A NEW bed and breakfast with a fossil theme is a real family affair.

The enterprising family have opened up Jurassic Bays Holidays in Ranelagh Road, Weymouth, with the unusual accommodation drawing upon the theme of Dorset's coastline.

And each family member is playing their part in the business, which operates as an automated guest house and opened at the end of last month.

Allison Lea and her husband Frank are running the business with Allison's sons, Joseph Chan and Adam Chan, who both have autism.

The business model within the home has been tailored so that Allison’s children can manage the business themselves.

Dorset Echo:
Allison provides care for her children along with Frank, who used to educate children with special needs at Kingston Maurward College near Dorchester.

Allison explains: “Due to their disabilities they struggle with face-to-face communication- but with this system it allows them to socialise and work but without the face-to-face contact.”

Part of this sees guests given freedom as the house offers 24/7 automated check in and check outs with electronic codes and a computerised system.

Frank said: “The experience of working has really brought both boys out of their shell and they are really keen and involved with everything.”

The house draws heavily on the theme of Dorset's coastline, with fossils cast into a facia wall on the exterior with full-size carnivorous dinosaur skull cast in resin looking upon guests at the entrance.

Dorset Echo:

“We all love archaeology and the fact that we live on the Jurassic Coast and we love museums makes it a perfect theme,” Allison said.  

“It’s a real family effort- we’re all close-knit.

"We have a display cabinet with real fossils, such as locally found ammonites and a large nautilus. There is also a large Argonaut, related to the nautilus at the house," she added. 

Not offering traditional cooked breakfasts, each room has a fridge, and there are also microwaves and toasters to allow families to save on costs, according to Allison.

She said: “With young children I found it expensive to go on holiday and then to pay for added meals on top. It saves them an awful lot of money.”

Dorset Echo:

On top of this, guests staying at the house can enjoy a range of facilities in the lounge including a retro 1980s arcade machine for free with more than 2,000 retro games and a pool table.