The Best Hotels to Book Near Monkey World

This female golden-cheeked gibbon is just one of the rescued primates at Monkey World
This female golden-cheeked gibbon is just one of the rescued primates at Monkey World | © European Sports Photo Agency / Alamy Stock Photo
Kim Gregory

Animal-lovers will delight at Monkey World in Dorset, a long-established centre with a mission to rehabilitate rescued primates. The park has many species to visit, the keepers offer great Q&A sessions and kids will love the Great Ape Play Area. Make sure you stop at the sustainable eateries such as the Treetop Cafe. After monkeying around, chill out at one of these close-by hotels offering seaside views, quirky pub rooms or rustic, woodland lodges – all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. The Priory Hotel

Boutique Hotel

The Priory Hotel
Courtesy of the Priory Hotel / Expedia

Indulge at this independent boutique hotel – a former monastery dating back to at least 809, now Grade II-listed. Lodgings are country-chic, whether you’re in a rural-view, antique-strewn room in the main house, or the vaulted ceiling boathouse suite where French doors lead to your private riverside veranda. The food and interior are exquisite, and the al fresco afternoon tea is something special: try the savoury version featuring mini lobster brioche rolls, cheese scones and bloody mary shots.

2. The Bear Wareham

Hotel

The Bear Wareham
Courtesy of the Bear Wareham / Booking.com

The Bear has been transformed from a Georgian coaching inn into a quirky pub-hotel – you’ll have a comfortable stay in one of six rooms, each charmingly named after famous bears. Expect original wood panelling, town-view window seats, freestanding William Holland bathtubs and vintage-style accessories. The food here is seasonal and free-range – from perfect breakfast butties with artisan coffee to dinners of West Country lamb or exciting vegan bowls. A nightcap cocktail is essential: try the Snow Bear with white rum, vanilla vodka and coconut.

3. The Dorset Resort

Resort

The Dorset Resort
Courtesy of the Dorset Resort / Expedia

Immerse yourself in nature at these pinewood houses dotted throughout a fir tree glade. You’ll find five-star luxury inside, with spectacular fireplaces, private saunas and balconies made for wildlife-watching. Outside, there’s a 27-hole championship golf course, fishing lake and bike trails to enjoy. Try Dorset game and fish at sophisticated restaurant Fairways, or relax with a glass of local ale or whisky at the Clubhouse & Bar overlooking the golf course and the Purbeck Hills.

4. The Old Mill Bere Regis

Bed and Breakfast

The Old Mill Bere Regis
Courtesy of the Old Mill Bere Regis / Expedia

You’ll be welcomed by Shetland ponies and alpacas to this friendly B&B, formerly an 18th-century mill. A private entrance takes you to your room stuffed with home comforts such as dressing gowns, tea facilities and shortbread. The hearty breakfast uses homemade honey and eggs from the hens in the garden. Kids will love to visit the animals and beehives. Fancy getting close to nature? Book the restored shepherd’s hut with a heater, camp kitchen and picnic bench for under-the-stars glamping.

5. The Castle Inn

Inn

The Castle Inn
Courtesy of the Castle Inn / Expedia

Picturesque West Lulworth is home to this 16th-century pub-hotel with rustic-chic rooms: think wood-panelled walls and vintage furniture alongside bright patterned fabrics and fluffy throws. Choose from a complimentary morning fry-up or eggs – the royale is great – and they’ll even rustle up a sausage for your four-legged friend. Stick around for a pint of award-winning local Butcombe ale by the open fire or on the delightful terrace, before exploring Durdle Door, a five-minute walk away.

6. Spurwing Guest House

Guesthouse

Spurwing Guest House
Courtesy of Spurwing Guest House / Booking.com

Everything’s delightfully easy at Spurwing’s chalet-style bungalow B&B. Simple quality runs throughout the ground-floor guest rooms with luxury Sealy beds, Out of Eden toiletries, complimentary local Dorset biscuits and big windows overlooking the tree-lined gardens and pond. Choose the Dartford Warbler room for a tranquil night: you’ll hear the water fountain trickling from your bed. Breakfast – cooked fresh to order – sets you up for a day of exploring, which will also be nice and easy, thanks to inclusive off-road parking and the five-minute walk to the train station.

7. Limestone Hotel

Hotel

Limestone Hotel
Courtesy of Limestone Hotel / Booking.com

Country house luxury awaits in the quirky, individually designed rooms at the Limestone Hotel. Expect blue accents and sandscape pics scattering walls in the Seaside Room – while the lush green Garden Room offers double doors leading to the peaceful grounds. Book the rustic, tree-hidden cabin to stargaze from your terrace and enjoy a private breakfast delivered to your door. The restaurant – dedicated to sustainability, like the hotel itself – serves up a posh, local, seasonally changing menu – you’ll love the traditional Dorset cream tea or takeaway picnic bag, perfect for taking with you on your adventures.

8. Lulworth Lodge

Lodge

Lulworth Lodge
Courtesy of Lulworth Lodge / Booking.com

Glorious sunsets are yours at this chic beachside lodge, formerly the Lulworth watermill. Here, snug rooms with plush beds offer sea or garden views. Hire the suite to lounge on a big, window-surrounded sofa overlooking neighbouring Lulworth Cove. You’ll hear the lapping waves from the decking area of the restaurant as you tuck into a lovely lunch of Dorset crab with dips, fries and a side of Wiltshire white wine.

For more excellent places to stay in rural Dorset, see our guide to the top boutique hotels and best luxury hotels in the county. They’re all bookable through Culture Trip.

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