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“Great location and excellent for kids but a trip back in time”
Review of Knoll House Hotel

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Knoll House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Studland
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
54 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great location and excellent for kids but a trip back in time”
Reviewed September 22, 2013 via mobile

A classic hotel which is ideal for young kids. Separate children's dining room, the staff will look after your kids while you have lunch, and lots for them to do. That said its a slightly old fashioned formula with set meal times and traditional, but good, English food.

Enid Blighton was a regular and you could imagine her writing the famous 5!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DiscerningDiner77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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120
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dorking
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

An old fashioned hotel which welcomes dogs and children. The dinners are particularly impressive and the breakfasts average. We were surprised to be asked on arrival if we wanted a tea tray in our room at £2.50 extra per night on top of what we considered an excessive charge of £180 per person per night. We had a nice room with large balcony overlooking the gardens and sea, but the smallest bathroom we've ever encountered. We had to ask if we could have a TV in the room. This was actually free (!) but couldn't be installed until the next day as the porter was off duty.
Meals were at very limited times and there was no lift. There were however extensive facilities in the shape of a small golf course, two tennis courts, swimming pools and games room, and fresh flowers throughout the hotel.
Beware the small print! We hadn't noticed before we arrived that we'd be charged a cancellation fee of 2.5% unless we said we didn't want it.
All in all an expensive holiday not to be repeated.

Room Tip: Room 50 has a huge balcony but the tiniest bathroom we've ever seen.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reigate, England
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

Having a free evening I am writing a few reviews of places I and my family love so as to give back a bit to the tripadvisor community since I am an extensive user of others' reviews when planning holidays for us.

SInce my eldest was born 13 years ago we have been to Knoll House every year. Now we always go with both kids, and both dogs. And granny. And most of the time with my sister and brother in law and their two children, now 19 and 17.

From a 6 week old baby to an 84 year old, this place has catered for us all and provided wonderful holidays and great memories. We feel like it is almost a second home for us now and always look forward to returning and seeing old friends (guests and staff).

Everything you read below is accurate. This place is unique and in some ways willfully eccentric. But it has charm and quality and for those families that "get it" the mixture of location (views and beach are just fantastic, the moors behind great walking, the area lovely), facilities (tennis, pitch and put, pools, playground, playroom etc) and food (framing the days and with great service) is simply unbeatable. For toddlers and their parents the place is just fantastic, but the amazing thing is how at every stage of our kids lives they find something new to grow into and enjoy - and of course that helps us to also enjoy the holday.

My kids have been lucky to go to many nice places around the world, but when asked they and their cousins always choose Knoll House as their favourite holiday venue bar none. If they could speak and had anything else to compare Knoll House with except home my dogs would concur I have no doubt! Not least for the home made dog food the hotel provides, as well as the great walks and the dog treats Judy at the bar provides each night.

I hope we will be returning for many years yet to come.

I would finish noting that we have been in March, May, July and August, and in October for half term. We have never had a bad time. Obviously the outdoor pool is closed and the beach is not great for swimming in March or October, and crabbing is colder then too (!) but there is still lots to do whatever the weather and with the right clothes this place works well year round.

Room Tip: Garden suites are by the pool and spa but are a (very) short walk from the hotel.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank KariHReigate_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2013

