Mary Gostelow’s Hotel of the Week: The Pig on the Beach

Posted on December 28, 2014 by Mary Gostelow

Welcome Pig on the Beach Dorset UK

Welcome to The Pig on the Beach.

A weekly series featuring luxury hotel expert Mary Gostelow’s hotel pick of the week.

Within three months of its June 2014 opening, The Pig on the Beach, at Studland Bay, Dorset, was deemed best hotel in all of the United Kingdom by readers of the top weekly newspaper, The Sunday Times. What makes it so special? Creative genius Robin Hutson – of Lime Wood, and three other Pig hotels – had long had his eye on a rambling, 1825-vintage country house immediately above the sandy English Channel beach, arguably England’s most prestigious seaside area. With the help of Ineos founder and his business partner Jim Ratcliffe, he bought the house and converted it to what we know today. Hutson’s wife, Judy, is responsible for with quirky-luxury design. The result: a main house of 12 rooms plus two absolutely charming thatched villas, both bordering the immaculately-tended working walled vegetable garden.

Pig on the Beach Dorset UK Conservatory

One view of the original house with added 2014-vintage Conservatory.

Pig on the Beach Dorset UK Bothy garden

Mary stayed in The Bothy villa, at the edge of the working vegetable garden.

Stay in The Bothy, named for the UK traditional ‘add-on’ building, originally open and free for passers-by, Samaritan style. This Bothy is a 20-foot-diameter roundel, its pale avocado interior extends cathedral-style to the roof’s peak. Inside has a superb king-size bed, real wood-burning stove and claw-foot freestanding bathtub.

The main house has masses of old paneled lounging rooms with big log fires, and a Pig specialty, a restaurant that flows into an all-glass Conservatory, with lots of growing plants. During summer, eat outside in some of the 11 acres of land, shared with sheep and the happy hens that provide breakfast eggs. Eighty percent of chef Andy Wright’s food comes from within 25 miles. Everyone who works here is super-happy, and not only because the unisex gear is pale pink shirts, any blue jeans and Converse trainers. Book far ahead, both to stay and to eat (it is more than worth it). GM is Lora Strizic.

Pig on the Beach Dorset UK restaurant Conservatory plants

The restaurant flows into the Conservatory, with masses of plants.

Pig on the Beach Dorset UK hen eggs

At breakfast, boil your own happy-hen eggs.

Read last week’s Hotel of the Week here.