Top Local Places

Knoll House Hotel

Ferry Road, Studland, United Kingdom
Beach Resort



A charming, family hotel situated in the beautiful Studland Bay, facing 3 miles of uninterrupted heath and expansive sand dunes. Knoll House was built around 1900 as a summer retreat by a member of the Bankes family of Kingston Lacy. In the 1920s, it was leased to the Duke of Hamilton who lost interest when the toll road was built by the ferry company.

After a succession of summer lets it was rented in a dilapidated state, and soon purchased, by Francis ‘Chris’ and Marjorie ‘Poppy’ Smith, young hoteliers from Dorchester, who opened it as a six bedroom hotel in 1931.

The original building was extended to north and south with a view to offering holidays for families of all ages. Many of the new rooms had connecting bedrooms; a separate children’s dining room with its own kitchen catered for young children and their nannies. The hotel was an immediate success, being the first to offer such facilities.

After the outbreak of WW2 rationing made it impossible to continue and the hotel was requisitioned for troops erecting beach defences. In 1943-44 the beach and hinterland saw large scale operations in preparation for D-Day. After the war materials were short and it was not until 1946 that repairs to Knoll House were finished and the hotel could reopen.

Chris and Poppy Smith retired in 1959, having sold the hotel to Kenneth Ferguson, an engineer from Newcastle, and his wife Pauline. The Smiths had been besieged by several large groups, including Butlins, who wished to buy the hotel.

Chris and Poppy Smith wanted Knoll House to continue as they had run it and so passed on the hotel to the Fergusons who had their own three young children. The family ran the hotel for nearly 50 years with the younger generations taking the reins in the 1970s.

The hotel has changed hands again in 2017 but the family-friendly operation still continues today. The hotel attracts all ages of guest; many older generations first came as children themselves and now visit with their grandchildren.

At Knoll House we not only invite families to come and stay but also your beloved furry friends! After all dogs deserve a holiday too.

We look forward to welcoming you soon,

Knoll House Team


Happy Friday! We made it to the end of the week 😎 Now sit back, relax and enjoy your stay! This is one of our twin rooms with fancy new soft furnishings 🌈 What do you think? #fridayfeeling #relaxandunwind

Easter is just over a week away and here at Knoll House we're now on countdown! We have lots of fun things planned one of which is a Children's Literary Competition open to all kids staying during the Easter holidays. For more information about how to enter click here: Call reception for room availability now 01929 450450 #easterholidays #familyfun #thingstodo #lovedorset #writingcompetition

Calling all brides and grooms to be! We are holding a Wedding Showcase on Sunday 3rd June, 2018. If you have dreamt of an intimate wedding with stunning sea views, then Knoll House might just be for you ❤️ We’re now fully licensed with areas both inside the hotel and outside the the beautiful grounds so you can take your vows whatever the weather. With a range of local suppliers exhibiting, free entry and a bubbly and canapé reception, come and see our wedding set-up and make your ‘big day’ a reality 💍 Open 12-4pm 📷 @onethousandwords

Here’s a #tbt to the late 1990s, this photo was taken by one of our guests and shared with us a few months ago! Children have loved playing on our pirate ship playground for many, many years and long may it continue 😊 With the Easter holidays coming up why not book a stay with us so your children can make memories such as this. Call 01929 450450 to book or click here to see our Easter package: #makingmemories #childsplay #throw🔙

If you’re looking for a bite to eat whilst enjoying spectacular sea views then come and join us in the bistro 🍔🥙🍕🥗 Open from 11am-5pm everyday serving coffee and cakes, a selection of warm dishes, afternoon tea and a delicious kid’s menu - there’s something for everyone! View the full menu here: or call 01929 450450 to book a table 😋 #foodie #dorsetfood #lunchtime #yum #lovedorset

At Knoll House we’re always looking for ways to engage with our local community. If you live locally, we’d love you to become part of our Ambassador’s Club. By signing up you’ll get to enjoy the stunning views and facilities at Knoll House, as well as receiving 10% off of your total bill every time you visit the bistro. You'll also be entered into our FREE monthly prize draw and you'll hear about exciting events and offers before anyone else. Click here to sign up today: 😊 #ambassadors #joinourtribe #visitdorset #rewards #studland

Today is a very special day! It is with great pleasure that we congratulate and thank Geoff, our longest serving member of staff, for the past 40 years of service👏🏻Geoff is our on-site gardener and works tirelessly to keep our lawns immaculate and our flowers blooming 🌸🌼🌺 We appreciate all you have done for Knoll House and for making such a great first impression as guests arrive😊 #gardener #customerservice #40years #studland @ Knoll House Hotel

At Knoll House we're proud of our heritage, having opened our doors in 1931 we feel rather nostalgic when we think about all the guests who have walked these stairs over the years. What are your memories of the hotel? #nostalgic #makememories #bythesea #visitdorset #dorsethotel

After another bitterly cold weekend here at Knoll House, it's finally starting to warm up from next week! If you're staying with us you might be interested in going to the Spring Steam Gala in Swanage or perhaps enjoy an evening of comedy with John Bishop in Bournemouth. Take a look at what's on in the local area here: #thingstodo #visitdorset #funforallthefamily

With Easter Sunday only 2 weeks away have you thought about taking a relaxing break by the sea? At Knoll House we have lots of activities planned including an Easter Egg Hunt, Family Fun Day and Treasure Hunt as well as the use of all of our facilities! Call the team for availability 01929 450450 to be sure to secure your favourite room #easterholidays #familyfun #easteregghunt #studland #lovedorset

Happy St.Patrick's Day! Someone who always has a smile on their face is our Restaurant Manager Simon, he oversees the service at Knoll House to ensure you have the most pleasant dining experience during your stay. View our dining options here: #servicewithasmile #customerservice #stafflove #knollhouse

We've got a new spring menu in the bistro! If you fancy a bite to eat this weekend after a coastal walk or bike ride then pop into see us. View the new menu here: #winterwarmers #lunching #bitetoeat #lovedorset #studland