim)

cozzie Sat 06-Jun-09 21:12:30

LibrasBiscuitsOfFortune - would you go back?

Yes, but only on the deal we had, wouldn't bother forking out for special rooms. The bathroom was very small but we had a balcony. I wish I could remember the room number so I could ask for it if we do go back!

Thing is, it is shabby chic but the bed was comfortable, the food was great (and the high tea for the kids seemed to go down well), the creche was good, the pool was small but heated enough for little ones. I do agree that the warehouse where the DC can run around and play needs a) more toys and b) a revamp but as we went out of school holidays it wasn't busy and I liked the fact we could have a beer/cup of tea whilst watching them. I had a massage which was very relaxing. And the listening service so we could have supper whilst the children slept seemed very on the ball. There are grogeous places to visit around and also Monkey World for the kids. Lots of walks and nice pubs.

I think the key is going out of school holidays.

Will be interesting to see what you think.

Tambajam Sun 07-Jun-09 06:51:53

I have had disappointing experiences with both Moonfleet and Ickworth. I was really let down with the baby listening at Ickworth. When they eventually got me from dinner toddler ds was absolutely beside himself and had clearly been awake for a looong time and was rattling at the main door of the room sobbing hysterically. The receptionists on baby listening duty seem to come and go. The Moonfleet 'warehouse' is quite fun and there is stuff to do locally but I just didn't feel it was value for money. Definitely a bit tired. We had a room on a modern corridor that felt more travelodge than manor.

Maybe I just have low expectations grin

YMC Sun 07-Jun-09 08:33:47

We went to Moonfleet two years ago and it was appalling. There was someone else's bar bill on our bill even though they asked us constantly who we were (at Woolley Grange they asked once on day 1 and never again) It was beyond shabby, the swimming pool was mouldy and paint was peeling.
I wrote a strong letter of complaint and was offered a free weekend, once their upgrading was 'complete'
It was so awful we didn't even take them up on that.

cozzie Sun 07-Jun-09 09:38:36

We chose Moonfleet Manor mostly for its location and of course its proximity to Monkey World.

I certainly found the shabby chic atmosphere of the Elms more appropriate for our family so fingers crossed Moonfleet isn't on the grubby side.

I shall be packing with trepidation and will report back.

pauline1 Mon 29-Jun-09 13:41:39

Cozzie, how did you get on? Sorry that I didn't check in earlier to reply to you. I hope that you had a more positive experience than we did. We left 2 nights before the scheduled leaving date, they still charged us.

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