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“A little gem by the seaside”

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Purbeck House Hotel & Louisa Lodge
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Swanage
Certificate of Excellence
Colchester, UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“A little gem by the seaside”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2013

Wanting a short break in Dorset, I booked a single room for 4 nights arriving Wednesday 5th June 2013. I'm a frequent visitor to the area and therefore know it pretty well. The hotel certainly wasn't my first choice but as those further up my list were already full I tried this one instead. I'm so glad I did as I think this hotel is a little gem!

In Swanage I've previously stayed at The Grand and The Pines. Both are located in a residential area on the northern side of town with limited parking and a 10-15 minute stroll to the centre. You can read what I think about them in my other reviews. In my opinion this one beats them both.

The Purbeck house hotel on the other hand is located right next to the town centre at the top of a little hill alongside residential properties. It's in a great location - about four minutes walk to the sea front and four minutes to the main supermarket in town (Budgens). Remember to use the shortcut to the supermarket which is a little footpath directly opposite the hotel entrance. Shops, pubs, restaurants, beach and railway station are therefore right on your doorstep.

The hotel, its car park, garden and grounds feels like a little walled oasis. The tall, historic structure of the main building runs along side the road shielding everything else behind it. Vehicle access is via a small gap in the wall with double gates. Once inside you drive uphill along a small one-way lane with the hotel on your left. The turning into the car park is just a little further up, also on the left. Most people use the first car park and it therefore gets pretty full. However if you keep driving you pass through a gap in the wall into another larger car park which has plenty more room. I'm pretty fussy about where I leave my car but there were no worries here. The hotel has 38 rooms. However, as there are 50+ parking spaces in the hotel car park, there are always spaces and you can park your car well away from others. The whole area is enclosed so non-hotel visitors don't go anywhere near it.

From the car park you walk past or through the other bit of the hotel - the Louisa Lodge – through the gardens and into the reception area in the main building. I had a lovely, warm greeting from the lady on the reception desk who appeared to be genuinely pleased to see me. She also volunteered to give me a quick tour of the bar and dining room. My room was up a couple of flights of stairs and had a genuine sea view over the Swanage rooftops out to Swanage bay. The street outside isn't overly busy but it was pleasant watching the world going by.

For a single, the room was an adequate size, clean and very comfortable. The bed was very comfortable but I needed an extra pillow. The water needed to be run for a minute or two to get hot. The overall feeling of the hotel is a very homely one with a lovely atmosphere. It's got a historic feel to it but was certainly not run down or tired. The room was quiet although you could hear people if they were talking in the corridor or shouting outside on the street. Overall, nothing to worry about.

Breakfast is served in a large, spacious light and airy conservatory. There's a choice of cooked breakfasts supplemented by a help yourself area with cereal, toast, juice, fruit etc. Again the friendliness of the staff stood out. All in all, more than enough to eat to set you up for the day. The cooked breakfast was amongst the best I've had – very nicely cooked. During the day if I ever bumped into any of the restaurant staff they would always smile and say hello.

The exit from the car park is further up the hill past another grassed area and out along a small lane.

As you can probably guess I really like this hotel and would have no reservations whatsoever recommending it.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view and one that's away from the stairs.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Krizz00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
270 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2013

Situated up a gentle slope on a main street, a short walk from the central shopping area, the 19th century hotel looms somewhat gloomily above central Swanage. It must be very difficult to maintain this rambling old building and it's grounds given the operating costs today. However, unfortunately this means that Purbeck House really does not shine in a particularly good light to the passing visitor.

We booked a double room in the main building and paid the additional rate for a sea view. The room was large, furnished with comfortable chairs of a reasonable vintage and a good sized double bed with a well used mattress. All the walls were wallpapered to within an inch of their lives with busy and dark papers, which had the effect of making the room a little gloomy. The sea view from the room was good but we had not realised that by requesting a sea view that this meant that we were at the front of the hotel which was pretty noisy during the day as the sound of the passing cars, lorries and buses funnels up from the street below.

Signs of less than adequate maintenance can be seen in many of the details within the hotel. Weeds growing around the edges of the balconies (our room and another front balcony), very worn carpet areas on the stairs, flaking paint, a small mezzanine sun room (middle of the main stairs) which looked abandoned and literally crumbling plaster flaking onto the floor. Not a good impression, I'm afraid.

The included hotel breakfast was at best "adequate" but it was not of the standard to be expected from our £125 per night room charge. The hotel staff were smiling and helpful at all times.

Sorry, our 2 night stay was not a great experience and really not worth the rate that we paid by quite a long chalk.

Room Tip: Ask for a "quiet" room away from traffic noise.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PeterMac29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2013

It was a rare, fine, sunny June day, which may have coloured my views!
We stayed just the one night as I had some business in town. It was a charming, relaxing hotel with pleasant grounds and buildings, and efficient, friendly staff. Although centrally located in the High Street, it is at the upper end and was surprisingly very quiet. Our room in the Louisa Lodge was spacious and modern. We had an inexpensive lunch in the conservatory which was tastefully cooked and served. There is a restaurant for dinner, but we did not try it. Breakfast was large and well-cooked except for the kipper, which was sadly tasteless.

