The Best Beach Hotels in Bournemouth, England

Bournemouth's seven miles of pristine Jurassic coast draw beach lovers from far and wide
Bournemouth's seven miles of pristine Jurassic coast draw beach lovers from far and wide
Photo of Tim Rowland
31 December 2020

Yes, Bournemouth has lovely parks, the Oceanarium, AFC Bournemouth, the Bournemouth International Centre and the Russell-Cotes art gallery, but what most visitors flock to is the seven miles of pristine Jurassic coast. Beach lovers need not fear a lack of good places to stay: there are plenty of hotels within a pebble’s throw of the pier, where you can comfortably lay your head after a day spent sunning yourself on the sand.

Royal Exeter Hotel

Budget Hotel
Map View
Royal Exeter Hotel
Courtesy of Royal Exeter Hotel / Expedia

The castellated towers and decorated gables of this early-19th century Victorian hotel right in the heart of Bournemouth are hard to miss. Visitors can choose between rooms decorated in a traditional or contemporary style, while BarSo has a vaulted glass ceiling at its centre and opens out onto a large terrace, a great place for a drink in the summer under the trees.

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The Cumberland

Resort, Hotel
Map View
The Cumberland Hotel - OCEANA COLLECTION
Courtesy of The Cumberland Hotel - OCEANA COLLECTION / Expedia

Whether lounging on the sun deck by the outdoor pool or taking the short hop to the beach down East Cliff, this striking art deco hotel is a great base for any sun lover heading to Bournemouth. You could be forgiven for thinking you’re in South Beach, Miami, with the bright colours and pop art prints indoors and purple mood lighting for summer nights outside. The beachfront rooms have balconies or terraces from which you can enjoy a view of Bournemouth Bay.

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Boho Beach House

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Boho Beach House
Courtesy of Boho Beach House / Expedia

Owner Chanine raised the money to invest in this four-storey Victorian terrace by flipping properties, and running a children’s nursery for 10 years while raising her daughters – so you can really tell it’s been a labour of love. The decor is all vibrant pinks and greens, furnishings handpicked from local antique markets and knick-knacks collected during Chanine’s years of travel. Rooms include Lukla, Koshi and Kala Patthar, all named after places in Nepal, and you can take virtual tours of them on the hotel’s website.

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The Coach House

Apartment
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Somerville Coach House 4
Courtesy of The Coach House / Booking.com

Formerly a dance school, these four self-contained apartments in West Cliff each have a private entrance, use of either a shared balcony or shared courtyard, and are a short walk to the town centre and main beach. There’s plenty of parking and owners Madelaine and Karl live next door, so are on hand if guests need anything. The apartments are overlooked to the north by the spire of St Michael’s Church.

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The Balincourt

Luxury, Hotel, Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse
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Balincourt Guest House
Courtesy of Balincourt Guest House / Expedia

This late Victorian-era guesthouse in Boscombe is run by husband and wife duo Ricky and Harps, who have given an old classic a new lease of life. Boscombe beach and pier are a 10-minute walk away down the hill, while breakfast options include a knockout full English, scrambled egg and smoked salmon, cold meats and cheese, or mouthwatering build-your-own omelettes.

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  • Sea Road Apartments

    Apartment
    Map View
    Sea Road Apartments, Bournemouth
    Courtesy of Sea Road Apartments / Expedia

    These serviced apartments are on Sea Road and (guess what?) the shore at Boscombe is just a few minutes’ walk. You’ve the option of a studio, one- or two-bedroom apartment, and there’s once-weekly housekeeping and free on-site parking, too. These are the perfect pads for crashing out after a hard day building sandcastles on the beach.

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    Beach Retreat

    Apartment
    Map View
    Beach Retreat, Bournemouth
    Courtesy of Beach Retreat / Expedia

    Away from the city centre and on the eastern side of Boscombe, this all-on-one-level ground-floor apartment is on a quiet residential street. Perfect for a family, it has two bedrooms: one a king-size double with a folding single bed, and the other with adult-sized bunk beds. Just a 10-minute walk away is one of the less-competitive sections of Bournemouth Beach when it comes to getting a sunbathing spot.

    Urban Beach Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Urban Beach Hotel, Bournemouth
    Courtesy of Urban Beach Hotel / Expedia

    This boutique hotel is a short walk from the beach at Boscombe, which has a historic pier, and it certainly rocks the beach vibe (think surfboards pinned to the wall and biodegradable straws made of seashells in the bar). There’s also a hook up with social movement Plastic Free Bournemouth, which gives you access to a box of buckets and spades you can use and then return at the end of the day, rather than buying new ones and chucking them when you’re done.

    Waves In

    Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Waves In, Bournemouth
    Courtesy of Waves In / Expedia

    Waves In sports a nautical theme with soothing, beachy hues on the walls and seaside-themed pillows. It’s right by Boscombe Chine Gardens, which wind down an old river bed to the sea. If you fancy breakfast in bed, owners Des, Donna and Val will deliver a hamper to your door, while resident pooches Charlie and Arthur can often be seen in the garden and love to meet new people, so be sure to say hello.

    These recommendations were updated on December 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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