From quirky clifftop getaways to beachside boutiques, these are the best coastal hotels to escape to in Dorset.
Dotted with stunning beaches, cute seaside towns, and dramatic cliffs, the Dorset coast is an ideal spot for a summer holiday or weekend minibreak.
The world-famous Jurassic Coast in Dorset also happens to be the UK’s only natural world heritage site. This glorious stretch of coastline is known for its unique geological phenomena and fossil-rich cliffs recounting 185 million years of history!
Not only is it geographically significant – it’s also breathtakingly beautiful. Whether you want a lazy holiday by the sea, a more active trip, or lots of history and culture to soak up, Dorset is the place for you!
If you want to relax, there’s no shortage of gorgeous beaches to unwind on. Fancy a change of pace? Get active with cliff walks or watersports such as coasteering, paddleboarding, and surfing. You can even take a boat cruise to witness Dorset’s famous coastal landmarks from a new perspective. There’s just so much to see and do in Dorset!
And, of course, there’s the food! Some of these hotels are also home to some of the best restaurants on the Dorset coast. So if you’re looking for fresh seafood and top-notch local produce, you’ve come to the right place!
Keep scrolling to discover some of the very best coastal hotels for your next trip to Dorset…
Best Coastal Hotels in Dorset
The PIG at the Beach, Studland
One of the best known coastal hotels in Dorset is The PIG at the Beach. Part of the popular, foodie-focused PIG family, this gorgeous boutique hotel is housed within a historic yellow manor house perched above Studland Bay on the Isle of Purbeck.
Expect classic English decor with a quirky twist and plenty of luxury touches, as well as a lovely, homely feel. For something a little different, book into the Bothy or the Lookout – two rooms in converted dovecots overlooking the kitchen garden – or into one of the two on-site shepherd’s huts. You can also book a spa treatment inside a shepherd’s hut overlooking Old Harry Rocks.
The main focus at The PIG is the food, so be sure to book a meal at the restaurant. They have an amazing commitment to home-grown and local produce, with a 25-mile menu written around what’s available in the kitchen garden, as well as what their Forager rustles up from the surrounding coast and countryside.
Lulworth Cove Inn, Lulworth
One of my personal favourite hotels along the Dorset coast is the Lulworth Cove Inn. It’s a lovely, boutique-y inn run by my favourite local pub chain, Hall & Woodhouse, with fab sea views from the rooms at the front of the property.
The location is PERFECT. Tucked within the tiny village of Lulworth Cove just a couple of minutes’ walk from the beach, this hotel is ideal for a seaside escape. There are loads of great coastal walks in the area, including a short 1-mile walk over the cliffs to reach Durdle Door.
This historic inn is packed with character, and the cosy pub downstairs captures that essence (whilst serving up some great food). Upstairs, though, it’s a different story. The bedrooms have a bright and light aesthetic with sandy tones, vivid cyans, and white-washed wooden floors. Expect cosy vintage furnishings and lots of unique, seaside-themed touches such as re-purposed fishing gear and driftwood decorations.
The Smugglers Inn, Osmington
Dating back to the 13th century, The Smugglers Inn at Osmington Mills (near Weymouth) was once a popular haunt for local smugglers. Pirate-like characters with names like ‘French Peter’ once plotted within this very pub!
READ MORE: A route guide for the walk from Weymouth to the Smugglers Inn
Ideally placed for walks along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, the Smugglers Inn also boasts a popular restaurant serving up classic British pub fare.
The exterior and public areas retain many original features, with stone walls and wooden beams creating a cosy atmosphere. But the four en suite bedrooms are more contemporary, with a coastal colour scheme of pale blues and sandy creams.
Bridport Arms Hotel, West Bay
As seen in ITV’s popular drama “Broadchurch”, West Bay is a charming coastal village with a busy harbour, peaceful shingle beach, and towering golden cliffs.
The Bridport Arms Hotel is perfectly situated right on the beach and next to the harbour. This historic inn has 12 cosy, traditional rooms – many of them boasting unbroken sea views.
It’s also home to a classic, cosy pub – think exposed beams, local ales, and roaring log fires. Perfect for unwinding after a long day exploring the nearby cliff walks! Don’t miss the nearby climb up Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast, for stunning views across Dorset.
The Pilot Boat, Lyme Regis
Along the coast, Lyme Regis is a popular seaside town known for its picturesque harbour and fossil-rich beaches. The Pilot Boat is one of the best hotels in town, set at the edge of the beach with fabulous sea views.
This is a historic, Grade II listed building that’s been fabulously renovated to create a trendy destination bar and restaurant with a roof terrace and three boutique bedrooms. Expect painted, wood-panelled walls, homely vintage furnishings, and lots of cute nautical touches. Not to mention incredible British food in the stunning restaurant!
Moonfleet Manor, Fleet (near Weymouth)
If you’re looking for one of the more unique coastal hotels in Dorset, head to Moonfleet Manor! This stunning Georgian manor near Weymouth overlooks The Fleet – a brackish water lagoon tucked between the mainland and Chesil Beach.
