If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, why not?) then you will have seen I recently spent the weekend in Bournemouth with my Boyfriend Sam. This trip was originally booked for the beginning of March to mark our six-year anniversary but due to the really bad snow we had to reschedule. Huge shout out to Expedia as they let us reschedule with no extra fee due to the extreme weather conditions even though our booking was non-refundable , I would 100% recommend and use them again over anyone else for this reason. I’m so glad the snow meant we couldn’t travel in March though as we had such a hot weekend in Bournemouth and being down on the pier felt like we were abroad.
The Hilton completely exceeded our expectations, this is the nicest one in the hotel chain that I’ve stayed in by far and the service we received was outstanding throughout our stay.
We travelled to Bournemouth by car on Friday which was a bit of a longer journey than anticipated due to the nice weather I think everyone was heading in the same direction. When we arrived we parked in the car park beneath the hotel next door – Hampton by Hilton as advised on the website. The area in the car park we were allowed to park in as hotel guests was fairly small but we got there around half an hour after check in started and found a space easily. The spaces are very narrow though so if your cars quite large you might struggle. It was a 2 minute walk down the hill to the hotel. The reception area was light and airy, it was sort of open plan with the hotel bar and restaurant although the restaurant was right at the other end so you wouldn’t be disturbed or overlooked when eating. When checking in I mentioned we had booked a twin room as this was the only one available at the time other than the more expensive options such as a room with a balcony or a suite and asked if there was any availability for king room. The gentleman at the front desk said it was no problem to check us into a king room at no extra cost, and even asked us our preference over having a room with a bath or shower. At check in we also paid for the car parking which was £13 a night, we probably could have found somewhere cheaper as there seemed to be a lot of car parks around but for the security and convenience we didn’t mind paying a bit more.
The room was absolutely gorgeous and I thought it was a great idea you could buy some of the things in the room such as the cushions. It would be a nice keepsake if the colour scheme matched yours at home to come home with something you’d actually use rather than a novelty souvenir. The decor gave a nod to the local area without being over the top, on top of the dresser there was a map of the area stuck under the glass and there was a picture referencing the seaside on the wall. The vibe the room had was really relaxing and exactly what you need when you go on a mini break.
The bed itself was MASSIVE but a little uncomfortable for me as it was quite hard. The room had everything you needed from a hair dryer, a fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, luxury toiletries, a huge mirror, a light up mirror perfect for makeup and a full length mirror. The room was finished to such a high standard there was even lighting in the wardrobe so when you opened it you could see all of your clothes clearly, I definitely need to look into getting this at home!
We didn’t use many of the hotel amenities but it was nice to have the option. The hotel features a fitness room, spa, pool, a shoe shine stand, laundry services and a beauty salon to name just a few. For dining the hotel has their Scphoons and Forx restaurant, an impressive room service menu and light bites in the Level8ight Sky Bar. For drinks there is That Bar Downstairs and again the Level8ight Sky Bar, the room also had a mini fridge which was great to store a few drinks in to have whilst we were getting ready to go out. We visited the Level8ight Sky Bar for a drink, it’s really unusual to get a hotel outside of London that has a rooftop bar and it was a really nice experience with yummy cocktails. We didn’t dine at the hotel and this was no reflection on the options at all as it all looked so nice but there was so many other dining options around the hotel. We also had a drink in That Bar Downstairs and this like the Sky Bar was expensive but we expected it and the atmosphere and service was so good it was kind of worth paying a little extra.
The Area Around the Hotel
The hotel is situated close to the town centre but also close to the beach so to me that’s the perfect location. It’s also right next to the BH2 Leisure Complex which has a cinema and lots and lots of restaurants. On the evening we arrived we had a couple of drinks in Key West Bar & Grill at the end of the pier, we were charged a pound to enter the pier but the ticket was valid for the whole season. We sat in the outside area of the bar and it was a really relaxed atmosphere, the only downside is that it closes at 7pm everyday and we definitely would have stayed longer. We then went to Las Iguanas which was in the BH2 Leisure Complex, I really loved this restaurant and don’t know why or how I hadn’t visited one sooner. The food was so tasty, we had the Nachos to start and for mains Sam had the fajita’s and I had a burrito. The cocktails were 2 for 1 which was amazing, we had 6 in total. The whole meal including drinks came to £64 which we thought was so reasonable.
On Saturday morning we intended to go for breakfast at Weatherspoons which was right next to the hotel but we woke up quite late and ended up eating after midday. We went back to Key West Bar & Grill, I had the tastiest pizza and Sam had an all day breakfast which he also said was really nice. We spent a little while sitting outside having a few drinks and then it started raining really hard so we took cover in the Oceanarium which was just to the side of the pier. It was much more impressive than some of the other aquariums I’ve been to and had Otters, Turtles, Penguins and an Iguana to name only a few of the animals. It came to a little over £20 for the two of us which was fairly reasonable. For dinner we went to Ask Italian which was lovely, I had the Carbonara and Sam had a pizza. I’d never been to Ask before and I’d definitely recommend it. We went back to Las Iguanas after dinner for more cocktails, we must have tried most of the menu over the two days we were there. The Espresso Martini and the Pink Guava cocktails were my favourite.
Check out on Sunday was at midday and this is also the time the car parking we had paid for ended so we left the hotel at 10:30ish to head towards Key West Bar and Grill (again) for breakfast. The breakfast was lovely, not greasy at all and everything tasted fresh and of really high quality.
We both fell in love with Bournemouth and will be booking to go back as soon a we can. Every aspect of the weekend was perfect and I’d recommend it for couples and families alike. Next time we go we’d love to try Hot Rocks for cocktails and food and go on the open top bus along the coast. There was also a zip wire from the pier over the sea to the beach which I’d like to go on.
We both love a mini-break, it’s so nice just to get away from it all even for just a couple of nights and see something new. If you have any suggestions of places you think we’d like I’d love to know. I’ve written a few reviews similar to this, you can find them here or here or here.