Queen Victoria and her son, Edward, had the right idea when they spurred on the creation of Bournemouth, a sort of precursor to the modern-day, purpose-built resort town. With its abundance of flowers, parks and aesthetically-pleasing architecture, this south coast seaside resort has good reason to bask in its popularity.
Together with neighbouring Christchurch and Poole, Bournemouth creates the largest urban centre in the south of the country. The best hotels in Bournemouth make great bases for exploring the wealth of historic attractions in the region, such as Winchester and Salisbury, as well as taking in the sights of the town itself. With miles of beautiful beach and a fun pedestrian promenade, Bournemouth has plenty to offer seaside holidaymakers.
Our Favourite Bournemouth Hotels:
Royal Bath Hotel: in terms of style and luxury, the Royal Bath is hard to beat. Since it opened in 1838, it has been hosting guests ― both famous and not ― to its lovely French-style chateau. Surrounded by three acres of garden that ends dramatically at a cliff’s edge which overlooks the sea, the hotel is encircled by inspiring scenery. Rooms are furnished with a quality that is commiserating with the rates and few guests leave disappointed.
Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott: another beauty perched right on the top of a cliff, the Marriott dates to 1888 and has some cool features that make staying here a pleasure. Guests can zip to the beachside promenade at the base of the cliff in seconds via the hotel’s funicular elevator or enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools for a break from the sand. Most rooms have tremendous sea views and all are tastefully furnished in classic English style.
The Norfolk Royale: it may be a few blocks from the promenade, but the Norfolk Royale still has a lot going for it. As one of the oldest and best hotels in Bournemouth, it offers some great features like a massive cast-iron terrace and a rear garden shaded by ancient trees. A major renovation effort has recently restored the property to its former Edwardian glory.
Hotel du Vin: a nautical theme runs heavy through this marvelous luxury hotel which is housed in one of the town’s landmark historic properties. Its Poole Harbour location is ideal for soaking in the sea air and walking to many of the area’s attractions. The rooms here are top-flight, with features like monsoon showers, quality bedding and private balconies that open onto great views.
Menzies Carlton Hotel: opulent public rooms and a stunning cliff-side location give this hotel that kind of classy 1920s aura that is reminiscent of the old days, when sea-bathing was all the rage. This is the most exclusive part of Bournemouth and the accommodation here is up to the task. Spacious rooms with soaring ocean views and touches of Edwardian décor create a wonderful atmosphere.
The Priory Hotel: just a short drive from Bournemouth, this intimate boutique hotel doesn’t come cheap, but its situation is quite unique and nothing short of inspirational. Set beside the River Frame, in Wareham, the hotels makes guests feel like they’re living in a timeless seaside village tucked into an ancient garden. This is romance at its best.
Langtry Manor Hotel: the Edwardian atmosphere of this beautifully-restored, cliff-side hotel is arguably the best in town. Each of the 27 rooms seems to contain a history of its own, such as initials carved into the window sash or personal décor that was first placed there more than a century ago. While certainly comfortable, the Langtry Manor doesn’t try to be flashy or modern so if you prefer to get more chic for your room rate, consider another spot.