What can I say? My daughter, 10 years old, and I arrived late Sunday last, we were offered a double bedroom with shower! For 300£ for 1 night. I asked or a wardrobe or a single room o squeeze into, she took it down to 200 £, breakfast and dinner/ lunch. If we wanted dinner as well it was an extra £ 30 per head. My daughter didn't get any ice cream nor sweets nor treats that day as she was eating her full lunch and dinner. Ok- the hotel- imagine- you found a sale at a big outlet of fabric/ closing down mill- and you buy all the cheapest wool fabric you can get and refurbish the lobby and the communal rooms- well that's it knoll house. Then add some flavour from the past decades and voila! It's nice but pricy and old. Resto. Food was good, good choice, but again pricy for a 10 year old. This is the hotel to go to when YOUR PARENTS/ grandparents are paying and not you! They will love it, you will tag along, the kids will be happy - great playground, cool pool but ok, indoor pool old, but also ok, free run for all kids- feeling of safety around the hotel. Now- the high light- the knoll beach- own by the National Trust , is fantastic! It's as in France/ Italy, beautiful sandy beach with banana boats, water skiing etc. go there!!! Knoll hotel- would I recommend it? Don't know - its pricy- really! Some staff are plain rude, some really nice, place is old and old fashion, some charm- stay -1 night and deceive yourself. I wouldn't book for a week, I would cry then!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank AnnaFrancoise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We've stayed here several times with our young family and we always love it. It is a bit quirky and determinedly old-fashioned, but that's what makes it special and perfect for an Enid Blyton style bucket and spade holiday. The food is indulgent and good for young and old, the setting is superb, and we liked the fact that the meal times gave everything a bit of structure. I stay in a lot of business hotels for work, and it's lovely to have something different for holiday.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weybridge
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

My wife and I have reached the 70 mark and our 2 grown up sons decided to stand us, and their families, a 2 night stay at this lovely hotel.

As a family ourselves we were regular visitors to the hotel from 1975 to the mid 1980s so we were in fact re-living our past.

Let me say upfront without any reservation - this was and still is a fabulous hotel - but you need to be the right sort of person. If that sounds "snobbish" I apologise, but it's true.

The problem with most people who write negative reviews about this hotel has got nothing to do with the hotel itself. Let me explain. The hotel, and its staff still believe in that old fashioned word "discipline" - and that's where most of the negative reviewers problems start. The reason for this approach is not discipline for the sake of it, but a desire to give all guests a comfortable environment whether 7 days, weeks, months, years or decades old !! - and it works marvellously.

It's a funny thing that some of the first time guests we talked to on this visit said that did not particularly like the "strict regime" of meal times, dining arrangements, etc but all were unanimous that their children (whatever age) loved the place. (I think a lot of our generation know that children do love a much more disciplined approach to their lives than a lot of so called modern parents seem to appreciate).

Unless you have a genuine regard for other people apart from yourself, I suggest the Knoll House may not be the right place for you.

Yes some of the rooms are "old fashioned" but scrupulously clean and beautifully maintained. The food is to die for and the staff first class.

Position, pool, gardens, playground, golf course, tennis courts, spa, beach access, baby sitting service etc etc all 5 star.

There's only one more thing to say - go and find out for yourself. You won't regret it.

The Fergusson family run it as an extension of their home and make you so welcome.

We're already looking at our diaries to book a return visit

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Ken G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Epsom, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

If you use TripAdvisor you will read 20-30 reviews before you eat in a restaurant or stay in a hotel. The reviews for the Knoll House Hotel will cause you some distress! Read them, they seem to divide opinion. Most of what is written is true, it just depends on your point of view I.e. 'dusty outdated hotel" or "unique, comfortable, beauty spot"

If you want a break away from the norm, without the trappings of modern life, relaxing in beautiful surroundings then this is one of the best hotels in the country. If you need breakfast news on TV, super fast Wifi, eat your meals at different times, are allergic to children and dogs, then for you, this could be one of the worst hotels in the country.

My mother in law had made the booking for Knoll House Hotel and I eagerly read the reviews as I always do, and was concerned having read the reviews, but having stayed there, my concerns were unfounded. It's a good hotel, great service, our room (32) was lovely, the views are incredible and we would go back.

In summary, having read some reviews, you should try this hotel.......like us, you probably will love it!!!

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
11 Thank Darren T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Knoll House Hotel

Property: Knoll House Hotel
Address: Studland, Swanage BH19 3AH, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Isle of Purbeck > Swanage > Studland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Studland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 79
Also Known As:
Knoll Hotel Studland Bay
Knoll House Hotel Studland, Dorset

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