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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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