It’s about time Bournemouth laid claim to a hotel to match the charm of its picture-postcard Victorian Pier and glamour of its stunning golden sands, and so here it arrives: THE NICI, a five-star, multimillion-pound Shangri-la.

Bournemouth has long been a traditional ‘buckets and spades’ seaside destination, known for its red sandstone cliffs, rows of colourful beach huts, seafront family amusements and Blue Flag beaches.

The sun only needs pop its head out from behind a cloud on England’s south coast for the holidaymakers and tourists to flock to Bournemouth – a good indication that British summertime has officially begun.

Its warming rays entice thousands of people from far and wide – often making the headlines. However, this summer there is a new reason for Bournemouth to be in the press – the latest five-star arrival to Bournemouth’s sun-drenched horizon: THE NICI

Guests of THE NICI can still feel the sand between their toes and swim in the crystal-clear ocean. Yet, instead of striped deckchairs, sandcastles and fish and chips, there are poolside loungers, manicured gardens… firepits and a luxury wellness spa

The luxurious resort perched on Bournemouth’s West Cliff has been a labour of love; a £20 million redevelopment has transformed the wonderful landmark building (formerly The Savoy) into a modern and vibrant 84-bedroom hotel and spa. Fuss has been replaced with fun, while drawing on inspiration from Miami’s South Beach lifestyle (think bold, quirky art, palms in oversized pots and banquette seating), and it seems every media organisation from Country Living Magazine to The Telegraph has something wonderful to say about it, including The Times, which has named THE NICI ‘Seaside Hotel of the Year for 2023’.

Guests of THE NICI can still feel the sand between their toes and swim in the crystal-clear ocean. Yet, instead of striped deckchairs, sandcastles and fish and chips, there are poolside loungers, manicured gardens, a restaurant with alfresco terrace, sunken firepits and a luxury wellness spa – a first for Bournemouth. There’s also an indoor cinema, outdoor heated pool with sea views, and an activity centre with a host of equipment that can be borrowed, free of charge, for the day – including bicycles, paddleboards, bodyboards, kayaks, beach games and yoga mats. There are family and dog-friendly rooms, exquisite suites with spectacular views, and garden hot tubs.

THE NICI - Pool
THE NICI – Pool

Visit this summer while the sun is shining and be sure to sink into a cabana beside the palm-green pool with a glass of South Beach Punch in your hand, relaxing to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore.

THE NICI has successfully redefined the English seaside holiday experience.

Double rooms from £375, thenici.com

Text by Jessica Way