The play barn at Moonfleet Manor.
The play barn at Moonfleet Manor.

A Family Break at Moonfleet Manor, Dorset

Not long after arriving at Moonfleet Manor on the Dorset coast just outside Weymouth, I wondered why it had taken us to long to come here. It all seemed so simple: you go to a lovely hotel and spend quality time with your kids as well as having the option to put them into the crèche for a couple of hours to catch up on much-needed sleep or enjoy a massage in the spa. 

The Den crèche is also next to the hotel’s indoor play area, a fabulous space (probably half a football pitch in size) with a seating area where you can relax and watch your kids play. There was a trampoline, table tennis, giant chess, giant Connect 4, ride-on toys, scooters and a secluded area for computer games. For us this was great for early evening, and I imagine it's also very useful in wet weather, though we were fortunate enough not to have any. 

There is also an outside play area, an indoor pool, lots of lovely coastal walks and bountiful sea air, which all together mean it is difficult for the kids not to sleep well. Unusually, it was the people without children who seemed to stand out at this member of the Luxury Family Hotels group, rather than those with screaming toddlers. That said, later sittings in the restaurant with its very good food are kid-free, which was quite a treat (reception runs a baby-listening service).

The hotel itself seemed a little tired in places, and the architecture lurches from one century to another. But somehow this just added to the charm and character of Moonfleet Manor – plus it meant that we were less worried about the children hurtling around and making a mess. I was truly impressed by the staff and their friendly, relaxed manner, from the manager to the housekeeper, although the stars for us were the crèche nannies, who went out of their way to settle both the children and us.

I'd highly recommend Moonfleet Manor to families (and their dogs - several families we met had brought theirs). Gorgeous sea views, lovely surroundings, wonderful food, great staff, happy children, less stressed parents – who could ask for more?

Read more about and book your family break at Moonfleet Manor – including complimentary cream teas for our readers.

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