The concept behind Oceana Hotels presence in the sunny south coast town of Bournemouth is very interesting. The company has created its own self-contained resort by owning five hotels within a stone’s throw of each other – in fact, three of them – The Suncliff, Ocean Beach and flagship hotel, The Cumberland – are next to each other, enjoying an enviable position overlooking the English Channel.
Among the main selling points behind owning so many hotels close together is that, firstly, the company can offer accommodation to suit everyone’s needs and, secondly, guests can use the facilities across the resort, including the highly-regarded Oceana Day Spa, the two-rosette Ventana Grand Café and a selection of indoor/outdoor swimming pools.
In total, Oceana boasts 350 bedrooms, many with sea views, so they can cater for groups, coach parties – well, just about everybody.
We had the pleasure of staying at Ocean Beach Hotel & Spa – which is aimed at families, although not exclusively – and thoroughly enjoyed our Bournemouth break. Mind you, the hotel’s location had a big part to play in that. Conveniently situated on East Cliff Drive, it’s a pleasant 20-minute walk to the pier and town while it’s only five minutes to the beach directly below, thanks to a handy zig-zag path. And, wow, Bournemouth certainly has miles of wonderful sand for families to enjoy.
As mentioned, guests have access to any of the facilities within the other hotels, including the selection of restaurants. Plus, you can also park in either of the three car parks, although they’re prone to being busy so space cannot be guaranteed.
The Ocean Beach Hotel has a tastefully decorated entrance hall leading into the new Italian Restaurant with small terrace area, which is a pleasant place to eat and drink. The alternative Atlantic Restaurant, situated on the lower floor and where breakfast is served, is more traditional in style; but both offer discounts for residents and can provide separate menus for vegans and vegetarians, which pleased us.
Our room (number 125) was spacious with a sofa, TV, bathroom, large double bed and separate bedroom containing bunk-beds for the kids. Its big attraction, though, was the lovely view out to sea. The only negative regarding this room was that it could be a little noisy during the evenings due to its position above the bar. Although the music being played downstairs wasn’t particularly loud, the fact the speakers are installed in the ceiling of the bar meant that the music was audible in our room. However, on mentioning it to staff members, it was immediately turned down so I wouldn’t let that put you off.
Overall, I think any of the hotels in the Oceana Group (we visited all three overlooking the sea) would be ideal for a stay in Bournemouth. The location is perfect, the uninterrupted views out to sea are wonderful and the staff very friendly and helpful. Everyone from those at reception to the employee working in the restaurant provided service with a smile which helped towards the successful experience.
Oceana Hotels & Restaurants
East Overcliff Drive
Dorset BH1 3AG
Tel: 01202 298350
For further information on Bournemouth, visit www.bournemouth.co.uk