JULIE CHECKS OUT MOONFLEET MANOR
Posted on 31st Jul 2013
“Our family had a wonderful stay at Moonfleet Manor during a freezing February half term. It was a manageable car ride to Dorset from London, with no need to break the journey, but by the time we were approaching the hotel down a long country lane, we felt that we had come a long way from home.
The hotel is an elegant white manor with an informal atmosphere, and you feel more like a guest arriving at a country house party, greeted by muddy wellies at the door and gentle Snoopy the dog.
What the decor lacks in sleek finish it makes up for in eccentric charm, and our children loved the stuffed animal heads and colonial curiosities that were scattered around.
We took two inter-connecting rooms, which were simple and comfortable, both boasting lovely views of the Fleet lagoon and sea beyond.
The hotel is well placed in an appealing area for tourists but frankly, for us it could have been on Mars as our kids never wanted to leave the hotel!
To say that Moonfleet is child-friendly is an understatement.
When we visited the kids playroom, our jaws dropped. It was aircraft-hangar-sized and amply equipped with fenced soft play, mini football pitch, table tennis… etc etc, so much so that we never discovered the skittle alley (just kicked ourselves to hear about it afterwards!). There was plenty of room for little ones to scoot around on the trikes without being bothered by the older ones hurtling around. Although unsupervised, parents in attendance can sprawl on the sofas by the bar with a newspaper, and feel very much relaxed.
Whilst our 3 year old was as happy as our 11 and 9 year old in the playroom, we eventually dragged her off to the supervised creche, which she swiftly renamed “the really really really fun place” (to distinguish it from the playroom!). The lovely staff at the creche were attentive and reassuring and the well kept toys catered for every age, gender and taste.
The creche is right next to the indoor pool, so you can go for a swim and then peek through the window to check on your little one.
Meal times were another hit for us. The hotel offers an early kids-only tea, or you can dine together as a family in the restaurant early on, so as not to disturb those wanting a quieter, child-free dinner later. However, we chose neither of these options. On our first evening we found ourselves in the hotel lounge, playing Scrabble by an open fire, and realised that we could simply order food to have there. This proved ideal, as our children are never good at sitting still and waiting for food to arrive, and instead could wiggle around, play games and we could still eat together as a family.
A special mention goes to the sumptuous buffet breakfast and freshly baked scones for afternoon tea too!
We did try and make the most of the wonderful surroundings, walking down to the beach and visiting local villages, but it was blowing an arctic gale and the hotel was so enjoyable for us all, that we just found ourselves wimping out and returning back to base!
The staff at the hotel were all warm, helpful and charming. We would love to go back in warmer weather (even if we spend all our time indoors again!).”« Back to blog home