One snag was that the walls between rooms in Louisa Lodge were thin and we could hear the next door's television and whenever they shut their door. When I mentioned this in the morning the receptionist promised to put us up in the main house next time, this has old-style thick walls.

All in all an enjoyable stay.

Room Tip: Old house upper floor, I think you can ask for a sea view, but it will be over the town roofs.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank M E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Sussex
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2013

Paid extra for a two night stay in a room with a four poster bed. The hotel itself is in a great position and is a lovely old building but it is in need of some serious TLC. Our bathroom had several cracked tiles and a cracked window pane, the chrome had worn off the fittings, the glass shelf had a large chip in it, there was evidence of water damage on the wood work. There is stripped pine and there is bare wood ! Also being an old building toilets had been installed using a 'Saniflow' which seemed to set itself going as and when.

The pillows had seen better days and one of the curtains had a large chunk missing and the windows were dusty. Our view was of the managers car park and a side window between to roof areas complete with old shampoo bottles.

The stairs were quite hazardous as the carpet was totally threadbare on the edges of the step and 'heels' could catch in them.

The breakfast room ie conservatory had a large number of windows with condensation between the panels which needed attention. Breakfast itself consisted a few meagre buffet items, none of which were kept chilled or covered for instance fruit juice, bowls of tinned fruits and yoghurts, cooked items were to order and were average. Poor quality pre packed marmalade. The second morning my husband only had cereal and I ordered porridge which was I did not eat as it tasted as if the oats we well past their sell by date, this morning the yoghurts were tasteful displayed in a cardboard box 'outer' again not chilled.

When checking out I did mention all this and was told that they could have changed our room if we mentioned it but I think we felt that the whole place was shabby and that we would not have gained anything. I expressed concern regarding the stair carpet and I was told that the carpet was the next project to be tackled I hope this is done before someone has an accident.

Its a beautiful old building in a great location with private car parking. The old house has some interesting features and could be amazing but needs some serious care.

Room Tip: I think maybe the more modern Louisa Lodge would be a better choice than the main house.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ljs101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Epsom, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2013

We booked three rooms, for my husband and I in the Louisa Lodge, my parents in law also in the lodge and our son and his wife in the main house. My husband and I had stayed there before several years ago and loved the history associated with the building. The staff were friendly and helpful and we could not fault anything about our stay. The views from our son's bedroom window, room 18, were fantastic. We will certainly stay there again. Superb location in the High Street. Very impressive.

Room Tip: If my husband could manage the stairs, we would have stayed in the main house, for the lovely views.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank angelaH46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2013

We where blown away with the fantastic views from our bedroom across the bay to Poole Harbor from one and the Isle of Wight from the others. Everyone in the hotel was kind and friendly we couldn’t fault it in any way, nothing seemed too much trouble.
My husband loved the architecture and history of the house and gardens and would love to have learned more about the house and previous priory.
There was so much to do and see in Swansea and around the bay we could have stayed for two weeks and still come back for more.

Room Tip: Top Floor for the best views - if you can do the stairs
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yvonne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kingswinford
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2013

spur of the moment two night break.Hotel was wonderful, old elegance, but not at all faded. Public rooms were inviting and comfy. the whole place was spotless clean, the staff were professional, helpful and friendly.
Steak and Ale pie was so good we ate it both nights!
Breakfast was cooked to order, plentiful, varied, and served in a beautiful conservatory.
We were in the Louisa Lodge in the grounds.Room 28, and there was a sea view!!!Beautiful grounds and plenty of guest car parking.Ideal location.
the room was very clean and everything was in a lovely condition,beds comfy nothing shabby or worn.We left before breakfast on last morning, and on informing reception the evening before, a packed lunch of our choice was provided at no extra charge Will definately return, and would recommend to all ages. Excellent all round.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jude p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Purbeck House Hotel & Louisa Lodge

Property: Purbeck House Hotel & Louisa Lodge
Address: 91 High Street, Swanage BH19 2LZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Isle of Purbeck > Swanage
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Swanage
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Purbeck House Hotel & Louisa Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Purbeck House Hotel, "An Oasis of Relaxation and Enjoyment." Purbeck House Hotel is a family-run hotel steeped in over a century of history. Nestled in extensive gardens in the centre of Swanage, close to shopping centre, Pub, Restaurant, this unique family-run hotel combines the atmosphere of a traditional country house with all the amenities of a modern hotel. Steeped in history, the 38 bedrooms are divided between the main house, constructed in 1875, and the newly-built Louisa Lodge (completed in 2003). All of the bedrooms are en suite, Tea/Coffee making facilities, LED HD Flat Screen TV, Iphone Docking Station, Iron and Iron Board, Direct Dial Telephone, Free Broadband WiFi Connection and some have sea or garden views. The hotel has a large car park and is only 300 yards from the sea front and the clean, sandy beaches.This Family howne this Hotel for the last 15 Years ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Purbeck House Hotel And Louisa Lodge
Purbeck House Hotel & Louisa Swanage
Purbeck Hotel Louisa
Purbeck House Hotel & Louisa Lodge Swanage, Isle Of Purbeck

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