When I snuck away for my seaside weekend to Bournemouth, I did it for one reason; a hotel balcony view over the ocean. A couple of the hotels that I wanted to stay in along the coast were fully booked, I booked into the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton.
It was everything I wanted – a Victorian grand dame in true British seaside style, but not so glam that it had airs and graces. Just a cosy, lovely place that I could equally wander through in my togs and a coverup, as I could in jeans and a silk scarf.
Just perfect for a cosy staycation.
The hotel has recently been refurbished and is in immaculate condition – and my room was cozy, just perfect. I had actually booked the room a grade up – a “superior double with a view”, but had been put in a huge room on the side of the building, overlooking the carpark and a sliver of sea – so I politely insisted that I be moved and was much happier with my second slightly smaller room with a great view of the ocean beyond the garden.
Normally I probably would have been very reticent to say anything, but when you’ve been looking forward to something for so long, and then it just isn’t quite what you’re hoping for and it’s only for a night, I think that you should hold your ground. It’s just the luck of the draw, and hotels being cheeky – not to mention the hotel being super busy with a large wedding party.
That view was all I wanted (ignore the balcony rails – they weren’t so obtrusive in real life). The hotel had everything I wanted; it was away from the busy town centre, a 4-minute walk to the beach, had a lovely restaurant, a good sized outdoor pool and a nice indoor spa that I spent a good few afternoon hours lurking in, sunnies on and Kindle in hand.
It actually felt like I was in the Mediterranean thanks to the glorious blue skies and sunshine beaming down, but without the hassle of flying.
Dinner was room service a la Balcony, delivered by the sweetest waiter. I promptly thanked him and carried it through the door in my bay window, and alongside a crisp glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc enjoyed their hearty burger, epic chips and eventually some of the Eton Mess that was bigger than my face.
I even snuck in a quick shoefie.
Even with the wedding party – who were totally contained and I barely heard a peep from (though I definitely snuck a good look at the bride’s gorgeous dress) the hotel was never overwhelmingly busy. It was a lovely level of people, without feeling like you were alone.
When you’re travelling solo, I think that can be a hard balance to strike; a nice boutique hotel like the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton had the perfect balance – there is life in the halls but you aren’t just a face in the crowd. As an adult it’s a strange feeling to be perfectly content with your own company, but I guess that’s where working from home helps (and the constant updates of Mr Kiwi who was funnily enough just around the bays walking the Seven Sisters with his friends.)
I mooched, enjoyed the spa, had a nap, enjoyed dinner, wandered back along the Bournemouth seafront to watch the sunset and then read until my eyelids began to droop uncontrollably. It was the perfect remedy to the busy days preceeding my little staycation.
My morning begin a little slower than anticipated – they missed my request for room service (I was utterly determined to enjoy every second on the balcony) though more than made up for it in the generosity of serving. Appetite well and truly sated (and my sunburn nicely topped up, I headed out to explore more of Bournemouth beach…
Have you ever booked a hotel solely on one feature? (And have you ever asked to change rooms?)