The gateway to England’s southwest coast, Bournemouth offers seaside charm, peaceful countryside and dramatic coastlines. Make the best of a few days by the sea by booking one of these hotels on Culture Trip.
Bournemouth is the perfect place to indulge in some childhood nostalgia, with a few days taken up by sandy beaches, arcade games and donkey rides. But explore a little beyond the seaside town and you’ll find places such as Hengistbury Head, a nature reserve boasting rugged coastal hikes, as well as incredible wildlife and the unspoilt scenery of the New Forest that’s well worth exploring. Here’s where to stay while you’re there.
Christchurch is Bournemouth’s quieter little sister, and the perfect place for some seaside relaxation. You’ll certainly get that at the Harbour Hotel, which is known for its excellent spa facilities. Right on the edge of the harbour, the hotel also offers views aplenty, especially from its waterfront restaurant. The Jetty’s menu is overseen by Alex Aitken, who was awarded a Michelin star at his former restaurant, Le Poussin. Top tip: explore the harbour for yourself by borrowing one of the hotel’s paddleboards or kayaks.
We all know that a friendly face can make all the difference when it comes to travel, and this lovely little guesthouse has won awards for its friendliness. It has just seven rooms, all recently renovated and full of the home-from-home comforts that make a stay enjoyable. It’s perfectly situated for easy access to both Bournemouth and Christchurch, but make sure you stick around for one of their signature big breakfasts before you head out for the day.
Imagine this: you sink into a bubbling hot tub, a glass of something sparkling in your hand. You while away some time enjoying the soft rustling of leaves and the sights of the forest, then pad inside to snuggle under a soft blanket in front of a crackling fire. Now, stop imagining – and book a stay in Chewton Glen’s treehouse suites to experience this for yourself. Just don’t blame us if you can’t tear yourself away from this tranquil setting to explore the local area.
Travellers on foot, this one’s for you. While this Village hotel isn’t in the most picturesque of Dorset surroundings, it’s all about the location – a bus stop just down the road will connect you to all of Bournemouth, and the award-winning beach at Boscombe is a 30-minute walk away. The hotel itself is fun and fresh, with colourful decor and a lively Italian restaurant, as well as a cheeky Starbucks in the foyer.
The Chine was once a place to see and be seen, hosting glittering balls and fabulous parties for the rich and famous. Now, the hotel is known for offering a slice of tranquility in a bustling seaside town, though the smiling faces of those party-goers still keep an eye on things from black-and-white photo collages on the wall. Light and spacious rooms overlook three acres of gardens, complete with a heated outdoor pool. Take a short stroll through the trees and you’ll emerge right onto Bournemouth Beach, ready for sun, sea and sand.
Lord Derby once used Derby Manor as his base when visiting Bournemouth, and if it’s good enough a lord, we’re definitely interested. Edwardian architecture welcomes you to this adults-only hotel, which continues inside – paired with contemporary comforts. While the restaurant is excellent, special attention must be paid to the afternoon tea, which has quickly become an essential part of a stay here. Ask at the desk about the cars on offer – the hotel boasts a luxury car hire service for its guests.
Many of us dream of running away to the seaside and opening a B&B, but the owners of the Applewood actually did it. This young family from London were charmed by the golden beaches and open spaces of Dorset, and took on this 20-bed Edwardian guesthouse, renovating it into a boutique hotel that welcomes travellers from all over the world. Sit and sip a cocktail in the chic lounge bar while you ask the family for their excellent local recommendations.
If you’re after seaside charm, this place has it in spades. A late Victorian era hotel that’s being returned to its former glory, it’s just a stone’s throw away from Bournemouth’s sandy beaches. Colourful flower beds border the garden, while each room has been carefully and charmingly decorated. Owners Ricky and Harps like to keep things old school, offering a personalised experience to each guest.
Perched on a cliff above Bournemouth, this hotel has some serious views all the way to the Isle of Wight. And it knows how to make the most of it – most rooms have a bay view, and Bar Vista offers a sunny outdoor terrace and garden overlooking long, golden beaches. If you’re planning on visiting the town for its annual airshow, this is the place to stay. Its position is ideal for plane-spotting during the displays.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.