Review // Purbeck House Hotel, Swanage


Review // Purbeck House Hotel, Swanage

We live a couple of hours away from the lovely Dorset coast so we like to visit there whenever we can. We recently headed down to Swanage; a small coastal town for an overnight stay at the family-run Purbeck House Hotel.

Trip date:


Purbeck House is a Victorian building dating back to 1875. It was originally built as a private home then it became a convent school for sixty years before it was converted to a hotel.

I always enjoy staying in hotels that are steeped in history. It fascinates me to think of everything that has taken place in hotels like this.

We stayed at Purbeck House for one night on 03/02/18. We arrived at 3.45pm and parked the car in the hotels free car park. Free parking is something we always look for when looking for a place to stay.

The lady on reception checked us in swiftly and we were able to go to our room immediately. We had to provide details of our car and were given info about breakfast times and asked if we wanted a newspaper for an extra charge.


The rear of Purbeck House Hotel. Our room was the one on the right on the top floor.

Our room

Room 16, top floor, Superior room with a sea view

  • Access to the room was gained via a security key card which worked first time
    (it really annoys me if they don’t work first time)
  • The room was very generous in size and had a nice feel to it
  • The bed was well made and towels and dressing gowns were laid out on the bed for our arrival as shown in the picture below
  • We both had a chocolate on our pillows which was a nice touch (I ate Serena’s coz she’s on a diet)
  • We had views of the sea, town, rooftops and the garden
  • In the distance we could see the Isle of Wight from the window in the second photo below
  • The bathroom and toilet was clean
  • The bath itself was very large, I could almost lie down without my feet sticking out (i’m six foot in my high heels)
  • The tv was in a sensible location (it’s amazing how many hotels assume you have a telescopic neck allowing you to watch tv at very odd angles)
  • There was a good range of tea / coffee and hot chocolate available (we asked for more milk which was delivered to the room)
  • We also had sweeteners on the tea tray which was good (many hotels don’t bother to provide you with sweeteners these days)
  • Serena used the built in hairdryer in the room which worked well
  • There were several radiators in the room but we think they were remotely controlled
Purbeck House bedroom

Our very comfortable and well-made double bed.


A big room with a great town & sea view (we could see the Isle of Wight in the distance from this window).





Our room overlooked a very well kept garden.



Reception area.


Looking down onto the reception area.


Some rather nice stained glass and a comfortable seating area.


Another seating area upstairs in the hotel.

What we did

Saturday – seaside walk

We arrived on a very cold, cloudy and rainy Saturday but we still went out for a bit of exploration. We walked for a mile or two along the seafront while it piddled down and the icy wind battered us.


We did our usual wandering round the town for ages trying to find somewhere to eat. Not because there weren’t many places to eat but because we are quite fussy about where we eat.

We decided to head back to the hotel assuming that we could get some food there but we were told by the lady on reception that there wasn’t a restaurant so we sat in the bar and had a drink while we did a bit of research into the best places to eat in Swanage.

We decided we would chance our arms at the ‘Salt Pig Too’ in the town centre. It was early and we thought we could walk-in at 6pm and get a table but they were already fully booked so we reluctantly dragged our hungry carcasses to the Harry Ramsdens over the road where I had some rather disappointing chicken and chips and Serena had carrot and coriander soup which she enjoyed.

After that we went back to the hotel, had baths, watched a bit of telly and went to bed.

I’m a really light sleeper. I’d hear a mouse fart so I woke up a couple of times due to the sound of the very strong wind. (No, not coming from Serena) it was blowing a mighty gale outside. Apart from that we both had a good nights sleep. The bed was clean and comfortable so no complaints there. It was a bit chilly in the room at times so it was good that there were extra blankets available in the cupboard.

Next morning we went for the buffet breakfast at 9ish. No complaints there. Perfectly fine. I’m a big fan of buffet breakfasts. We stuffed our faces and eventually checked out at 11am. The lady on reception told us we could leave the car in the car park which was great so we headed back into town for another look around.

Sunday – the weather cleared up a bit but it was still icy cold and very windy




After another wander along the seafront we went and wasted some money in the arcade. It’s a bit of a tradition for us to try and find the ‘Daytona’ car racing arcade game in any seaside amusement arcade we go to. I’m ashamed to say that Serena generally beats me at this but only because she takes great pleasure in ramming me off the track which I consider to be cheating and very unsporting.

We played the coin pushers and the grabbers for a bit and then headed off to a cafe called ‘Love Cake etc’ just down the road from our hotel. This is quite a cute place and quickly became very full. We shared a piece of coffee cake and had tea and coffee. All good. Serena is a pretty decent cake maker so it takes a lot to impress her. She thought the cake was moist and flavoursome. I thought it was pretty good as well.

Soon after we left for home.

How does Purbeck House Hotel describe itself online?

A stunning Victorian building dating back to 1875, the Purbeck House Hotel Swanage was originally built as a private home, became a convent school for sixty years and afterwards was converted into a welcoming hotel, full of history, character and original charm. Here you will find comfortable rooms, a light and airy garden conservatory where breakfast is served and Bar 1875 to relax in at the end of the day.

Across the garden is the Louisa Lodge annex, a newer build of local Purbeck Stone. The Lodge is purely for accommodation, offering a variety of different room types. Guests staying here can enjoy more modern surroundings whilst still having full access to the Main House.

Our thoughts on Purbeck House Hotel

  • We thoroughly enjoyed our stay
  • The room exceeded our expectations and had a nice atmosphere
  • There was plenty of tea & coffee provided
  • The hotel was very quiet as it was out of season but that suits us
  • The grounds were well kept, i’d like to see the garden in full bloom in the summer
  • The buffet breakfast was nice, there was everything you’d expect – cereals, continental and cooked breakfast options
  • All staff we encountered were pleasant and polite
  • The bar looked as if they sold Guinness on tap but in fact it was out of a can. No big deal. I don’t know whether this was because the tap was malfunctioning or not
  • There are plenty of places to sit and relax in the hotel
  • It took minutes to walk into the town from the hotel
  • There was a large free car park at the rear of the hotel
  • We would definitely stay there again (this is the benchmark for anywhere we stay and we’ve stayed in hundreds of hotels all over the world)

Map of Swanage

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