Quality in Tourism REST Award and Safe, Clean & Legal Accreditation


Quality & Service Award

The Best Western Wessex Royale Hotel has been awarded the International Quality Assurance Award for the first time, placing it in the top 20% of all Best Western hotels outside of North America. The award is given by Best Western International to hotels that meet consistently high quality standards.

The Best Western International team evaluates all member hotels to ensure they meet the standards required to be part of the Best Western brand. Only those hotels that achieve the highest scores are given the award, showcasing the properties on a global scale.

Hotel General Manager Alan Bailey said, "I am so proud of our entire team. This award recognises the outstanding service they provide to ensure each and every guest receives the very best experience with us.”


Published 6th March 2024.



LGBTIA+ Safe Space


Happy Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ Everybody is welcome in Dorchester - no matter how you identify!

We're proud to support the LGBTQIA+ community and want Dorchester to be an inclusive, safe, and happy town for everyone.


Published 7th June 2023.


2022 VisitEngland ROSE Award

ROSE Award 2022

We are delighted to receive the Visit England ROSE Award 2022. 

The ROSE Awards recognise the accommodation providers across England who provide visitors with the warmest of welcomes. They celebrate the establishments where the owners, management and employees, irrespective of their star rating, style or type of accommodation, provide outstanding experiences for their customers.

This award recognises our outstanding customer service and all our helpful and friendly staff are very deserving of this recognition.


Published 11th May 2022.


Silver Award

Silver Award

We are so pleased that after our recent hotel inspection, we have been awarded a Visit England Silver Award for excellence.  It's lovely to see recognition for all the hard work our staff have recently put in to help get us ready for our re-opening.

Published 28th May 2021.


We are reopening after extensive redecoration

We have been busy during lockdown, decorating and refurbishing our bedrooms and bathrooms.  We have increased our amount of Superior Rooms so that we can offer you even better amenities and are so looking forward to welcoming you all again very soon.

Published 13th May 2021.


Face Covering

Please note, from 8th August 2020 it is a legal requirement to wear a face covering in our public areas.  This does not apply while using the breakfast room or drinking in our bar.
We are happy to supply you with one, if necessary, for a small donation to a local charity.

Published 5th August 2020.


In memory of our parent company's Chairman, Mrs Hunt

Hunt’s Foodservice, our parent company, has come a long way since it began back in the 1930’s but we wouldn’t have got to where we have without the people and the family behind the business. This year we sadly lost an important woman in our lives, Mrs Sybil Evelyn Hunt, wife to the late Michael Hunt, and co-founder of Hunt’s Foodservice.

Reaching the age of 99, Sybil brought so much to the business and the people around her and was actively involved in the business to ensure her husband’s legacy lived on. Having worked for the Hunt’s family all of her working life, leaving school in the 1930’s, she made ice cream for the dairy and evolved with the expansion of the business to become Company Chairman.

For us at Hunt’s and to the local community, Mrs Hunt was an influential figure, and a very special lady indeed. To honour her achievements to us and those she supported over the years, we have a dedicated Hunt’s Foodservice lorry with her very own personalised number plate, SEH15, which will continue to drive around the streets of Sherborne in her memory. So, when you’re out and about on your travels, keep a look out, you may well see this lorry on route to its next delivery, serving the community in her honour.

In memory of Mrs Sybil Evelyn Hunt

1920 – 2020

Published 15h August 2020.


Well done to our General Manager

Congratulations to our GM, Steve Chaldecott, who has raised over £10,000 for the Mind mental health charity during our Covid-19 closure, doing press-ups at old Dorset pubs, churches and gaols.

Steve said: Want to join me in supporting a good cause? I'm raising money for Mind and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate £5 or £500. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support. I've included information about Mind below;
"We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We’re here for you. Today. Now. We’re on your doorstep, on the end of a phone or online. Whether you’re stressed, depressed or in crisis. We’ll listen, give you support and advice, and fight your corner. And we’ll push for a better deal and respect for everyone experiencing a mental health problem."

Please click the link below for more information. 
Steve's Mind charity Facebook page



We are delighted to confirm that in line with the latest government guidelines, we are able to open our Hotel on Friday 10th of July 2020.
We can’t wait to welcome you all back, and as you would expect we will be taking all the necessary precautions to keep both our customers and staff safe.  The changes to our business procedures, menus, and safety precautions have been published here and will be emailed to you prior to arrival.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have and we look forward to welcoming you soon.

