For the first time in 70 years, Knoll House, one of the nation’s favourite family friendly hotels, is opening its doors to non-residents.
Keen to make it more accessible to the local community, new owners Kingfisher Resorts are looking to build on the legacy left by three generations of the Ferguson family, who had run the resort since 1959.
Respecting the heritage and history of the hotel and its bucolic slice of Dorset, a subtle makeover has taken place, with the addition of a brand new Bistro to entice non-residents to experience the creature comforts and traditional ambiance that has welcomed generations of British holidaymakers and famous guests since the 1930s. Visitors are invited to savour the property’s rich history that has seen such notables as Vivien Leigh and Roald Dahl grace its rooms. While on April 18, 1944, Sir Winston Churchill, King George VI and General Dwight D. Eisenhower enjoyed a spot of lunch in its dining room after witnessing the D-Day rehearsals on Studland Beach.
Knoll House’s most famous resident was children’s author Enid Blyton who, during the 1950s and 60s, would visit three or four times a year. Her preference was room 40 which overlooks the immaculately maintained gardens and she religiously dined at table three, looking out over the sea to the chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks. The hotel’s sea views and luscious woodlands provided inspiration for the adventures that would go on to become her Famous Five novels, while nearby Studland village was the basis for Noddy’s Toytown.
Sure to appeal to hotel guests and local residents alike is Knoll House’s brand new Bistro. Showcasing an appetising lunch menu of well-loved English dishes with a modern twist, and a collection of imported coffees and teas, ingredients are sourced from local suppliers, jams and chutneys from Lily’s produce, while the signature Afternoon Tea remains a firm favourite.
With the revamping of its function room that can accommodate up to 100 guests, Knoll House is also able to cater for private events, team building days, and intimate wedding receptions, while offering an exclusive undisturbed backdrop of the Dorset Heritage Coast for photo shoots.
Knoll House will be holding its very first Wedding Open Day on Sunday, February 18, 2018. Held in the Garden Room, sparkling wine and canapes will be available on arrival, with free entry from 12 noon until 4pm. Also attending will be Perfectly Pretty Weddings, florist Charlotte Trim Florist, magician Kevin Burke and One Thousand Words Photography. Incentives will also be offered for all reception bookings made on the day.
Tracy Tennant, general manager at Knoll House said: “We are always pleased to see so many familiar faces returning to the hotel each year to enjoy their holidays. Several of our staff have been here for over 30 years and have had the pleasure of seeing our guests grow up and bring their own families. Now having the opportunity to introduce Knoll House to local residents who have not experienced our hospitality before makes it even better. With our new Bistro there really is something for everyone at Knoll House.”
Located on the picturesque isle of Purbeck less than a mile from its illustrious neighbour The Pig on the Beach, Knoll House started life as a summer residence for the aristocratic Bankes family in the early 1900s, before being turned into a six-bedroom hotel by Chris and Poppy Smith in 1931.
With stunning views of Studland Bay across its four acres of gardens and woodland, the resort features a 71-bedroom hotel boasting a spa, heated outdoor pool, children’s playground, tennis courts, and a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course. The 630 mile long South West Coastal Path starts in Shell Bay to the north of Knoll House. Knoll House also provides direct access onto the four-mile stretch of award-winning sandy Studland Beach via the hotel’s grounds.
A prime spot on the Dorset coast perfect for dog walkers, cyclists, ramblers, and visitors looking for seaside adventure, Knoll House and its new owners are looking forward to welcoming a new generation of guests to share its ‘home from home’ comforts while celebrating its iconic past.