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.


For holiday ideas in Dorset, please see VisitEngland

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Featured hotels in Dorset

Stock Hill House, GILLINGHAM, Dorset

‘It is a world of its own: you leave the reality of outside life behind.’ A guest in 2015 was impressed by the ‘lovely’ ambience at Nita and Peter Hauser’s traditional hotel/restaurant. It stands in


Castleman, CHETTLE, Dorset

Occupying a former dower house in a historic Dorset village, this ‘relaxed’, ‘good-value’ restaurant-with-rooms is loved by visitors who return for the ‘gorgeous, unspoilt and atmospheric’ setting,


Hotels in Dorset

  • The Abbey House, ABBOTSBURY, Dorset

    In a ‘glorious position’ on the fringes of a historic coastal Dorset village, this traditional B&B has long been run by the ‘most welcoming’ Jonathan and Maureen Cooke. The ruins of the adjacent

  • Moonfleet Manor, FLEET, Dorset

    In ‘romantic’ Dorset countryside overlooking Chesil Beach, this ‘pretty’ Georgian house is part of the child-friendly Luxury Family Hotels group. Parents needn’t feel guilty as their children

  • The Grange at Oborne, OBORNE, Dorset

    Once the main farmhouse of Oborne, this 200-year-old house, built of stone from the Purbeck hills, stands in formal gardens (floodlit at night). It is now a ‘pleasant, comfortable’ family-run hotel,

  • Plumber Manor, STURMINSTER NEWTON, Dorset

    The Prideaux-Brunes’s Jacobean manor would have been known to Thomas Hardy in his years at Sturminster, where he wrote The Return of the Native. It has been a family-run hotel since 1972, and the

  • The Priory, WAREHAM, Dorset

    ‘It just keeps getting better.’ This ‘well-run’ country hotel on the banks of the River Frome is owned by Anne Turner and her brother-in-law, Stuart Turner. ‘The

  • BridgeHouse, BEAMINSTER, Dorset

    In Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, Mark and Joanna Donovan’s hotel ‘combines the charm of an old building with plenty of modern comfort’. A former priest’s house flanked by the River Brit, the 700-year-old

  • La Fleur de Lys, SHAFTESBURY, Dorset

    In a ‘friendly little town with plenty of individual shops’, this restaurant-with-rooms is run by the ‘charming, hands-on’ owners, David and Mary Griffin-Shepherd and Marc Preston. ‘Outstanding food,

  • Urban Beach, BOURNEMOUTH, Dorset

    There is a laid-back, friendly vibe at this small, contemporary hotel a short walk from Boscombe beach. Owner Mark Cribb runs it with manager Helen McCombie and helpful staff. Individually decorated

  • Captains Club Hotel, CHRISTCHURCH, Dorset

    There is an ocean-going feel to this ‘modern, stylish’, nautical-inspired hotel. Set on the banks of the River Stour, it has a riverside terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows. ‘It is

  • Yalbury Cottage, LOWER BOCKHAMPTON, Dorset

    Near the River Frome, this ‘lovely little hotel’ is within walking distance of Thomas Hardy’s birthplace. Personally run by owners Ariane and Jamie Jones, it is a converted cluster of 350-year-old

  • The Abbots House, CHARMOUTH, Dorset

    Close to the centre, and a five-minute walk from the beach, Sheila and Nick Gilbey’s small, characterful B&B is run with ‘amazing’ attention to detail. The carefully restored house dates back to the

  • Launceston Farm, TARRANT LAUNCESTON, Dorset

    In the rolling chalklands of the Tarrant valley, this stylish B&B occupies a ‘well-renovated’ Grade II listed Georgian farmhouse on the Worrall family’s organic farm. The ‘lovely old house’ stands in

  • The Acorn Inn, EVERSHOT, Dorset

    In a pretty Dorset village, this welcoming 16th-century stone inn (Red Carnation Hotels) is said to have provided inspiration for the Sow and Acorn pub in Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the

  • The Kings Arms, SHERBORNE, Dorset

    Behind the stately facade of this Edwardian building, chef/patron Sarah Lethbridge and her husband, Anthony, have created a modern country pub with smart accommodation and a

  • The Green House, BOURNEMOUTH, Dorset

    Close to the seafront and town centre, this handsomely restored Grade II listed Victorian villa is run with a commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness. There are beehives on the roof,

  • The Eastbury Hotel, SHERBORNE, Dorset

    A ‘lovely’, large walled garden with a lawn, pathways, nooks and crannies sits behind Paul and Nicola King’s ‘very pleasant’ hotel, off the main streets of this fine Dorset town. ‘Very comfortable’

  • The Pig on the beach, Studland, Dorset

    Above the ‘magnificent’ beach at Studland Bay, Robin Hutson’s newest addition to his litter of Pigs occupies an ‘imaginative’ conversion of a ‘rambling’,

  • The Fontmell, Fontmell Magna, Dorset

    The village stream flows between the bar and dining room of this quirkily renovated roadside inn. Popular with locals, the bar has beer from local breweries and a weekly changing guest ale. In the

  • The Seaside Boarding House, Burton Bradstock, Dorset

    On a cliff above Chesil Bay, this former B&B has been transformed into a sophisticated restaurant-with-rooms by Mary-Lou Sturridge and her business partner, Anthony Mackintosh, both formerly of