We spent Saturday 1st June in Knoll House and had a most wonderful time. Describing the best feature about Knoll House is extremely difficult - the location and views are stunning, the long term staff treat you like old friends and the short term staff very quickly learn how to as well, the food is simple but delicious and every single member of the family - parents, children and dogs - have an absolute ball. Our one night stay left us feeling so happy and refreshed it was as though we had been away for a week.
We have been before several times and each year the winter refurbishment has a pleasant surprise for you. This year we found that the rather cramped bathroom had been replaced with an amazing wet room, with plentiful hot water, at a fabulous pressure and there is a even a very easy to operate and comfortable seat. The drainage angles work brilliantly as the toilet and the big fluffy towels stay dry.
If you have never been before Knoll House is a little step back in time. Young children have a separate dining room. You eat breakfast together there as a family, then the children have their lunch there and retire to the supervised playroom while adults can enjoy their lunch in peace in the adult dining room. There is a high tea served at 5, just when little ones need it, then there are babysitters who listen out for the children whilst parents enjoy their own dinner from 7.30 onwards. Our daughter started joining us for dinner in the evenings from around the age of 8, although that is at the discretion of the hotel (if you have a child you still wants to plaster her face with spaghetti hoops she probably would not enjoy the adult dining room - and neither would you).
The wonderful advantage of this system is that children get food they like at a time when they need it, rather than having to wait for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also have access to the children's dining room 24 hours a day, where there is a supply of milk, ice packs, calpol and essentials you might need in the middle of the night. With someone else to do the cooking AND the clearing away, parents get a wonderful break.
The outside pool, with a shallow baby pool, is heated from the end of May, so we had a gorgeous time there this weekend. There is also an outside hot tub. If you are not so lucky with the weather as we were, there is also a small indoor pool and Jacuzzi, which is open for children under 14 for one hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. There are no lifeguards, so you do need to supervise your own children. In fact there is a lovely notice up that says unaccompanied children will be given a puppy and an espresso! When we were there, there were some rather neglectful parents who were blissfully unaware of the damage and mayhem their little ones were causing - so no a floatation jacket is not a guaranteed life saving device for a three year old in the deep pool by themselves whilst you sit and read, and no children will not remember to take hearing aids out for themselves, nor will they be able to read the notice which says no diving as they stand on the top of some high railings and jump into very shallow water! Parents please remember everyone is on holiday to relax - NOT JUST YOU!
On site you have two tennis courts and a golf course and a brilliant play park (our thirteen year old had a quiet play when no other little children were around, just for old times sake). You are only a five minute walk from a beautiful, safe, sandy beach. We spent Sunday morning going for a gorgeous walk along the beach round to Middle Beach which has lovely rock pools when the tide is low.
Our dogs adore Knoll House. The staff keep dog biscuits behind the bar and there are bowls of gorgeous meaty leftovers for any dog that would like them. The rooms are always spotless, which I do not know how they manage as our dogs do love to leap into the peaty bogs on the heath and then decorate the room. Despite it being a dog friendly hotel housekeeping keep the place so immaculate you would never know.
We visited Knoll House a few years ago with friends, who did not "get" the place. Many of the things they did not like have now been updated, for instance the plumbing and the bathrooms which are now as good as the finest chic hotel anywhere. So if you have been before, but weren't too sure it was great value for money, you might want to revisit now as it has all the modern things you would expect along with all the old world charm of a bygone age.
It was a delightful discovery for us 12 years ago, and we hope that if any family is reading this to see if it is the sort of place they would like to stay and you do decide to give it a go, that you also make a wonderful discovery to take into your hearts and visit again and again.
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- Also Known As:
- Knoll Hotel Studland Bay
- Knoll House Hotel Studland Bay, Dorset