Steve Chaldecott,
General Manager.


We are proud to announce that we now have an AED (automated external defibrillator) on site.
This was kindly provided by the family of Kevin Stevens who sadly passed away from a heart attack in September 2017.  Kevin was our night porter for many years and is sorely missed by our staff and guests.

Further details of how AED's are helping to save lives can be found at the Arrhythmia Alliance website.


The hotel dates back to the 1700’s and has always held it’s Georgian charm. Following a significant investment, The Wessex Royale Hotel has undergone a refurbishment with a fresh, stylish and contemporary new look. 

The hotel has been owned by a family business for many years and has recently joined the Best Western group which has given the hotel new opportunities and driven business to the heart of Dorchester. The family business made the decision last year to invest further in the hotel as they wanted to refresh the hotels interior. The hotel now boasts a new comfortable lounge and lobby area, a new bar plus a large refurbished multi-purpose function room. The hotel has also opened two new en-suite rooms in the courtyard which presents the same modern style as the new hotel interior. 

The hotel has also had a number of updates over the past 12 months including new bathrooms in the hotel rooms and updated menus. This summer, the hotel was awarded a civil ceremony licence which now means that with the updated function facilities, the hotel can be host to an entire wedding, from the vows to the first dance.

The refurb has come ahead of a busy time of festive celebrations and Christmas parties at the hotel. The new lounge area will also be supported by a new menu and afternoon tea treats come the New Year. 

Steve Chaldecott, General Manager at The Wessex Royale comments: “We are all delighted here at the hotel and looking forward to welcoming people to enjoy the updated facilities. Our new lounge area is perfect for a cosy morning coffee or evening glass of wine before dinner. Our modernised function room and bar has also given us the opportunity to be host to a number of exciting events, celebrations and weddings.”

The hotel is open daily for morning coffee, lunches, afternoon tea and evening dinner. The function facilities make it a modern, town centre location for any type of event with over 29 en-suite bedrooms to support. 

About the design: The Wessex Royale has worked with local interior designer Pip Scaramanga to develop the new elegant and welcoming ground floor. Pip has over 30 years experience as an interior decorator and designer, working with her husband Andrew who for over 20 years designed and manufactured beautiful furniture and joinery. Pip was responsible for the design, decoration, lighting and finishes of hotels new look and worked closely with a team of local skilled craftsmen to achieve the fantastic results. Why don't you pop into the hotel for a coffee and see the beautiful new refurb? For more information about the design or for future interior design projects you can contact Pip direct via email: 


The Best Western Wessex Royale Hotel & Restaurant (“The Wessex Royale”) are pleased to have recently been awarded a Civil Ceremony licence. The Wessex Royale have been host to wedding receptions for many years but are now able to offer the complete service.

The Wessex Royale is in a great town centre location with spacious rooms and elegant Georgian charm. The events team at The Wessex Royale have the experience which ensures every wedding day is special and runs as smoothly as possible.

Bookings are now being taken for 2017 weddings with the option to have the ceremony in the hotel’s cosy restaurant or the larger bright function room. The hotel’s functions facilities are also being refurbished which will enable the hotel to provide a more modern service with a fresh new interior.

Steve Chaldecott, General Manager at The Wessex Royale comments: “We are delighted to be able to offer couples the complete wedding package. Our flexible wedding packages and town centre location has always meant that we have been a popular choice for Wedding Receptions but now we can be host to the entire day. We are looking forward to showcasing our facilities and options available at the Wessex FM Wedding Fair in April.”   



Following a successful partnership with Best Western, The Wessex Royale Hotel & Restaurant are pleased to launch their new, mobile friendly website. The new website showcases the beautiful bedrooms, function facilities and fine dining restaurant. 

The new website also enables people to book rooms direct with a number of room package options available.

Steve Chaldecott, General Manager at The Wessex Royale Hotel & Restaurant comments; "We are delighted to have launched our new website. It enables people to book rooms online and now being part of the Best Western group, people can earn Best Western reward points when they stay with us. The new website also showcases the facilities of the hotel including the function rooms and award winning fine dining restaurant."