Best luxury and boutique hotels in Dorset

Hotels, B&Bs, country houses, inns, restaurants with rooms

This varied county has much gentle inland beauty. It is also home to the seaside resorts of Bournemouth and Weymouth, Poole with its natural harbour, perfect for sailing and surfing, Lyme Regis with its Cobb, described in The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Persuasion. Famous beaches include Chesil Beach, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door,


Wonderful meals and personal service await at the Good Hotel Guide hotels in Dorset. Choose from seaside locations, thatched countryside retreats and smart townhouse-style hotels - or indeed combine a stay to experience a true sense of Dorsetlife. Other places to see in this interesting county include Dorchester - Hardy’s Casterbridge (his cottage is at Higher Bockhampton). Near Cerne Abbas is the priapic giant carved into a hillside. Historic buildings include Christchurch Priory, Sherborne abbey church and Wimborne Minster. Tolpuddle remembers its martyrs with a memorial, Maiden Castle is a vast prehistoric earthwork with stunning views. Visit the ancient Swannery at Abbotsbury, and the Prince of Wales’s purpose-built town of Poundbury.


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Featured hotels in Dorset

Stock Hill House, GILLINGHAM, Dorset

Once the summer home of cartoonist Osbert Lancaster (an original cartoon hangs in the breakfast room), Nita and Peter Hauser's small hotel/restaurant stands in landscaped grounds with huge trees,


Castleman, CHETTLE, Dorset

'Excellent food; the able staff are helpful beyond the call of duty.' 'The Castleman will not suit everyone but we just love it.' This year's praise for this informal restaurant-with-rooms. A former


Hotels in Dorset

  • The Bull Hotel, Bridport, Dorset

    In the centre of a busy market town, this family-friendly hotel occupies a Grade II listed former coaching inn with a handsome blue facade. It is owned by the brewery, Fuller, Smith, and Turner. It is

  • The Abbey House, ABBOTSBURY, Dorset

    'A really lovely place to stay', this 14th-century house has been run for 20 years by Jonathan and Maureen Cooke, who are 'most welcoming' (say Guide inspectors). It stands next to the remains of an

  • Moonfleet Manor, FLEET, Dorset

    'A hotel that is good at looking after young children and exhausted parents.' Inspectors (a family of four) were impressed by this child-friendly Georgian house, which returns to the Guide under the

  • The Grange at Oborne, OBORNE, Dorset

    'In an excellent position, with quiet and beautiful countryside around', this 200-year-old former farmhouse is owned by Karenza and Ken Mathews, and managed by their daughter, Jennifer, and her

  • Plumber Manor, STURMINSTER NEWTON, Dorset

    One of the oldest families in Dorset, the Prideaux-Brunes, has lived in this manor house since it was built in the early 17th century. For 40 years, it has been run 'with evident enjoyment' as a

  • The Priory, WAREHAM, Dorset

    'The river views are stunning' from this 'well-run, friendly and relaxed' country hotel on the banks of the Frome, in an ancient market town whose Saxon walls date back to the 9th century. In 'superb,

  • BridgeHouse, BEAMINSTER, Dorset

    'Tea and biscuits on arrival get your stay off to a good start' at Mark and Joanna Donovan's 'lovely old hotel' in a pretty market town. Once a priest's house, the 700-year-old building stands by a

  • La Fleur de Lys, SHAFTESBURY, Dorset

    'The food is well worth a (long) detour,' says a visitor in 2014 to this restaurant-with-rooms in a Dorset hilltop town that is 'steeped in history'. A former girls' boarding school, the ivy-clad

  • Urban Beach, BOURNEMOUTH, Dorset

    There is a laid-back atmosphere at this small, contemporary hotel, a short walk from Boscombe beach. It is owned by Mark Cribb, who runs it with manager Helen McCombie and friendly staff. Individually

  • Captains Club Hotel, CHRISTCHURCH, Dorset

    A short walk from the attractions of Christchurch Quay, this striking metal-and-glass spa hotel on the banks of the River Stour is 'modern but with character'. It is owned by Tim Lloyd and Robert

  • Yalbury Cottage, LOWER BOCKHAMPTON, Dorset

    In a hamlet in an 'unspoilt part of England', this small hotel/restaurant, a conversion of a row of 350-year-old thatched cottages, is run by Ariane and Jamie Jones. A family party celebrating a

  • The Abbots House, CHARMOUTH, Dorset

    Guests like the home-made treats and 'amazing' attention to detail at Sheila and Nick Gilbey's small, characterful B&B. Dating back to the 16th century, the restored and carefully updated house has

  • Launceston Farm, TARRANT LAUNCESTON, Dorset

    In the 'quiet and peaceful' Tarrant valley, Sarah Worrall has stylishly renovated the Grade II listed Georgian farmhouse on her family's organic beef farm. 'It is a lovely old house in attractive

  • The Acorn Inn, EVERSHOT, Dorset

    'At once a local pub for faithful regulars and a sophisticated place in which someone from Sloane Square would feel at home.' In a pretty Dorset village (believed to have featured in Thomas Hardy's

  • The Kings Arms, CHRISTCHURCH, Dorset

    Overlooking the manicured bowling green in the centre of town, this 'attractive' hotel, in a restored Georgian building, has smart, elegant rooms and a well-regarded restaurant (Michelin Bib Gourmand

  • Bindon Bottom, WEST LULWORTH, Dorset

    Ideally placed for coastal and countryside walks, this stone-built Victorian country house at the bottom of Bindon Hill is owned and run by Clive and Lisa Orchard. Country cottage-style rooms have

  • The Kings Arms, SHERBORNE, Dorset

    In the centre of a pretty village on the Somerset/Dorset border, this stately Edwardian building has been transformed by Anthony and Sarah Lethbridge into a modern pub and restaurant, with rooms

  • The Green House, BOURNEMOUTH, Dorset

    Just a few minutes' walk from the seafront and the town centre, this cream-painted hotel is in its own grounds with palm trees. It has been renovated with a commitment to sustainability: there are bee