Whether you’re in town for a beach break or looking for a base to explore the nearby New Forest and the delights of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, Bournemouth has Victorian resort charm by the bucketload. And when it comes to places to stay, you can take your pick from eco-minded boutique hotels and art deco beauties to traditional Victorian B&Bs. Here are our picks of the best hotels in Bournemouth.
Bournemouth's best hotels
Green by name and nature: this 32-room Victorian boutique bolthole claims to be the UK’s most eco-friendly hotel, with everything from the vegetable ink used in the wallpaper to the low-energy TVs to the beehives on the roof all designed for minimum environmental impact. Even the company car runs on waste cooking oil from the hotel’s kitchen. The ethos, however, is informative, warm and luxurious rather than preachy – and it’s just a couple of minutes' walk from the seafront. While you’re here be sure to book dinner at its locally minded restaurant, Arbor.
This laidback 12-room hotel residing in a restored Victorian house, a five-minute walk from the beach, has two singles and ten double rooms. All are en suite and have free wifi, tea-and-coffee-making facilities, DVD players, and you can even help yourself from a DVD library at reception. You’ll find a cocktail bar and bistro with a heated, south-facing terrace downstairs, and if you’re hitting the beach for the day, ask for a packed lunch. Complimentary access to a local health club and pool is also included.
The art deco façade of this 107-room, four-star hotel looks like it's been airlifted from South Beach to the South Coast. There is (limited) free parking for guests and 24-hour room service as well as a pool. Guests also have access to the squash courts, sauna and a small gym at neighbouring sister properties. There’s free wifi throughout but the real star of the show is the view: out from East Cliff over Bournemouth Bay. Ask for one of the rooms with a balcony or terrace.
Not as formal as its namesake in the capital, this 1870 hotel perched on West Cliff, a five-minute walk from the beach or into town, is all about old-school seaside charm. Rooms come with en suite bath or shower rooms, TVs and tea-and-coffee-making facilities, and some have balconies. Guests can make use of free wifi, free parking, and even access to the gym, spa and indoor pool. There are two restaurants and a terrace for eating alfresco when the sun is shining. Word to the wise: bring earplugs – the seagulls can get raucous.
This restored Edwardian manor house is a short walk to Boscombe Beach and the Pavilion and has 11 rooms, each named after a famous horserace. There’s free wifi as well as a bar, a restaurant and a tea room serving cream tea from noon to 3pm. There’s a smart-casual dress code throughout but the aspirational feel doesn’t stop there: the hotel also offers a luxury car hire service – just in case you feel like taking a Porsche or Bentley for a spin while exploring the New Forest, which is a ten-minute drive away.
This 32-room modern boutique hotel – Bournemouth’s first, in fact – is a restored Edwardian villa set within an acre of gardens, which is great for breakfast on warm summer mornings. Rooms are all en suite and come with free high-speed wifi and tea-and-coffee-making facilities. Its restaurant, No.34, serves largely locally sourced traditional food, while the bar is good for a drink or two before catching a show at the nearby Bournemouth International Centre. It’s a ten-minute stroll to the sea and the train station.