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A hundred or so years ago Bournemouth was a magical spa town, where royalty, celebrities and the well-to-do flocked to enjoy the pine-scented air, decent weather - by English standards - seven miles of sandy beach, and the first spa hotel. Some of the best places to stay in Bournemouth are still close to the long stretch of sandy, golden beach, and there are still plenty of unsullied views to be found. The Pier, with its fair, arcade, shops and boat trips, is about central.
These days the beautiful spa hotel is now the Town Hall, and many visitors come by the coach load - either retired folk, or stag or hen dos, but there's still plenty of seaside magic to Bounemouth, and plenty of opportunity for pampering and wellness treatments. And in recent years Bournemouth's growing populations of students and surfers have given the town a much more bohemian vibe than other old seaside resorts.
Bournemouth also has several galleries, a theatre or two and some lovely gardens. And, as you might have imagined from the mention of stags and hens, Bournemouth is also known for its vibrant nightlife and great range when it comes to eating and drinking.
Due to its year round popularity, the best places to stay in Bournemouth can prove tricky to book. So if you really want to stay in one of our picks, get organised and plan well ahead.
For a lively stay
- The Urban Beach Hotel is just minutes from the beach and offers twelve contemporary chic rooms. But the real hub is the bar and bistro which has a real buzz.
- The Green House is a 32 room designer eco-hotel just a few hundred yards back from the beach. As well as being green and comfortable, this hotel has all the mod. cons. and a fine restaurant with an ambitious menu.
- Just along the coast in Christchurch, right on the banks of the River Stour, you'll find the Captain's Club Hotel & Spa, a collection of 17 self-catering rooms and suites with great views from their balconies over the river mouth. There's also a great spa, an excellent restaurant and it's all very family friendly.
- On the other side of Christchurch is the 64 room Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, a newly refurbished harbour charmer with smart bedrooms, excellent food, great views and an indulgent spa.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Bournemouth, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or widen your search and take a look at all our Dorset recommendations.
Best Hotels in Bournemouth
Urban Beach Hotel 12 rooms from $126Bournemouth,, Dorset
Attractive boutique hotel in Bournemouth just five minutes from the beach and not far from the New Forest. Contemporary chic rooms have paintings, luscious fabrics, and all the mod cons. A lively bar and bistro is a focal point. Family friendly, stylish, and surrounded by easily found attractions.Sights nearby - Visit the magnificent Durdle Door or Kimmeridge ledges.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
The Green House 32 rooms from $208Bournemouth, Dorset
Eco hotel a few hundred yards from the beach. Contemporary rooms with designer wallpaper and some with free standing baths. Award winning restaurant uses produce from the local area. Well placed for exploring Dorset and the New Forest.Sailing - Bournmouth Cruises offers both cruises and rides on their speedboat.Great walks - Within easy access of the New Forest - a paradise for walkers.Sights nearby - Visit Christchurch Castle ruins.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Johansens