Bournemouth has a great market for hotels, which is evolving all the time. Some trade successfully on their historic seaside charm, others blaze a trail with green credentials, adventurous stylings and quirky boutique concepts, and some do both. The south coast town is nice and compact and there’s plenty of beach to go around so you’ll never find yourself far from the sand. Look out also for excellent art galleries, pretty gardens and independent eateries, all within walking distance.
This boutique hotel manages the difficult task of being genuine about its ecofriendly creed without ramming it down your throat. It’s one thing to source only local and sustainable ingredients for the excellent Arbor restaurant, but another to use low-energy induction cookers, FSC-certified timber on the restaurant floor and to compost all your coffee beans. The rooms are lovely too, with features such as Bose SoundDocks and reclaimed Victorian roll-top baths. The gardens and outdoor terrace are a real winner in the summer.
This luxury guesthouse wears the best of Edwardian-manor charm alongside a contemporary twist, with furniture inspired by Versace, bespoke wallpaper and deep pile carpets. There are memorable quirks too; all the rooms are named after racecourses in honour of horse-loving former owner Lord Derby. You really are onto a winner with the Gold Cup/Honeymoon Suite, which boasts a roll-top bath within a leap of the super king bed.
The sister hotel of the Derby Manor over the road has a fascinating history of its own. It was designed by mistress-to-a-king Lillie Langtry, who as well as being a confidante of King Edward VII, was a model, actress and entrepreneur in her own right; learn about her via the Langtry Collection on the first floor. The Heritage Rooms are a real treat – try the Lillie Langtry room, with a spa bath in the corner and a classic four-poster to lay your weary head on after a long day exploring Bournemouth.
This is another excellent option if you’re happy to be in neighbouring Boscombe. The nearby beach has plenty to do, from surfing to volleyball and stand-up paddleboarding. There are also several bars and restaurants on the seafront, and the promenade connects the whole bay to Bournemouth up and down seven miles of pristine Jurassic coast, perfect for a stroll or cycle. The Westby itself is fun and family-friendly, with a baby listening device, children’s menu, books, videos and games, and babysitting if you need it.
This family-run guesthouse sits in a Victorian property that has been lovingly updated with a modern feel. It’s quiet and discreet while being within equal distance from Bournemouth and Boscombe town centres. Beautiful Knyveton Gardens is nearby, with tennis courts and bowling greens if you’ve had your fill of the beach. There’s a complimentary continental breakfast and for a bit extra you can get a top-drawer cooked breakfast.
This great little B&B is the project of Ricky and Harps, who are dedicated to making this classic Victorian house shine. That means great breakfasts – the build-your-own omelettes are as good as they sound – a friendly atmosphere and the best display of hanging baskets you’ve ever seen decorating the white facade of the building. Christchurch Road is an ideal place to be, near Boscombe town centre and close to the scenic Toft Zig Zag walk down to the beach.
If you think you love chocolate then number one, you need to stay here, and number two, think again – the family that runs The Chocolate Box Hotel loves it more. The Wilton family started out hiring chocolate fountains and now have two chocolate-themed hotels, of which The Chocolate Box is the second. There are prints of chocolate boxes everywhere, paeans to chocolate in stencil form – “Forget love, I’d rather fall in chocolate” – and a chocolate tasting room. You must try the chocolate pancakes for breakfast, obviously.
If you’re happy to be based a little way out of the town centre then this 12-bedroom boutique hotel is really worth considering. It’s in Boscombe, which has an eclectic high street and a pier, not to mention a slightly quieter beach than the main one in Bournemouth. It’s also very handy for AFC Bournemouth football games at the Vitality Stadium. But there are plenty of other reasons to stay, not least the friendly vibe and a great choice of rooms depending on what you’re after. There are also nifty tie-ups, such as the one with a nearby private health club through which guests get access to a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and gym.
Fancy an extra relaxing stay on the south coast? Then see the best hotels with a spa in Bournemouth, or for a stylish stay, check out our guide to the best boutique hotels in Bournemouth, England. For more options, check out where to stay in Bournemouth for a local experience, bookable with Culture Trip. For a family-friendly stay, check out our pick of the most family-friendly hotels to book in Bournemouth, bookable on Culture Trip.
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.