Where to Book a Stay in Bournemouth for a Local Experience

Miles of inviting sand and clean water bring thousands to Bournemouth each year
Miles of inviting sand and clean water bring thousands to Bournemouth each year | © Russell Hart / Alamy Stock Photo
Judy Cogan

When the Victorians made Bournemouth their bolthole by the beach, little did they know it would still be a seaside favourite more than a century later – with a long stretch of sandy yellow coastline, a zipline on the pier, surfing and adventures out into the Dorset countryside. From the east and west cliffs to quieter Boscombe, here are Culture Trip’s picks for where to stay in Bournemouth, bookable today.

1. Royal Exeter Hotel

Budget Hotel

Grand room at the Royal Exeter Hotel with a four-poster bed and red walls and carpet
Courtesy of Royal Exeter Hotel / Expedia

Way back in 1812 when something called “sea bathing” was becoming a thing, Captain Lewis Tregonwell invited his city friends to this luxurious property whenever they fancied a dip. He conveniently built the Royal Exeter Hotel a short walk from Bournemouth’s sandy beaches. The location’s grandeur hasn’t faded over the years and it still features original castellated towers, solid-wood four-poster beds and champagne cocktails mixed at BarSo. The on-site restaurant – 1812 – serves up a new food concept – tocco – which combines the flavours of Southern Italian street food with the uber-chic tapas bars of Venice.

2. The Green House

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Villa

An outdoor view of the white-fronted Victorian-era The Green House, with a garden area and trees
Courtesy of the Green House / Expedia

This hotel may be called The Green House, but it’s not made of glass or full of ripening tomatoes. Instead, this award-winning boutique hotel prides itself on delivering eco-friendly luxury. The 32 bedrooms are brightly decorated with contemporary statement wallpaper, Bose iPod docking stations and organic goose-down duvets – and if you’re after serious luxury, pick a super king room for a Victorian roll-top bath. Chefs at the Arbor restaurant cook delicious meals with ingredients sourced from local organic farms and fish fresh from the trawlers.

3. Derby Manor

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse

A stylish bedroom at Derby Manor with a colourful armchair, a cushioned bed, chandelier and large windows
Courtesy of Derby Manor / Expedia

From the outside, Derby Manor could be mistaken for an unassuming Edwardian guest house, but inside, this hotel is hiding glitz levels that reach somewhere between a Hello magazine cover shoot and The Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The family who run this property recently refurbished it with the gusto of lottery winners, adding deep pile carpets, crushed velvet headboards, bespoke wallpaper, chandeliers and Versace-inspired furniture. But with the sweeping staircase and cavernous rooms, it works. The enormous peacock in the restaurant is literally Instagram gold.

4. Langtry Manor Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

An outside view of the Tudor style exterior of Langtry Manor Hotel surrounded by trees
Courtesy of Langtry Manor Hotel / Expedia

The Langtry Manor Hotel is a place with a history. Built in 1877 by Edward VII for his mistress Lillie Langtry, it served as their secret love nest. Illicit past aside, the property has bags of charm and retains many of its original features including balconied bedrooms, ornate fireplaces, mullioned windows and elegant staircases. After a deep sleep in one of the four-poster beds, order Langtry’s full English breakfast, or eggs done any which way from boiled to poached.

5. Hilton Bournemouth

Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel

A large double bed in a spacious room with patterned wallpaper, stylish desk and floor-to-ceiling windows with views over of the coast at Hilton Bournemouth
Courtesy of Hilton Bournemouth / Expedia

Reassurance comes with this well-known brand, and Hilton Bournemouth will offer everything you need for a comfortable stay in town. It’s a ten-minute walk from both the city centre, beaches and Bournemouth Gardens, and has an in-house spa and health club. Kick back in the evening with a signature Bournemouth Pier Martini from the eighth-floor rooftop bar and enjoy sweeping views of the city. The centrepiece of the lively Schpoons & Forx restaurant is the tandoor oven, where British classics such as slow-cooked lamb shank and roasted cod get a spicy makeover.

6. The Coach House


A cosy room with double bed, wooden wardrobe and chest of draws and a sofa in view of the television at The Coach House
Courtesy of The Coach House / Expedia

This beautiful bolthole in West Cliff, Bournemouth, was a dance school before owners Madelaine and Karl converted it to fulfil their dream of opening a B&B by the sea. The couple live next door and are on-call for guests in all four apartments, which are a ten-minute walk to the beaches and the city centre. The accommodation choices range in size, but apartment one is popular thanks to its king-size bed, south-facing balcony and large sun-spliced kitchen.

7. Amarillo

Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

Room at Amarillo with a bed, blue wood-panelled wall and floral wallpaper
Courtesy of Amarillo / Expedia

The promise of uninterrupted peace is delivered at this award-winning guest house in a quiet residential street between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers. It overlooks the pretty Knyveton Gardens and isn’t far from the Russell-Cotes museum or the beach and the towns of Poole and Sandbanks; Christchurch and Mudeford are just a short drive away. All rooms show a flair for contemporary design, with bold pops of colour among the comfortable furnishings, and you can fuel up on a delicious cooked breakfast, included in the price, before you head out in the morning.

8. Sea Road Apartments


Small bedroom at Sea Road Apartments with a double bed by a window with orange curtains
Courtesy of Sea Road Apartments / Expedia

Sea Road Apartments serves as a popular bolthole for couples who use this as a base for adventures such as cliff walking, snorkelling and diving. It’s also in close proximity to the O2 Academy Bournemouth and Shelley Theatre for live music and culture. The kitchen is fully equipped for cooking, and there’s a comfy living area and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries.

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