Bournemouth on England’s south coast has been a hotspot for family vacations ever since sea bathing became popular in the early 19th century, and continues to be a great getaway if you’ve got kids. Whatever you’re looking for – classic seaside resort by Bournemouth Pier, quirky boutique B&B in Boscombe, or big brand hotel in town with all the trimmings – this jewel on the Dorset coast has you covered. Here’s our guide to the best family hotels in Bournemouth.
The castellated towers and decorated gables of this Bournemouth hotel really stand out in the heart of town, right next to the International Centre (a live music venue) and steps from the main beach. Built in 1812 by Captain Lewis Tregonwell for his family and their guests while he defended the coastline against Napoleonic forces, the town has since grown up around it. The location alone makes this a great option for families, and you can ask for cribs and infant beds in the rooms (at no extra charge) if needed.
Leafy and secluded up on East Cliff, family-friendly Bournemouth hotel the Orchid is perfect if your clan is looking to avoid beach crowds while staying close enough to join them when you choose. The family rooms have a double or king-size bed, an additional single bed, and a coffee machine; everything you need for parenting. The chilled vibe extends to the muted colours of the communal areas and a pretty terrace for dining and drinking. The in-house No.34 restaurant is Michelin-starred but informal; for a seaside feast, try the moules mariniere with garlic, onion, parsley, white wine and fries.
This intimate beach hotel in Boscombe really makes families feel welcome. Travel cots and children under three are free, while youngsters aged four to 14 can stay in a Z bed in your room for an affordable fee. You’ll find highchairs in the bistro, and children are more than catered for, with mini versions of most dishes and a Mini Chefs Menu especially for kids – created by food experts Elliot and Sam, aged eight.
The Cumberland is an art deco landmark atop East Cliff with great views of Bournemouth Bay and plenty on offer for families; not least the outdoor pool – perfect for a day in the sun if you don’t fancy fighting over a clear patch of sand on the beach. The Seafront Family Rooms have a double or king-size bed and a double sofa bed which comfortably fits two children. For a great day out, try the hotel’s deal with Front Bike Hire on the seafront; it offers a range of wheels for adults and children to explore the 11km (7mi) promenade all the way from Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks – thankfully it’s all flat and pretty much traffic-free.
Proprietor Chanine certainly knows how to make families feel welcome here at Boho Beach House – after all, she ran a children’s nursery for 10 years while raising her daughters, all the while saving up to buy this boutique hotel. Room nine at the top of the four-storey Victorian terrace has a glimpse of the ocean and Bournemouth’s Big Wheel, plus a double and single bed to accommodate a family of three, with the option of a cot if needed. Room six on the second floor has two double beds – ideal for two adults and two small children.
This smart guesthouse in Boscombe has a great family room: a deluxe en suite with two bedrooms and a private entrance. There’s a king-size bed in the main bedroom and bunk beds in the children’s adjoining room, which also has a hand basin. And if your family’s a bit larger than four, the owners will happily rent out the whole place. On the nearby beach you’ll find paddleboard lessons, volleyball and surfing – plenty of fresh air activities to keep the whole family entertained.
These serviced apartments a few minutes from the beach in Boscombe are perfect for a family who want to do their own thing. The two-bedroom apartment comes with a king-size bed, bunk beds and a kitchen – making it ideal for a family of four who want to self-cater. There’s free on-site parking and weekly housekeeping too. Great value family-friendly restaurant the Social Grill is just up the road if you’re too exhausted from the beach to fix dinner.
Fancy discovering more plush hotels in Bournemouth? Check out our guide to the best boutique hotels in Bournemouth, England, or find out where to stay in Bournemouth for a local experience, bookable with Culture Trip.
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