Aside from the unique geography of the area, there’s also some fascinating history to discover. The manor was originally owned by the Mohunes, a family who were immortalised in Faulkner’s classic swashbuckling novel Moonfleet. While the story is fictional, the village, the family, and the smuggling history of the area are very real.
Today, Moonfleet Manor is a beautiful, luxurious hotel known for its eclectic decor and tasty afternoon teas! Recently, the property has undergone a multi-million-pound refurbishment to overhaul the guest bedrooms. These will feature luxurious four-poster beds, brand-new bathrooms, and a colour palette inspired by the hotel’s unique location on Chesil Beach.
READ MORE: 8 of the Best Spa Hotels in Dorset
Eype’s Mouth Country Hotel, Eype
A stone’s throw from the bustling market town of Bridport, the tiny village of Eype offers peaceful seaside seclusion. Eype’s Mouth Country Hotel is a family-run 17 bedroom hotel with superb sea views, so it’s the ideal place to enjoy the village’s peace and quiet.
The hotel’s location is fantastic, a few minutes from the beach – as well as from numerous coastal trails. Bedrooms have been beautifully decorated with a fresh, contemporary feel. Book a superior room for a sea view!
In the restaurant, the menu changes daily, taking advantage of the incredible local produce such as locally caught fish and farm produce from just north of Bridport.
Harbour Heights Hotel, Sandbanks (Poole)
Harbour Heights is a stylish boutique hotel situated right alongside Poole Harbour. So, it boasts stunning panoramic views of the harbour, Brownsea Island, and beyond. It’s also within walking distance of Sandbanks, one of the prettiest sandy beaches in Dorset!
Book a balcony room to make the most of the exceptional views and fresh sea air. All rooms are beautifully appointed, with elegant decor and lots of little luxurious touches. There are two restaurants: the Asian inspired Ocean Palace, as well as the aptly named The View overlooking the harbourside.
About halfway between Poole and Bournemouth, Harbour Heights has the best of both worlds. You can easily reach the attractions and amenities of either town centre, but you’re also right by the beach.
The Pines Hotel, Swanage
Swanage is one of my favourite seaside towns in Dorset. It’s an ideal location for exploring the stunning coast and countryside of the Isle of Purbeck. And the clifftop Pines Hotel is one of the best hotels in town.
For striking sea views and a peaceful setting above Swanage Bay, you can’t beat The Pines. Make the most of its exceptional vistas by booking one of the balcony rooms. Or, check into the self-catering bungalow with its own garden if you fancy a bit more privacy.
There are several fabulous coastal walks right on the hotel’s doorstep. And after a long day exploring, you can come back for a locally-sourced meal at the newly refurbished restaurant.
The Green House, Bournemouth
The Green House Hotel is a luxury, boutique eco-hotel in Bournemouth which looks absolutely gorgeous. Housed within an attractive Victorian villa, this green-focused hotel has a passionate commitment to sustainability. In fact, they’ve even been recognised as one of the world’s top eco-hotels.
They generate their own electricity, upcycle their old furniture, and make fuel from the kitchen’s waste oil. They even responsibly sourced furnishings for the bedrooms. For example, locally-made 100%-wool carpets, and solid wood furniture built using trees felled by storms or tree surgeons.
To tie in with the green theme, the bedrooms are decorated in calming earthy tones. Don’t miss a visit to The Arbor restaurant for wholesome seasonal food made using locally sourced ingredients.
Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa
Tucked away on the water’s edge, Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa is one of the most striking coastal hotels in Dorset. This 67-room boutique hotel and luxury spa is positioned right on the edge of the picturesque harbour in Christchurch, so you can enjoy fantastic views. Especially from the restaurant’s waterside terrace.
Expect tranquil, contemporary rooms with lots of luxurious touches. There are two excellent restaurants, while the luxury spa features a heated swimming pool, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, salt room and well-equipped gym.
The Canford, Poole
This charming pub hotel is ideally located at the quieter western end of Bournemouth’s incredible white sandy beach. You’ll find The Canford in the charming village of Canford Cliffs, tucked between Bournemouth and Poole and well connected to both.
This is one of the top-rated hotels in the area, known for its chic pub, spacious beer garden, and colourful boutique hotel rooms.
Both family-friendly and dog friendly, The Canford has 11 individually designed rooms, each of which has its own fun personality. The pub boasts a fab seasonal British menu – with a strong focus on local produce – as well as one of the best Sunday roasts in the area! You can even book one of their cute boutique beach huts for an alfresco meal.
Your Guide to Dorset
I’m a born-and-raised Dorset local, so be sure to check out my other articles to help you plan your holiday:
19 Highlights of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast
Best Holiday Homes in Weymouth
8 of the Best Seafront Hotels in Weymouth
If you stay in any of these amazing coastal hotels in Dorset, be sure to let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about your trip!